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Used G&L buying advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by oldmanp03, Oct 7, 2010.


  1. oldmanp03

    oldmanp03

    Oct 7, 2010
    I am looking in to buying a 1981 G&L L1000 from a shop here in town. I know this may be tough to answer, but what should I be looking to spend on this...ballpark? I love the bass, so I dont necessarily mind overpaying a bit, but dont want to get screwed on the deal either.

    TIA.
     
  2. spufman

    spufman

    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    You'll get lots of expert advice here. Condition and certain combinations (mahogony with ebony for example) may fetch more. Watching this forum, they seem to go roughly in the 700-900 range, occasionally more when the stars align.
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    That's about the right price range.

    Older G&L L1000's are one of my faves, and I've always had one since they came out.
    However, there are some things to beware of.
    1) does the trussrod bullet move freely?
    2) wood in the trussrod route can compress over time, leaving all the threads on the rods exposed, and no wood under the bullet. If you can't get enough adjustment to flatten the neck to your satisfaction, don't crank on the bullet. Remove it and put washers under it to take up the sapce where the wood has compress.
    3) the microtilt adjust at the neck heel...this is accessed via the little hole in the neck mounting plate. It really shouldn't be necessary to use this for a great setup, but, if you need to use it, use it sparingly, and *don't* torque the heck out of the neck mounting screws. Doing so can and will cause the end of the neck to raise up in the dreaded "ski jump." Make sure the ned of the neck frets out properly, and if it doesn't, take a straight edge to it to make sure it doesn't have a hump out there at 15th position or so. If it does, it can be fixed by deressing those frets down, if it ain't real bad.
    4) 1981 Should have "slot pole" adjusters on the pickups pole pieces...like, a straight blade screwdriver is used to raise and lower them. This is a one year pickup model, kinda neat-ish. Big hex wrech adjusters mean 1980, smaller ones mean 1982 and on. Incorrect pickup on a 1981 significantly lowers value, to me, for that year.
    5) the proper case for that year would be a very nice G&G brand case with either magenta or brown velour on the inside. wrong or no case lowers value.
    6) sometimes the chrome on the knobs peel. you can't get proper replacement knobs. they are metal, and you can get them rechromed. minus points for tarnished, peeling, pitted, or missing, incorrect hardware.
    7) controls are volume, treble cut, and bass cut: it's all passive. there's tonnes fo bass by nature, i generally run it cut down to 40% on or so.
    8) coil taps explained next post...

    Now, don't let any of this scare you off, cause they're really great basses. Just be a careful shopper.
     
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    G&L setup guides:
    GLfactsetup.jpg

    ciol tap info
    GLswitchingfactlit.jpg

    proper case:
    beforecased.jpg

    not the best photo, but, here's slot opole pickups from 1981:
    l2ketopgrain.jpg

    see the microtilt hole, on the bottom of the plate:
    L1KSN.jpg
     
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    my two 1981's, one is a tobaccoburst mahogany body with ebony neck, the other is CAR on a maple body with maple neck.

    The burst is big fat and warm. The CAR is mean, snarly and edgy.
    81L1K.jpg

    car1kfront.jpg
     
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    hope that wasn't all too much for you...........
     
  7. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    I'm not as knowledgeable as Chef but my G&L looks just like his. I call mine red. I bought mine mid 90's and it had beem modified by Mike Lull to be a L2000. Best bass a ever had and got me hooked on G&L. I mainly play a G&L L1505 now but love pulling out my 4 string. It sounds awesome! Chef was right about the snarl.
     
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    CAR=candy apple red. mine is metal-flake, though the flakes be small.
    The early ones of this vintage are nitro finished, and prone to finish checking, and wear thru...
     
  9. Chef, your knowledge is frightening. In a good way. I saw one, road worn but servicable ata guy's house while my buddy was buying another bass from him. Incorrect but decent Fender case (I know this now thanks to Chef), a little tarnish etc. He was looking for 750obo. Just throwing that out there as an example.
     
  10. BlountEdge

    BlountEdge I play (mostly) jazz basses Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Former contributing writer for Bassics Magazine
    Hey Chef,

    Very cool post! Thanks for the info. I've owned an L1000 for about a year, so I was aware of some of the details, but others were enlightening.

    Mine is an '83 Tobaccoburst/Mahogany body with black bridge and control plate. It looks very similar to yours, but my fingerboard is a bit lighter, so I believe it may be rosewood instead of ebony. It's an outstanding bass and definitely a keeper (at least for now!)

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Ebony can, and does, have a lot of figuring...if it's not dyed black...
    here's the ebony f/b on my 1980:
    L1000newfrets1.jpg
     
  12. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    Chef has covered a lot so I won't reiterate but on the price, I paid 800ish for a couple I ended up not keeping. I found *the* one - a 1980 L1000 all original except for the case and paid 1200 for it. That is definitely high but I wanted it and I don't regret it as I think the bass is easily worth that much. To me anyway.
     
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    IMO, that's waay on the high side.
    I paid $1000 for that CAR, nearly unplayed, with the original case, before the economy crashed.

    I paid $550 for the 1980, well worn, with the right case, after the economy crashed.

    You'd never see a first year stingray or precision for that kinda coin...they're both Leo products!!!!!
     
  14. Aspidites

    Aspidites

    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    You need to be a supporting member to ask that.
     
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    well...sorta...

    in amps, you have to be a supporting member to ask "what's it worth" because we had a lot of guys basically listing stuff for sale thru veiled ads that way.

    i believe the basses section mods allow this due to the wide variance of valuations that some vintage and oddball basses can have.
     
  16. spufman

    spufman

    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    I'm just happy with the thread for its provided info. One day I hope to find a nice L-1000 optioned exactly as Chef's 'burst. G&Ls kick.
     
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    That spec comes up pretty often.
    Theres a new one here now, it's even priced really well.

    Yep,new....the BABP forum guys got G&L to do a limited run reissue of L1000's.
     
  18. oldmanp03

    oldmanp03

    Oct 7, 2010
    Well, this one has a stingray style pickguard on it, haven't seen that anywhere else on a L1000 so I am assuming it isn't original?
     
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I'd say lower. I've seen G&L five strings go for around $500 on Ebay...
     
  20. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    L1000 and L2000 never had pickguards to my knowledge...yeah, not original...
    bummer, and puts it more in the $500 range, to me, given nothing else is jacked up.

     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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