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"If you want a real Fender buy G&L."

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by montrocity, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. montrocity


    Jan 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh PA
    Before I upset anyone, the heading of this thread is not my personal opinion. I'm looking to buy a new bass. I've always had Fenders but during my shopping around, a few people recommended I try a G&L instead.

    From what I gather, there seems to be a group of G&L proponents out there who say if you want a bass like Leo used to make 'em you're better off going with G&L. "After all," they'll tell you, "G&L basses are made on Fender Avenue."

    The answer seems simple - Go try one and figure it out for myself - right?

    This brings me to my reason for this post. Despite several decent music stores being in my area, nobody seems to carry G&L basses. I've never bought a bass online before but maybe I would if I could get a good feeling based on any friendly advice I could get here. Thanks.
  2. I love my L-2500. The G&Ls are the ultimate evolution of the Fender bass. They're engineered really well and have a ton of tonal flexibility. All of the sounds are "Fender-y" in nature. The L2500s sound more like a P-bass than a Jazz - they've got a similar thing happening in the low mids.

    The only issue I have with mine is a lack of shielding in the preamp cavity. It sometimes leads to humming, especially in series.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Though I do like the G&L's I've played, if you want a real Fender, buy a Fender. G&L's are fine basses. They're just not Fenders.
  4. big evil robot

    big evil robot Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    I find G&L more comparable to musicman. I like both equally, but its easier to get a lefty musicman here, than a G&L.
    but if anyone finds a lefty G&L sb2, please please please let me know, no matter where it is, I NNNEEEEED it.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md

    See Jimmy, you do know something;)

    I like my G&L but it's not a Jazz. G&L also blew it by refusing to offer anything besides narrow spacing on their fives IMO.
  6. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    GL L-5000... beefy
  7. G&L basses are better than the Fender basses of nowadays, in my opinion.
  8. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    What I think those people are alluding to is that G&L basses are made by hand, as Leo Fender originally did with Fender basses. The equipment used was developed by him and is essentially the same as he used on early Fenders.

    Fenders now are all made on CNC machines.

    So, in that respect G&L basses are more like the original Fenders. As far as sound, pickups, hardware, etc., they are different, but Leo Fender considered them improvements over the instruments he made at Fender.

    From my experience G&L are better made than any current Fender, including MIA.

    That said, if you want a Fender sound get a Fender. G&L basses have their own sound. I think they sound better, but you might not. I own G&L and Fender, and each has their place.
  9. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA

    What he said...

    While I think that Fender QC has made vast improvements recently I still feel that the G&L is a better made bass. My Jazz has hung on the wall since my purchase of a G&L ASAT.

    That being said, my next purchase will be a straight P-Bass w/o that S1 switching crap.
  10. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Musicman + Fender = G&L

    IMO Leo took the goods from both lines and combined them to get the G&L's
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Hate to rain on the party...

    ...G&L have switched to almost all CNC recently. They're now no more 'hand built' than Fenders.

    Not that it really matters beyond increasing quality control
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I really don't see what all the fuss about CNC is. As long as a bass is made well, I don't care if it's handmade, CNC, CCB, CBC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, ASPCA, or MOUSE.
  13. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    CNC don't care if it's Monday or Friday. It's never hungover and never in a hurry to get home. It is definitely more consistent than a human (who can have a bad day). When something is out of spec, it stops and alerts a tech. Conversely it is also only as good as the tolerances it is designed for.

    Back on topic. G&L are great pieces but they are not as ubiquitous or widespread in recorded music as Fenders. The F brand is a de facto industry standard. So if you want a Fender feel or sound to play most modern music then you get a Fender. Besides, IIRC G&L does not make a 51 P clone (the way Leo used to make them).

    I suggest getting the best bass out there. A Stingray. :p
  14. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    CNC parts are in theory better than hand-made parts. The problem with implementing CNC construction is that many makers (including Fender) assume that each part is perfect and do little inspection/setup/testing.

    G&L are CNC-made but they have great queality control. In fact, most mass-produced bass today are made with machines.

    Other than the JB-2 model, I don't think G&Ls sound like Fenders (mainly because their pickups). They might feel like them a little because the choice of woods, colors and bolt-on design, but even their neck profiles are very different from Fender.

    G&L don't have any more Fender vibe than say, Sadowsky, Mike Lull, Fernandes, etc., etc.

    I like that comparison with Music Man and Fender, naturally, because Leo was part of G&L after Fender and Musicman.

    In sum, they are one of the best basses in their price range (I have had many) and their Asian models, for half the price, have received the greatest reviews.
  15. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    There's a swamp ash JB-2 at the store I teach at. It blows aways a good 99% of Fenders I've played. I would grab it (I can get a killer price on it), but I can't deal with the Jazz-style nut. :^(

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I really want to try a G&L Semi Hollow ASAT Bass but from what i have seen the L2K Series their is a better quality control in my opnion then on most of the fender lines.
  17. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    So the problem is not CNC but post production QC. This can happen even in a handmade line of basses.
  18. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Actually that is an exaggeration. They recently started using CNC on a small part of their insturments, but they are still mostly made by hand.

    They rough out the bodies and necks prior to them being finished by hand. The final shaping is still done by hand.
  19. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    Supposedly, the pin routers they were using tear up the workers' fingertips and have torn chunks out of some beautiful tops. There is a good reason to use some CNC in production, it's just another tool. If you look throuth the guitarsbyleo site, their is a big thread about this same issue.

    Some CNC can be good and lead to more consistency. All CNC is bad, in my eyes.

    As you can tell, I really like G&L. It is my favorite brand of basses and a great value, in my opinion. At this point, I don't care if they are hand carved my magical elves, they sound good and feel good, and that's what matters to me.