Help me identify this fretless G&L

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassometer, Jan 2, 2016.


  1. I have been offered this fretless G&L as a trade for my Brubaker Brute MXJ5. I am really not familiar with G&L's so I am asking for some advice.

    I have been told that it is MIA (the serial # seems to confirm this) and that it has a rosewood fretboard (but it looks like ebony to me, plus there are roundwounds on it). The seller (trader) lives four hours away so I'd like to get as much info as I can before arranging to meet half way.

    How do I tell what neck # it has? Can I tell this from the serial number? I'd really like to know if it is ebony or rosewood can that be confirmed from the serial number, if I sent G&L an email?

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    I don't think you can answer any of the questions you've asked from the info you've posted so far. It does appear to be American-made. Have you asked those questions of the trader? Has he proposed a trade-equivalent value? That might help solicit advice.
     
  3. TDR1138

    TDR1138

    Apr 11, 2007
    SoCal
    It is at least a U.S. neck and tuners. They never made a fretless Tribute. Hard to tell with the body, as they did make a black Tribute. You don't see a lot of parts G&Ls, but they are out there. So, there's a small chance someone put a fretless neck on a Tribute body. That said, it's probably all legit. The body would be very hard to determine from pics. One telltale thing would be that the US knobs have set screws (Tributes are push-on). Otherwise you'd have to open it up and look at the preamp. But again, the body itself is hard to determine.

    As far as specs, G&L might know if it were a recent bass, but they weren't known for their record keeping in the past.
     
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  4. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    G&L "CLF" serial numbers are in sequence so you can't really figure out what year it is (except that it's made after 1998), what fretboard material it has, or what neck it has. You can ask the seller to measure the neck, and they already told you it was rosewood right?

    That bass doesn't have the metal plate for it's serial number so it's definitely made back when there were more limited neck options (they only recently expanded it). The necks until recently had a number associated with it's type, like #6 or #8, etc. If you know the nut width, and if the fretboard is "flat" (12") or "curved" (7.5") you can pretty much infer which neck it has using this link : G&L USA Bass Options

    The tuners look right, they should have aluminum posts. The bridge looks right, though they stopped stamping "TRIBUTE" on their import bridges awhile back. The serial number looks right.

    Most everything looks right, but as TDR1138 said it COULD be a parts bass. That neck definitely looks like a USA neck, but it could be that the body is a L2000 Tribute body. It's tough to tell for certain but it would be pretty unusual to have a parts G&L like that (again as TDR said). You could try contacting G&L about it but they might never reply. The good news is though even if that is a Tribute body, they use the same pickups as the USA models and in general Tributes are high quality instruments.

    If that is a USA G&L, and I'd wager it is, it's a pretty good trade in my opinion even if the fretboard is rosewood. Recent G&Ls in a condition like that go for around 800-900 USD. That is most likely made after 1998, and it's only the ~1980s models that tend to go for cheaper than that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  5. Thanks I appreciate the detailed info, this really helps. If it were an ebony fretboard I would trade for sure but because it is rosewood I am on the fence (not a big fan of flats). I was kinda hoping that the seller might be wrong and that G&L could tell me by the serial number.
     
  6. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    Here is a picture of my G&L fretless with an ebony fretboard. I can see the difference between your's and mine.
    Hope this helps
    Duke 20150411_143309.jpg
     
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  7. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    G&Ls usually come with a spec sheet that shows everything the bass has in it, so you could ask if they have it? They might not know what it is, but it could be buried in the case or something. Doesn't hurt to ask.

    I can't tell if the fretboard has lighter wood lines, or if it's the lighting. Generally ebony from G&L would be pretty dark and you wouldn't see that so much. You could ask for more photos maybe in full light?
     
  8. I have reached to the seller and asked for more details. Damn, that green fretless looks hot! Now I want one of those.
     
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  9. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    Thank you she sounds as good as she looks.
    Duke
     
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  10. Glazenn

    Glazenn

    May 16, 2011
    France
    @beardedclam

    From the G&L registry, this serial number says year 2004 is the most likely. :)
    This particular bass is not registered and there was no build sheet at the time.
    Tributes have black screws and black washers for the neck. Is it a string-through body?

    The neck is a genuine MIA.
    It is quartersawn. It has the MIA logo, the MIA routing walnut dot and Ultra-Lite tuners with aluminum posts and the G&L stamp, made by Schaller in Germany.
    My bet is it's an ebony FB (black with brownish areas, similar to the ebony board of my 1990 G&L ASAT Bass Signature fretless shown below, before I oiled it).

    G&L ASAT Bass fretless 1990 B2.JPG

    From the G&L Registry, one can see that 90% of fretless boards are ebony. The rest is mostly RW, with very few maple (or bird's eye maple) boards.

    The width at nut will tell you if it's a #6 or #8 (1.5" Jazz type neck) or a #12 (1-5/8"). From the pictures, I believe it's the latter, but not absolutely sure.

    The @theduke1 green L2500 has a rare 4+1 headstock, so it's a 1996 or early 1997, likely with a 1-7/8" nut or more (my 1997 L2500 has a 1-15/16" nut).

    The market is loose for fretless basses, so close to $600 would be fair. A 2008 L2500 fretless (ebony board, 3TSB body, matching HS, original case) in tip top condition went for $640 this week on evilbay after 8 bids and one month posting (item #262192177021). One can check the pictures for the ebony, it's not black.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
    theduke1 likes this.
  11. Thanks Glazenn that is very helpful
     
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  12. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    You are correct my fretless is a 1997 according to the original owner who sold it to me. He said if was purchased in Chicago in early 1997.
    Thanks for the info
     
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  13. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    I also understand that the swirl /bowling ball finishes are somewhat rare as well. I have seen 4 or so others posted here on TB, but no one seems to know if these were custom ordered, a dealer only option or what.
    It would be cool to know more about these finishes.
     
  14. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    FYI
    I have modified both of my 2500s to full passive with full coil tapping. A fairly simple modification by upgrading two switches to on/ on / on. I never used the active mode on any of my G/Ls and have been playing this brand since 1986.
    I found the how to's on the G&L fourm here on TB and have those files if anyone wants them.
    I did not mean to hijack this thd , but I love to talk about G&L and can do it all day long.
    IMVHO G&L is the best in the world
    Thanks for your indulgence
    Duke
     
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  15. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    I recall only that the bowling ball finishes showed up as a finish option in the mid-'90's - G&L was quite proud of them at the time - not sure how long they continued
     
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  16. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Just FYI, G&L considers ALL of their basses customs, and they do NOT have "custom" basses as you infer here.
     
  17. This information is great and it is helping me out, I appreciate your posts. If it were a Fender I'd be in much more familiar territory, for some reason I never fell in love with the G&L's - I don't know why, they make awesome instruments.
     
  18. Maybe it is time I own one
     
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  19. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The ones that were "already made up" were ordered by dealers to their specs. G&L does not just manufacturer spec bases for inventory.
     
  20. superbee66

    superbee66

    Jul 13, 2010
    Yes, I believe it was a $400 option. I have an sb-1 with blue bowling ball finish. It only lasted a year or two because it was expensive and chips quite easily. Mine has some dime to quarter size chips in the finish.
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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