G&L L-2000 Bass Demo Time!
In my G&L L-2000 bass demo I review the history of the L-2000 bass, how I acquired this L-2000, and demo some of the tones that this bass produces. Let’s get into this!
A Little History of the G&L L-2000 Bass Guitar
The G&L L-2000 is a product of incremental design improvements, across three different companies, from one man, the inventor of the electric bass guitar, Leo Fender. Fender created the first bass in 1950-51, the Fender Precision bass. After selling Fender to CBS he became a silent investor and later took a more active role in the guitar division of Music Man, using his own company CFL Research to contract out guitar design and manufacturing to Music Man. In the late 1970’s there was a falling out between the two companies leaving Leo Fender a guitar manufacturing facility with nothing to build so the new company G&L was formed with George Fullerton who is the G of G&L.
In 1980 the company developed and produced the L-2000, which would become one of the company’s iconic and signature basses. So much of this thing is patented and entirely unique that you don’t see copy cats and the closest thing you can get to a budget model is the G&L Tribute series which has a street price of $750 today. When looking at this bass you can clearly see how Leo got from the Fender Precision and Jazz basses, to the Music Man Stingray, then to the G&L L-2000, with each step improving upon his product. To me the L-2000 is a P-Bass body, with Jazz Bass pickup configuration, with improved Stingray pickups and electronics…the only thing missing is a pickguard anywhere to be found.
This ol’ 2008 Honeyburst G&L L-2000 Bass Guitar
I had been on the lookout for another L-2000 for awhile, after selling my previous L-1500. My thought was to get that L-1500 sound but with the flexibility of an added neck pickup, which is more representative of tones that I play today. I think about the L-2000 like this, with the neck pickup only you’re basically getting an L-1000 and with the bridge only you’re getting an L-1500…so what’s L-1000 + L-1500? L-2000 of course! And then you get the option of beating up your band with the full range of both pickups going at once! In all seriousness, this thing couldn’t be called an L-2500 because that’s a 5 string L-2000.
This bass was one of my hasty eBay purchases I made early on into trying to develop this site. I saw that it was priced pretty well and located in my hometown so I threw some bids at it and ended up winning it without noticing some of the issues it had. I don’t have buyer’s remorse but here’s a tip, if the eBay seller has no partial refunds in the description it may be because you deserve a partial refund. Anyway I met up with the guy at a local Zia and chat a bit. He was a nice dude and a fellow musician just trying to hustle a living on eBay with his wife.
Mo’ Money, mo’ Problems
Alright so let’s get into the fun stuff. First problem was it had a crudely installed, uncut nut. You can buy a nut that is a rectangle shape with squared edges but you are supposed to file it down and shape it out. Since I didn’t know anything about this nut and didn’t want to try to shape it, I replaced it with a GraphTech TUSQ XL nut which fit perfectly. After installing the new nut I started setting it up and that’s when I noticed that this bass didn’t have a string tree installed. Super odd, but I ordered one from G&L and even documented how I installed it for my blog. All in all the bass was in pretty great shape after I added these new piece, cleaned it up, and set it up.
What Do I Think?
The G&L L-2000 Bass is a tone monster! It produces the biggest, cleanest range of tones you can find in a Fender designed bass. I love these basses. They are so versatile, sound so good, and are super solid, well made instruments.
These MFD pickups are much better than any Stingray pickups. They sound fuller, you can adjust every single pole piece height and really dial in your tone. I switched out my Stingray’s pickups with Seymour Duncans and later Nordstrands, but I would never touch a G&L pickup. They’re perfect as is.
String Through vs Saddle-Lock
String through body bridges are nice, but I prefer the design of the G&L Saddle-Lock™ bridge. You’re not getting a kink in your string, instead it uses a high mass system that is buried into the body of the bass, ensuring as much bridge to wood contact as possible.
The electronics sound great and provide a ton of options, but make sure you print off the configuration and tuck it in your case because you’ll never remember what all of these settings are.
I used to hate the headstock design, but now I love it. It makes G&L Guitars look unique and adds a little elegance. I feel deep pain when I see a G&L with it’s headstock horn cut off or disfigured…trust me this happens when you look at used gear enough. Sad.
Best in the guitar business…
I think G&L is one company that is making guitars better today than they did 35 years ago. I would rather a newer guitar that has been plek’d and has 6 bolt neck than a 1990’s model with a 3 bolt neck and didn’t go through some of the same quality control. G&L has progressed from a great guitar company to a high end guitar company. They are making the best guitars and basses for the money, hands down.
Some Constructive Criticism
Frankly I’m surprised this not a more popular instrument and to me there is one reason for that; lack of pickguards. Seriously, I think bass players want their instrument to look cool, but basses without pickguards seem to be reserved for virtuosos not rock stars. It may also be because G&L have a limited artist roster or haven’t picked up bands like Death Cab for Cutie that have played their gear in the past but didn’t get the recognition. Today
you see Ernie Ball extending their Stingray line up to include double humbuckers further proving this is a great pickup configuration for a radder looking bass. Last point, a couple of years ago G&L released the Kiloton bass which is basically a passive L-1500 with a pickguard. It’s an awesome looking bass and I hope it gets some traction…but wish it had a better name. :/
G&L L-2000 Bass Specs
- Scale: 34″
- Neck: Hard-Rock Maple with ebony fretboard
- Width at nut: 1 3/4″ (44.5mm)
- Radius: 12″ (304.8mm)
- Profile: Medium C
- Frets: 21 medium jumbo, nickel
- Tuning Keys: Traditional open-back, Ultra-Lite tuning keys with aluminum tapered string posts
- Pickups: 2L-spec G&L Magnetic Field (MFD) humbucking pickups made in Fullerton, California
- Electronics: G&L Tri-Tone™ system
- Switches: 3-way mini-toggle pickup selector, series/parallel mini-toggle, 3-position pre-amp mode mini-toggle,
- Knobs: volume, treble, and bass knobs
- Bridge: Patented Leo Fender-designed G&L Saddle-Lock™ bridge
- Construction: 6 screw bolt-on neck
- Body: Swamp Ash on translucent and burst finishes
- Weight: This bass weighs in at 9 lbs, 3.9 ounces