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Tell me about G&L Tributes

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by punkjazzben, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    Okay, so my wedding is in a week and I've spent the last year saving every dollar and putting it towards the big day. After it's done, I'm going to save a little bit over a few weeks and get myself a little post-wedding present. I've also started a new job but I haven't able to do the whole "Spend my first pay on something special"-thing yet because of the wedding.

    I could save up for years and have a custom built for me, but that's not my goal - I'd just like a new, moderately-priced, well-made instrument to enjoy at home (I'm not gigging for a while).

    So I'm thinking of getting myself a G&L. I'm looking for versatility (but that Jazz 'bite' is a must), good build quality, and a lower price - and from my searches, G&L seems to tick all the boxes. The only store in Australia I can find with a good selection is about 10 hours drive from where I live - Jack's Music in Canberra. I might be able to try one somewhere in Melbourne, but not the whole range and I'd be spending $100 on petrol just to get to there. Even the store in Canberra will probably have to order what I want.

    I am wanting to hear opinions on any of the Tribute JB, L, and M series basses, but comparisons would be great if you have experience with a few of them.

    They are priced from $509 for the JB-2, $679 for the L-2000, $739 for an L-2500, $699 for an M-2000, and $799 for an M-2500. The USA models cost significantly more (e.g. $1809 for an M2000) and I can't remember the last time I ever saw a G&L going second-hand in Australia - I doubt if a USA model would drop below $1000 here anyway. Also, I've heard the Tribute and USA models are not that different in terms of quality - but maybe someone else can talk about that.

    So the $500-$800 range is good for me, and it would be nice to keep towards the lower half of that range. Although I do have a preference for 5-strings, if the JB-2 is as versatile and well-made as an L or M series bass, I'd be happy to look at it (mostly because of the price - you'd be lucky to get a Squier CV in Australia new for $509).

    Any of your thoughts would be appreciated :)
  2. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I have a tribute L2500 (bought new) and two USA L2500 basses (fretted and fretless...bought used). I strongly recommend the USA versions if you can find them used (apparently a problem). But my Tribute is no slouch! There is not THAT much difference between the USA and the Tribbys.

    I prefer the L2500 because of the versatility and uniqueness of them. But you can't be a knobophobe and own one. Some hate all the knobs and switches instead of reveling in them as I do.

    If knobs and switches aren't you then the M series would be an answer. A more traditional active style bass but with the L basics. I've got too many standard active-type basses to be too impressed with that.

    I'll also say that my Tribute is Swamp Ash and I love the "bite" that wood gives. To my ears the basswood versions are just a bit too mellow and "foofy" for me. But it's a small effect, so it may depend on what you can find.

    Let me say my G&Ls are my main #1 go to 5 string basses. Love 'em. I very much doubt you'll be sorry getting one.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  3. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I just can... "tribute":p (sorry) I own both carved top L2000 and L2500 Tribute G&Ls

    I think there's no USA corrispettive to carved tops, and they're by far the most expensive Tribute versions out there...

    They're just natural ash with flamed (carved) maple tops on them and rosewood boards and, if L2000 is fully neck/body highgloss finished, L2500 is fully neck/body satin finished...

    I bought them swappin' previous 3Ts L2000 (with maple board)
    and L2500 (with rosewood board) so I really like'em to be very similar one another except that, as with other basses of mine, I tend to keep 4er version regularly tuned for my coverband (adoptin' an Hipshot Bt7 bass extender) and 5er version a full step downtuned for my thrash metal band

    Then I use different setups as well, but from what I'm tellin', I think you can appreciate the 360° versatility of these beasts!

    Ok... as long as I'm concerned, I'm aware USA G&Ls and Tribs share the same hardware and electronics and general essence as well

    That said, ash is not the very same, maple is not the very same and fit and finish aren't for sure

    But yes... basses would sound "almost" the same so the true G&L experience will be there with Tribs

    Yes: a traditional three band equalizer active bass (Mseries) is not that different from, say, Yamaha Trbs (except that Yammies are 35" scale) but tweakin' Lseries switches you can easily reach for a full throttle wall shakin' attack with an all passive and serial approach, just like a more hifi oriented kinda
    jazzy tone with an active (with treble enhancer) and parallel approach


    Ps: I gotta drive thru Australia one day at a time... how come you spend just $ 100.00 petrol for travellin 10 hours straight?

    Here in Italy it would be twice that much, with both gasoline and highway fees:bawl:
  4. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I had one and liked it. There were some quality issues early on (including with mine), but I think they've improved. Still wouldn't buy one sight unseen. Heavy, thick, in your face tone. Chunky neck and narrow string spacing won't be for everyone.
  5. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Very good instruments at very reasonable prices. The L2000 (L2500, if you like five strings) is an extremely versatile bass that can work in any style.
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I think they are wonderful basses, construction is on par with Lakland Skylines. The only reason I went from an L2500 to a Lakland 55-01 was the narrow string spacing of the L2500. I couldn't play it. But it sounded GREAT.
  7. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    The L2K can sort of -ish do the single-coil punchy thing, but definitely try one first to see if its version of it is what you want.

    Namely, solo the bridge PU in parallel mode, go to passive and turn every knob on the bass up to 11. This will give a good "bark" to the tone, especially with compression. On my L2K, though, it's not quite a single-coil sound (tho it's a good enough facsimile to me).

    The M2K has different electronics and may be able to cop this tone more closely.

    My L2K is an '89 MIA and I owned a late model L2500 fretless for about a month before it got stolen. The L2500 had a very different sound than my L2K, a flatter more hi-fi tone which was really really nice. Wish I still had that bass grrrrrr.....

    But tribute or MIA, the G&L line are the finest Fenders you can buy up to this day.

    kkaarrll likes this.
  8. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    my jazz is warm and mellow, but...

    sb-2 not too jazzy at all
    L2k some pretty substantial bridge pickup bite
  9. I recently bought a Tribute JB2 and am very pleased.r is lighter than I would have thought, and has everything a good jazz bass can give you, but with a better bridge and--to my ear--pickups. Mine is flawless in buid, fretwork, and finish. It is a very simple instrument as well. I had am L2000 years ago and the fretwork was not good. I also found I didn't need the massively active tone. Personally, I think (as does my drummer) that the JB2 is the best bass in my stable.
  10. I recently played a G&L Tribute L2500 at Guitar Center and really enjoyed it. Lots of really cool, usable tones on that thing. Controls were a little overwhelming a first, but after the initial shock, I found it easy to use.
  11. I've owned both USA and Tribute models over the years. Both lines are of excellent quality for their respective price points. While the Tributes obviously aren't on the same level of the USA models, they are great instruments IMO. I currently own a J B2 and a L 2000 from the tribute series. I love them both.
  12. AuBassMan

    AuBassMan Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2011
    Central Virginia
    I was looking for a 4 string (I play mainly 5ers) to try some slap on...tried every bass they had at the GC and when I tried the Tribby L2000 I loved it. It was used but looked new and the action was set up like it had been done for me. Liked it so much I bought a Tribby L2500 too!!!
  13. I had an L-2000 Tribute a few years ago. It was a KILLER bass. I shouldn't have sold it. :(

    I'm wish-washing over purchasing a Fender Classic 50's P-bass and a G&L L-2000 in Blue Burst right now. :p
  14. Reaper Man

    Reaper Man

    Jan 15, 2010
    Tributes are really good basses for the money. I have a Tribute L2000 myself.
  15. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I've been playing a (nicely) sunbursted Indonesian JB-2 for over five years. I like the body shape with the thinner horns (compared to a standard jazz) and rounded 'bottom'. It's a very solid bass. The only problem I've experienced was that the ninth fret was a tad low. The G&L is my favorite stock bridge. I can't comment on the tone of the stock pickups because I bought the bass specifically to be fitted with Dark Stars.

  16. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    Hey Orpheus, glad to see that you're digging the JB-2. I thought you'd really like that one and you got quite the deal if I recall correctly.

    To the OP, I have a couple Tribs - an SB-2 and an M2500. Both excellent basses in every way. Each one has a huge sound in its own way and the overall quality is top-notch.

    I'm so impressed with the Tributes that I have a USA model on the way.
  17. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Beautiful...bet it sounds awesome!
  18. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Thank you Steve. :) A well done sunburst is classic beauty IMO. It sounds great to my ears - phat, growly, and punchy.
  19. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Never heard dark stars before but pretty sure I'd like em.

    Curtis Novak is making something similar now (under a chrome cover) but I like the classic look which is just beautiful on that bass.
  20. tmntfan


    Oct 6, 2011
    Edmonton canada
    I had one for a few years and never found a great tone. it was a L-2000. There are tones of options and you can get a wide variety but I found all of them lacking something. I did some poking around and it seems I wasn't the only one who didn't like the tone. Playing wise it was great, great neck, stings weren't tight, fretboard was fine. Found it to be a little heavy but that's not a big deal.
    I would be interested in trying a JB2; so the Tributes didn't leave a bad impression just not exactly what I wanted.

    On a side note; right after getting married last summer I ordered a Bongo bass and love it. so here's wishing you the best of luck on the post wedding purchase.

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