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Why are used G&L L2000 Tributes so expensive compared to MIAs? What's a fair price?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Belgand, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been looking around and it seems that the prices tend to run higher than I would expect. Looking over the sales history over in Classifieds I'm seeing most of the USA L2ks selling, often with the OHSC, for about $700-800 pretty often, usually with little regard for production date. If we take the new, street price at $1350 that means a discount of about 40-50% off of street.

    At the same time when I look around at Tribute prices, especially from shops, but even from owners, I tend to see prices closer to $500. Not only does that seem really close to the price for an American-made, but that's without the case which could easily run $100 on its own. It gets worse if you run the numbers compared to street price. A new Tribute sells for about $650 making the discount for buying used almost nothing. If we applied the same percentage discount I'd expect to at least see prices closer to $335 - 385.

    What's going on here? Am I missing some crucial detail, am I only seeing overpriced Tributes or sweet deals on MIAs, or is it just a terrible deal to try and buy one used?
  2. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    the 700-800 dollar vintage us ones can be pretty beat, have wonky necks, and have not a whole hell of a lot of fret life left in some instances, therefore i could see how a more quality and good condition tribute with a nice wood grain and playability could go for around 450-500, my mint used 2011 us sb-2 was 865 from musician's friend and my previously enjoyed and in need of luthier assistance 83 us L2k was 665 from guitar center
  3. Belgand


    Aug 25, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I can see that, but it's not just beat-up older basses. Sure there are a few, but I'm also seeing 2005, 2012, etc. Basses that are only a few years old.
  4. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i don't think a lot of people actually pay the 1365-1500 for the brand new ones, unless they are special order, the one's like mine that are more common go for the 650-800 used i guess depending on the model
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Will you shush! The Tribs are NOT overpriced. They are VERY sweet basses and worth the asking price and used ones with even a minor discount are hard to find. Used USA G&Ls on the other hand are very much a notch up from Tributes yet are selling low (shussh!). You should ALWAYS try to find a used G&L USA first and do a tribby only if you have to. Note that G&L basses like the L2X00 tend to develop bad switches and loose pots that rotate around and broken wires that mess up electronics. For me this is a trivial fix and it's not bad even if you have to pay to have new switches etc. But it freaks a lot of people and makes the prices low. So the answer to your question is "sweet deals".

    Both my Blue Burst L2500 basses are to die for and were used in the $600-$800 range.
    davedblyoo and tastybasslines like this.
  6. Chris S.

    Chris S.

    Nov 4, 2000
    Sorry, I know this thread is a few months old, but I just recently lucked into a used Tribute L2K for $299. =:-O They're out there if you look. I used to have a USA L2K, so I'm familiar with the pickups and the electronics. This bass seems just about as solid, and sounds exactly the same. To say I'm pleased would be an understatement. CS
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    As I said above, I've got two used USA L2500 G&L, but I also have a L2500 Tribute ( bought new). You are right that differences are small (especially for the ash body ones). But there are differences. Generally speaking the wood in the USA is much better selected which gives amazing wood grain and probably helps the tone a tad. And there are other tiny differences in especially in fit and finish. Mostly that doesn't matter, but for mine anyway, I find that somehow my USA models speak with just a tiny bit more "authority" than the Tribute model. The difference is small but to me it seems real. But it would be hard not to be every satisfied with either kind of bass. A used Tribute for half price would be a terrific score! I had the chance to buy a used Tribute for that once, but it had a basswood body and I thought it was just a bit too rolled off on the upper harmonics to make me happy.

  8. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    It seems to me if you has a USA G&L and loved it in every way, but occasionally would like to have something very similar with a different set of strings, one might pick up a Tribute just for that, in say Honeyburst swamp ash. So keep it quiet about any and all of these prices, especially used prices.
  9. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    As you get closer to zero, the percentage discount tends to decrease. Also, the seller needs to work shipping into their price which is the same for US and import.
  10. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    My local pawn shop has a blue L2000 4string fretless for 545.00. It has a ski hill of a neck as if it was stored w/o strings for a long time but I'd take the chance if I knew more about the thing. Do serial #'s have a date code in them ? Could it be Asian or American made ? I'm not familiar with G&L other than the Leo bit and that they're known for high quality but info on the 'net is spotty and I could use some help. Thanks
  11. davedblyoo

    davedblyoo "All the mayhem and none of the sticky mess."

    Nov 15, 2012
    Augusta, GA
    I don't know for sure, but I don't think the Tributes are offered in fretless. It might be worth a trip to the G & L website and see.
  12. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    Picked up my L2500 Tribute new for $500 and have rarely spent money better. Great bass. Never been fortunate enough to have a USA version.

    There have been reports of some G&L's having issues with the neck. I'd so some serious research on TB before leaping to buy one with a "neck like a ski jump."

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