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How to tell a G&L Tribute body from a USA body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowfreqgeek, Apr 30, 2010.


  1. Are there any identifying marks on a G&L Tribby body vs. a USA body?

    I'm considering a bass about 2000 miles away (i.e., I can't pull the neck and check the pocket) that obviously has a very nice USA neck, but the headstock is painted in a burst color and the body is natural ash. Seems unlikely that G&L would do that combination, unless it was a custom order.

    I'm wondering if the body isn't a Tribby that someone along the line installed a USA neck onto. It's a nice looking bass, but the mis-matched headstock is odd and the seller doesn't know if the neck is original or not.
     
  2. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    If it's got binding it's definitely a USA. Other than that... not sure.
     
  3. donut

    donut

    Jan 27, 2004
    UK
    For a while G&L stamped their Tribute bridges with "G&L Tribute" on the front. Could check for that. Not guaranteed obviously as it's just the bridge and not the body but something else to have a look at.
     
  4. No binding on the body. Just clear/natural solid Ash (and nice looking, too).

    The bridge is not stamped "Tribute".

    Does a Tribute neck pocket have a Tribute stamp in it?

    Just not sure why a natural ash body has a 'burst headstock.
     
  5. post the pics here?
     
  6. Is the body a gloss finish?
     
  7. Rebmo

    Rebmo

    Aug 19, 2006
    Wisconsin
    No guarantee, but the tribs have a different S/N series I believe, check the G&L website for S/N info.
     
  8. Gloss body, as far as I can tell.

    Can't post a pick at the moment, but I'll try to a little later today if I have a chance.
     
  9. I'm pretty sure American G&Ls do not come in a clear gloss, but I'm not 100% on that. Mine was natural ash and was more of a matte finish.

    Have you asked the seller why that neck is on it?
     
  10. I have asked and the answer was "came to me that way in a trade". Well, paraphrased a bit.

    I believe the seller honestly doesn't know. No reason to doubt him.

    The pics have too much gleamy reflection on the edges to be a matte finish, but they aren't real clear. The reflection of the knobs is visible in the finish, too.

    I'll probably ask the seller to take the neck off and verify the dates and see if there are any stamps in the neck pocket.
     
  11. If the price is lower than your standard USA G&L, I'd say it would be a decent deal.
     
  12. No, it's over-priced by about 50% of what the current market has been lately.

    I might be willing to negotiate and make an offer IF I knew the particulars of the bass, but the mis-matched headstock on a potentially non-USA body is troubling.

    I truly believe that the seller is being honest when he says he doesn't know if the neck is original or not. I think it would be worth his time to pull the neck and see what's in the pocket, but even that may not be conclusive (depending on how the Tributes are stamped). All I can do is suggest it to him.

    I already have one USA L2500 - don't NEED another, but then again, one of anything you use a lot is rarely enough...
     
  13. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    Since I haven't taken the neck off my Tribute I can't say if the body has any marks (other than serial number in the neck pocket) on it. The usual thing, of course, is the headstock says Tribute! But with a changed neck who knows?

    The main attribute of MIA G&Ls are the "to die for" wood. Now my Tribute is pretty nice: Ash, clear gloss, not too badly matched, Tone as good as MIA. Now I've seen some Tributes with badly matched wood. Dark and light pieces glued together. Sounds fine but not an ultimate look. My MIA (also ash Fretless) is clearly "to die for". Grain matched perfectly even on back. Color match perfect. Finish perfect.

    So I'd say about the only thing you can do without removing the neck is just take a close look at the wood in the body. If it sort of looks like an SX then it's a Trib. If it looks great then you really can't tell but it will probably be a great bass in either case.
     
  14. spideyjg

    spideyjg

    Mar 19, 2006
    San Diego
    Does the middle toggle go up/down or forward/backward? That is how you tell.

    USA forward/back. Painted H/S wouldn't be original on natural ash.

    Jim
     
  15. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    USA models do (or did at one time) come in clear gloss. I've owned two. An L5000 and L2500. Also I owned a USA L1505 that the tone switch went sideways instead of up and down. Probably loosened and re tightened in that position but just saying that possibly can be changed (rotated) if someone wanted to.
    Also I agree, painted headstock on a natural bass means that this bass has been pieced together. I would point that out to the seller and offer him a (much) lower price. Doesn't mean it's not a good playable bass.
     
  16. oldrookie

    oldrookie

    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Comparing them to SX seems a bit harsh and I also own(ed) SX basses.
     
  17. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Aren't Tribby's 4 bolt necks? If so, a good look at the back should tell ya.
     
  18. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Why even waste your time thinking about it? I don't "need" another bass, but when I do consider buying, it's because the price is irresistible. Here, even if you negotiate, you're starting from such a disadvantageous point that the best you'll do is to talk the seller down to market value. Pass.
     
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I know the one Tribby I bought (mistakenly - It thought it was a US...) was a subburst but the back was black - The US G&Ls will have sunburst on both sides.

    Were the bass all one color, this wouldn't help much...
     
  20. CertifiedLurker

    CertifiedLurker

    Nov 20, 2008
    MD
    No, they have 6 bolts.
     

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