Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

The Elusive G&L - Is it just HYPE?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by subsonic, May 13, 2005.


  1. After receiving a great deal of input from TB'ers, I'm much more interested in the G&L Tribute L-2500 than I had previously been. Now for the more in-depth questions. What precisely is the difference between the Korean made Tribute L-2500 and the U.S. L-2500? Bear with me while I clear up what I know (or think I know), and then please let me know if you are aware of any other differences, no matter how small, or correct me if I'm mistaken in any way.

    1.The U.S. version is made to tighter tolerances, the wood is
    selected more carefully, the fret work is a cut above, and
    the tuners are custom G&L lightweight versions with tapered
    aluminum string posts.

    2.U.S. = Swamp Ash top on American Tilia back
    Korean = Basswood (Standard) & Swamp Ash (on Premium).

    I'm mainly concerned about the preamp and pickups:
    I know the Tribute pots are supposed to chew a**, but that's all I've heard; do both basses share a preamp, or is the Tribby's a Korean copy (as is seen in the standard Lakland 55-01)? I know all the switches on the Tribby do the same things as those on the U.S. model, but that doesn't mean they're built the same.

    Also, on the G&L website, the pickups are described as "Fullerton-made G&L Magnetic Field Design humbucking pickups", the active term being "DESIGN", which is not used to describe the U.S. pickups... how do they differ and how do they compare? The pole-pieces are described as "soft iron", does that mean lead?

    Does the Tribby also feature "The Bi-Cut® neck design", or is that reserved for big brother? Not that I care one ioda.

    Lastly, the bridge of the Korean fella is described as a "G&L designed Saddle Lock bridge". AGAIN, the word "DESIGNED"! Am I to assume it isn't a solid billet of brass coated in chrome or nickel plated like the saddles? What is the bridge itself made of then, and where, and is it a quality piece of hardware?

    Essentially what I'm after is this: the Tribby seems WAY too good to be true at such a price... is it really THAT good, or is it dressed up to fool the eyes?:eyebrow:
    The only reason I haven't inspected and played one myself is that I'm yet to find a store that carries them, so I'm relying on y'all to help me out.:help:

    Thanks for hangin' in there and tryin' to help, it is very appreciated; and thank ALL OF YOU for helping in my other posts!
     
  2. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Mine is that good. Designed would probably mean they were developed by G&L, and are of their specific design.
     
  3. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have a Trib L2500. A whole lotta bass for a little bit o cash.
     
  4. [ NG:E ] Asuka

    [ NG:E ] Asuka

    Apr 8, 2005
    +1
     
  5. "Magnetic Field Design" (MFD) is indeed used to describe the U.S. pickups. That's just the name of the pickup. The Tributes use exactly the same pickups as the American-made G&L's, made in the same factory.

    Mike

    PS: See the G & L "Features" page: http://www.glguitars.com/features/index.asp#magnetic

    PPS: From the Tribute description:

     
  6. I have a Tribute L-2000 Premium, and a USA G&L ASAT (a guitar, Telecaster like). I like both. Let me try to answer:

    "1.The U.S. version is made to tighter tolerances, the wood is selected more carefully, the fret work is a cut above, and
    the tuners are custom G&L lightweight versions with tapered
    aluminum string posts."

    OK, lighter tuners would be welcome (all G&L's a heavy). But the fretwork on the Tribute is just fine, and it seems to made at least as 'tight' as my USA G&L.


    "I'm mainly concerned about the preamp and pickups:
    I know the Tribute pots are supposed to chew a**, but that's all I've heard; do both basses share a preamp, or is the Tribby's a Korean copy (as is seen in the standard Lakland 55-01)? I know all the switches on the Tribby do the same things as those on the U.S. model, but that doesn't mean they're built the same."


    The pots and the switches on my Tribute are just fine. really.

    I have no opinion on the pre-amp as I prefer the passive mode.


    "Also, on the G&L website, the pickups are described as "Fullerton-made G&L Magnetic Field Design humbucking pickups", the active term being "DESIGN", which is not used to describe the U.S. pickups... how do they differ and how do they compare? The pole-pieces are described as "soft iron", does that mean lead? "

    I think the pickups are exactly the same as the US made ones.

    "Does the Tribby also feature "The Bi-Cut® neck design", or is that reserved for big brother? Not that I care one ioda. "

    No, no bi-cut necks. I would care on my ASAT, which has a one-piece maple neck. Bi-cut is nice on that one (no skunk stripe needed). On a two piece neck or maple/rosewood neck I don't care. Conclusion: no big deal.

    "Lastly, the bridge of the Korean fella is described as a "G&L designed Saddle Lock bridge". AGAIN, the word "DESIGNED"! Am I to assume it isn't a solid billet of brass coated in chrome or nickel plated like the saddles? What is the bridge itself made of then, and where, and is it a quality piece of hardware?"

    It is metal, coated in chrome. Seems nice to me, just a notch under the USA made bridge.

    "Essentially what I'm after is this: the Tribby seems WAY too good to be true at such a price... is it really THAT good, or is it dressed up to fool the eyes?"

    I think the Tributes are very good. I think the Americans are made of slightly better wood, but I'm not even sure! definately worth a try, I love mine ! Only thing is they are heavy. Not extremly, but they are no lighweights. Neither is my USA G&L ASAT guitar, btw.
     
  7. Thanks everyone! That is very helpful. :)
     
  8. tubster

    tubster

    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    Just played a Trib L-2000 at Mannys in NYC this week. It is heavy compared to my USA but otherwise, could not fault it.
     
  9. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Oh and the bridge is of great quality. Very solidly built.
     
  10. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    I can't comment on the pots yet since my Tribute L-2500 is brand new, but overall I am very impressed. It feels very solid and lively, with a substantial neck, which I like. The fret ends could stand to be rounded a bit more, but perfectly serviceable. I guess it could be uncomfortable if you played with your finger or thumb resting on the edge of the neck. The finish on the body is a little darker than I'd like, and the burst is a bit abrupt, but it's done evenly and buffed out well. The neck pocket has a .020" gap on the treble side of the neck and is pulled up tight against the rest. The neck feels like bare smooth maple. It is two pieces consisting of the flat-sawn neck and fretboard. I don't know what finish is on there if any, but it feels just right. It doesn't look like it's getting dirty so far, but maybe I just haven't played it enough to nasty it up yet. All the hardware looks and feels top notch. The electronics are also excellent. I can get a WIDE range of tones out of this bass, and it is dead quiet.

    I usually set my action a little on the high side, but I'm getting used to having it lower with this one. I had to tighten the truss rod about a quarter turn to get the relief I wanted and raised two of the saddles just a hair. I haven't checked the intonation closely yet, but it seems to be right in tune all the way up the neck.

    I can see room for some improvement, which the USA model probably addresses. Other than possibly some scratchy pots in the future, the only improvements to be made are cosmetic only as far as I can tell.
     
  11. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I've never played a tribute version but haven't heard anything bad about them. If you are really worried about the difference between the two you might want to save up a little more cash and look for a used USA model. I'm not sure what a tribute goes for new but I'm guessing around the $600 range. I bought my used USA L2500 for $700. Not sure if I over paid or not, but I don't care because it was the exact finish and woods that I wanted.