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G&L SB-1/SB-2 owners. Recordings wanted!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gunai, Nov 27, 2017.


  1. gunai

    gunai

    Dec 22, 2016
    Hello,

    I'm looking into purchasing an SB-1 and find an overall lack of demos/recordings online. It'd be fantastic if some SB-1 and SB-2 (neck pick-up!) owners would be willing to record a few lines with varying volume and tone settings.

    The constant on-going about how hot/'harsh' they are in some places has me hesitant, alongside with how well they might handle distortion/overdrive pedals. Being left-handed, I'm not at much liberty to properly try any, if I were to find them, out for myself.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. 80jazz

    80jazz

    Jun 28, 2008
    Kansas
    While I am not a G&L owner, I am in the market for a custom SB-2 fretless and I think that not running the volume on full would take care of the output volume. If you want one, I would say go for it!

    I can't answer the 1 or 2 debate for you though. It depends on what you want from the bass, and if you are after a typical PJ bass, the SB-2 is not (but what it does sounds superb).

    Maybe there should be a SB-3, with a MFD humbucker in the bridge.
     
    Andre678 and gunai like this.
  3. bhunt1

    bhunt1 Vintage Lefty Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Older than dirt ;)
    Hey fellow lefty,
    I have a (left handed) 1996 G&L SB-1 that is my #1 bass. I have many recordings on www.wikiloops.com that you can check out -a recent one is track #122599 shows the tone in the mix pretty well.
     
    gunai likes this.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah the MFD pickups are pretty hot. That is one passive bass you may have to back off the volume on if you play hard at all. But the tone, quality and craftsmanship of every one I have played is superb.
    These two videos do a good job of covering the tonal possibilities.

     
    pjbassist likes this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Lefty getn it done.
     
    lildrgn, Commreman, pjbassist and 2 others like this.
  6. gunai

    gunai

    Dec 22, 2016
    First off, thank you all for the comments. I have already looked somewhat into information online regarding the pick-up(s) and how they behave at differing volumes. Nothing beats the ear test though. I have also did a few youtube searches but there wasn't a whole lot to be found of the SB-1, and the more the better given that it'd be an order rather than a stop at a shop. But I didn't run into the 3rd video you linked there, two fingers, so thank you!

    Perfect, thank you! That track does sound sweet.

    Regarding the SB-1/2 debate, had it been a V/V/T or V/B/T setup with a full volumed single coil/humbucker (an SB-3 indeed) in the bridge it'd be no question. My musical tastes vary into genres featuring very dense mixes where the added brightness would be extremely welcome.

    It's part of the reason I'm looking at the SB-1 rather than at the more traditional LB-100. To my ear the MFD has a wider and less 'specific' response. Meaning I can get away better with voicing it lower or higher than the traditional P spot in the mix. Not to mention that if I do end up going with the SB-2 I'd have further bright articulation off of the single coil pick-up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  7. 80jazz

    80jazz

    Jun 28, 2008
    Kansas
    Your last sentence is why I think the SB-2 would be an excellent choice.

    I also agree that hearing in person would be better. Based on sound clips, I think I would go with the SB-2 (but I do not doubt the excellence of the SB-1).

    Edit: You CAN get the SB-2 as VVT, but I think that dealers have to have a certain minimum number before they will do this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  8. gunai

    gunai

    Dec 22, 2016
    My dealer has its first two G&L JB basses ordered recently and put on display for sale. The few previous G&L basses have been L-2000/L-2500 AFAIK.
    A V/V/T mod is easy work though! Another option is taking an SB-1 and a regular MFD pick-up to a luthier and having him sort it out into the bridge position. Not sure G&L would sell a pick-up without a corresponding serial number though.

    It'd be an automatic purchase if they offered a 'proper' P/J variant. Something like the Music Man Caprice (only right-handed) or the Sandberg California VT/VM (no local dealer)...

    No wonder it didn't come up, that's an LB-100 :p (though it does sound wicked!)
     
  9. fermata

    fermata

    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    I had the chance to play an SB-1 at a shop this summer, and I found it remarkable:
    With the controls dimed, the bass is hot, bright, and punchy, with a very full (and full-frequency) tone. But as the volume gets turned down (it takes a while for the actual perceived volume to drop), it enters into more classic P-bass territory. The tone control acts almost like a rotary switch, compared to a typical passive tone control--turn it down a tiny little twist and the tone changes; another tiny little twist, it changes again, etc. And then the volume and tone controls interact, too, further expanding the palette. All to say, I've never experienced a passive, single pickup instrument with this kind of tonal variety. The range of tones makes it feel more like a single pickup active instrument or a two-pickup passive instrument.

    G&L does sell pickups separately: Pickups - G&L Online Store
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    Clutchcargo and gunai like this.
  10. bhunt1

    bhunt1 Vintage Lefty Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Older than dirt ;)
    Here is another track from Wikiloops - #72052 - this is just bass and drums with tone wide open - I love this tone! I've never played an SB-2 but my SB-1 is just it for me. Btw, Adirondack Guitar has one in stock that is identical to the one in the track I just cited. In fact, I bought the bass from them :) It's a 2015 model.
     
  11. gunai

    gunai

    Dec 22, 2016
    Music to my ears. And yeah, not sure why I thought they only sell to owners of the appropriate instruments, will look into that. It's quite likely I'll opt to get the SB-1 and take it from there.

    I've checked out several of your tracks already, and I'm impressed both with the bass tone and the playing. Thanks again for directing me to your profile there.

    That one does look sweet, but not as sweet as a maple fingerboard one would ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    pjbassist, bhunt1 and fermata like this.
  12. Here are a couple tracks I made on my SB-2 to test out the source audio aftershock. First one was P pickup only. Second one was both. Volume completely up. First example of each playing style is direct recording, followed by either AmpliTube SVT sim or the aftershock.



     
  13. gunai

    gunai

    Dec 22, 2016
    Yep... sounds absolutely killer. Thank you very much!
     
  14. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Banned

    May 26, 2010
    Agree with 80jazz, just roll the volume back. I do that with my JB-2 Tribute. Such versatile pickups. Punchy as all heck, but with a little tweaking of the tone and volume you can also get some vintage-esque tones as well.
     
  15. tlite

    tlite Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2016
    Florida
    I haven't tried an SB-1, but I just got an SB-2 off the classifieds here, and it sounds like a good choice for you. Mine came with a VVT mod. It's an easy and cheap mod a lot of people like.

    That said, I wanted to try it more like the stock. I installed some Mojotone CTS 250k Vintage taper pots, went back to VV and I'm happy.

    That G&L P humbucker is capable of a lot of tones.

    By the way, one thing I was worried about before I got mine was whether backing off the volume would reduce the output so much that I'd be tweaking my amp all the time. This is not the case if you just roll it back about a quarter to half way which is plenty to change the tone. You'll get a much more vintage tone out of the P pickup. I don't lose enough volume that I feel like I have to do much of anything with the amp at all.

    As you already know, blending in the bridge pickup can change the tone and also tame the P pick up. As many others have said on this forum, the SB-2 is a versatile bass.
     
    eff-clef likes this.
  16. fermata

    fermata

    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    Go for it! (And then tell us about it/show pics when you get it.) With the pickup thing, you're probably thinking of Music Man.
     
  17. gunai

    gunai

    Dec 22, 2016
    Bumping just to thank everyone who responded again.

    I've ended up ordering an SB-1, something about a weaker 2nd pick-up (which I'm aware is a very common thing with PJ-esque setups) just didn't really sit with me psychologically no matter how much I tried to tell myself about the added versatility.

    I'll be posting a NBD in some months time of a vintage natural frost SB-1 with a quartersawn vintage tint satin maple neck with a 1-ply black pickguard.

    P.S.
    Long term I might opt to hunt down an El Toro pick-up or have my luthier put together an appropriate bridge pick-up. That's a while away though.
     
    fermata and tlite like this.
  18. Just bought an '83 SB-1 off Talkbass classifieds and I could not be happier with the tonal range. It has Fender Flats on it and right now I am very satisfied with the sound. Rounds might be too hot.
     
  19. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I have Fender 9050CLs on mine…perfect match.
     
    eff-clef likes this.
  20. I have a first run sb-1 with the flat back, not concave, and the straight bar single pickup. the output is hotter than any other passive bass i've plugged in. it zings. it sears. i run a ton of distortion on it often. it's comfortable. it's durable. it's fantastic. i want another. it's the only bass i'll play regularly. i can get about any sound out of it that I want. If you spot one, grab it. It's worth it.
     

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