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MIM Fender Jazz Deluxe V vs G&L Tribute L-2005

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Mar 15, 2004.


  1. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I've always found the Mex Jazz Deluxes to be pretty good bang for the buck. Recently I tooled around with a 5 string MIM deluxe and was really impressed. Maybe it was the setup, maybe it was the amp; whatever it was, this axe played like a dream and sounded great! And I hate 5-string basses! I really came close to plunking down some cash right then and there.

    THEN, I tried a G&L Tribute 5 in New York City this weekend. I didn't plug in, but it felt very very comfy. Also, I'm a G&L man; I have a US ASAT that I love but the new domestic 5 models are way beyond my means these days.

    I wish I could A/B test these two basses; has anyone else out there given it a try?

    Here's my take so far:

    The MIM Fender requires no real upgrades barring MAYBE the bridge. The active electronics seem to do the job quite well and the tunners seem pretty sturdy. The bodies are now alder instead of the poplar bodies of yore and tonewise sound pretty good to my ears. More so, I felt comfy with the neck (my main concern). The B-string wasn't all that floppy, but I've certainly found better even in this price range. At a hair under $600 with gig bag; I'd say not bad.

    The G&L also requires no real upgrades as far as I could tell. The electronics are supposed to be the same as in the domestic models (which are great and far more versitile than the single humbucker Stingrays). The bridge and tunners look the part but are indeed imports built to G&L specs. The premium bodies are ash; way cool on the tonal front. But if you're like me and like black; you'll have to be content with a basswood body (likely not a tonally happening as alder or ash). The neck seemed pretty friendly as far as I could tell. Where the G&L seemed to edge out the Fender is the 6 bolt neck rather than Fender's more traditional 4 bolt. More so, the G&L can be strung through the body for more string tention and likely a more happening low B string articulation (not to mention over all more sustain). The premium L-2005 go for around $550 or so and also comes with gig bag.

    My money says the G&Ls have got the MIM Fender Js beat. But I haven't tried them side by side.

    Feed back anyone?

    r
     
  2. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I got my G&L Tribute 2500 for about $505 with Gig bag at my local Music stoire The G&L gig bag is very nice too! I got the premium "Ash" bodied bass. I think it is exceptional, especially for the $$. The sound is punchy and cuts well through the mix. The tonal variations are plentiful too. The only downside is the bass is a little on the heavy side and the neck is just a little thicker than I prefer, but certainly very playable.

    I played both the Ash Bodies Tribute 2500's and a Basswood tribute 2500. The Ash Bodied bass had a stronger fundamental to my ears and had more punch and presence. So that's the one I bought.

    I take my G&L to the Blues Jam that my band hosts. I selectively let other bass players use it on occassion. I'm always impressed at how good it sounds out in the room when I'm on the 'listening' side of the stage.

    I too have played a couple MIM jazzes that surprised me at how nice they were. But I've played some MIM Jazzes that were dogs too. I would bet the Tributes are more consistant. Good luck!
     
  3. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I waffled on this same exact decision for weeks, but I'd go w/ the G&L Tribute, if those are the two your choosing between. However, if I may,, I'd suggest a Lakland 55-01. It's what I went with & is only a bit more than the G&L.
     
  4. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Say McHack,

    I have yet to see any Laklands (Skyline or otherwise) over here in Western Massachusetts. I was VERY curious about the Skyline models sometime back but eventually forgot about them. The Skyline you picked up, is it the one with the domestic Bartolini's like the homegrown models or the one with the import soap bars? Also, how does the one with the import Bart's hold up against the domestic Barts?

    Thanks,

    r
     
  5. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, here's the break down...

    55-01 = dual soapbars & 55-02 has j/humbucker setup.

    I've never gotten my hands on an 02, so I can't really give you a comparision. HOwever, I can tell you , that those that have 'em,, claim they sound just like the 55-94's. ie, $3500 models.

    The 01's, IMHO sound great. I called Lakland, & chatted w/ Dan Lakin about it, & he swore up & down to me, that the MAJOR difference between the sound of the 01 & the 02,, wasn't so much the pickups... It's the active preamps. The 02's come w/ a Bart NTMB active pre-amp,, where as its merely an option on the 01's.

    MY 01 has the Fishman, but I'm VERY happy w/ the combination of tones I can get out of it. I HAVE been toying w/ the idea of upgrading the preamp tho. You know, some folks aren't every satisfied, hehe.

    The reason I went w/ the Lakland is, I did demo an 01. AND, I demo'd a USA G&L 2500. I liked the way the Lakland felt, & sounded,,, flat out.
     
  6. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Are you kidding? G&L All the way!!!
     
  7. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Well, until I get my hands on a Lakland (and that's not looking likely anytime soon); all roads are leading to the G&L Tribute. In fact, I just got an email back from Bass Northwest (gezz, they got back to me fast, those guys don't mess around!). The Tribute L2005 in black with maple board is going for $565 with gig bag and shiping! Musician's Friend is selling the Mex Jazz Deluxe 5 for the same $$$ with gig bag (not sure about shipping). I think this is a no-brainer. G&L.

    Thanks guys,

    Ron
     
  8. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    That is a very fair deal. Plus, I think dealing with the staff at BassNW could not be better anywhere. Their customer service is first class all the way! Go for it and don't look back! You're in great hands!