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L-1500 arrives!

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by Nedmundo, May 2, 2006.

  1. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I picked up my L-1500 yesterday, which arrived at the shop on Friday, eight weeks after I placed the order. It's Electric Blue with matching headstock, #6 neck, and maple fretboard. I played it last night at a three hour rock band rehearsal, so I have some impressions to report. I'm at work, so I can't upload photos, but I posted some last night in another thread. The second one expands nicely if you click on it (don't know why mine always come out as thumbnails :( ):


    First, the finish is gorgeous. I think G&L's are some of the best in the business, and this is no exception. The Electric Blue is brighter than I might like, but it's beautifully done, and will look excellent on stage. My bandmates dig it. I love the matching headstock. I know some prefer rosewood boards with matching 'stocks, but I think it works with maple too, especially with lighter colors.

    The neck feels great, and I'm glad I chose the #6 with 1.5" nut width and 7.5" fretboard radius. I don't like the feel of flat fretboards for some reason. I'm so used to my Fenders that this neck felt foreign at first, because its finish isn't as smooth and it lacks rolled fingerboard edges (love those), but I got used to it quickly. It plays much like my 2003 Jazz, especially in the lower positions.

    I absolutely love the tone, which is the main reason I went for ths model. Initially I wanted a P-bass with Jazz neck and Quarter Pounder for a full-range, hard-hitting bass in the P-bass vein. This delivers that and more. It's definitely more full-range (less mid-heavy) than a P-bass, with a tight, growly and focused low end, and excellent clarity all over the fretboard. I'd say the string-to-string response is more even than on my Jazz, and about the same as my Precision. The sustain is excellent, again much like my P. (In fact, acoustically the two sound almost identical.) It handled drop-D tuning exceptionally well, with no buzz, and that low D hits HARD. :D

    It's somewhat like a Sting Ray due to the humbucker and its placement, but I think more aggressive, with a more organic, raw tone. It sounds less "modern active" than a 'Ray, even in active mode, and seems more Fender-like to my ears. Its "mix presence," for lack of a better term, is Fender-like, but with more modern energy. (I'd say G&L basses nicely straddle the vintage/modern divide due to their excellent performance in passive mode and Leo lineage, and full range, powerful tone with active boost.) Its responsiveness and punch are inspiring, and push me to play with more passion. To me, that's the litmus test, and this passes with flying colors. It's an outstanding rock tone. Our keyboardist has become an aficionado of bass tone, and he found it inspiring too.

    Through most rigs, I suspect the highs (and noise) could be too much with the treble up and the preamp engaged. I thought this testing one through a Fender 400 Pro 2x10 combo, and playing mine through an Ampeg combo. But at rehearsal, I was going through a Behringer head and Peavey 4x10 cabinet that has practically no high end (I've used the cab before), and I preferred active mode with the treble on full. I expect I'll use passive mode through most rigs though. I didn't find parallel mode very useful, but I expect I'll use it for some mellower tracks on gigs.

    The pickup placement invites playing down there, but after an hour or so, I was able to play up closer to the neck with no problem. The good balance helps in this regard.

    The construction and hardware seem rock solid, much like an MIA P-bass. It's heavier than I expected, but no more than my Fenders.

    But unfortunately all is not perfect. I should have spent more time at the shop playing up high on the neck, because at home I quickly discovered nasty fret buzz on the A and D strings above about the 17th fret. The action is not low by my standards, so I was surprised. I raised the saddles slightly, which helped but did not cure the problem. It appears -- and I say "appears" because I'm not a tech -- that the fretboard has a hump at the neck joint, one of those dreaded "ski jumps." I compared side-by-side with my P, and think I can see a difference. Maybe those six bolts create enough pressure to raise the board sometimes; I don't know.

    If this is a real problem, I'm surprised it left the factory like this, because I think G&L has excellent quality. But maybe the humps don't develop immediately. I'll bring it to the shop later this week for analysis, and hope it can be addressed with minimal hassle.

    Once that's cured and I get a Hipshot Bass Extender, I think this will become my number one gigging bass. (Until I get an SB-2, that is. ;) ) I love the look, feel, and aggressive Fender vibe with a little modern edge, which had been missing from my arsenal but works well with my current band.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Very Nice , congrats and all the best with it. :) :bassist:
  3. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Thanks! It totally rocks. I'm sure your ASAT lays it down nicely too. If I didn't already have a killer semi-hollow, I'd be all over one of those.
  4. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Thats a really nice bass. The colors are great with the matching headstock. Good luck with the mirage hump>

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yeah its a really nice bass , still learning the electronics.
  6. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I returned the L-1500 to the shop for the buzzing, and turns out it needed a comprehensive setup. Apparently there's no fretboard hump, and the tech says he didn't see any high frets either, but the setup was way off. Some notes were almost fretting out. I'll give G&L the benefit of the doubt, and chalk it up to climate changes during shipping and the bass "settling in."

    The action is a little higher than I'd like, but hey, one doesn't buy an L-1500 to use a light touch! :bassist: I'll be using it on stage in less than two weeks, and I can't wait.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Climate changes can make a pretty big change in setup. Lots of places in the world have less humidity than Mid Missouri in summer;) Consequently, over the years there have been several outta town basses I've had to make some substantial adjustments to when they arrived here and settled in for a week or so...

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

  9. flash99


    Jun 8, 2005
    New York City

    If you can bring it by the store, I'll take care of it for you. You may want to try putting some relief in the neck by turning the truss rod to the left 1/4 turn or so - the weather is changing and necks are going with them and new necks can more around a lot early on. Also, I've found that DR Hi Beams are a bit more buzz sensitive than other strings but the tradeoff is they sound really good on G&Ls.
  10. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    pics por favor
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I posted a couple in another thread; the link is in my first post. Sorry they're only thumbnails, but if you click on them they'll expand.
  12. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Duh, sorry. Sweet bass! I sold one a few months back - big mistake.
  13. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I hope yours get sorted out. I think my neck might still be adapting to the setup yesterday, which I guess explains why my usual (excellent) tech keeps instruments in his shop for a few days after adjustment.

    The action still feels high to me, so I decided to measure using a steel ruler with 1/64" gradations. Turns out it's less than 1/32" higher at the twelfth fret than the action on my P-bass. Yet it feels noticeably higher -- amazing how sensitive our hands are!

    I also checked the action difference between the twelfth and highest frets. The P's action is a little higher at fret 20 (about 1/64"), suggesting a slight downward fretboard slope. As far as I can tell, the G&L's is identical at the twelfth and 21st frets. I'm not using the most precise instrument, but it's fascinating. (To my dweeby a$$ anyway.) Now I'm starting to get really interested in this stuff.

    I'm going to give it a week or two to settle in, then bring it to my usual tech if I can't get it right myself.
  14. spideyjg


    Mar 19, 2006
    San Diego
    Ain't that something. You think it is all jacked up and you can barely measuere what it is.


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