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G&L Pick Ups Too Crunchy

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dtripoli, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    What the heck is the problem?
    My made in Tawian, no name, economy bass with 2 cheap, generic soap bar pick ups
    sounds better than my prized G&L ASAT signature bass!
    And one of the pick ups on the Taiwan doesn't even work and neither does the tone pot,
    yet it has a much deeper and defined tone than the G&L.
    Granted the Taiwan bass is a bear to play and when I got it the fret spouts were so long,
    I had to call in a tree service to trim the branches and get a tetanus shot from all the cuts and scratches.
    Nevertheless, try as I may I can't get that deep yet defined sound from my G&L.
    I've tried most every combination; active/passive, boost/no boost, EQ the amp
    I am playing into a Peavey Mark IV head, Peavey 1x15 cab & 2x10 cab
    The G&L gets plenty loud but rather than deep and defined it is crunchy and bright
    Is that just the nature of the pick ups?
    Perhaps I have unwittingly discovered the best pick ups for metal?
    Shame, as I'm playing R/B Motown type tunes

    Side note: what bass is this suppose to be a copy of?

    Attached Files:

  2. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    G&L MFD pickups are very loud and bright. You can see a progression of Leo's pickups as his hearing was going. You start off with the P bass and then the J, Musicman and finally G&L. They get brighter and brighter.

    Now if you are playing R&B/Motown, do you have flats or half rounds on the bass?

    Did you try turning the tone control down a bit or EQ'ing the amp?
  3. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Your experiences are unique.

    My basses with G&L MFD humbuckings are very full-range, so much so that other bassists who try them play a note or two then look up and say "This is PASSIVE???"

    Must be other extenuating circumstances.
  4. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Key West, FL
    IF you can't get the tone you are looking for out of that bass you might want to look elsewhere. But I'd make sure you understand the controls before you make any decisions. There are plenty of people out there who don't understand them.

    I do know that I can make my L1505 cop a relatively nice P bass tone and the electronics on your bass are much more capable that what I have.
  5. quite_angry


    Aug 6, 2012
    There is really only one solution that I can offer.

    Send me your ASAT and I will do an in-depth investigation of it's performance. In my estimation, it should take about 10-15 years.

    Happy I could help.
  6. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Lower the pickups one full turn of the mounting screws and see what happens.
  7. Lemon Of Troy

    Lemon Of Troy Banned

    Nov 6, 2012
    Palmetto State
    Sounds like a string issue.
  8. The bass should have volume and tone knobs. Use them!
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Rather than keeping the volume dimed all the time, turning the knob down to about 75% usually cleans them up quite a bit.
  10. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Before you part with it take it to a tech who knows G&Ls.
    There is something with grounding that slowly goes and your bass will slowly sound exactly as you describe until you hate it. Whatever my tech did my L1000 came back fat, bassy and warm.
    If I speak to him tomorrow I'll report what it is.
  11. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    A couple things to try- lower the pickups significantly, lower the polepieces as well, turn the passive bass control all the way up. Another possibility are modifications- take out all the polepieces from one side of each pickup and raise the remaining polepieces to simulate a single coil (this gave me a unique tone that I use), and/or try the single coil or "single coil with bass boost" coil switch mods similar to the earlier G&Ls. I personally play my early L2000 bass in passive only (I even removed the preamp), and it is by far the heaviest/deepest sounding passive bass I've ever owned. Make sure your battery is in good shape, or remove it completely- in the G&L circuit, the battery can affect the tone even in passive mode. The more recent L2500 I used to own was definitely more bright/honky, but with some adjustments I was able to get it plenty deep and defined (I performed the single coil/ "single coil with bass boost" mod on that bass as well).
  12. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    thanks for the info sunbeast, my l2k arrives tomorrow:)
  13. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I love the sound of G & L but everyone has their own preferences.
  14. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    This. I never have the volume on 10 on my L2000. It is just too hot. Around 75% like you said I can get a very fat sound in series with the treble rolled off.
  15. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    I've never had the occasion to have the volume past 4 or 5 on the ASAT or Peavey amp and I've played some big outdoor gigs
    Rarely use the active option
    Just bass boost + treble boost or both off.
    Still crunchy
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Those aren't boost knobs. They are cut knobs. They only remove lows and highs. They are passive controls, so they don't boost. The active preamp has a treble boost, but you might get a fuller tone switching that on and turning down the treble tone control.

    Your volume on the ASAT should be on 10. If thats too loud, turn down your amp. That's the correct way of using the bass. The reason is that volume pot has a treble bleed cap. That means if you turn it down lower than 10, it's passing some extra treble, i.e., making the tone brighter. This is to compensate for the dulling affect you get turning down your passive volume.

    So for the fullest tone keep the volume on the bass on 10, and then turn it down at the amp. Also keep the bass tone knob on 10 since that only removes bass. Then you can turn the treble tone knob down to get a less crunchy tone. That works like a standard tone control, because it is.

    Also, it sounds like you need less bright strings. What kind are you using?
    tortburst likes this.
  17. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Although there could be something wrong with your G&L, I am more prone to guess your amp settings are the culprit.

    Try playing your G&L through another brand of amp, just to see if "bad" sound you are hearing is actually the guitar or the amp.

    I have used G&Ls for years through GK, Mesa, Ampeg, Eden, and even simply direct. Always plenty deep and full for me.

    Also, have you played in a band setting or just by yourself? A deep, boomy bass sound soloed does not translate into a great bass tone in a live band setting. The crunchy/bright sound might just be the ticket in a Motown sound band.
  18. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Also, take it easy on those amp EQ knobs, little is better in most cases.
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Different strokes for different folks.

    Live, mine is on 10.

    Doing pretty much anything else (namely recording), I can easily clip just about any input depending on how hard a hit the strings unless I roll off the volume a hair. I'll make it work if I need to, but usually it's just easier to turn down the volume. It still sounds great.
  20. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The point wasn't about the level, it was about the tone. He doesn't want a bright crunchy tone, but he will lose low end with the volume decreased.

    If you are recording you should be using a limiter. Then you can bash the strings as hard as you like, like I do. :bassist: