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What can you tell me about the early G&Ls?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 3toes, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I MIGHT have the opportunity to pick up an '81 G&L L-1000 but I have no idea about how good the old G&Ls are to the current ones (which I like, very much). So I'd like to do a little research on them before pursuing the purchase/trade. Does anyone have experience with earlier G&Ls? Pros, Cons, etc?

    A few pics:


  2. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    If you plug it and play it, and there's nothing wrong with it, BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT!!!

    The G&L L-1000 is a vintage USA-made bargain and one of the best-kept production-bass secrets (I own a white/rosewood '82 that I bought new and will NEVER sell -- and I also used to have a backup that was exactly the same as the one you posted).

    Try the three-way toggle switch by the volume knob -- flick it back toward the bridge for a bottom boost that should make you think "OH MY GOD!!!" It's in fact termed the "OMG switch" at the G&L forum here at TB.

    It looks beautiful -- and bear in mind that these regulary go for about $650-$700 max on eBay.

    For more info, visit the "Club Wunkay" thread - "Wunkay" is a nickname for the G&L L-1K
  3. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Yeah I noticed that, there's a fretless on there now for $700. Is that what that little red speck is? Huh neat. Also, I thought I read on wikipedia (not the most accurate source) that it was passive, yet the extra knobs suggest otherwise...
  4. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    Do not hesitate to get this if you can. It's like a perfect combination of a P-bass and a Stingray.

    It's passive. No battery needed for thunderous tone.
  5. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I'm gonna try and work out a gear trade, he's actually not a bassist and I've got some guitar stuff I could give up. I have two resonator guitars a wood-body and a metal-body, not really willing to give up the wood-body but I don't play the metal much anymore. Plus I have a Micro POG and a Talkbox I'm willing to part with.
  6. i couldnt tell you anything about them :/

    it looks liek a mega sexy bass tho
  7. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Then what is the control lay-out if you don't mind?
  8. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I've got an '81 L-1000. It's a better bass than my old '64 Precision was. It's the bass that Fender would have become if Leo had stayed there.
  9. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    I have severe GAS for a 1K just like that. Definately a great combination of P-bass and StingRay.
  10. I just sold my 81 L-1000 a few weeks ago. Nothing wrong with it in the least, it just wasn't my thing. If you do enough research, you'll see the sound described as a "P on steroids" or somesuch. That is a very good description.

    The controls are v/t/t. The switch is humcancelling/single coil/single coil with bass boost.

  11. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I owned an L-2000 (two-pickup version of the L-1000) -- very briefly -- back in the mid-90s.

    The sound was amazing, but it had some playability issues. After two or three times at the set-up guy's and still not playing right, I returned it.

    Turns out I probably just got a lemon, but based on my experience I would definitely not buy a G&L before playing it.
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The three knobs are a volume control, a bass cut control, and a treble cut control. The toggle switch is as mike v s says. Great, wonderfully made basses. The earliest ones were available with either a one-piece maple neck or a maple neck with an ebony fingerboard. Bodies were either ash or maogany. For $700 I'd snap it up.

    I was a G&L dealer shortly after they started when the literature still said we could order an active L-1000 (they never to my knowledge shipped any active L-1000 nor passive L-2000s although the earliest lit said both were available). One of the finest basses I've ever played in my whole life was an ebony board, ash bodied L-1000. I would have bought it myself, but had only recently bought a Music Man StingRay and had a baby on the way.

  13. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Bleh, the guy isn't interested in trades other than a G&L Legacy guitar OR $800. I just don't have that kind of cash unfortunately :meh:
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I had a G&L 2000 fretless I bought new back in... 1984. Old G&L's are great, no question. Yet another axe that I sold for no good reason...
  15. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Only way I could afford it would be to sell my Lakland, which I am NOT willing to do at this point.
  16. Doug Hodges

    Doug Hodges

    Sep 12, 2008
    I have a 73 G&L which sounds great but the sound is not consistent everywhere on the neck
    There are some dead spots I should probably take it to a good tech...make sure to play all up and down the neck and check that the volume and tone is consistent throughout
  17. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    That's really a shame, cuz, regardless of what they're going for on EBay, fact is these basses offer much greater worth than market price would indicate; these are handcrafted Leo Fender originals, and it's amazing that they're not ultra pricey.

    They offer sort of a scaling-back of Leo's Music Man sound, bringing it more in line with a "Fender plus" sound, rather than the more radical tonal departure that MM offered. Still distinctive, yet a more classic sound with much more wallop than it's Fender predecessors.
  18. Lucas G

    Lucas G

    Jan 14, 2007
    masury, OH
    really? a '73 G&L? i thought they got rolling in '79.
  19. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    I just got back from shipping off my '81 L-1000, I'm trading with a fellow TB'er here. The only, only reason I traded was that my left hand cramps up when I play it (never used to - I've had this bass for about 8 years).

    It is a very solid bass with great tones. OMG mode is aptly named, and the eight adjustable pole pieces make setting it up for even sound very doable. Mine had hex pole pieces, but I believe some were made with slotted pole pieces that would change the tone in some way based on whether the slots were parallel or perpendicular to the strings. Very "playable" bass, great neck... ah, I'm missing it already.

    From what I've gathered, some can be on the heavy side (fwiw, mine weighed in at 9.5 lbs).
  20. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    G&L began production in 1980.

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