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Question for G&L Owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by msact, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I have a question and I apologize if this has already been asked before. I am strongly considering special ordering a G&L SB-2 bass. I want a different neck and color than what is carried typically through retailers. For those of you who have this bass, how do you like it and how does it compare to the Fender basses? I have three Fenders already so I am well familiar both the P and J basses.

    I also considered ordering a Mike Lull bass, but that would be twice the price. I am very tempted, but it's a bit more than I really want to spend. My other alternative is one of the new 63 Precision basses. Whatever I get will be in Sonic Blue.

  2. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Sounds to me like you really don't know what you want yet, G&L or Fender or Mike Lull, etc. I don't own an SB-2 but they're basically like a Fender P/J with hotter pickups. Fit and finish on US made G&Ls is great, hard to go wrong with this choice. Mike Lull's basses are superb, however, the extra money over a standard production bass may be worth it to you but you'll spend a lot more than the G&L. The new Fender AV basses look great, probably what you're already used to.
  3. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    Thanks for the reply. I am looking for something a bit different than Fender, but not too different. Also, I like something in the classic look and color scheme's. The Mike Lull I was looking at was the 54P. G&L is what I am leaning toward, but I am looking for advice from folks that can compare them to Fender. Mine Fenders are all MIM so I am looking for something higher quality, along the same line, but a bit different/hotter and in the same classic design.
  4. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Well based on your comments sounds like the G&L would fit what you're after, although you might want to look at the L-2000 as well. Depending on if money is an issue you may want to look into their Tribute line, same pickups and almost as nice but half the price.
  5. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    They are an evolution of Leo's development of the Fender bass. They can do much more than a Fender, not a good or bad thing. As was said above the fit & finish of American G&Ls is superb.

    They can be multi toned beasts while being in the Fender camp.
    I favor the passive L-1000 because as simple as it is it cops many tones. The neck playability is great as well.
    In some ways a more mature Fender. The pickups have output like an active bass while retaining the feel and air of a passive system.

    Play one and find out!
  6. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    Money is not an issue. I want the USA series. Honestly I have the money to buy anything I want. I am just not sure I want to spend $2500 on a bass. That's just me.
  7. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Well in that case the US made G&L --- worth the extra $. :bassist:

    Once nice thing about US G&L too is they'll build you what you want, custom orders are no problem.
  8. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    That's what I like. For instance, I prefer the wider P neck and some of the custom colors. They told me they have Sonic Blue even though their website doesn't show it. I am thinking of Sonic Blue with a creme pickguard. Very retro colors and will fit with the era I was born in (early 60's).
  9. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Sounds cool. Hope you'll post some pics when you get it!
  10. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I will, three or four months from now!
  11. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I must add that the US G&L will be a huge jump from a MIM Fender. You will not be disappointed.
  12. timber22

    timber22 Supporting Member

    I have two Tribute SB-2's that I love. Great gig'ing basses. I also have a USA SB-1 that I custom ordered how I wanted it - swamp ash redburst body, #8 neck, black pickguard, etc. The fit, finish and quality is excellent. The price was very reasonable and delivery much shorter than I thought it would be. I would recommend it.
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i found the fenders to be kind of subdued, just the right spot in the mix, really appropriate for less aggressive rock, the g&ls on the other hand punch through and shine in drone bands, hardcore punk bands, and metal bands, this is just my opinion i really like both of them, you can get a really nice clean piano type tone with the sb-2 that is amazing, and the l2k has an in your face quality which isn't harsh, it can be pretty dark sounding and it works as a great compliment to the brighter sb-2

    for sb-2 sound examples check out the iron maidens and far flung
  14. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    First, I've been a G&L fan since their first days and own a number of them, including an SB-2, and also many Fenders.

    The SB2 is a wonderful bass, but it has a unique tone, not really P-like, in spite of the pickup: very strong, clear mids, and a huge output. I love mine and gig it regularly, but it cuts through more than most P-basses. The bridge pickup functions more like a "presence" knob than anything else I can think of, I guess maybe that's true for most Fender PJ players as well. Some folks like to mod the SB to install a passive tone roll-off control, but I've never needed it.

    Be aware that the stock SB-2 neck is actually the narrower, jazz-like A-width (1.5") but a little thicker, so if you like either B or C widths, you would have to order that custom. I don't know the numbers of G&L necks (some on here do), but if you could find the neck that came on the early L series you might like it a lot. Thin, somewhat wide, but not a full C width. I think actually it's 1 11/16". Anyway, they're great-playing necks.

    After more than 30 years, G&L continues to be the value end of the high-end bass world, IMO.

    Good luck with your decision!
  15. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    After more than 30 years, G&L continues to be the value end of the high-end bass world, IMO.

    Agreed---throw Carvin in there as well. I love me some Fenders but will always grab a gandl first
  16. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I looked at the neck profiles on their website and want to go with their #12 neck, which is a modern C shape 1.625 inches. I currently have everything from 1.75 in an old washburn to a thin neck in my Ibby SR500. Honestly, the Ibby has my least favorite neck. My hands are not big at all but I prefer a bigger neck. I learned on an old P bass that my high school had (many moons ago) and that thing was like playing a baseball bat.
  17. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    Honestly I looked at Carvin and agree that they are a good value. I am not thrilled with their pickup options, so I decided not to go that route.
  18. supakneegrow


    Dec 15, 2012
    Yonkers, NY
    i have an SB-2 and I love it. Pups are definitely hot, but that just adds to the thunderous-ness! I use mine for rock and funk mostly. It wants to be played loud and it sounds awesome even through the crappiest amps.

    In smoother situations it can be a challenge to tame it down a bit, which is something to think about.

    Mine is like an Aqua-Blue color. It came with a black pickguard which eventually broke. replacing that has been the hardest thing, no one ever has G&L pickguards. I got a marbly burgundy one made and thats been a nice color combo.

    Good luck with your search!
  19. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I have a 2007 SB-2, and I think it is phenomenal. The playability and quality are much better than most Fenders, and while the bridge pickup does function more like a "presence" control as TomB said, adjusting the two volume knobs produces a surprising range of tones. I use the bridge pickup more than I expected. It is much hotter and heavier than a normal P-bass, but still has plenty of split-coil character and warmth, and more vintage tones are available by cutting the volume knob and/or adjusting EQ on your amp. (On stage, I often cut the bass EQ.) For general use, I prefer my SB-2 over any of the four Precisions I've owned, and it literally kicked three basses out of the herd. Sometimes I do miss the more traditional alnico split-coil tone, but for the most part I'm content with J-basses and the SB-2.
  20. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your comments. I really like what I hear from you guys. I will upload the pictures in a few months when I receive the order. I just need to go through all the options to make sure I have everything just so. Any of you guys have a preference for alder vs swamp ash? I am leaning towards swamp ash myself.