NBD! G&L M2000 Tribute!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mmbongo, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    ...aaand it's going right back. Nuts. I was looking forward to spending my few holiday days off getting to know it. This bass falls short on many levels.

    EDIT..it has improved quite a bit since sitting for a while and letting the full turn of the truss rod I made settle in. Other issues are still there though, but for now it's getting better with time.

    I've been on the lookout for a killer 4 string to go with my Roscoe 5 string, as I just can't swing a 4 string Roscoe right now, which is fine as I play my 5 string 80% of the time..so I was hoping to get something cheaper that was in that same ballpark tonally. I currently have a Lakland 44-02 and a German Warwick Streamer which are fantastic basses, but do not sound like my Roscoe. After seeing the pickup placement of the G&L and researching the electronics and watching every video I could find, I couldn't help but give an M2000 a shot so I ordered one from Musicians Friend, which had them for $449. And not the regular version...the carved flame top, bound mahogany body version. Couldn't resist. Wish it delivered.

    First, the good:
    -Looks fantastic. Love the trans black, love the carved top, love the body binding. Finish is beautiful. The back has a trans finish as well that shows off the mahogany nicely.

    -Fretwork. While not perfect, it's way better than I expected. I was impressed, considering other overseas instruments I've tried (*cough* Sterlingbymusicman *cough*)

    Now the bad:
    -The weight. My shipping scale shows right at 10 pounds. TEN! The only bass I've played that weighs more was a Stingray 5. This is quite a shock coming from my 7.5lb Lakland and 8.5lb Roscoe.

    -The electronics. Right off I noticed a 'scratchy' sound to the electronics. All the knobs turn fine...no noise on the EQ...try the balance..ahhh crap. The blend pot is bent and broken and shorts out as it turns. Going to the bridge pickups kills all the sound. I can set the pot and jam it into place to get it to work for a little while though. Not sure how that got through QC.

    -The sound. Okay, the pot can be fixed. Maybe the weight can be dealt with if I'm rewarded by that sweet huge sound that this tank is surely to produce! Nope. 'Thin and anemic' is how I would describe the sound of these basses. Not sure who approved this electronics package. The best sound I got was bridge pickup only on the A,D, and G strings. The E string is absolutely non-existent. Dull, flat, lifeless. It has no snap, no punch. The bottom 3 strings sound nice, but the E string literally sounds like a flatwound string with a mute on it. I mean it is DEAD. I'm not even sure I'm going to bother trying new strings on it, it's that bad. I don't think it's the string. Okay m aybe I'll try a used string from the bin just to see.

    Going to both pickups scoops all the mids and adds a huge amount of sharp, piercing treble. E string is even worse in this mode. It's almost like the E string is out of phase with the other strings. It's bad. The ice pick treble is unbearable though.

    It also has major fret buzz from the 5th fret down. I've put about a full turn of relief in the truss rod so far and it still buzzes. No buzz on the 7th fret. Fretting out on the 5th fret. I will need more time to work on that, but I don't think I'll have it that long.

    I also think this bass may have been returned before, but I'm not sure. Could be a MF issue, or could be a G&L issue, but there are dings on the neck and little spots of sticky stuff on the body. No fingerprints or dust or anything, so these could be from the factory.

    Overall, I'm obviously hugely dissapointed in this G&L. Yeah I know it's Indonesian made, but picking up my Indonesian made Lakland after this is like night and day. I think the weight is the major thing for me. Blend pot can be fixed easily. Dead E string may just be the string (but if not...yeeeeesh....burn this one). Sound can be tweaked with a new preamp....but I shouldn't have to fix these things. In the end, I just can't play a 10lb bass all night long.

    Looks great though! Other than the dings on the headstock which shouldn't be there on a new bass.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  2. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    Ouch :-/ Now im so glad i pulled the trigger on L series..
  3. Doctor Hugocat

    Doctor Hugocat Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Sorry you're so disappointed: thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed review, every opinion adds to the knowledge we have on the site. If you get round to it, try another E string and post back: that's the part I'd be most interested in hearing about. Hope the return process is pain-free.

    Any other owners of the M2000 have similar experiences?
    P. Aaron likes this.
  4. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    Sorry to hear that. It was a cool looking bass. agree that it was probably a customer return. I don't think that bass is representative of all M2000's, I played one of the first USA built ones and it had tons of output, and sounded pretty much like an L2000 set to active mode.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Yeah I had an L2500 Tribute that was outstanding, one of the best sounding basses I've had. Couldn't deal with the narrow spacing though. Then I had an L2000 Tribute that was a bigger turd than this one. I just have bad luck with 4 stringers overall, I think! The two I have now, and a USA Spector have been the best ones...but none of them have a powerful E string like any of the 5 strings I've had. This G&L takes E string anemia to a whole new level though.

    And I will say that it's much better playing it now that it's been sitting for a while. It was delivered while I was home for lunch so maybe it needs to settle in temperate wise, plus the full turn of the truss rod is setting in. I also noticed that the G string is way lower than the others so that would account for the buzz on that string. The E string does indeed sound better now, and I will try another one tonight. If I can get a D'Addario to sound halfway decent, a nice string should sound great :) Other issues are still there of course, but it getting better. Just needs some time maybe.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
    Doctor Hugocat likes this.
  6. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    I have l2500 tribute too, blueburst w maple neck :). I expected it to be heavy but it came in 8.5 lbs ballpark and i got used to the string spacing fast.
    I love the playability, string to string balance and power, especially soloing the neck pu in series :hyper: what a hammer! :bassist:
  7. Mike A

    Mike A

    Oct 3, 2002
    Definitely not the norm. Sorry you ended up with THAT one. All the Tributes I've owned have been fantastic, only slightly below the quality of the US versions.

    [edit] Oh, and the weight? Really? You've never come across a 10 lb bass before?? I prefer them under 9 lbs too, but 10 lbs is certainly not uncommon in nearly any brand.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
    tastybasslines likes this.
  8. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    One thing I'll add about G&Ls is that when it comes to their bridge, the intonation screw and ball end are in a pretty tight area. Because of this, the ball end if not able to spin freely when the bass is strung up, so it makes it easy to get the string twisted. I think even just re-string the stock E and making sure it isn't twisted might help.
    Joe Kyle likes this.
  9. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I'm really sorry your Tribute wasn't up to snuff.

    I'm also sorry that I came into this thread. I have a honeyburst Tribute M2000 that blows me away every time I pick it up, and this thread has reignited my GAS for the M2500! I got my 2000 as a MF SDOTD, so it was a REALLY GREAT DEAL.

    It's not your fault, but I'm having a really hard time fighting the urge right about now.
  10. Templar

    Templar Rythm Wrangler Supporting Member

    You got a "used" bass obviously. Likely one that a previous buyer messed around with the setup, too. I've had that happen with MF before.

    Let's be honest, with a 30 day return policy MF is going to accumulate a HUGE inventory of returned items. You pays yer money, and you takes yer chances.

    That said, I bought a Tribute M-2000 from MF a few months ago for $399 shipped. The bass itself was fine, it played unexpectedly well, and the fretwork was close to perfect.

    It sounded very good with all the power and tonal range one would expect from a G&L. But it had a certain "politeness" to the sound that keeps it from being in the same league as the scalpel-like MJ-4 or the muscular L-2000, at least for my tastes. It also weighed fully 10 lbs on my shipping scale. I returned it and have no doubt MF resold it as new to the next buyer.

    I'm sure the M-2000 is perfect for some players, and that G&L is targeting them with the M-2000. Kudos to G&L for developing yet another model line.
    Mike A likes this.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Just a little update.

    Yes it's getting better. Definitely needs some work on the setup, but better for sure.

    The strings on it are terrible. They have no low end, harsh high end, and are mostly midrange...thick, tubby, muddy midrange. Tried a few different E strings, all of which were an improvement....then I put a set of my trusty Dunlop Super Brights on it and boom...it sounds huge and feels great. Much easier to play. I switched to Super Brights on everything else earlier this year and I just got reminded why.

    Anyway, it's coming around. The blend pot is still hosed, but if I were to keep it I think I'd replace the preamp. Even after replacing the harsh strings the preamp seems to be voiced very bright. I think a Bart pre would help, and that would add a level control to tame the output.

    Like I said, I paid $499 for it 'new' which is a good discount so some things can be overlooked. At full price it would have already been packed up ready to be sent back. A little more time will tell if it will keep a spot in the stable. Right now I can't see playing it over my Lakland or Warwick.
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've got an Ash L2500 Tribute in natural and it's 10 lbs. I have two USA (fretted and fretless) L2500 in blueburst as well, but they are only 3 ounces lighter. They are all ash. When it comes to aggressive E (or B) strings THESE basses are IT! There is not an ounce of whimp in any of them. The USA basses are just a tiny bit better than the Tribby, but only a tiny bit. The Tribby did take some work (setup, strings, shielding to reduce noise and hum, etc.) but nothing drastic. I also installed the single coil mod that gets you closer to a Jazz bass thing.

    I LOVE my L2500 basses and have long wondered if the M series was just too mild. One of these days I hope to actually play an M2500 or M2000 and see for myself.

    Right now my L2500 herd are my main axes.
    rogypop likes this.
  13. nosnowking

    nosnowking Guest

    Oct 18, 2014
    Glad I came across this thread...I was gonna post up my G&L story anyway...

    I ordered my L-2000 from Thomann back in October, got a fantastic deal!

    Anyway, I got the thing home and played it for a week or so, then decided to put a set of regular slinkys on there (my usual go-to strings) It needed a bit of a setup anyway, and with the new strings it DEFINITELY need a bit of a tweak.

    The nut...looked like it had been cut with a butter knife by a blind man. It had plastic swarf hanging off the slots and was mounted about 2mm off-centre. Slots were cut way too wide and the strings rattled around in there.

    The bridge...was missing its locking screw

    Pots...were off-centre, scratchy and the knobs were so loose they were in danger of falling off.

    So I packaged it up and sent it back. Thomann sent it back to G&L (or their distributor) to have a look at. A week later the bass is returned to me with new pots and knobs, a new hand-finished nut (and a cracking job they did too!!!) and a new locking screw.

    I can't fault the service offered by Thomann or by G&L with their swift repair. However it may be useful for others to know that Tributes definitely do seem to have QC issues so be ready to factor in a return and a setup before it's playable.

    Two months down the line I'm so happy with the bass. TBH I can't find anything else under £1200 that I'd be willing to replace it with. Fretwork is excellent, tuners feel slightly crude but they work fine and the tuning is very stable. I've spent a bit of time adjusting pickup heights to balance across the strings...but haven't bothered touching the individual pole pieces. If the M is anything like the L, it needs a delicate touch to dial in sounds as it's just so high-output. I'm using some effects so spend most of the time in passive mode.

    I kind of like the weight, as it makes the bass feel substantial...you know? Like you're actually playing a piece of wood rather than a circuit-board.
    Joe Kyle likes this.
  14. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    Mine is the same weight as my mij marcus miller jazz, which is the lightest mm i have ever played. It took some time fiddling with truss rod and string height to get playability to my preferences, electronics are dead silent, i will have to file down the nut just a tiny bit and voila, the best budget fiver i have ever lay my hands on. (it beats to the curb some axes double the price actually :)) which coils you are using in sc mode? how do you like the tone?
  15. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    strings make a HUGE difference with any bass but with mfd equipped basses i find the difference even more exaggerated.. So far i found three sets which work great for me on l series basses, DR hi beams, d'addario xl nickels and pro steels. If you find m series sounding harsh, brittle and lacking mids try avoiding ss strings.
    SeattleSunn likes this.
  16. Joe Kyle

    Joe Kyle

    Oct 18, 2008
    That's a bummer! Look for a used USA G&L, though that color combo is killer.

    I've been finding more and more that with the exception of my stingray, any new/used bass isn't going to match my needs until I've had at least a full week to mess with it (in the case of the 4003, two years). That being said: The off center pots are unacceptable, and the messed up preamp goes right along with it. The buzzing lower frets could be attributed to a wonky fret, or a high nut making it difficult (I know you know your way around a bass though, so consider that a moot point).

    All in all, if you love the look and the general package, return it for another. If you like the idea of the package but can deal with the lack of a blend, I'd consider a used one for a similar price point. I got this baby for a little more than what you paid (but mine has some obvious blemishes, DMBB (doesn't matter, beater bass)). You know what you like, do what you feel makes you happy.

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  17. wrench45us

    wrench45us Guest

    Aug 26, 2011
    last I looked Bass Place in Peoria still had a Black Ice M2000 with weight listed at 9.2 lbs.


    naturally more than the tribute series, but not a bad price for a USA

    I bought a Black Ice M2500 from them earlier this year.
    The strings that came on this were not good.
    I put GHS pressurewounds that I was pretty happy with, but as mentioned, they were a little too polite.
    There are DR Fat Beams on now. I never thought I liked rounds, but these have a lot of low depth and a little high buzz and that has become my favorite player.
  18. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Sorry to hear it. I got a 5 string M on stupid deal of the day a couple years ago. It's perfect.

    I added a pickup and coil splitting to mine. The three slabs of wood line up nice on the front but not on the back, but that's to be expected on a non-US model.

    Joe Kyle likes this.
  19. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    I love the looks and color of the model with the fancy top like you picked out. The sharp-ish edge around the binding would be a comfort problem for me however.
  20. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner

    Those black ice models look killer! I love the grain fill they do on those - reminds me of the natural F basses with black grain fill. I might try doing it with a Warmoth body some day.