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NBD: G&L L2000 USA

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Belgand, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Just picked up this beauty today after having to brave a transit strike, take the train over to Berkeley, and get caught in rush hour on the way back. Still worth it.


    At 10 lbs. 2 oz. she's pretty hefty, but I'm sure I'll manage.

    Edit: Well, I'm convinced it's a USA and the shop just made a mistake. Thanks to everyone here for helping me confirm it.

    I also have a little uncertainty on the paternity. The serial number indicates it's American-made and the sticker on the front of the headstock says the same, but I'm not sure that someone didn't change it. Some of the other details are conflicting. It has the little birthmark on the back of the headstock that I believe is only on the MIAs. As well the switches all go from left-to-right and I've heard talk that many of the Tributes are up-and-down... but that seems pretty random. I read one source that cited MIAs to have U-style string guides while the Tributes have button style and this has a button. Checking the G&L website though all of the current models show buttons so that seems unlikely.

    It was being sold as a Tribute though and I didn't really want to bring up that it might not be because while it's not a particularly good price for a Tribute it's a pretty great deal on an MIA. For a Tribute it's better than street price, but not by a lot; basically what I'd pay for a used one at Guitar Center. It doesn't have a ton of wear, but enough that it's clearly well-used so I would have tried to negotiate the price down or likely pass.

    I have two days to see if I want to hold onto it though so I'd like to figure that out as soon as I can. Is there anything else anyone can suggest? I'd like to avoid removing the neck if at all possible.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
    Danomo likes this.
  2. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    1/4 sawn neck.. Its US..
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  3. Either it's us or a professional did an unworldly job refinishing the headstock. Is there any way to check the serial # for authenticity? I would definitely keep it.
  4. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    After doing a little research of my own I'm inclined to agree. Great catch, thanks!

    Man, I wonder why they were selling it as a Tribute? Looking over all of the signs they really all point to it being USA. Including just checking the serial number types. At least it wasn't priced so low that I'd feel bad about it. Pretty much just enough below market average that it makes up for the lack of a case.

    Not that I'm aware of. It was posted on the shop's site so before I even went in I checked it out online. All that I could find on the Guitars By Leo registry was that it was a blue L-2000 with a maple neck. That's just non-specific enough to sound like a serial number someone would use with a forgery. I figured it was a long shot that it was faked, but you can never be too careful.

    Based on the nearby serial numbers it looks to be from around 2003 - 2005.

    I'm pretty certain I'm keeping it. I just want to get a second opinion on wear and such. It plays fine to me, but if it turns out it will need a bunch of repair work I'll have to consider whether it's worth it.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    The neck is pretty clearly MIA. If you're THAT worried about it, the only thing I'd see to wonder about is if someone put an MIA neck on a Tribute body.

    The bridge is stamped G&L. I think it used to be that Tribute bridges were stamped "Tribute". But, it seems like maybe I read that they changed that and Tribute bridges are now (or were for some period) stamped G&L. I could be wrong, though. It could be that Tribute bridges are always stamped "Tribute".

    Anyway, it definitely looks like a U.S. to me.

    I would check the truss rod, though. I bought my MIA L-2500 from GC. When my tech tried to set it up for me, the last little tweak on the truss rod resulted in the adjuster nut breaking off. I had to send the bass to G&L and pay to have a new neck made. GC made right on it, money-wise, so it still worked out to be a good deal for me, but it was a bit of a PITA (though worth it, to me, because I went from a plain headstock and rosewood board to an unmarked maple board and matching headstock, which I like better).
  6. Neck, tuners, knobs look definitely US. Bridge could be Tribute (difference is that saddles are cast alloy vs brass for US), body might be tribute -- a side view of the neck joint would tell (Tribute neck pocket is shorter), as would the neck attachment (US uses turned inserts, Tribute uses flat washers).
  7. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah, the knobs are definitely US solid-shaft style.

    Here's the neck joint from both sides and the attachment. I knew the US models used the recessed bolts, but I wasn't certain about the Tributes.


    If someone faked this they put far more time and effort into it than was worth it.

    The shop just got in my head somehow that it might be a Tribute. I'm still curious how they'd make a mistake like that. It's a respectable place that deals in a lot of used gear. Someone had to look past the "Made in USA", USA serial number, and total lack of any labeling as a Tribute. Maybe a new employee just checking GC or something only saw the blueburst listed as a Tribute and without any knowledge of the line or that they're imports just decided based on finish alone.
  8. Mytola


    Jun 1, 2007
    Neck is 100% US, at least. Quartersawn, correct decals, and the "beauty spot" on the back. Must be at least a few years old though, as G&L stopped stamping the serial numbers directly on the wood a few years ago. Now they screw on a small metal plate with the serial number beneath the tuners on the back of the headstock.

    If I recall correctly, the tributes had black neck screws, not nickel. Is the back of the body solid black, or has it got the blueburst as well?
  9. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah, the serial number dates it to at least 1998 when they switched to the "CLF" prefix, six bolt neck... the 2003-2005 period seems reasonable. I'll pull the neck and find out for certain if/when I need to change the strings or give it a new setup.

    It's hard to see in the photo because of the light, but it's burst on the back as well. From what I've read they mainly use a black back if it has two different woods.
  10. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Sure looks like my BlueBurst USAs. Just checked my tribute and it clearly has black flat washers and screws as opposed to the turned nickle ones. My Tribute bridge says "Tribute" on it but newer ones don't. While the USA basses are better the tributes are good enough that it doesn't make a whole lot of difference! The main feature of USA models is wood grain and finish is to die for. In a trib, you have to get lucky to have that. My USAs have U type trees but they are 5ers so that may be different.

    The true test is if you can play a tribute of the same wood. The USA model (at least mine do) seem to speak with just a bit more "authority" that the Tributes, but the Tribbies are no slouch! I think you got a great deal going here! Sometimes on used G&L basses (L2X00) the pots and switches get loose and rotate around. Sometimes even the wires break off from it. It's a very easy fix.
  11. Andy D

    Andy D

    Jun 18, 2011
    Bay Area
    It's got a maple board and Schaller tuning machines. It's definitely a USA model.
  12. Mytola


    Jun 1, 2007
    Definately a US body as well, then. Tributes never had bursts on the back of the body, AFAIK.
    EDIT: I stand corrected. Some of them did have bursts on the back.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  13. L2K_US_NeckJoint.

    Recent L2K's Neck Joints. Top US, bottom Tribute. Apart from the washers, note the sharper contours on the Tribute and the overall slightly different geometry.
    Also shows that Blueburst Tributes have burst on the backside, too (while other burst finishes are black).

    Belgand, consider yourself a lucky man ;-)
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Regardless what it is that bass is beautiful congrats I bet she sounds gorgeous.
  15. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Oh, I definitely do. Even as a Tribute I was interested, I just would have bargained a little bit. The important thing is how well it plays. Which, considering it's a G&L, do I even have to say? :)

    Actually, right now she sounds ridiculously bright to the point of harshness. I believe this is primarily because the shop put new strings on it and they haven't yet had time to break in. They're also a bit thinner than I typically use, probably a medium-light. All of this combined with the natural tone of the L2k and my amp (Genz Benz Contour 2x10) has had me working hard to tame it until they settle in. Even just playing it acoustic though it's pretty It's also just a bit of a shock considering my old bass hasn't had the strings changed in years. They're rounds, just incredibly dead.

    But other than that? Very much so. Plays and sounds great.

    There's still some corrosion on the pole pieces and switches though that needs to be cleaned up, but that's about it.
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I bet some TI Flats would sound incredible on that bass they would surely cure that harshness.
  17. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm not quite up to the point of flats yet although I've been mildly considering some half-rounds. I'm just going to give it some more time to wear in and if that doesn't bring it down enough throw on the heavier strings I prefer.
  18. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    That sounds like a plan.
  19. Fe911


    Apr 22, 2014
    I'm using your same setup at home. Contour 2x10 and l-2000. And going from my other basses, P and Stingray, I have to completely adjust the eq to make it work. It really is a high output bass! And I have to be careful with the switches and pots, they drastically change the tone. I'm running the volume down, and the bass really cut. The amount of low end that the bass can get out of the contour is pretty impressive!
  20. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Interesting. I still tend to run my volume fully open and then adjust gain/volume on the amp. In this case getting the gain/pre-amp volume tweaked just right was one of the hardest tasks with the Genz. I finally settled at about 2 o'clock on gain and 9 o'clock on pre-amp volume while the master volume is set, well, just about as low as possible while actually turning on. For it's size that really puts it out.

    I've found that I actually have a tendency to put my bass knob on the the bass almost maxed-out and the treble fully off. This is in passive, but with the amp set flat. I might need to boost some of the bass on the amp because I've found that to be the hardest to get to where I like it.

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