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LB-100 to L-1000 Conversion

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:46 am
by Rob W
I'm a long time G&L player in Canada. I bought my first G&L in 1998 and haven't looked back since. Now I'm a proud owner of 6 G&L basses and 2 of their guitars.

Anyway, over the past while I've been really wanting to add an L-1000 to my roster but since they have often been discontinued and we really don't see many in Canada ever, I was having trouble finding a suitable specimen. The only L-1000 for sale here lately had a problem neck, so I didn't want to get into that. I considered buying one off Reverb from a US dealer but all the ones that were for sale lately were rosewood boards, and with the new CITES regulations, importing a rosewood board instrument to Canada has become a real pain.

I already had an unused white MFD floating around at home and a spare LB-100, so the wheels started turning and I thought that my red 2013 LB-100 would look and sound killer if I had it converted to an L-1000. So I ordered the rest of the parts from G&L - the pots, capacitors, spare knurled knob, etc and got myself on the waiting list with my favourite local luthier to get the project happening.

I had had put this project into motion before I knew they were going to reissue the CLF Wunkay but by that point, I had become quite used to the idea of my custom creation when I heard about the reissue. I decided to go ahead anyway because I think mine will look even better - candy apple red, quartersawn maple neck and board, white MFD and a new custom pearl white pickguard. It's going to wind up looking a little like a Kiloton, but with the pickup in the L-1000 sweet spot. Obviously it needs a new pickguard because of the different pickup shape of the MFD and I can't go without a pickguard because of the old routing for the split coil pickup and wiring channel. The added pot will go just ahead of where the old volume pot is on the LB, with the switch diagonally between the volume and treble. All of this will be done within the footprint of the old pickguard, just in case I ever want to return the bass back to its original state. If I was super confident that it would never go back, I would have a side mount jack installed and keep the approx location of the pots as they are now, with the original jack position becoming the bass control. Anyway, I think it's going to look amazing. Oddly enough, the addition of the pickguard for the Kiloton was the push over the edge I needed aesthetically that made me finally buy a G&L Stingray style bass. While I prefer the no pickguard look on the 2 pickup L-2000, I really prefer the look of a pickguard for the single MFD models.

Anyway, my luthier has started the conversion - new pickup cavity has been super carefully routed. He did the routing and started on the new pickguard but hasn't wired up the circuit yet. He's about to go on vacation for a week so I have to wait until he's back before he finishes up the circuit. It should be done in a week and half or 2 weeks.

Here are a couple of teaser pics. The before pic and on the bench, after the new pickup cavity was routed with a custom plexi jig. I'll update once it's all finished

Re: LB-100 to L-1000 Conversion

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:46 am
by bigtone23
Very cool! Looking forward to the finished product. I'm sure it will be just what you are looking for.
I did the same thing when I decided I wanted a L1000, but came across the same issue. They were just too much $ and kind of rare. I was also on the hunt for another similar bass to the L1000--the Peavey T45. They are relatively rare and had jumped in value in the last few years. The T45 is similar to the L1000 in that it's a P type bass with a splittable humbucker in the P bass sweet spot and some cool passive electronics. The T45 has volume, spin-a-split tone and a mid cut knob. Because the T45 is a little more funky, I decided to build one of these, virtually.

I used my 84 Ibanez RB630 (also P derivative like the LB100) as the platform. I love the bass, but I have other passive P basses, and this one was kind of sitting idle, so it was decided to make it unique. A little routing here, a new pickguard there, some actual Peavey knobs and string tree for authenticity... Used a Wilde Q filter tuned to as close as 500Hz as possible for the mid cut. Push/pull tone control for split coil vs the spin a split on the tone knob as per Peavey's original design.
Turned out great and nails the T45 thing! Best part is that it can be reverted back to original with the reinstall of the original electronics and pickguard.

Re: LB-100 to L-1000 Conversion

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:41 am
by Rob W
Nice! Sorry, I somehow didn't see your post until now. That looks great!

Re: LB-100 to L-1000 Conversion

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:43 am
by Rob W
So it took a while due to a delay in getting the right pickguard material, but here's the final look