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Moving from 4 to 5 analysis and G&L L2500 review (Long!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LoJoe, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Well it finally got here last night. Thanks to a deal that was too good to refuse, I ended up with a brand new G&L L2500 in 2 tone Sunburst. I had been hesitant about moving to a 5 string, but the price was right and I figured it was now or never. I had previously been playing a Fender MIA Precision 4, and have never played a 5 string other than for a minute or two at Guitar Center. From the time Fedex dropped it off, it was only 45 minutes until I had to be at rehearsal and there was no way I was not going to try it out. I warned everyone that I would be hitting some wrong strings and they were cool with it. I was right, it did take some getting used to.

    First my thoughts on moving to 5 from 4: I was one of those "I'm perfectly happy with my 4" kind of guys. Moving up to a 5 was at first very awkward. I was repeatedly instinctively hitting the B string when I meant to hit the E. This got better as the night moved on. One thing I like about the L2500 is that the neck seems to be the same width at the nut as the Precision 4, but with tighter string spacing. It was nice not having to adjust to having a wider plank in my hand.
    Towards the end of the night, I had adjusted pretty well and was hitting most if not all of the correct notes. Like I said, I was one of those happy 4 string guys, but I gotta tell ya... As I got more comfortable with it, I started venturing into B string land. We have one song that ends on a long sustained D. Man oh man, using that low D on the B string instead of up on the A string was unbelievable! It was like holding a big fat thunder stick! I think I got hooked for life on that one note! My goal is going to be not to over abuse the below E notes on the B string, but to use them sparingly as kind of like exclamation points when I need them. Man oh man, that sound was incredible though. BONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG.

    Now for my thoughts on the L2500 compared to my P. I love my Fender P. It has that fat thick sound that is unmistakable. This was my first "real bass" after a beginners run of low dollar Ibanez Soundgears. It is built like a tank and can handle all kinds of situations in fine fashion. The P has been described as a workhorse and that's what it is. It's a rockin bass that can hold it's own in many many situations. It is always going to be one of my favorite basses. It's main shortcoming is it's one size fits all tone. You have a tone knob and can treble things up a bit, but that's about it.

    The L2500 on the otherhand, seems to have so many tone/style combinations that it's going to take awhile to get the hang of it. Just a few switch flicks and knob twists and you can go from a fat P sound to jazz to funk and anything in between. It's definitely a jack of all trades kind of bass and feels great as well. It seems to be lighter than my P and did not make my shoulder ache after 3hrs of rehearsal. I think I'm in love and I don't care if G&L is about to dilute their line with a Korean version. This bass is very very nice. The only thing I don't like are the strings. It comes with SIT's. I have no idea what their reputation is. I think they are light guage because they seem very rubberbandy. I prefer a heavier gauge and strings will probably be my first upgrade. Overall I am glad about the move up to 5 strings, but don't get me wrong, I am not advocating it for everyone. It just seems like it's going to be a good fit for me. Sorry to ramble, but I just thought I'd share my persective. Now...back to that new bass!

    I bought it from Dave at Guitar Adoptions They have great prices and oustanding customer service!

  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Thanks for sharing that was a pleasure to read. I almost bought an L-2500 about 4 years ago, but ended up with a MIA Jazz V instead - just more my style. But the 2500 is a fantastic axe.

    Personally my 5 string hero is Paul McCartney with his Wal back when he had that fantastic band with Hamish Stuart and Robbie McIntyre in the "Flowers In The Dirt" / "Off The Ground" era. Never shy with the "B" string if the song calls for it.

    ..... Wait till you play that song that ends with a "C". :D :cool:
  3. guitaradoptions


    Feb 10, 2003
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Wow, quick transition for you! I had mine for a couple months before I started gigging with it.

    Really cool exclamation points can be made by building octaves off of those low notes. But the beauty of the B string isn't just those five notes below low E, it's the added range in each fingering position over the entire fretboard. It's definitely an advantage to use all five strings, rather than avoiding the B as some do.
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm funky, in that I converted my 4 string to BEAD long before I got an actual five, so my adjustment time was almost nil, in both directions.

    But isn't that B a glorious thing?
  6. The B rules. Open its too low, it just booms and knocks every one down. But theres this one tune my band does called 'Down' where on the verses I'm doing a simple three-note thing with the downbeats, and on a DADG bass the lowest I go is the open low D. On my five all three notes thump you in the chest and just adds booty to the groove.

    Also, distorted bass slides from the 15th fret - HUGE.

    EDIT: However, now we've gone back up to BEADG tuning, I might use the open B on some stuff. It has a more ringing clarity than the Bb did.
  7. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    okay, I'll be the exception--i've played 4 string almost 30 years and I have had big problems switching to a 5. Don't like it, get lost often, have trouble muting strings etc. etc.--i've largely given up on it and will probably sell it. I don't feel I'm missing a thing w/o a 5! Just my .02/worth!
  8. Joe, I'm in the process of doing the same now. I've been playing for only 2 1/2 years, but I've always said 4 strings are enough. I've got the L2500 bug, and I'm selling off my 4 strings to make room for it. I should have one in a few weeks. I love the room rumbling effect of the 5 string. :D
  9. guitaradoptions


    Feb 10, 2003
    How about this for a gorgeous 5 String!

  10. Hi

    Was looking for a G&L 2500 review and found this. Also thought I would share my experiences on 4 to 5 transition.

    I am looking at a G&L L-2500 Tribute but as I have just bought a MM SUB4 I am not sure I can justify it to myself.

    On the subject of 4 to 5 transition. I have played bass since 1967 and was happy on 4 but just fancied a change. I was not sure it would suit me so bought a cheap 5 string (£50 - Wesley acrylic bodied) off Ebay. I had the problem of hitting the wrong strings for a short while but soon was out gigging with it. Played a couple of gigs with it then sold it for £50 and bought a beat up MM SR5 and loved it, I have played that for the last 3 years then got the urge again for a change.

    I got offered the MM SUB4 that needed the bridge putting together properly. There is just a bit too much of the breaking glass tone for my liking. The coils are wired in parallel, a position I never use on my SR5. I do have piezo horns fitted in my Trace Elliot combo so it is not lacking in top.

    What I would say is always learn new songs on a 4 string if you can, that way if you want or need to swap back you can. You can always add in those wonderful low notes when the need arises and play in different positions up the neck but you will know at least one 4 string position.

    I play in a 3 piece and our guitarist was very worried that swapping back to 4 would affect our sound too much. What he did not realise was that you don't often use the notes below low E, only for effect, but what an effect.

    I have so much choice now I never know what to take out. I originally got the SR5 to replace my 62 P bass as it is too valuable to leave on it's stand in most of the venues we play. Now I have nearly as many basses as our guitarist has Strats and Burns, well not quite, he had 17 at the last count, I only have 5 unless I get the G&L
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Here's me with my first 5 string bass about 10 years ago ... The transition from 4 to 5 was not easy but now the low D and the B string are foundations of my playing.

  12. Jeff
    Never really played a Rickenbacker, nearly bought a one in about 1970 but went for the P bass instead, spur of the moment decision, I needed a bass quick (trussrod snapped on my old Antoria P copy and we had a gig that night) and the only 2 in the shop that I could afford were the Ric and the P. I have often wondered why I went for the P and if I would have enjoyed playing a Ric as much. I have no idea what model it was but I seem to remember it was white or cream with possibly a black pick guard and was nearly as beat up as the P I ended up with.

    The P had once been red (with a tort pick guard) but it had been badly scraped off and given a coat of household varnish, it still had bits of red paint showing through, it looked terrible but sounded great. I refinished it in white , still my favourite bass although it does not get played enough.

    That must be a sign of the times when a Ric and a 62 P were the bargain basement guitars! I suppose they made their money selling new and just wanted rid of the scruffy second hand stuff that they had taken as trade ins.

    As a relative newcomer to 5 string I am still learning (well when we stop learning we may as well hang our basses up) but now have no trouble swapping and really enjoy the extra flexibility a 5 gives. I just wish I had made the transition years ago.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    A Ric and a p-bass are both classic instruments with a distinctive tone. I like both in 5 string versions.

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