G&L Tribute L-2500 pickups out of phase?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Boldaz-Lepton, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Hello everyone

    I have this bass as a loaner and I was thinking of buying it from its owner. The versatility is really outstanding and its whole vibe is really unique. I understand that a lot of people are turned off by these but I feel I can really bond with this instrument.

    Having said this I think there's a pickup phase issue.

    It's not very noticeable when playing through an amp but when using headphones it's quite evident.

    When I play anything it sounds like there's a slight modulation effect going on. The bass sustains pretty well so it's easy to hear. Whenever I play double stops or chords it sounds like I'm going through a pedal with a subtle setting.

    I have tried every pickup and preamp combination and the effect is always there.

    It's not so much of a problem when rehearsing or gigging but when recording the phasing effect makes the bass sound slightly out of tune so of course it can't be used for that.

    I did a search and didn't find anything.

    Has anyone had a similar issue with these basses?

    Is this something that can be fixed without gutting the electronics and replacing them?

  2. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I don't know what is going on with your bass, but a pup being out of phase would not be subtle.
    Sid Fang likes this.
  3. Probably bad strings or maybe one or more are twisted.
    Out of phase pickups sound like someone turned the bass all the way down.

    try new strings.
  4. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Make sure that the pickups/poles aren't too close to the strings. The magnets are pretty strong.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Yeah probably a string or setup issue. As mentioned if the pickups were out of phase you know it for sure.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  6. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    This is what I'd suspect is going on. I've got a tribute l2500 and I've never experienced that.
    tonym likes this.
  7. Alright no phase issues but it happens when I play any string.

    I'll take the strings off and put them back on just to make sure but I find it highly unlikely that after 25 years of playing I put on every string wrong on a bass.

    I'll also lower the pickups since the magnets seem to be so strong.

    Any other thoughts?
  8. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    If you post a soundclip it would be easier to isolate the problem.
  9. good idea!

    will do as soon as I get home
  10. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    +1. I also have the same bass and have never experienced this.
  11. fishstix


    Feb 28, 2006
    Have you checked the intonation? Even when playing single notes, the resonate frequencies with other strings may be off just a bit and cause this "chorus" type effect. When playing chords or double stops, the phase/chorus sound would be much more pronounced. The intonation does not have to be far off to have this impact. In fact, the phasing type sound your referring to would be directly cause by just being a bit out of tune as we move up the neck.
  12. Will do!

    Thank you
  13. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Another vote for lowering the pickups. One of my P basses had precisely these same symptoms recently, and lowering the pups completely solved it.
  14. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Those pickups are really powerful , and might be clipping with the headphones .
    JPaulGeddy and Aqualung60 like this.
  15. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Another vote for dropping those pups to the ground floor. One of the first things I did on my L2000.
  16. Wow, I just did that and the problem was drastically reduced!
    The tone also cleaned up a fair amount and sounds more "crisp".
    I'm amazed at how different the electronics on this bass are different from most other basses.
    I guess I'm used to regular passives and actives with EMG's.
    I'm also gonna give the intonation a bit of a tweak which can't hurt-
  17. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    It's a good thing we're not the kind of people to say "I told you so..." :D

    Seriously, pickup height is more important than many people seem to realize, and it's an issue on any bass. As I said, I had the same problem with a passive P, and I was really surprised how much of a difference it made to lower the pups just a tad. The difference between basses is a matter of how close is too close for the pickups to be relative to the strings. What might have been fine on a passive bass is evidently too high/close on yours.
    Boldaz-Lepton and Reedt2000 like this.
  18. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    Sorry for being anal retentive, but when you say OUT OF PHASE what you really mean is OUT OF POLARITY! When you're referring to + and ground signals being reversed, you're talking about polarity.

    Nonetheless, I have one of these G&L basses now and had a USA one previously and there was nothing wrong with the wiring on either one.

    I could possibly see that when switching coils on each pickup that you might think that certain settings have polarity problems, but changing those settings and finding the sound acceptable probably means that the wiring is okay.

    I think that these basses are excellent and that the MFD pickups are spectacular and I hope that you can find a solution to your problem
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
    Boldaz-Lepton likes this.
  19. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Lowering the pickups help but one thing with the MFD pickups is that each pole piece can also be individually adjusted with an allen key maybe one or more of the poles are also too high. Don't know if you also did that but thought I'd mention it.
    Boldaz-Lepton likes this.
  20. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    My early model G&L 2000 was real sensitive to differing types of strings. But I finally found G&L manual info that gave preferred Pup height adjustment specifications. Once that was properly set, it all cleared up.

    "The old (like mid-80s old) G&L manual says to fret the 1st and 4th strings at the 21st fret, then adjust the neck pickup to 1/8" (3.18mm) on the 4th string and 1/16" (1.58mm) on the 1st string. Adjust the bridge pickup to 3/32" (2.38mm) on the 4th string and 1/16" (1.58mm) on the 1st string."

    My bass is fret-less and I use Rotosound Tru Bass Nylon Wrapped Strings, and the measurements work great for me.
    Boldaz-Lepton likes this.

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