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SB2 vs Tribute L2500

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by kallad, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. kallad


    Oct 1, 2008
    I play an early 90's SB2 and am looking to get a 5 string humbucker type bass to push my meager skills and add a few new tones to my sound. I really like the Tribute L2500 but wonder how much different it plays than the old and trusty SB2? I should also add that I am primarily a guitar player who plays bass when it is needed. I don't play loud, just try to fill in the bottom.
  2. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Here's my take on that question. My disclaimer is I'm a longtime G&L fan with my current (and often in the past) faves being PJ SB-2s and having a Tribby L2500 in the house right now (and up for sale as my hands/wrists can only handle skinny necks).

    I find all the MFD-equipped G&Ls I'm familiar with (PJ SB2s, P SB1s, L2000s/L2500s, Climax/L1500s) have a similar character to their sound. They are all vintage-ey rather than modern. They are all full-bodied, growly sounds with plenty of depth. But they definitely vary in that spectrum. Here's how I hear the SB-2 vs an L-2000/L-2500:

    In general the SB-2 has less low end, less growl, more clarity and bit more "gank" (vs an L-series in series/passive). The L-series has more low end (get used to cutting the lows in series mode), more growl, less clarity and isn't as clankey/gankey. This is mostly SB-2 vs L-series in series because to my ear that's what sounds best and where the L-series stays. In parallel it's not as bottom-heavy and has more spank/snap to the high end but I don't like it as well.

    I find the L-series sounds most like my favorite SB-2 setting (P all the way up, J rolled off a bit until the sound opens up) in parallel, neck pickup only (and maybe active). Some folks think neck pickup, series, passive is closest.

    Both sound great to me. I prefer the SB-2 a little bit as it seems to get the sound I'm usually looking for in the L-series.

    Now the L2500 (I've only had Tributes) has a wider neck (which kills me) and tighter string spacing. That doesn't bother me since I don't really slap. The B-string sounds great to me. Very integrated with the rest of the bass - it's like the E string but lower. Tons of growl and the adjustable pole pieces on the MFDs let you fine-tune the balance.

    If you are PJ SB-2 lover and want something close to that sound in a 5-string you could search out an L-5000. It has a single z-coil MFD in the P-spot and sounds great. I think the string spacing is even tighter than the L2500, though. I've tried a couple of those and was sonically satisfied but the wider neck kills me and they've all left the fold. They are much rarer than L-series and harder to find. And they don't have the tonal variety you can get with the L-series either.

    I'm such a big G&L fan I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. I'd definitely recomment the L-2500 over the L-1505 for a 5-string if you like your SB-2. You can't tone similar to an SB-2 with an L-1505, and you can with an L-2500 IMO.

    If your SB-2 is 1st generation (J-J pickups) then my comparison won't do you much good and I've never had a first generation SB-2 or Lynx (someday if I find one with a 1.5" nut width I really want to try one out).
  3. kallad


    Oct 1, 2008
    Thanks for the info craigb. My SB-2 has the P/J pickps. I never thought I needed another bass untill I heard an active bass at a local tavern. I started to investigate 5 stringers and think I have discovered another G&L to equal the flexibility of my SB-2.

    I play thru a Genz Benz LT150 acoustic amp becaue the amp is so useable, only weighs 25 #, and like I said I try to play under the radar.

    Thanks agin for the quick reply.
  4. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    The L-series basses don't really have what I would call an "active" tone, despite having an active preamp- I always associate the "active" tone with a bass boost/treble boost/ mid cut modern kinda tone. The G&Ls are all more vintage to me, even with the preamp engaged. Part of that is that the preamp is just a booster/impedance "lowerer" vs. and active EQ system (the bass and treble pots on L-series are completely passive, cut only in operation). Thats just my opinion of course- but I guaratee you won't get an active EMG kinda tone out of any G&L except an L-5500 (a fairly rare EMG-equipped 5 string G&L).


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