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G&L vintage question: mismatched necks and bodies

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kmon, Jan 10, 2019.


  1. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I've been on a vintage G&L kick lately and while poking around on line I've seen a few vintage L1Ks and L2Ks recently that had seemingly mismatched necks and bodies. So a L1K neck on an L2K body or vice-versa.

    So sure, somebody replaced a neck. But the necks and bodies seem to be from the same era, like within a year or two of each other. Ths is early, like 81/82. I *thought* I had read somewhere at some point that in the early days G&L would sometimes mix and match necks due to fluctuating inventory.

    Did I make that up? Or did that actually happen?
     
  2. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    As far as I know, the L1K and L2K used the same neck, just different decals. G&L would never put a neck with a L1000 decal on an L2000.
     
    Aqualung60, bdgotoh, Warhawk and 4 others like this.
  3. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    Not sure if it actually happened at the G&L factory, but at the Philly area guitar show in November, I saw a vintage G&L with the "wrong" decal on the headstock. I don't remember for sure, but I think it was an L-1000 neck on an L-2000 body, which could mean someone added a bridge pickup to an L-1000.

    The same seller also had one of those early L-1500s with the pickup in about the same position as the L-2000's bridge pickup. It moved further from the bridge shortly thereafter.
     
  4. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX
    It doesn't *seem* like G&L would do this, but I think I've seen a few in this state, and it's been L1K and L2Ks. Just made me wonder, especially given my vague recall of G&L being somewhet liberal in switching out components in the early days(maybe it was just bridges or something, or maybe I'm imagining that I read that somewhere).

    Then again, I've heard that some of these early G&Ls had neck issues...so maybe switching out identical L1K/L2K necks might have not been entirely uncommon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  5. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I believe you're imagining that. G&L's quality control was always excellent. G&L was a brand new company at that time, and they were run by Fender veterans. No way on earth would they let a mislabeled guitar leave their factory.
     
    bdgotoh, Clutchcargo and TheReceder like this.
  6. While there were some overlapping features from year-to-year early on, like...

    * large hex poles on some early 81's
    * slot poles on some early 82's
    * bi-cut necks with original headstock shape on some 83's
    * and maybe the most unusual crossover feature found on some '81-82's....mixed chrome and flat black hardware.

    It's doubtful that G&L would have gone so far as to mislabel an instrument, either deliberately or mistakenly. Given that early G&L basses had earned a rep for the occasional wonky neck, "transplanted" necks with non-matching decals seems way more likely. I've never seen one, but I'm sure there must be some out there.

    Still, we're talking about Leo Fender. Can't totally dismiss the old adage..."never say never with Fender." ;)
     
    Rabidhamster likes this.
  7. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I'm probably thinking of the chrome and black hardware thing...

    ya I'm gonna go with the neck transplant theory...makes way more sense, especially if the L1K and L2K had identical necks, and there were some known neck issues...thanks for the info y'all!!
     
  8. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    G&L never had neck issues. Based on the industry at that time as a whole, G&L likely had far fewer neck problems than the other major American manufacturers.

    Musicman, on the other hand, did have a widespread and well known issue with necks in 1983/84, just before EB bought them. These were on the 4-bolt, non-string-thru body types, and of that short time period only.
     
  9. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX
    oh man ya blew up my theory:). OK I'll have to look into that a bit more. I know I've seen discussion out here of early G&Ls having some ski jump stuff going on...since I'm in the market for an early L1K, it'd be nice to know whether the mentions of neck stuff on the early models are exaggerating things a bit.
     
  10. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I've owned 5 of the early G&L's. 4 L1000's ('80, 81, '82, '82) and one L2000E ('82). The necks were all perfect.

    g&l 1000s.
     
  11. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I believe there was some claimed issue with necks from CLF Research (Leo's company at the time) supplied to Musicman prior to G&L forming. I haven't heard of any issues once G&L was formed.
     
  12. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX
    WOW...ok good to know on the necks...seems to be some misinformation out there on the interwebs...shocking!!:)
     
  13. G&L most certainly did have neck issues early on. That's well established, and the reason Leo switched to the bi-cut neck by '83. At the '84 Chicago NAMM show, at the G&L booth, I asked Leo Fender the reason for the switch to the bi-cut neck. His answer was "stronger and more stable". He had a bi-cut neck display rig there that he'd let anyone stand on to demonstrate its strength. Fender was a practical man by all accounts, and not one for silly gimmicks. If he felt his necks needed improving, he took measures to do that.

    Some of us have been playing G&L basses since Day 1 (1980), and some of us have encountered 1st gen neck issues. It doesn't matter that "other" makers may or may not have had neck issues, G&L did and they earned a rep for it.
     
    Chef likes this.
  14. Bassheart365

    Bassheart365 Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2014
    Northern California
    "Jazz is not dead. It just smells funny."
    My G&L L2000e that I bought new in 1981 had a chrome cavity cover and black bridge. I didn't realize it was a "mis-match" until I started reading TB posts.
     
    Templar likes this.
  15. The infamous G&L ski jump is not an internet myth. It's a real thing to watch out for on early G&L basses. The main culprit seems to be overzealous misuse of the tilt-neck feature. I've encountered it many times with G&L's, mostly with 1st gen skunk striped necks, much less with bi-cut necks.

    If you run into one with a nasty jump it may require heat treatment to fix it. BTDT. Or if it's bad enough, planing may be the answer. The caveat to planing an early G&L neck is if it has an ebony or rosewood board, the board is a thin, radiused veneer cap. Not much wood there to plane away. Maple board, no problem planing but not a cheap repair and one best left to a reputable luthier.

    In your quest for a nice old 1K a ski jump is the first thing to look for IMO. Good luck.
     
    Warhawk likes this.
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    G&L did have some neck issues. I had several early ones go bad. Fingerboards splitting down in the lower register from truss rod tension. "Ski jump" at the higher register end. So I purchased used necks of The Interwebs; some from the same model, some not.
     
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  17. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    I own one of the earliest large hex-pole L1000’s. The neck is very thin front to back (1-11/16th nut width). It was frustratingly elastic for the first few years, but has long since stabilized and has been damn near perfect for decades without even seasonal truss rod adjustment. So, like with most flat-sawn Fender-type necks, it just depends...
     
    Templar likes this.
  18. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    See, now this is how internet rumors start.

    G&L never had a rep for faulty necks. Do you have anything to back up what you're saying? You are the first one I've heard make this claim, so if it's "well established", it must be so in a very tiny community.

    If Fender switched to a bi-cut neck, that doesn't mean that the prior design was faulty.

    Re. the standing on the neck stunt - Fender has been doing that since the 1950's, so I guess he was one for silly gimmicks.

    fender neck stand.
     
  19. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    G&L did indeed have necks go bad.
    I’ve had several early ones that did.
     
    Templar likes this.
  20. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    @TomB
    Do you know the neck and body dates of your bass? I have what I think is a pretty early one as well.

    4747EE91-0EE5-4C55-8D53-0F5B14AE8FE9. 71A05D93-981C-41B1-927F-EF9F2949D247. DBD066B1-C71D-43B0-9A18-7400AC1EB0E2.
     

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