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My trusty ole 1981 L2Ke...thoughts on passive use

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by Chef, Feb 21, 2008.


  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    She's a tobaccoburst mahogany body'd, ebony fingerboard'd beauty, ain't she?
    I bought her brand new while on tour from St Ann School Music supply in St Louis Mo. She's always performed flawlessly; never a hiccup; never needed any service work other than cleaning, and new strings/battery once and a while.
    She came fretless, I scored an '84 fretted neck for her that she wears most of the time now. I tend to prefer more Jaco-esque fretless tones, so I have both a Jaco replica and an early G&L SB2JJFL I use more for that sort of work.
    Here she is, alone:
    l2kefretless.
    81L2Ke.
    and with her similarly spec'd and aged L1000 sibling
    281GL.

    For most of her use, I've run her flat out; vol/treb/bass all open, in single coil+bass mode, preamp+treb boost on. Mean, grindy, growly and huge.

    Well, after reading that many of you use passive mode a lot-and some of you run passive exclusively-I decided to give it a shot.

    I took her to work last night, and ran passive only. I *used* the tone controls. I switched between pickups and coil modes a lot.

    The results were really nice, and surprising to me. While I left the Mesa Walkabout Scout flat-as I usually do-I did run it just a little louder than usual...and then used the L2Ke's treble and bass more as "cut and volume" controls.
    Need more cut? Dial in some more treble
    Need more volume? Add some more bass.

    There's a lot more depth to the passive mode than I had initially given her credit for.

    Also, I noticed an anomoly, maybe?
    When you switch to the bridge pickup, thre treble control is bypassed...in other words, treble all on, all the time.
    I had noticed this on my other L2Ke:
    l2ke1.
    and at that time, presumed something was illin' with her..and indeed, when I popped the control plate off, a wire popped loose from the coil tap switch...which I've not yet re-soldered.
    So, I can't say for sure if this one behaves the same, as she's down.

    Anyone else with an L2Ke ever notice this?
    I guess I never paid it much mind, as when I switch to the bridge pup, I want all the mean I can get. But last night, in the interest of Science, I wanted to roll some treb off the bridge pup, and, no can do...
     
  2. quickervicar

    quickervicar Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    She's got character.
     
  3. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    The treble cut works in all the modes in my L2Ke, but I wouldn't be surprised if Leo screwed around with it at some point- I know the old F-100 guitars bypassed the tone control when you engaged the phase switch. Don't El Toros also have a mode that bypasses the treble cut? Email me when you wanna sell that fretless neck... ; )

    Karl
     
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    The fretless neck is on one of my JJ SB2's...;)
    thx tho...
     
  5. stretch80

    stretch80 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    I'm one of those passive mode fans, Chef!

    I tend to back off both bass and treble a bit -- I think of it as a midrange boost, and the pickups have so much bass that I then can get a bit more bass when I need it.

    That's a beautiful l2000 !
     
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Tanks mang!
    We've had a long, fun relationship...
     
  7. metron

    metron

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    Bought it new eh? I was probably 5 years old at the time. :D I dont have any advice on your treble defeat issue but - I am another passive user almost 100% percent of the time. I use the pup and series/parallel switches on the fly for major tone changes then I use vol/treb/bass to season the overall tone if need be.
     
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yessir, bought the burst one new...I'm old;)
    I'm not sure I consider it "an issue," as in "defect," I know this bass has never been cracked open and modified.
    So, I reckon it came that way.

    It'd be nice to be able to mellow the bridge pup down some when solo'd, but, I can achieve the same effect by moving my right hand towards the neck, more or less.

    I'm curious to see if, when repaired, my other L2Ke behaves the same way...
     
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Today; resoldered the lead from the neck pup on the series+bass boost/parallel swithc on the Blonde L2Ke; and:

    She behaves just like the burst hog: treble rolloff is defeated in neck pup only pup switching.

    Anyone other L2Ke owners axe's behave like this?
     
  10. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thats really weird- the pickup selector switch only has one output which is routed directly through the volume and tone controls (at least on mine...), so I don't know any of the controls could be defeated in only one position of the switch...
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yessir, it seems odd to me;but both my 2Ke's do it just the same.
     

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