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Narrowing down my 5er choices: TL-5 or L2500

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Din Of Win, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. So,

    It's looking more and more like i 'need' a dedicated 5 string. But, i've had awful luck with 5ers in the past (Ibanez, Yamaha, and Squier). None were 'bad', they just never seemed to be enough.

    So, i'm looking at more of a "swiss-army-bass" approach, and i think i've narrowed it down to either a Peavey TL-5, or a G&L L2500.

    They seem pretty similar on paper. Has anyone owned/played both? Could you share your thoughts and opinions on them?

    Thanks! :bassist:
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    If you are talking about the first generation models, I very much prefer a TL-5. The TL-5s with Super Ferrite pickups are basically neck through active Jazz Basses.
  3. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems
    +1. My TL is a joy to play, both in the playability and tonal aspects of the bass.

    MTMTEX Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    austin tx.
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Well, they both have five strings and two pickups, yeah...

    The L2500 is a rough, raw, aggressive bolt-on with your choice of maple or rosewood fretboard.

    The TL5 is a relatively polished & refined neck-through with an ebony fretboard.

    Other than that, pretty similar... :meh:

  6. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Never had or played the TL but I used to have a GL 2500. I eventually sold it because it just wasn't the right bass for me. Very well built, sounded and played great, looked fantastic. The issue I had with it was the overly hot pickups that didn't play well with my amps at the time. It is a tonal Swiss Army knife but because of the pickup issue I found myself playing it in passive mode the vast majority of the time. So for me it ended up being more of a one blade knife, but it was a killer blade!

    I'd suggest you try one with your amp before you buy if possible.
  7. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    I have to ask... Have you given any of the Carvin 5 strings a thought?
  8. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Personally I think the TL-5 is preferable to the G&L in design and construction. Add onto that the fact that you can buy a TL-5 for half the price of a used L-2500 and it's TL-5 all the way.
  9. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Very nice basses, though with a very narrow spacing at the bridge, if I remember right.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    No, the first gen models are 18mm at the bridge. The later ones are 16.5mm at the bridge.
  11. So... maybe my piece of paper was a sticky note :spit:

    I was thinking a basic "swiss army bass" as something that has 2 pickups and can be active or passive. :smug:

    I do love Peavey, and i do like the positive feedback that the TL-5 is receiving.

    What are the year/model/version differences?
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I had a 2nd Gen TL-Five, and I still have my L-2500. I cannot comment on the sound of the 1st Gen TL5 with the SF pickups.

    I sold the TL because:

    - I don't like a glossy neck. I learned that from having the TL. Sometimes it feels like my thumb catches or sticks on glossy finishes. I much prefer a feeling that is more like bare wood.

    - It was heavy.

    Comparing the 2nd Gen TL to my L-2500, they are 2 very different beasts. The TL I had had VFL pickups - like a Cirrus. They are fairly hifi and modern sounding. You can get some bark out of them and they do sound great, but they never sound really aggressive.

    The L-2500 is, to me, the Ultimate Swiss Army Bass. Especially with the Single Coil Option (which mine has). But, it will never get as smooth/modern/hifi sounding as something like the 2nd Gen TL or a Cirrus, etc.. But, it can be tamed down a fair bit. Many people seem to never explore how you can tame down the L-2500 aggressiveness just by rolling off some of the volume. Or how you can tame down some of the sound by rolling off the Treble and Bass knobs quite a bit.

    Between variations in tone from rolling off the Volume, playing with the Bass and Treble, and then the options for pickup selection, series or parallel or single coil, and passive or active or active w/treble boost, the L-2500 can produce about a MILLION different sounds.

    In the end, they're pretty darn different basses - even when you just consider the things that are also common to the 1st Gen TL-Five. Between the two, I would pick the G&L for the neck feel (and profile). They both sound good (though not the same!) and I would be totally comfortable using either one for pretty much any kind of gig.

    Also, it doesn't hurt (to me, anyway) that you can get parts to fix anything that might ever break on the G&L. Pickups or a preamp for a TL-Five might be hard-to-impossible to replace (short of buying a parts bass to scavenge off of).
  13. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I didn't realize the super narrow spacing was a later change. That explains why I found the older ones playable. :)
  14. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    If you're considering the L2500, you should really take a look at the M2500. G&L has really upped the ante with these. I'm a long time G&L player and I really like the M series.
  15. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems
  16. metermech

    metermech SMOOVE ONE

    Mar 17, 2008
  17. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    If you like Peavey, just get a used Cirrus 5. Killer axe and can be had for a decent price used.
  18. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems

    Thanks metermech. I think the TL has a natural compression going on that I really enjoy. Makes the notes quick and snappy (like the pops in this track). I did very very little EQ in that track and other than that it's about as raw as it gets.
  19. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems

    Here is the 2nd version of that track played on my old Cirrus. Pretty much the same settings at the mixer and flat EQ on the bass.

  20. nurnay

    nurnay Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Chico, CA
    If you're looking for a true swiss army knife five string, check out the EBMM Big Al. Tones galore.