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Why aren't G&L basses more popular?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zerstorte Zelle, Nov 19, 2010.

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  1. Zerstorte Zelle

    Zerstorte Zelle

    Jan 8, 2010
    New York
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, D'addario Strings
  2. yamark


    Jun 6, 2009
    Lancaster, KY
    I love mine more than anything. Best playing basses I have ever touched. I am guessing they aren't more popular b/c they don't say Fender on the headstock.
  3. It is hard to find a dealer who carries them, that might have something to do with it.
  4. The name. Nothing wrong with the instruments, they just don't have the brand power that some bigger names have.
  5. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    I still meet quite a few people that have never even heard of them so brand recognition seems to be the biggest factor.
  6. erigod23


    Mar 19, 2007
    Fredericton, NB
    Hard to find, poor marketing. I love mine, though.
  7. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Lack of brand identity and lack of marketing prowess. They make fantastic instruments. I currently own a USA L2500 blueburst which I sold a Lakland 55-02 to purchase. Interesting thing is I was able to purchase a new USA L2500 for just a little more than I sold my Skyline 55-02 for used.
  8. lack of market presence would be my guess. but hey, they kick serious ass and they're very affordable - I'd hate to see that change.
  9. They were an afterthought for me, even as a bassist, for a long time until I started hanging around here. Strange as it may be, many people do not care about new and interesting gear like teh TB community. Judging by sales numbers, there are thousands of bass players who believe cheap imports and Fenders are all there is in the world, with the odd acknowledgment to some other brands played by various popular artists (Flea and the Stingray, Ryan Martinie and Warwick). This explains the signature basses very well. If A given company can associate their products with some popular musician, the average fan will only look to buy from that company. Fender is far and away the biggest example of this, and it obviously works very well.
  10. They've never, ever been strong at marketing their products at any level — PR, advertising, endorsements, etc. I can speak to this personally, having worked at one of their original dealers way back when. Those who know them, love them. It's just that not many people know them. Enough to keep them in business, but...
  11. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    I had two g&l L2000's a 91 and a 2000 model. I played them both for a few years.

    1.They are not as readily available locally
    2. I did not like the fact that the preamp was boost only

    Other than that I don't know why? Brand recognition? Maybe they need a few more well known artist endorsers? That's my 2 cents
  12. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Because they're the least identifiable of the three Fender brands. Their models either lack the instantly recognizable tone of a Precision, Jazz or Stingray, or is a copy of one. I owned an SB-1, L-2000 and a Climax bass. I borrowed my friend's SB-2, ASAT, and L-2000; none of them stood out against my Stingrays & Jazz basses.
  13. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    An alternative view: the manufacturing is inconsistent, and those MFD pickups on the 2000/2500 etc. are not for everybody.

    I've had several of these and WANTED to love them - conceptually, the L2000 is an incredible axe and hits a sweet spot for price as compared with performance - but could never keep them. I always found I was dialing around the sound I wanted, but not getting it. I've since learned that alnico is the magnetic material for me (the MFD uses ceramic magnets), and that I generally prefer to have separate volume knobs for each pickup. Moreover, some of these G&Ls had nasty fretwork, even out of the box.

    That said, I had an ash/rosewood JB-2 that I greatly regret selling. It came with messed-up aftermarket pickups. I installed Nordstrand hum-cancelling JJs designed to emulate split coils, and ended up with one very sweet instrument that had a fine neck and a killer tone. It is now in good hands, getting gigged around the country, but I miss it. And I had one, a cobalt blue L2K with a really dark ebony board, that was the prettiest single bass I've ever owned...and also sounded good and played great after being sent back to the factory for fretwork, but just wasn't the sound I sought.

    Finally, that question of marketing muscle is very important. Mass distribution and market longevity are the keys to Fender's dominance, along with a product line that more or less maintains the iconic P and J sounds with which we've all grown up.
  14. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    I'd be interested in a 5 string JB, but they don't make one.
  15. Assumer


    Mar 26, 2003
    That would be a sweet bass.
  16. Mega +1. This may be another aspect of it. They say when you want to attract a lot of fish, cast a wide net or a really really good one. G&L offers a fairly limited range of models compared to the uber-volume companies, but don't specialize in a certain thing like the uber-boutique companies. I personally think it's a great middle ground, but it is a middle ground.
  17. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    Hard to find around here, in fact I don't think I ever saw one in person.

    Personally I don't like how they look, except the JB models w/pickguard. That's all personal preference of course.
  18. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    It's gotta be the marketing. I think they pay more attention (and get more respect and recognition) in the gee-tar world.

    Also, there must be something about their dealer/distribution network policies that makes other brands more attractive to stock in the music stores.

    I don't get it either. I'd think that G&L's should be able to capitalize on their heritage... they are the true heirs to the Fender legacy, and I've never been disappointed in ANYTHIING G&L... in fact, I use their pickups in four or five of my basses.
  19. I've always thought that the brand name itself might turn a few homophobes away. The other salient reasons for the limited market presence have already been addressed in this thread, and I can only agree with them, as stated.
  20. That took me a second. Funny!

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