1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

You mean there are other basses? :D This is where those discussions go.

No sales or advertisements, no matter how well veiled, are permitted - not even a pointer elsewhere.

1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby quart » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:46 am

Hi guys,

I'm new here and wasn't really sure where to post this, but here goes...

I'm imminently going to purchase my first fretless bass, the question is should it be an L2000 or a Precision? I don't have stacks of cash so I expect it to be either a Tribute or a MIM Fender, either way it will be a used instrument.

I'm looking to get Nick Oliveri-esque tones, plus some good old fashioned powerful bass-heavy tones. I mainly play rock and pop. A bit of articulation, but none of this Jazz nonsense!

Obviously a G&L forum seems like a silly place to ask, but they are both basses by Leo! All opinions welcomed, and if anyone can give me a good idea what I should be paying then that would be even better.
quart
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:31 am

Re: 1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby deltafred » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:39 am

Hi quart

Welcome to Bassesbyleo.

Not a silly place to ask at all, but what I would say is try any/all fretless basses that you can in your price range if you can and see which you like.

I bought a Jazz copy fretless at a music fair because 1. I liked the colour. 2. It was 'reduced to clear' by 75%. 3. I had always fancied a fretless. 4. I had our guitarist, who is a compulsive guitar buyer, urging me to buy it.

We had walked round all day ready to melt our credit cards and had bought a few packs of strings, guitar chords and XLR leads between us. Within 5 minutes I had bought a fretless and an electro-acoustic (6 string). He was quite disappointed that he came away without any guitars.

fred
User avatar
deltafred
Global Mod
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:47 pm
Location: Yorkshire, England, UK

Re: 1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby TDR1138 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:21 am

I had a fretless P for a while - just a cheap SX for a while, but with upgraded pickup/electronics - and it just didn't have the "mwah" that everyone talks about with a fretless. It sounded great with a fretted neck on it, so I'm pretty convinced that it was because there was no bridge pickup. So, if you lean toward a P, I'd at least go for a P/J setup.

An L-2000 would be my choice, but they don't make a factory fretless Tribute, so you'd have to be looking for a used USA or a defretted used Tribute. You can also consider a used fretless SB-2, too. From what I've seen, fretless basses can sit for sale a little longer, just because fewer people play them, so you might be able to get yourself a good deal if you're patient and shop around, possibly less than what a new Tribute would go for.

Really, the biggest thing I think Fender has as far as an advantage over G&L is the availablity/standardization of after-market parts. There are tons of companies out there making replacement parts for Fenders; not so with G&L. The only reason I bring this up is because you can get a fretless Fender, and, if you don't take to playing fretless, you can just replace the neck. With a G&L, you'd probably end up selling/trading the whole bass.
User avatar
TDR1138
 
Posts: 905
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:06 am

Re: 1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby quart » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:26 am

Thanks for the advice. I know that I'm looking for something with a chunky-ish neck - I have a cheap P copy that I find easier and more enjoyable to play than my more upmarket (but still cheap!) Vintage V940 which has a more slender neck (I think it's based on a Warwick Streamer). I also prefer the sound of a P to a J, though I'm not sure I've ever heard a fretless P. As for the 'mwah', well that's not so much what I'm looking for, I mainly want to get a lovely smooth transition between notes when I slide so the bass sounds more like it's 'purring' along like a tame big cat if that makes any sense!

But it is a good point, I guess that what I am looking for in tone now might be different in 6 months time, so a more versatile instrument would be a better bet in this regard. Availability of parts is another good point too - especially in terms of swapping the neck for a fretted one. Here in the UK G&L seem to have a good reputation, but they don't seem especially common (or maybe people just never want to sell used G&Ls!).

Another query that I have should probably be in a separate topic, but I will ask it here for now anyway: is there a big difference between 1980s US L2000s (3 bolt neck) and modern ones (6 bolt neck)? Is there a noticeable difference in quality? How might an '80s L2000 compare with a used modern Tribute? Would a £600 '80s US be worth spending the extra over a £400 5 year old Trib? I know that's very subjective and also down to condition, but couldn't resist asking!

Deltafred - work permitting, I hope to try out an assortment of FLs later this week, something I clearly need to do before buying. But I also appreciate other people's ownership experience, something you can't get from a 5 minute demo!

Thanks again for all the input, much appreciated!
quart
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:31 am

Re: 1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby deltafred » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:49 am

quart

I know what you mean about J necks, I played a P for years (and years) and could never get on with the skinny J necks until our guitarist bought one (for recording with) and I played it at rehearsals a few times and got to like it. I ended up not even taking my P to rehearsals, one less thing to carry.

I think it is what you get used to, if you started on a J then a P neck would seem far too wide. Now I will play anything with any string spacing and after a few minutes I can usually accommodate it.

fred
User avatar
deltafred
Global Mod
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:47 pm
Location: Yorkshire, England, UK

Re: 1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby TDR1138 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:12 am

I’m a P-bass guy, at least when comparing to a J, which is why I bought a fretless P and not a fretless J. I prefer the width of the neck, and the tone of the pickup. That said, I still think a P/J would be the way to go for fretless. You can always roll off the J pickup if you don’t want it, but it’s there for when you do.

I don’t currently have a fretless, but I’ve actually been thinking about picking up a Squier Standard Precision – the one with the P/J setup – and swapping the neck out with an aftermarket fretless neck (i.e. Mighty Might), in part because I think it would be decent quality for a fair price. But I am not by nature a fretless player, so I don’t think I’d want to invest much money into one, either.

As far as USA vs. Tribute for G&Ls, there are a few threads on the board with plenty of info on the differences between the two. If I had the money for a new Tribute or used USA, I’d go with the used USA, personally. I currently have two Tributes and three USA G&Ls, and the build quality is great with the Tributes, but better with the USAs. Plus, you have more options with USAs, though that might not be as much of a factor if you’re buying used.

There are a few differences between the 3-bolt and 6-bolt versions of the basses. The 6-bolt is nice and secure, but I've never had an issue with my 3-bolts. There are some cosmetic differences (i.e. "black crinkle" bridges vs. chrome; "black crinkle" cavity covers vs. plastic). But the biggest thing to me is the neck. The 80’s G&Ls have a different neck profile than the 90’s/00’s do… There was essentially one profile through the 80’s – typically around 1 5/8” with a 7 ½” radius, though the nut width varied a little through the years, depending on who was making them. In the 90’s, they started offering a few different profiles, with narrow 1 ½” and wide 1 ¾” nuts, and both had the option for the round 7 ½” radius and the flat 12” radius. I really like the 1 ¾” nut with 12” radius, but I love the old vintage 80’s neck profile.
User avatar
TDR1138
 
Posts: 905
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:06 am

Re: 1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby qtolkomor » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:09 am

Hi

it really depends what you're looking for, me - as I like Jaco - I'd go for a fretless Jazz or a G&L (yes you NEED the bridge PU if you want that sound) BUT if you like more reggae/rock sounds à la Sting then Precision is OK. There are several fretless Prec out there (no Tributes as you know) - not my fav bass but worth a try

BTW I just bought a L2500 Tribute and I am caressing the idea to defret it ..... it's not a big investment and will leave these nice fretlines that help A LOT when playing ....

best

The QTK
qtolkomor
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:37 am

Re: 1st Fretless: L2000 or Precision?

Postby GeorgeB » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:36 pm

I'd certainly give G&L a try when it comes to fretless bass. With a fretless P (or J, in my case) you know what to expect, with a G&L you won't get the same exactly but something at least as good if not more versatile.

While I still like the sound and feel of my MIM fretless J, my new L2500 FL now gets all of the playing time. Bridge PU in "parallel mode" gives me tons of power and definition, one of those trademark G&L sounds with any amount of bass and treble roll-off dialed in at the controls. The J has more "mwah" but less punch and definition.

This bass as well as the L2K Tribute fretted have the six-bolt necks and I have zero issues with them. In fact I think that attack, sustain and durability are even improved (and the crispy sound and monster sustain of my L2K -- unamplified -- is really a league of its own). So de-fretting a good L2K Tribby might be a worthwhile option...
GeorgeB
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:21 am


Return to The Others

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests