Take an old Fender guy to G&L school

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by fish slapper, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    Okay, as the title says, I've been a Fender guy since high school (30 - cough, hand covering mouth - 5 years ago). I've gone from P to J. Only last year did I venture into active electronics and a 5th string (which still most of the time ends up being a thumb rest).

    So since I'm getting adventurous in my advanced age, I've been toying with the idea of going to something with the MM humbucker. Yesterday I went to the only G&L dealer in Puddle-town, and tickled their inventory. I also stopped by gui**** Center and played some Music Man's (Music Men?) just to get a feel for the humbucker but in comparing the two, I definitely prefer the G&L.

    Let me also say that I'm also an upright and a fret-less player so old school definitely describes me. So on the aesthetic side, the ASAT really appeals to me. I would really dig a semi-hollow but it looks like the only finish MF is carrying is blue burst and sun burst so I'd have to custom order. (prefer either butterscotch or natural).

    But since I'm a "keep it simple" guy, the surprise for me was an L1500. I like the idea of one pup (remember I started out as a P player) but with the active electronics and the switching it seems a bit more versatile than Fender but not as much as the ASAT. Also noted that while lacking the "vintage vibe" the L1500 body was more comfortable that the ASAT. Also, I hate neck dive and while I didn't get to strap up the ASAT, I could feel that may be an issue.

    After that long ramble, can you G&L experts point me in the right direction? Thanks.
  2. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    I had a Climax which is just like a L1500 but with a jazz style neck. I did not like the ergonomics of the sweet spot pickup. I could not get comfortable resting my thumb on a pickup so close to the bridge. I thought about routing it for a P pickup and I kinda wish I had. That would have been killer.

    The L1500 preamp in its stock configuration has a massive treble boost unlike the other active G&Ls. There is a docuement up top that talks about this and shows how to tame it down with a simple mod.

    Having said that, I liked my Climax but sold it anyway. I am not into the skinny necks anymore. I have a L2000 Tribute that is a lot of bass for the money. Tons of sounds. Of my four basses, the G&L is number four. I prefer the Sadowsky Fiver, my Fender P, and my Fender J. But there are more tones in a G&L for sure. And they cut nicely. Just not what my Fender conditioned ears like to hear. I think of a good Fender sound (and they are not all good) as round and supportive. I think of the G&L sound as aggressive and in your face relative to the Fenders. I am sure many will disagree with me particularly on a G&L forum ;-).

  3. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    I have an ASAT and a fretless L-2500. If you want to stick with four strings I would vote for the L-2000 with which ever neck you like the best. The #8 neck is 1.5" at the nut like a Jazz bass.

    The ASAT and the L-2000 share the exact same electronics. The ASAT looks cooler but the L-2000 has better ergonomics. My ASAT is a 2002 vintage with a 3-bolt neck and I was able to find a strap extender that an industrious individual that frequented TalkBass made. Without the strap extender I would has traded for an L-2000 by now.

    Tone-wise the two humbucker system is super flexible. You can go from vintage to modern with a number of steps in between.

    Me likey . . .

    Enjoy your research!
  4. joyboy52


    Apr 19, 2008
    I faced the same dilemma- so I got 2- The ASAT(In butterscotch) for 4 and the 1505 (ditto) for 5 (a 2500 Trib for backup) I've got some great vintage Fenders, but for now, I'll never look back! If you're interested, I'll post some pix. Good Luck, and good choice.
  5. francisl2500


    Jul 19, 2006
    I was a p player Since also 30 years and i tried a 2500 trib and found a fabulous bass with the same body as my old 70 p but with more sound possibilyties i'm now in love....nice sound and playind.

  6. Kompressaur


    Aug 21, 2006
    I own an Asat and a L-1500.
    both great basses but imo the L1500 is too mids focused to be an all rounder. It does one (or two) sounds the Asat cant.Its great for certain things. It cuts through like nothing else though
    by contrast the Asat/L2K are the most versatile basses I've yet played and can do a ton of sounds the L-1500 cant.
    in my humble opinion an L1500 is a great second G&L bass purchase,after you buy one of the two pickup jobs.
  7. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    Thanks, guys. After going back and playing them again, I've narrowed it down to either a L-1500 USA or a L-2500 trib. I'm also leaning toward Natural ash with rosewood fretboard which my local store has in the trib in stock but I'd have to order the L-1500. TheBassPlace has one but its maple fretboard but I like the contrast of the rosewood against the natural ash. I know. Picky, picky :crying::smug:

    Thinking the tributes are a good price to dip my toe into the G&L pool and see how I do before sinking major dough into it.

    Agree that the L-1500 is a mid-heavy monster. That's why I like it. I'm all about being able to cut through two guitars and a drummer on stage.:hyper:

    Keep the comments coming.:hyper:
  8. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    The L-2500 is a nice bass. A little tight on string spacing but many like that a fiver. Very easy to play.

    I recommend the single coil mode listed up top. With the inside coil mod you can get a nice middy sound close to a L-1500 in parallel. I also recommend the bass boost caps for series mode.
  9. goatrider


    Mar 7, 2005
    I can't believe no one has suggested the L-1000 yet.
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Maybe you should split the difference, and get a U.S. L-1505. I also like single pickup simplicity, which is one reason I went for a 1500 as my first G&L. It produces sounds very different from my Fenders and semi-hollow DiPinto, and when dialed in right it's a total rock machine, with an aggressive, hard hitting sound that never gets too boomy. Sound guys seem to like it. I also find it very comfortable to play.

    But, IMO, it's not as "plug-and-play" as Fenders or a two pickup G&L. Sometimes it takes some tweaking, and much of the time I'm better off with a Fender or my G&L SB-2. As Kompressaur says, it's not as much of an all-around bass, and if you were starting from scratch I'd agree it's best as a second G&L. But it seems you have the classic Fenders covered already, so it might be a good choice to round out the arsenal as a harder rocking StingRay-type bass, as it has been for me.

    I've recently ventured into five string land, and if I find myself reaching for the fiver more often, I might go for a 1505. Some have found the five string version sounds a little less nasal than the 1500. This could just be sample-to-sample variation, or perhaps the 1505's higher neck mass produces a fatter tone overall. I don't know, but I suspect the 1505's pickup placement is IDEAL for keeping a B string's boomy tendencies in check so it's probably a great fiver.
  11. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    Yeah, you hit it on the head. I'm covered in my default J bass sound. Even have a Warmoth J fretless to cover that. And I have a 5er so that's covered (and not sure I want more than one of those).

    Not really starting over. I really can't see trading in my J's for a lineup of G&L's. More like just trying to break out of my rut and try something different. Yes, the L-1500 can't do everything, but it does something that my J's don't sooo...
  12. Kompressaur


    Aug 21, 2006
    good luck with whatever you choose
  13. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    You can't go wrong with the Trib route for starters---I got a Trib, and after a year and a half, a US L2500. The Trib was almost as nice--REALLY close.
    It took me a while though to "get" these basses and find sounds I really like (and I would think an ASAT or L2000 would be the same story for me)---I don't think of them as plug and play at all, but experimenting with the controls, and (for me at least) getting out of my "Fender head" really opened it up. I for one have never been able to make it sound like any other bass, despite it's well-known versatility--and once I stopped trying I was a lot happier with it. I think they have their very own subtle voice---it's a little dark, very wide, and a great supportive tone in a mix. VERY dependent on string choice too I'd say. As nice playing a bass as my Sadowsky or Lakland too.
  14. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    I recommend a vintage L-1000, it is the ultimate P-Bass. I have 3 G&L's all pre 1984 and I think they sound better than the newer ones, especially if you are looking for old skool. Also, Leo was directly involved in producing these instruments and they are very reasonably priced. You can't say the same for pre-CBS Fenders.
  15. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Thats what I was going to say
  16. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Agree with Imfreeman9 that the one-pu, passive L-1000 will be an easy transition that will knock yer socks off (both of them).

    Trawl eBay for a month or two; you won't be disappointed!

  17. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    My only worry on the L-1000 is that it'll be too P bass. ??? Like stated at the top, I don't care for P basses in that they get lost in the band mix. I'm thinking the L-1500 with the active pup and moved back to the "sweet spot" will give enough upper mids and balls to get through.

    BTW: I'm starting to warm up the the L-2500 for the versatility factor. I'm all about only taking one bass to a gig. There's enough axe switching in my band with both guitarists. :bag:
  18. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    The L-1000 won't get lost in the mix. It may be simple but it's not as simple as a P-BASS.
    It has a 3-way switch for Single coil, humbucker and Bass boost which is known here as the OMG switch. The MFD pickup is much LOUDER than a P-bass.
  19. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Your biggest problem with an L1000 will be finding one, unless you want to go to the BABP forum, and sign on for the re-issue.
    Getting lost in the mix will not be a problem. They are not a Precision, tho they can cop a variant of that tone, and a Stingray variant, and their own unique tone.
    The ability to roll bass out, and keep all the highs in makes a big diff, and I don't know whay all passive basses aren't setup like this:
  20. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Montana Mountainside
    If I may make a suggestion, if you like the P tone without the muddiness, check out the SB-2. It's got a *hot* P pickup, and a jazz in the bridge position. I've got one up in the GFS section, it's got enough snarl to cut through damn near anything your gui****s can throw at it. Since mine has the tone mod, you can dial it back a notch or five and get a good vintagey thump goin' on too. The jazz-width neck is also stupid-comfortable, it practically plays itself! Get a USA bass in lightly-used condition for the price of a Tribute! :ninja: