G&L L-2000 setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by seamus, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I seem to have gotten the best setups possible out of all my other basses, but the G&L's are a bit elusive for me. I like the action low, not so low that the string smacks the fretboard at the slightest touch, but still quite low.

    I've noticed that the bridge saddles on every L-2000 I see look abnormally high when I get them. I try to lower them, but then I get buzz on the frets approaching the neck joint. If I get the low end frets to feel nice, then the upper ones buzz. If I get the higher frets to stop buzzing, then the saddles are high again and the action overall seems much too high.

    I like the sound of the bass, but I find myself always grabbing for my Fender because I set it up so sweet. With the G&L, I feel like I'm fighting the bass somewhat, and I have two of them that are less than a year old.

    How much backbow are you guys dialing in with these? Like to the point of heavy resistance or what? I find that much makes the upper frets buzz no matter what I do so I had to dial in more relief.

    Any suggestions are appreciated, thanks. :)
  2. I guess you don't have the 3 bolt, tilt neck versions then. My L-2000 and my SB-2 have this system and it's great. It really makes it easy to get a nice balance.

    I guess that's what people get for bitching about the 3 bolt tilt. It was actually a great feature that had to be discontinued due to prejudice.

    If you can't get it just how you want it, why not take it to a really good pro to have set up excactly to your liking. There's no reason on earth that a G&L can't be set up just lke a Fender or anything else.
  3. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Yeah, they are both 6 bolt. I've yet to have a bass I cannot set up beautifully on my own, I'm just kind of tired of messing with these two. I'll keep them though nonetheless.

    I think G&L had little choice but to switch to something different for the neck joint, allthough I think 4 bolts would suffice. My guess is that their sales suffered because of the stigma with the Fender 3 bolt design.

    Fender already has tremendous demand for it's products, and the 3 bolts of the 70's are sought after regardless of stability. If people can't play them, then they still are attractive conversation pieces that appreciate in value.

    G&L on the other hand is much younger and only time will tell if they will be as sought after. I think they had to change the bolts, but maybe they could have gone to 4 and kept the tilt...oh well, guess we'll never know. :(

    I'll keep working at these basses until I figure it out. Still, any input would be good to hear anyway.
  4. thumper

    thumper Guest

    I presently have 2 LB100's and 1 SB1. All three have the three-bolt set up. I adjust the necks as straight as I can and set the action at about medium height (what the manual states). I usually like the action as low as I can get it, but this action usually handles changes in the weather better. All my basses are strung with medium light flatwound strings. I had an L2000 for about a year and a half but I traded it for the SB1. The finish on the neck wasn't right. I could take the bass to the studio and when I would move my thumb across the back of the neck, a rubbing sound would come through the pickups. This sound occurred the entire time that I had the bass. I even coated the neck with Prestone Silicone spray and the sound persisted. It was a great bass with a lot of potential. I could get a pbass, jbass, and stingray sounds. I got more compliments from the sound and appearance of that bass than any other I had ever owned. The action was low and it played great. I just followed the owner's manual and little by little I got the action low and smooth. Keep on trying and don't get disappointed.
  5. thumper

    thumper Guest

    Well, it seems that no one else is interested in how this young man is to adjust his basses to his liking. The L2000 I talked about yesterday is one of the newer ones with the 6 bolt neck. I believe that G & L felt that they had to go with more than 3 or 4 bolts because of all the new basses with 5 or more bolts. The additional bolts certainly made for a much more secure neckset and I believe for more sustain and perhaps a sound more like that of a set neck or neck-through. That extra contact could be one of the reasons that as I rotated my thumb down the neck so that I could rotate my fingers up the fingerboard and play notes on the E string, the rubbing of my thumb on the wood was transmitted through the pickups.
    The other three G & L's that I have are all of the older 3 bolt design. At first I did not like that design because if I transported the bass in it's case and sitting on the edge instead of lying flat, the neck would move. When I got to the gig and opened the case, I would have to loosen the bolts and realign the neck. This was a little upsetting for the first few times, but I started laying the case down flat and the problem stopped.
    When I first got my G & L's, I would attempt to set them up using my old techniques. The basses did not play that well. So, as the old saying goes, check the owner's manual, which I did. I followed the instructions and now have 3 great playing G & L basses. Following the instructions, the L2000 played great and sounded great, I just got tired of the sound of my thumb rubbing coming through my amp.
    I usually like for my neck to be as straight as possible, but I talked with someone at the G & L factory and they told me that the basses are designed and setup to have a little bow in the neck. So, I bought a good set of feeler guages and a stainless steel ruler and proceeded to do as instructed.
    Lots of luck and check your owner's manual.
  6. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Thanks for the input everyone. :)

    You know, this is weird. I have (2) L-2000's, one new and one used. Got the OHSC for both, but there was no manual included with either one. I did not realize they even had one, so this is kind of beat.

    I have a lot of experience setting up basses, I just haven't gotten these babys where I want them yet. I know it should be the same no matter what, I guess I just need to spend a little more time with them. The manual may be of assistance here though, so it kind of stinks I don't have one.

    I will contact G&L and tell them I'm in need of one and we'll see what they say. Too bad they don't post them on the site. I love it when manufacturers do that. I can see if they maybe don't want to post tech specs on amps and such, but I think they should do it for their guitars and basses.

    I mean, the aftermarket sales volume on used gear is pretty substantial, I think all manufacturers should recognize that. They don't make any money on a direct resale between owners, but it doesn't cost much either to host manuals online nowadays. Plus, it builds their customer base and just makes good business sense for those interested in their product.

    Maybe I'll write them a suggestion and see what they think. :)
  7. thumper

    thumper Guest

    If brother "Seamus" will go to www.glguitars.com, there is a place where he can get a printout of the owner's manual. At least he might be able to find the information that he needs. Don't despair, help is on the way, just stay with it. If no other way, drop me a line with a fax number and I will fax him a copy of my owner's manual.
  8. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Man, I just can't seem to find them anywhere on the site. They sure do have a ton of dead links in there though. :(
  9. thumper

    thumper Guest

    There is a section for "Owner's Manuals" that will show you a copy of the onwer's manual. If you cannot find it under www.glguitars.com, then look under www.guitarsbyleo.com. One of the two should be able to help you.
    I dug my manual out and this is what it says:
    1. adjust strings to about half tension
    2. using the bridge height adjusting screws, adjust #4 string bridge section so that it has 1/8" (.125") clearance between the bridge plate and the bottom edge of the bridge section
    3. graduate the height of the 3 remaining bridge sections to conform with the radius of the neck (either 7 1/2" or 12")
    4. tune strings
    5. adjust truss rod for suitable underbow in the neck, approximately .018" - .022" when #4 string is fretted simultaneously at #1 and #21 frets (you might need to use a capo at the 1st fret unless you are of the new variety of bass players with 3 arms). there must be at least 1/8 turn of truss rod nut for proper tension of truss rod.
    6. With #1 and #4 strings fretted on 21st fret, adjust neck pickup clearance to 1/8" for #4 string and 1/16" for 1st string. Adjust bridge pickup to 3/32" for #4 string and 1/16" for #1 string.
    7. loosen all neck screews sufficiently for strings to pull neck to end of socket. center neck to strings. retighten screws.
    8. retune strings and set octave screws.
    9. sest pole piece adjustments for even response on all strings.
    10. any futher adjustments are for personal preferences.
    Lots of luck "seamus". I've got to go to work now and tonight I will be playing. I'll check in on you.
  10. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Thanks for the info Jerry, I will cut and paste it for reference.

    Yeah last night before my last post I went back to the G&L site and I gave it a thorough walkthrough. I could not find the manuals section, either that or I totally missed it.

    At any rate, thanks again. :)
  11. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Hey, by the way...

    Since I have this L-2000 thread open already and it's still kind of new. How about a twist on things?

    I have two of them, but they are actually brand new to me. I have messed around with the toggles and knobs a bit, but I basically have been using it like this. All knobs full open, forward toggle middle position, middle toggle forward position, rear toggle middle position.

    I haven't spent much time dialing in my sound for this bass yet since I've yet to set it up properly. I've read about people coaxing different sounds out of this bass, to the extent that it sounds like others.

    I wondered if some people would be willing to post what settings they favor, and/or what basses they think these settings emulate.
  12. In case you don't know, the forward switch is the pickup selector. The middle switch is the series/parallel switch (series is forward, parallel is back). The switch nearest the bridge is the active with treble boost/active/passive switch (in that order from the neck).

    I quite like running the bass in parallel mode and passive (both pickups on). This setting is quieter than some (so just turn up your amp) but it has a very organic and punchy tone that I like. My L-2000 is very dense swamp ash so it has very strong midrange naturally - this setting takes a bit of the 'knockiness' out of it (my L-2500 is made from lighter wood and has less mids to begin with so I often run it series too).

    Another tone I like quite a bit for an agressive pick tone (sort of like Chris Squire of Yes) is running the neck pickup alone in series with the treble boost on. This setting has tons of bottom and tons of treble and is VERY loud.
  13. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Cool, I'll try them both. Yeah, I figured out the forward toggle must be the pup selector from messing around with it. I wasn't sure about the middle one, but I could hear a bass boost in the forward position. The rear toggle I figured the middle position was active, back position passive, and I had no idea on the forward position.

    One of my L-2000's is an alder body, standard maple neck and fingerboard. The other one is more interesting as it has an ash body and a #6 jazz neck with maple fingerboard. I actually prefer a more natural finish for ash as opposed to the shiny clearcoat they use, but it looks good all the same.

    Thanks for the suggestions!
  14. thumper

    thumper Guest

    it's good to know that at least you know how to set your L2000's up now. the L2000 that I had was cherry sunburst with an alder body and a maple neck. the neck was one piece split to install the truss rod and then reversed and glued back together. it was one of the few without a separate maple fingerboard, or at least I could not distinguish the fine line between the fingerboard and the neck.
    I usually used my L2000 in the passive mode with both pickups on and the series/parallel switch in the towards the neck position. being an old thumper who likes things semi-smooth, this usually sounded best to me.
    I checked into this bass quite a bit before I ordered mine. I liked that I could get a pbass sound with the neck pickup in a passive mode, a jbass sound with both pickups on and in a passive mode, and a stringray sound with the bridge pickup on and active with a treble boost. it is a very versatile bass and built very well. lots of luck with yours.
  15. thumper

    thumper Guest

    well brother seamus, I finally found what I was trying to tell you about. go to www.guitarsbyleo.com then select "gallery". then scroll down to manuals and select it. scroll down to L1000 & L2000 and select it. that section has 2 thumbnails, the top one describes the switches and so forth, the bottom selection describes how to set up your L2000's. I knew that I had seen that selection somewhere, I just forgot exactly where. I reckon that comes with age and trying to figure out what guitar-owners are trying to do.
    I hope this has been helpful to you. lots of luck.
  16. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Thanks a bunch Thumper. :)

    I was able to find the G&L setup specs based on your previous post where you referenced the guitars by leo site. I started out with what they had there, but I ended up going it alone because it seemed to me the saddles were just too high again. The schematic for the controls was definitely a help though, thank you for going through the trouble.

    I spent a lot of time working with one of them this week, getting the proper backbow and such. I had to fiddle with the bridge a lot, but that's my mo for determining the truss adjustment(buzzing on high v. low frets, etc). Once I got the action where I wanted it, I adjusted the saddles for intonation, locked them together, and gave it a workout.

    I think I have the setup about as good as it can get it on one of them now, I'm about to go set the other one up the same way.

    Man, it really sounds great. I don't know how to describe it compared to my other basses, it's sort of 'hi-fi' I guess, very lively and electric in active mode. I used some of the tone settings that were posted in the thread for starters. It actually helped me to see what effects the switches have on the sound aside from the cuts the knobs provide. Then I worked from there and was real pleased with some of the tone variations. It has a mean edge to it that I am really digging, so I'm pleased I picked these babys up. :)
  17. thumper

    thumper Guest

    I am glad that you are making headway with your L2000's. they are great basses. I believe that I will get another one or two in the future, but I will find them at stores and play them prior to purchasing them. that way I will know if there are any problems such as the rubbing sound on the one I had.
    on the next one, I think that I will try to find one with a rosewood fingerboard. I have played maple fingerboards for years, but rosewood seems to have a little softer touch and not quite as noisy while fingering. the thing about rosewood is that you need to keep it oiled and do not let it dry out on you. maple seems to me to have a brighter sound and the rosewood a mellower sound. one of the LB100's I have has a rosewood fingerboard and I keep it strung with nickle flatwounds for a smoother/mellower sound. on the other LB100 and the SB1 I keep stainless steel flatwounds to go with their brighter sounding maple fingerboards.
    after I get a bass set up by the book, I usually let them set for a couple or so days to get aclimated. then I will sit down with them plugged into an amp and readjust the action, pickup height, intonation, and neck straightness. I try to get them to play in tune at every note up the entire fingerboard. if the note played is not in tune, then it is my fault and not the bass's. I have found that if I fret the note close to the fret and not in the center of the wood, then I have more chance of playing in tune and also of not having the note to buzz because I had not pressed the string down hard enough and it wasn't tight enough against the metal fret.
    I apologize for rambling on so much, but I'm just trying to help.
    Have a good one.