CLF L-1000 (and an apology)

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CLF L-1000 (and an apology)

Postby dukeplaysbass » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:03 am

Hello all!
After a very crazy summer and fall, I am back. The day job I was at for almost 7 years came to a crashing end. I won’t bore you with the details except to say that it was a very difficult departure, maybe the worst in my 25+ year career.
Ken, thank you for holding my place here while I went through this.

Ok, on to G&L awesomeness.

I’m starting to see CLF L-1000s on the used market. What do you think of them?

I have to admit that I have become hardened in my opinion that the early ones (80-83) sound better to my ears than any others. I don’t know if it’s the old pickups or the age (of the bass, not me!) or what, but the odds of me picking up a random paddle headstock Wunkay and not wanting to let it go are much higher than any other era.

But, the CLFs are shiny, and part of me wants to love them.

So, have any of you with lots of experience with the early ones tried the CLF version? If so, can you please give us some feedback?

Thanks, and again, sorry for going absent for so long.
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Re: CLF L-1000 (and an apology)

Postby Ken Baker » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:35 am

dukeplaysbass wrote:After a very crazy summer and fall, I am back. The day job I was at for almost 7 years came to a crashing end. I won’t bore you with the details except to say that it was a very difficult departure, maybe the worst in my 25+ year career.


That sucks. I'm sure you'll land well.

Ken, thank you for holding my place here while I went through this.


What?! There was a question about that? Not with me. You're family!

Ken...
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Re: CLF L-1000 (and an apology)

Postby basswhisperer » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:02 pm

Well, I don't have an extensive background with original L1000s, but I have been on the search for one. I got the CLF model in to evaluate, and liked it enough to take it on the road with the Mavericks for our Christmas tour... which includes a taped performance on the CBS Saturday Morning show using it... It's a gold one with a basswood body. It will be my first review for the new upstart Bass Magazine formed by ex-BP staffers, and my first Bass Whisperer video in a while. I'm waiting on an ash, and okume model to come in so I can shoot all three.

That said, I LIKE it! I've been sticking with my P Bass for the road because that's the right sound for the gig. But the Wunkay does do P bass, and with DR flats and some soft foam muting, I can make it thump just like I need. It's more articulate, and the pickup switch gives me other tones to play with, but for business time—it's series mode all the way. I'm not a fan of reinforced necks from a tone point of view... but as a touring player...it makes sense. The slightly thinner modern body feels normal to me, but if you were a long time vintage player, you might notice it.
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Re: CLF L-1000 (and an apology)

Postby bdgotoh » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:28 pm

Welcome, Ed - nice to have you here!

I've had a bunch of L-1000s over the years and they are terrific! In general I'm not really a vintage guy, so my current one is an okoume CLF. I really like the neck contour, it's similar to vintage G&L necks but more comfortable to me - not as thin and a more rounded back.

When you find an old one you may notice a nice difference in tone, those early big hex and slot pole piece pickups sound really great - a bit deeper and a slightly different overall sound.
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Re: CLF L-1000 (and an apology)

Postby dukeplaysbass » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:11 pm

Ed and Brad, thank you both for the feedback.
I may have to try one. I’m a ferocious fanboy of the big hex and slot pole pickups (in fact, I just threw down for a late 80 slot in hog/maple that an old forum buddy put up for sale).
Bu if I can find one maybe I should take it for a spin. Just, you know, so I can say I know what the hype is about. Cuz I’m not buying any more basses or anything.... 8-)
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Re: CLF L-1000 (and an apology)

Postby derick » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:52 am

Hi Ed, glad that you made it over here.

I do not have a new CLF bass to compare with, but in attempting to catalog the differences between the new CLF 1Ks and the vintage ones I realized that the sonic differences probably come down to body wood and finish? I had not heard of a tone penalty for reinforced necks. The CLF basses have "thin urethane" finishes while the 80's era basses were shipped with what were certainly thick nitro finishes. This was the era of the "dipped in glass" guitar finish, and while the lacquer has shrink and thinned over time, the new CLF bodies might in theory be more resonant out of the box. Another issue is the vibrated wood theory, which states wood that is vibrated as the sap crystallizes breaks up and frees the cellular structure, thus allowing the wood be more resonant. If this is true then your closet queen will not sound as good as your daily beater.

The new CLF instruments are intriguing. I would like to know more about the Okoume wood that is standing in for Mahogany. I've read reviews that say it is tonally similar to Maple, and others that say it sounds like Mahogany. To me, these are on opposing ends of the tonewood spectrum, and confirms that you can reinforce any opinion that you wish on the internet. But, a lightweight maple-sounding body on a Wunkay sounds like a winner to me. Actually all the CLF offerings sound like winners to me. The L-1000 is a very solid design, it is Leo's ultimate evolution of his P-bass.
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