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Help with G&L L-2000 Fretless Intonation

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BarStarzBass, May 7, 2010.

  1. BarStarzBass


    Apr 25, 2010
    Hi. I'm the proud owner of a used-but-very-minty 2003 L-2000 Fretless (at the risk of hijacking my own thread - WHY do these beautiful, USA-made top-quality basses re-sell at a 30% discount to the Fender "counterparts" (which IMHO don't feel as high-quality?)

    Anyway, when I first got it, the intonation was weird. That is, all 4 strings were consistently set so that the intonation point was 1/8th of an inch or so BEHIND (ie. toward the headstock) the 12th fret double-dots. I double-checked the scale length and the 17" point is precisely between the double-dots, so I assumed this was just a weird personal preference of the former owner and "corrected" the intonation point to fall between the double-dots.

    But to do that - the saddles are now WAAY back - the E string is basically as far back as the little spring allows, and even the G is so far back that the little saddle-lock screw can't do it's job because its just in front of that saddle.

    Anyone else have this issue with their L-2000 (or other fretless)? This is my first fretless and I've never seen this issue on any other bass or guitar - could it be that the strings are old and stretched out? They sound fine to me - they are flatwounds, probably D'Addario's from the multi-colored ends - but I don't have a lot of sonic experience with fretlesses.

    Any advice appreciated.
  2. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Hey. Fender doesn't make any "counterparts" to an L-2000.

    Of course intonation does depend on the exact strings you are using (and D'Addario half rounds are the Strings to try on a G&L L-2000 fretless). Why bridge makers never make them with a built-in angle I'll never know. It always seems the E string or even worse the B string always ends up with the spring all mashed down! This is not unusual and yes it's dumb. If you've never seen this before: 1) you don't play anything with a low B... or 2) you don't get around enough!

    Get a brand new set of strings and see how it goes and if you have to you can move the bridge back but I never have. Usually I just end up taking the spring completely out of the low strings. (sometimes even changing the screw to a shorter one)
    And since it's fretless you can just live with the intonation being a little bit off.

    I'm guessing the former owner either wasn't aware that you play a fretless ON the dots rather than just behind them as you do with a fretted. Or else he played a lot of fretted bass and just wanted his fretless to play more like a fretted so he set up the intonation behind the dots.
  3. BarStarzBass


    Apr 25, 2010
    Bassbenj, thanks for the great info, and the tip on the D'Addario half-rounds. I'm digging the "woody" sounds of the flats but I do seem to be diming the treble control more often than not, and I really have to work the eq to get a good mwah - so something that keeps the tone and feel of the flats but adds some brightness and mwah might just do the trick.

    And you are right on both counts - I've never played a 5-string and I haven't been around basses much - I've only been playing 5 months and this is only my second bass. My other bass and all my guitars have fairly "balanced" bridges and while the E string saddles are further back than the rest, they aren't pushing up to the back of the bridge like the L-2000's. FYI my Schecter guitar does in fact have an angled bridge - so at least one manufacturer managed to figure this out!

    And of course you're right there really isn't anything like the L in Fenders lineup - I just meant the nearest comparable in terms of being a US made "upscale" instrument. I guess the nearest would be the American Deluxe P-bass with the added J p/u and the active electronics - though I don't know (or really much care at this point, since I went with the G&L!) how close they are soundwise. I just know I got a more versatile, advanced, better-feeling bass for less money - go figure.

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