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Tribute vs USA

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by Andy73, Mar 6, 2006.


  1. Andy73

    Andy73

    Aug 12, 2005
    So Cal
    I tried out a 2500 tribute today at a local music store. I guess for the pricepoint it is probably a good deal but....

    On a USA model, can I expect better fretwork, nut, etc..??? I found those on this particular bass to be lacking. How about electronics? I thought it had a pretty good sound but the tonal variety was very limited. I was never able to get it "too bright". (that coming from someone who never uses the 'J' on thier 'PJ' bass)

    I am just looking at the fact that I can get a used USA version for about $300 or so more.

    Any comments would be appreciated!
     
  2. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    same pups, same preamp, different pots, different neck, same spec bridge (different manufacturer). All the US models are still handmade and the work seems to ALWAYS be excellent. I've NEVER hear of a G&L as being "very limited". In fact, it's one of the most versatile basses around with passive, active, active with treble boost modes and pups that can be run both series and parallel.
     
  3. Andy73

    Andy73

    Aug 12, 2005
    So Cal
    exactly! Thats what I had been hearing here on talkbass. Maybe I just picked up a dud? Bad batteries? or something else?
     
  4. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx

    Maybe really dead strings/weak battery, although when my battery goes I first notice the lower notes farting out. Sounds like a blown speaker. You should have at least noticed an extreme difference when playing with the passive/active/active with treble boost switch (closest to the bridge).
     
  5. I've played a newer USA L2K, a brand new Tribute, and then the '85 Mahogany L2K that just arrived on my doorstep yesterday, and the one thing they all had in common was a great degree of tonal variety.

    I too own a PJ bass, built from Fender parts, and loaded with active Bartolini's, and I do use a blend of its P and J pickups, primarily to get more brightness. I can tell you for a fact, having spent several hours yesterday afternoon and evening, just going back and forth between my Fender Frankenbass and my new L2K; the G&L has far more tonal possibilities than the PJ setup.

    All I can think is that you must have played one with a dead battery or something.

    As for the fretwork, the Tribby I played was just fine. I do know that there are sometimes fret problems with Asian-built basses in general due to the climatic change they make when coming to the US. I've been told that sometimes fretboards will shrink slightly, as they are moved from a very damp climate to the dryness of California, causing the edge of the fret to stick out. Like I said, the one Tribby I checked out was just fine.

    If you're looking for a used one, the BBE-era examples should be available for a couple hundred more than a new Tribby, but the earlier Leo-era versions are beginning to climb in price. If you can find a deal on one, snatch it up!
     
  6. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    That '85 sounds amazing...got any pics? How does she sound?
     
  7. Herman

    Herman

    Dec 25, 2005
    Lynchburg, VA
    Also, if you're not really familiar with the 3 switches and 3 knobs, you may not be able to get the tone you're looking for. I have no problem getting just about any tone I want from my L-2000. Getting a bright tone is never a problem.
     
  8. Andy73

    Andy73

    Aug 12, 2005
    So Cal
    Thanks for all the replies. From everyting I have read this sounds like a bass that would fit for me. I guess I'll just try some other shops.

    I wouldn't mind getting a tribute, but not the one I played. You could look down the length of a single fret and see it rise and fall. At some points the fret did not seem pressed all the way in the neck, so there was a small gap underneath. Behind the nut near the fretboard there was a gap I could get my fingernail in, knobs were not set concentric, so they wobbled when I twisted. All three switches went different directions.... Maybe I'm picky but I think they can do better than that.

    Anyway... thanks again.... I will not stop my search there!
     
  9. rayzak

    rayzak

    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Absolutely right. Even my Sadowsky Metro was delivered to me with rather sharp fret ends. It's a common problem and once you have them filed, you'll never need to again.
     
  10. darkside 88

    darkside 88

    Feb 23, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I've played a used American L2K and own a Tribby L2K...I honestly can't feel any difference, and certainly can't hear one.
     
  11. LUG, Just out of curiuosity, what's the average life span on a 9-volt battery? I'm sure it depends on how often one plays. On average I play about two hours every night just to keep my chops up. On weekends our band plays two to three times a month with three one hour sets for each gig. I've never had a battery go bad on me. I've also heard from other musicians that when they do go bad it sounds like total distortion. My G&L tribby still has the original battery in it and I bought it new back in November of 2005. Thanks for any information you or anyone else can give me. Roger Winkler www.recklessunion.com :meh: :meh: :meh:
     
  12. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I try to change mine every 6 months or so. I switch basses so much, my battery will last a lot longer than most. I've only had it die on me once and I swear I thought I blew a speaker. The low end starts farting out first and the high end still sounds fine.
     
  13. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I own an ASAT bass. 90% of the time I play it in passive mode. I practically never change the battery in my bass. In fact, I think I've changed it twice since I bought it and I bought it in 1998 or so. In fact, when I changed it the 2nd time it was because I'd just joined a gigging band after not doing squat for over a year and figured it was a wise thing to do. Maybe during the once in a blue moon visit to a guitar tech for a set up, he might have changed the battery. Beats me. Maybe if I played in active mode with the treble boost I'd burn through them regularly. Somehow, the passive mode seems to work best for my rig and my playing and consequently saves me a few bucks on batteries.

    r
     
  14. tysonlb

    tysonlb

    Mar 9, 2006
    Long Beach, CA
    +1 I was just going to say this......I spent months looking for a US L2K, and I ended up with a tribute. I play almost always in a live setting, and I noticed little difference. feel, maybe a little. other than that, nothing.
     
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a 2000-ish Tribute 2500, and I like it lots. I have a 1981 L2000E fretless, and I like it lots. Seems like the "active eq" switch has more variance between the three settings on the 1981, but they are both very nice instruments. The Tribute *weighs in like a bus,* and the 1981 is pretty light.
     
  16. dgce

    dgce

    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I've tried a US L2500 and Tribby L2500 back to back in a shop under low volume a year or so ago. Mostly I was checking out the feel. Both, of course, were excellent. I was particularly impressed with the Tribute seeing as it was about half the price of the US model I was trying. In terms of feel, the neck on the US model seemed more refined, buttery, and nice to the touch; exceptional quality. The Tribute faired well in the neck area but I could tell it didn't have the attention to detail as the US model. The Tribute seemed stable and reliable but the US definitely seemed...well top shelf rather than adequate.

    My one regret having sampled both basses was that I really couldn't crank the amp a bit and see what these puppies can really do. I'm quite familiar with the pickups and preamp as I own an G&L ASAT bass. However I really wanted to get an idea of the tonal variance between the US and imported G&L 5 strings. Now I know the Tribute has the same US pickups, however the pre-amp is Korean (I believe). In terms of tone, can anyone give us the scoop of the difference between the two?

    r
     
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I think I disagree that the Tribute preamp is korean made...from the G&L website, Tribute 2500 specs page:

    2 Fullerton-made G&L Magnetic Field Design humbucking pickups, G&L Tri-Tone active/passive electronics, 3-way mini-toggle pickup selector, series/parallel mini-toggle, preamp control mini-toggle (off/on/on with high frequency EQ boost)

    They do not say "G&L designed" as they do with the bridge specs:
    "G&L designed Saddle Lock bridge with player's choice of string-through-body or string-through-bridge configurations. Nickel plated die-cast saddles."

    I could be wrong tho...either way, in terms of sound quality, my Tribute 2500 lacks nothing compared to my '81 G&L L2000E.
     
  18. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    This is my take as well. Essentially for me the difference is goin to be the neck and the finish. There are 3 reasons I went with the US G&L L2000. One, I wanted a Jazz sized neck (you can order 4 different neck options on the American). Two, My wife bought it, and three, they didn't have tributes yet when I got mine. :D
     
  19. When George and Leo decided to make a Korean made line they wanted to make it an excellent instrument. They use the same pickups, and equivalent bridge, and the preamp is identical (except that it's made in Korea).
     
  20. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Leo was dead when this decision was made and George is a cunsultant, not a day to day participant. G&L is now run by BBE, the company that make the sonic maximizer. The original factory has been kept pretty much the same.