G&L Tribute: why are they cheaper?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mambo4, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I have always been impressed with G&L basses i have tried, and used ones are generally regarded as bargain for the price.

    I have noticed that the Tribute Series is always cheaper than the non- tribute series, which leads me to believe that G&L Tribute basses are outsourced overseas.

    Can anyone comment on general the quality of G&L tribute basses versus G&L Standard basses? Is it like MIM Fenders where the
    Tribute Basses are more hit and miss in terms of quality?

    [SUB]I apologize if this has been covered before but TB won't allow a search for "G&L" since it's under 3 letters (annoying, considering the number of short acronyms and 2-letter designations in bass land)[/SUB]
  2. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Your intuitions are correct, they're built overseas.
  3. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    Checked a couple of Tributes some time ago .... they can't compare with the real thing. Those were just very poorly assembled pieces of wood ...
  4. SuperSnake2012

    SuperSnake2012 floppy b strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    Bronx, NY
    I play a G&L Tribute L-2500 and the quality is amazing IMO. Fit and finish is flawless, neck has a bit of a birdseye grain to it, and the intonation was spot on out of the box. Stays in tune for ever, and just sounds huge. I've used it in my metal band, in my pep band in college, and in jams and everyone thinks that it sounds fantastic. It just fills up the bottom end and is just a very powerful bass. I play it in series, passive mode with both pickups on and a little treble rolled off. The neck feels fantastic, it's not too heavy and it balances very well! I believe I have a 2008 model. I bought it on Memorial Day 2008. I love this bass and I am playing it pretty much exclusively, very much to the chagrin of my 1978 Precision :D I still break it out every once in a while, since it has a nicely worn set of flats. The action is fantastic and is very playable... I believe that I play better on this bass. I bought this bass last May and it still puts a smile on my face every time I play it. :) I got a good deal on it... bought it for $499 new on sale, but now they're quite expensive from Musician's Friend. I would still recommend this bass to anyone, especially if you can get a cheaper one used.
  5. jschall84


    Mar 14, 2007
    fort wayne, in
    Bad MammaJamma
    the tributes are one of the nicest overseas-made basses out there. extremely nice for the money.
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member


    I almost pulled the trigger on a Tribute L-2500 recently for $599CAD (approx $499USD). Great playing, sounding and looking bass for the $$$. Construction looked flawless too.
  7. I don't own a Tribute but I'm seriously considering getting one based on Ed Friedland's review of the L-2000 on YouTube. Check it out. He gives it a big thumbs up and it sounds fantastic (helps that he can play like a man possessed...)
  8. mike_v_s

    mike_v_s Guest

    I won't go as far as "flawless", but the dude that said it was a very poorly assembled piece of wood is pretty wrong, too. I've owned both American and overseas G&L's. The Tributes are very good basses. They are not necessarily up to the American series quality (and they have far fewer options), but they are worth a look in their price range.

  9. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    The L-2500 I was going to buy was put together as well as any of the overseas Sadowskys or Laklands I own/have owned. This one just might have been a real good one, but after looking it over with a fine tooth comb for 10 minutes, I didn't find any flaws with construction.
  10. mike_v_s

    mike_v_s Guest

    Sorry. I'm just basing my comments on the one I own (05 model). I haven't picked up that many others. I kept mine over a USA L-1000.

  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I strongly disagree. I think Tributes are some of the best budget basses money can buy. Moreover, Tribute L-2500s tend to have better B strings than American L-2500s. That said, the L-1500 I owned had a great B string.

    American G&Ls are certainly much more refined, and worth the money if you have it.:)
  12. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    Man, I'm just reporting my experience. I checked two Tributes: both had very bad fret job and one even a gap in the neck pocket.
  13. The very best action I've played on a bass EVER was on a used, 4-string Tribute I found at a Guitar Center. I'm virtually certain it had a good professional setup, and it was clearly a high-quality instrument that could reflect the full benefit of such a setup. The strings were unbelievably low over the fretboard, there was ZERO fret buzz or rattle and the intonation was perfect. I still kick myself for not buying it.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
  14. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    Man, I'm sorry you can't disagree because I didn't say ALL Tributes are crap. We can't speak for all the Tributes out there so each one of us talk by personal experience. I have no reason to doubt that you checked amazing Tributes so, please, do the same with me.
    Now, we're talking about mass-produced instrument and we all know lemons are always behind the corner. That said I once checked both the two Tributes hanging at a store's wall. Both had really bad fret job and one even a gap in the neck pocket.
  15. koobie


    Jul 11, 2007
    Portland OR
    I was totally impressed with the L2500 Tribute I owned. Fit and finish exceeded my expectations. I got it after it was set up by a luthier recommended on this board and it played like a dream. I just didn't bond with the neck - it was wider than I'm used to (I only play four stringers) and the instrument was very heavy. If the U.S. versions are lighter, that would be worth paying something extra for, for me anyway.
  16. millahh


    Sep 20, 2005
    The report of the crummy Tributes posted above is the first time I've encountered a report of them being anything but great. i love mine, and have been impressed with every one I've picked up. They're generally considered comparable to lakland Skylines in temrs of quality...certainly a couple of steps up from MIM Fenders.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Technically you didn't say all Tributes were crap, but you are much more nuanced in your criticism in your response to me than you were in your initial post. Furthermore, you probably should have taken my post as a report of my own personal experience much as you are now presenting your initial post instead of apparently seeing it as a personal attack.
  18. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I’ve got both a USA L2000 and Tribute L2000. Yes, I do play the USA over the Tribute but I’m really splitting hairs here. Really the sound difference and quality are minimal. The USA does have a certain something in both these areas, however, no one in the audience or the band can tell the difference but me. If I never had my USA I wouldn’t miss it with the Tribute being around.
    And If I did a blind taste test between the 2 basses, the Tribute actually weighs less but has a wider neck at the nut and I probably wouldn’t tell any difference otherwise. Is that really worth the price difference??
  19. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    So the majority consensus seems to be "well worth it".

    Thanks all for your responses...
  20. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    Another vote for an incredibly well-built bass at a very good price.