1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

L-Series Owners - Talk to me about Parallel Mode

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cleezmo, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Cleezmo


    Feb 25, 2015
    I’ve owned an M-series G&L for a couple of years, and really love it. A few weeks ago I bought a pristine used L-2500 fretless, and have been experimenting with all the different controls. It’s a keeper, but there are a couple things that seem to fall into the ‘I’ll likely never use’ category: Active + Treble Boost mode, and Parallel mode.

    I know one of the advantages of an L-series is the ability to go between parallel and series mode, but honestly I haven’t found a pickup/bass/treble combination, in passive or active mode, where parallel sounds better to me than series mode. So far every time I find a setting I like, I flip the parallel/series switch back and forth, and I like the series sound better. I know you can’t really say an L-series ever sounds ‘thin’, but to me parallel mode is the thinnest sounding of the options I’ve tried.

    Those of you with vast L-series experience, when do you use parallel mode? Is there some sweet combination that I’m missing? If it matters I have a fresh set of DR Sunbeams on it.
  2. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Here is a collection of thoughts (sorry a bit fragmented today) :


    I use parallel mode by default if I am keeping the bass passive. It sounds more like a Fender then. Using both pickups is Jazz-esque, using the neck is a bit like a P-bass but is missing some meat. Maybe more like a 51' P.

    I would actually suggest using the preamp. With the preamp on (without treble boost) your parallel pickup mode is closer in output level to series mode. It also is reputed to make the pickups low impedance in that setting though. You can always use the treble knob to cut out some highs if it's too bright. That's what it's there for.


    In series mode the bass roll off can also be used to make the bass sound more like a Fender P. The closest P sound I can get is neck series, with the bass and treble rolled off a little.


    The way that bass is designed the switches are for boosting and the knobs are for cutting. Series is your bass boost. The preamp switch is your treble boost.

    One setting I'd suggest experimenting with would be :

    1. Series mode engaged
    2. Preamp with treble boost engaged
    3. Roll treble and bass knob down 50% (around that)

    This is what I'd call "Stingray" mode. Your knobs are now boost and cut capable like an old Stingray Classic.


    It's a cool design. It's more of a hybrid active/passive than a passive bass with a preamp, or an active bass with a fall back plan (being passive operation) when the battery dies.

    The L2000 was designed after the Precision, Jazz, and Stingray basses by Leo Fender and his long time associates. They took what they learned designing those basses and put it in the L2000. It's reconfigurable with the switches to get sounds in any one of those archetypes. It doesn't have exactly the same tones as what those basses produce but they're close.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
    MattZilla and birdman14 like this.
  3. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    In some situations, I've had better luck recording in parallel, seems to balance out the output better....always run series live.
  4. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    Section 204
    I will put the bass in parallel mode with the bass pot full up and set my EQ on the amp accordingly. Then, when I use series, I cut the bass on the instrument itself to adjust so I'm not too loud, overdriving the amp, etc. This way, both modes are very usable to me.

    I've got three main "go to" settings, depending on which L I have.

    For my '00 model, with series/parallel:
    1. Parallel, neck pup only
    2. Series, both pickups
    3. Series, bridge pup only
    Generally, I'll run the bass pot fully open on setting 1 or 3 and cut about 30% on setting 2. Treble to taste.

    For my '89 model, with the OMG mode:
    1. Parallel, neck pup only
    2. OMG, both pickups
    3. OMG, neck pup only
    Generally, bass at full on setting 1 and cut about 30% on settings 2 and 3. Again, treble to taste.

    I'll run passive when I play through and amp. I run active when I go direct through a PA. Never use the treble boost, but you can get some good fat fingerstyle tones with the treble boost on and the tone at 0.

    Either way, find what works for you. It's a versatile bass, but there's no rule that says you have to use every possible setting...
  5. MontzterMash

    MontzterMash Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    My usage is similar to TDR1138's. I commonly flip between parallel neck-only and series bridge-only (very distinct cool sounds which are also easy movements with the switches).
  6. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    If I have any setting I sort of favor it's probably series or single coil (both pickups). But I use them all from time to time and I've got them all including OMG (is a 3 dB bass boost in series mode...L2X00 bass and treble controls are cut only) which is push pull on treble control and as I mentioned the so-called K-mod single coil setting. I go about 50-50 on passive vs active. Generally don't use high boost much. The deal is that there is such a wide range of tones you just have to get them all down and then judge what works with particular music, particular amps, particular venues, live or studio, etc. LOTS of things to choose from. Probably not the bass for the person who wants "their sound" and never changes it. And speaking of range of tones, I tend to favor my fretless L2500 over my fretted one and the various settings on each one tend to work slightly differently to get certain sounds you want.
  7. Cleezmo


    Feb 25, 2015
    Thanks guys for the responses. I'll give a few of these suggestions a try. Even if I never end up finding a parallel setting I like, it sounds so good in series, active or passive, that I'm positive I won't regret buying it. I realize I have to adjust my thinking on controls and settings on this bass vs. the other 3-band active basses I have, but that's part of the fun I guess!

Share This Page