Leo Fender's opinion on "vintage"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass Viking, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. I'm wondering what Leo's views were on pre-CBS basses. Did he think they were the best he ever made, or did he think his later instruments like G & L were an improvement?
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    There's a G&L ad where Leo Fender says "G&L basses are the best I ever made".

    Of course, it was more of a publicity thing than anything else.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I decided to put the Link up to the questions that were answered by Mr.George Fullerton.


    Go to FAQ and scroll down in the general questions section until you get to Question #20
    (most of you have already read it)
  4. darkside 88

    darkside 88

    Feb 23, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Wow...that interview is a view into history.

  5. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    In his book about G&L, "Guitars From George & Leo: How Leo Fender and I Built G&L Guitars", Fullerton said that Leo never understood why the pre-CBS Fenders were so popular. He considered them inferior, and believed every new design was an improvement over the old design. Once he moved on he forgot about the old ones. The original G&L Strat and Tele style guitars had new MFD pickups that were different than the ones on Fenders. When sales of those weren't as high as they hoped Leo had to be talked into making versions with the original style pickups. He just didn't understand why musicians would want to play 30 year old (at the time) designs when he had better ones available.

    I don't know how that squares with Fullerton's comment that the Strat was Leo's favorite guitar design from the interview above. That seems to contradict what he said in the book.
  6. Pan

    Pan Lowdown User

    Aug 8, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Jauqo . .thenks for taking the timeto post that interview .. as a Fender/Stingray/G&L player I found it wonderful reading.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    You are more than welcome.
  8. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    I think that the Strat was his favorite because it turned into the most popular guitar of all time. Sure he was making a better product, but he didn't play guitar, so he probably just never personally understand what it's about to know how a guitar feels and plays best.
  9. Definitely a great read. Naturally, much thanks to George Fullerton, too.
  10. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Electronically he felt the newer design pickups to be superior, but that the body shape, balance, bridge design etc. were unequaled and had he retained Fender he would have fine tuned the Strat electronically etc, without changing the basic design of the guitar.

    Most bass/guitar makers agree with him at least on a few points in that the majority of all electric basses and guitars emulate his balance and body shaping ideals, not simply because of visual taste, but because of the well conceived ergonomics.

    “Leo’s.... love was designing pickups."

    It's the love for the old pickup designs he couldn't understand.
  11. Awesome Jauqo. Thank you.
  12. petch

    petch Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Man, that is one fine bit of reading! Thanks for posting it. :)
  13. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    Thanks for the article. Great information. What a creative man. And he did not know how to tune or play the instrument. Amazing.
  14. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    Man that was a great read....I wish he would said more about the Tribute line if Leo would of liked it or not. It seems like one of those answers where you don't want to hurt someones feelings.

    Anyway thanks for posting....I really want to get that book now.
  15. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Great story.....

    Umm :meh:

    Now I want a G and L 2000.

    MAAAAAA!!!!!! :help:
  16. Mmmm L2000. :D
  17. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    You sure do have a lot of G and L basses. Is your L2000 the most unique?
  18. Right now, I've been using the SB-2 for gigs. All G&L's seem to have hot pups and cut through very well. The L2000 is very versatile, but sometimes I just like a basic setup (limited knobs).

    When we play on stage, we get comments from other bands that we had the best mix of the night. I think it's because both the guitarist and myself use G&L...