Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

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Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

Postby ch willie » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:55 am

I hate brand comparisons because even companies whose products who have connections as close as those of Fender and G&L. I love Fender Jazz Basses I didn't set out to a/b my JB-5 and my 2012 AmStd JB, but the differences were significantly in G&L's favor. I'm going to play with pickup heights today on the Fender. he G&L is so much more powerful and versatile. I was playing through an Ampeg V4-B and Ampeg Heritage 4x10. I have a third Jazz Bass project with an AmPro body and neck. It'll be interesting to compare the AmStd with the AmPro, the AmPro with the G&L.
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Re: Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

Postby TDR1138 » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:56 pm

I will say this, but I am not knocking Fender by any means...

At one time, I had a G&L Legacy (Strat-style guitar) and a Fender American Deluxe Strat at the same time. Eventually, I sold the Strat, and I still have the Legacy.

At one time, I had a G&L LB-100 (Precision-style bass) and a Fender American Standard Precision Bass at the same time. Eventually, I traded the Precision, and I still have the LB-100.

In both cases, I had the G&L before I had the Fender, so the G&L was the benchmark. And in both cases, what made me choose the G&Ls over the Fenders was because the G&L felt more comfortable in the hand - I really preferred their necks, and their slightly smaller bodies were more comfortable to me. I may have felt differently if I had the Fenders first and was used to them. I also think both G&Ls sounded a little bit better, especially the Legacy vs. the Strat (though both of these G&Ls had 3rd party pickups from the factory - Seymour Duncan singles in the Legacy and a Gotoh in the LB-100). I'd give the edge aesthetically to the Fenders, but that would only be because both fenders were nice transparent finishes over ash vs. the opaque finishes on the G&Ls. I know G&L would have equal footing if the finishes were also transparent.
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Re: Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

Postby Ken Baker » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:41 pm

Used to have this AM-DLX Precision many years ago:

Image

Pretty, great neck. Everything else about it pretty much sucked.

Have an old CIJ Jazz that needs to be resurrected. Also a MM Bongo 5HHP.

The G&Ls get played.

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Re: Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

Postby Nedmundo » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:50 pm

Well, I've gone from four Fenders and one G&L to one Fender and four G&Ls, so my preference is pretty clear! :D I still love my 2003 Fender J, but none of my other Fenders survived, largely because the G&Ls have better playability for me thanks to Plek fret leveling and flatter 12" radius fretboards. But it's also for tone, especially in the case of my SB-2, which kicked three basses out of the herd including an excellent Fender Precision (and my first G&L, an L-1500).

I also have a JB-5, which is better than my formerly-owned 2008 Fender Jazz V because of the neck. Even though the Fender had gotten Plek fret leveling, the G&L gets much lower action, and the neck is significantly more rigid. This makes a big difference IMO. My particular JB-5 needed a neck shim and might need some fretwork in the 5-6 area, but it sounds amazing and the neck feels fantastic. I even like it with the standard 9.5" radius.

Ken, I had that same model of American Deluxe Precision. Mine was a 1999 in natural finish with an ash body. It was beautifully built and weighed about 7.6 pounds, but had a brutal, harsh-sounding dead spot, and I couldn't get along with the electronics. The preamp was lame, and I'm sure you'll agree that bridge pickup ain't exactly an MFD!
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Re: Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:34 pm

Nedmundo wrote:Ken, I had that same model of American Deluxe Precision. Mine was a 1999 in natural finish with an ash body. It was beautifully built and weighed about 7.6 pounds, but had a brutal, harsh-sounding dead spot, and I couldn't get along with the electronics. The preamp was lame, and I'm sure you'll agree that bridge pickup ain't exactly an MFD!


The playability of mine was great; the neck had the best edge roll of anything I've seen. The wood fit & finish was great, but the neck pickup was badly misaligned. And the electronics were pretty terrible.

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Re: Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

Postby Larry Mal » Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:06 pm

You can sometimes get the idea that the focus of the companies is a little different. This is going to sound harsh, but it seems to me at times like the focus with G&L is to make the best possible instrument, and the focus with Fender is on profitability.

A quick example is the American Standard Jazz Bass I used to have that I traded for a G&L JB. Pretty similar instruments, overall, but the one thing that got me excited about the G&L was the bridge. A G&L bass bridge is as good as a bridge can get, sunk into the body, heavy, designed to add power, volume and sustain.

The Fender bridge was some cheap thing screwed onto the wood, it worked, but you could easily tell that the focus on this bridge wasn't quality but rather what it would cost for Fender to buy them by the tens of thousands. This bridge was the lowest quality that was acceptable.

I guess I should mention that I also owned an old Mexican Standard Jazz bass, a fretless one. This thing was so miserable that Fender didn't bother to even route for two different sized pickups so you couldn't easily upgrade the pickups, which were awful, as was the rest of the electronics.

Well over a decade later Fender revamped the Mexican made stuff into the Player series, and I own a fretless Jazz bass from that line. No complaints at all and they really improved the product.

Still, you have to question why they had to revamp the product so much. As the inventors of the Jazz bass, you would think they above anyone would know that the neck and bridge pickup are different sized in order to best capture the sound of the strings. And since they did know that, and still didn't care enough to actually do it, even though it probably cost more to set the factory up to make the product worse rather than just do it the way they always had done it?

Well, that tells me the difference between the two companies. Both are very capable of making a great guitar. But I feel I can have a little more trust that G&L cares about me as a musician rather than a guy with money.
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Re: Hate Comparisons But Can't Help It. G&L and Fender

Postby LoveThatBass » Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:57 am

I have had a number of Fenders both Americam and Standards. Presently I have an American Pro Jazz and a Fender Player series P. The American Pro I loved everything about it but the Pickups. The Player Precision I didn't like the tuners, pickups or the bridge. Changed them all out. Right now I love the Fender Custom Shop 62 pickups. The American now has Aero pickups in it.
Now to the 2021 G&L SB-2 (Tribute). I love the heavy duty old style tuners (this is a first for old style). They are smooth operating, no slop and do really well. Also a first is the MFD Pickups made in Fullerton are the best I have heard. Output rivals my Active 5 string bass but retains clarity and soulful tone. These are fabulous pickup. The quality of this instrument is very good! Thank you G&L.
I normally like and Play TI Jazz Flats on my Fender basses. I tried them on this bass but put a set of D'Addario EXL 160's (.050-.105) on it a day later. They seem to be what the MFD pickups were made for.
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