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What's up with G&L?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by joel406, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Today I played 5 different G&L's and they aren't what I remember from a year ago. I tried out 2 L-2000's. 1 a tribute, one a USA. Both had floppy E stings and uncomfortably wide necks. I suppose I should have mentioned at the begging that this took place at a local music store and all of these are brand new. Another was a JB-2 tribute. Wide neck, crappy action and floppy strings. There were plenty of tuners around so I checked to make sure they weren't tuned down 4 or 5 steps. Another was the G&L jazz bass. American made and a neck chunkier than any P-Bass I've ever tried. The last was a L-2500. The tires on my SUV aren't as wide as that neck. All the necks felt virtually the same with the differences I did detect being minimal. Flat feeling and wide.

    While they really were playable, they were not comfortable.

    I'm actually out of breath from all that...

    There was also a Warwick there that I played that felt much better than any of the G&L's.

    Anyway you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.
    I've played G&L's before that were fine. Especially a JB-2 that was once at the same shop and was sold before I could do anything about it. I've played L-2000's, both USA and tributes that felt fine. But all of these were just received for stock within the last 7 days from G&L.

    What happened?
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    G&L makes several sizes of necks. Maybe you got unlucky.
  3. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    Well aside from the bad set-ups, I find that the contour of the neck and the fretboard radius can make a neck feel uncomfortable if they don't agree with you, and sometimes even make the neck feel thicker than it really is. I've never really played a G&L I was very crazy about, but I've only played the tribute M2000 and L2000, still, I'm sure there are many exceptional instruments out there.
  4. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    No denying there are awesome G&L's out there. I've been privileged enough to handle a few.

    But... how could 5 new arrivals all have neck issues. Not just truss rod adjustments being needed but necks that feel like 5 bangers with just 4 strings.

    I don't know, I have always help G&L and Music Man in high regard given their heritage.

    Maybe I'm somehow spoiled from my Fender American Standard Jazz. It has the neck I've always wanted. Weight is awesome, pickups amazing. The color (3TBSB) just what I wanted. But all of those G&L's were very pleasing to the eyes. I like the design, and the L-2500 was an incredible see through blue. Loved it for the looks. Hated it for the feel.

    What happened?
  5. User error.
  6. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Not everyone likes a skinny neck. I for one hate them.
    It seems like all the used G&L's in the classifieds have the slim 1 1/2" necks.
    gfaulkner and Frank_Raider like this.
  7. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Maybe thats why they are for sale :roflmao:
    hdracer likes this.
  8. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    G&Ls usually come from the factory set-up with 45-100 gauge strings. If you're used to 45-105, that could explain why they felt floppy to you.
  9. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    I forgot to mention the E sting buzzed from 1st to 7th fret. On all of them. Couple of hem buzzed beyond that.
  10. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    I think just by chance the G&L's you picked up that day all had neck shapes/profiles that weren't to your liking. If I'm not mistaken, G&L have many different neck choices. Regarding the 'floppy' strings, maybe the strings just needed to be stretched a little more and truss rod a quick tweak.
  11. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    This is what I wonder.

    Why does every new bass have to be comfortable?
    Or do you mean familiar?

    Is a new bass supposed to feel like the bass you've been playing for a while?
    Can't we adapt?

    The new car you buy is going to feel different from your old car.Even if it's the exact same model.
  12. I couldn't tell you about that ^^^^ but I've never played one because there aren't any stores nearby that carry G&L. Curious what's up with that as I hear mostly good things about the brand
  13. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Well, to use the car analogy, If I drive it and it is not comfortable or makes my back hurt, I dont care what it looks like or how it drives
    TyBo likes this.
  14. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    There's a difference between "not comfortable" and "makes my back hurt"
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
    nofrets5 likes this.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Maybe that dealer likes chunky necks and only orders those. Or maybe he ordered both, but sold the non-chunkies. Hmmm. I like Chunkys. :D
    Not so big on wide necks, though, I can handle thick front to back, but not a big fan of large string spacings, especially at the nut. Doesn't have to be skinny....
  16. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Awww man!Why'd you have to go and show those?I used to be BIG on those!!
    Geri O and wmhill like this.
  17. bhunt1

    bhunt1 Vintage Lefty Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Older than dirt ;)
    I have owned quite a few G&Ls, and I will say that I am a chunky (neck) lover so they suit me, but I can see where the standard 1 3/4" nut width on the L2K would seem chunkier than a standard Fender P bass of recent vintage. G&L does offer a jazz nut width on 4 stringers which I find to be skinny. For 5 strings there is only 1 neck profile and it is chunky but I like that. It sounds like the basses you tried my not have been set up correctly; I have never had the floppy string or fret buzz problems with recent G&Ls. Older ones with the Micro-tilt necks can have problems if the Micro tilt was adjusted incorrectly. Also, if you are ordering a new G&L get the quartersawn neck - very stable, necks stay put and almost never need adjusting. Just my experience YMMV.
    CTW68 and spaz21387 like this.
  18. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    You are not being a smart buyer if you judge a bass by the way it is set up at the store because an infinite number of things can make a great bass feel very uncomfortable.
    davedblyoo and Mystic Michael like this.
  19. HubbardsFate

    HubbardsFate Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    I tried either an M-2000 or M-2500 at a shop a couple of years ago and it was one of the most uncomfortable necks I have ever played. Setup seemed fine, but yeah, that neck, whatever contour/radius they were (maybe still are) using, it didn't work for me. In contrast, I owned a mid-2000s Ibanez BTB bolt-on 6-string that, to this day, is one of the most comfortable necks I have ever played.

    I think G & L probably makes great instruments for the most part, but based on my experience with that one, I would never buy one, certainly not from an online retailer; to even consider it I'd have to be able to sit down in a store and try one out again, and it'd have to be much more to my liking than that one I tried a couple of years ago.
  20. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Two facts of guitar shops I've learned since working in one for a few years:
    1) all new instruments come in with dumb-thin stretchy strings for noobs to be able to say "gee this is eezy to play" when new and so that if after hanging on the wall for over a year they still feel tolerable after the hardening of being handled by countless unwashed hands. The strings on Ibanez basses take at least a year to feel even close normal.

    2) springtime>climate control. Unless a shop has an absurdly expensive air system and an airlock for a front entrance, a fifth of the necks *would need to be inspected/adjusted as often as twice a day to ensure that they play nicely to a low-action player who could walk in any time. We try to set them to slightly lower than tolerably high (real scientific, right?) when they come in, checkthem once a week, adjust as needed, and will adjust them if a prospective buyer catches one that's out of whack. Even occasional, typically super rigid, MIA Fenders can be set to 1/8" of relief on monday and have backbow tuesday morning after a warm front sweeps through. And yet many of us have guitars and basses that never need adjustments? Only God can tell the trees how to grow. If they only let the necks immune to climate change out into the market place, there would be as many guitar shops as there are trumpet shops, and the bottom-end of prices would be just as prohibitively high.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

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