Suitable music genres for the L1000.

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Suitable music genres for the L1000.

Postby John Lee » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:12 am

I am thinking of branching out into G&L instruments, as I love all things Leo Fender. One of the main interests of mine is the L1000, but I have been told that it is quite aggressive sounding, and that it's only suitable for hard rock styles of music. Unfortunately there are not a lot of recorded examples of the L1000, but this is part of its appeal to me, as it would give me some individualism. Will flatwound strings tame the beast, or should I actually be showing interest in the LB100?

My local G&L dealer has an L1000 on display, but it is strung with roundwound strings. Also, there is only one example of the L1000 strung with flats on the internet, and this is certainly not enough to come to any kind of conclusion about the instrument, especially concerning how the L1000 will perform strung with flatwound strings within a band setting, as the one example is of the instrument played quite aggressively in just a duo with a drummer.

I play mainly Blues, Soul, Jazz, and Funk, with a little Gospel thrown in from time to time. I am mostly a J Bass player (4 string, 5 string, fretted, fretless), but I also sometimes play P Bass (4 string, 5 string) or Acoustic Double Bass where it is appropriate. It may be obvious that I am a flatwound string user. The L1000 would be used mainly within a BBC radio jingle project, which should be signed with a record company by the end of 2020 (Covid 19 lockdown permitting).

For the record, I have heard the SB1 and the SB2 on numerous occasions, and I know that these two basses (as much as I like them) are not right for my playing style. I've also heard the L2000, and as much as I dig it, its active circuit just isn't for me as I'm a passive circuit kind of guy. I was thinking of JBs and JB5s, with either the L1000 or the LB100 as a companion.

John
Last edited by John Lee on Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Suitable music genres for the L1000.

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:03 am

I think that many people find that any G&L bass with MFD pickups is aggressive sounding. This is usually due to the fact that people very typically dime the controls, which can make for an aggressive hard to control beast. The basses are easier to play and less aggressive sounding if the player backs off the volume to about 75-80 percent of full. There are also those that like the dimed tone and allow for it with appropriate amp settings. The issue, if that's what you want to call it, is that the pickups are really hot. Many (most?) players also lower the pickups to ease some of the aggression.

The L Series basses all sound great with flats. I've played using TI Jazz Flats and love 'em. Low tension, very long lasting, very responsive to playing style. The only problem with them is that they are expensive, but this is mitigated by the long life; the things last for years. Everyone has their favorite strings, and the basses are very accommodating.

Ken...
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Re: Suitable music genres for the L1000.

Postby John Lee » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:26 am

Thanks for the reply Ken. If there is a way around the aggressive sound of the L1000 MFD pickup (i.e. it can be tamed) then it looks like I might invest in one after all. I love the look of the L1000, but looks obviously aren't everything, and I don't fancy investing over 1 thousand GBP in an instrument that will lose it's value as soon as I leave my local dealer (as G&Ls unfortunately always do), only to end up selling it shortly afterwards.
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Re: Suitable music genres for the L1000.

Postby TDR1138 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:20 pm

I have an L1000, L2000, LB-100 and other Fender P basses, so I'll chime in here.

First, I have all of the basses noted above strung with flats. I kind of rotate the strings around occasionally, but currently have GHS Precision Flats on the L1000, LaBella Low Tension Flexible Flats on the L2000, Fender 9050 on the LB-100 and TI Jazz Flats on my main Fender P. I had Chromes on my L2000 for years and they were great on there, but I pulled them off out of boredom during some downtime and I wanted to move them onto a fretless.

That said, I use my basses primarily in church settings, ranging from classic hymns to "gospelish" to modern acoustic/electric rock and don't find that I have any problems keeping them tamed. And I generally play with the volume on full, though back off on the treble and bass controls as fit. As Ken notes, you can either back off on the volume or you can compensate with amp settings. When I use an amp with an L-series bass, I would usually use the active pad (if one is available), even though I'm using passive basses. These days, I mainly play through a few pedals into the PA with no amp, but I have my signal chain set up so that the Ls can run through everything normally and when I use my P or LB-100, I have to add a little boost/gain somewhere in the mix. Note that I'm not switching basses during a gig, so I just adjust it at the start and leave it. Also, I will mention that my LB-100 is a little more aggressive than my main Fender P.

To address your reference of the L2000, I always cringe a little when people call the L2000 an active instrument. Yes, it does have a preamp and a battery inside, so you could consider it such, but it's really a passive instrument at heart, in my opinion. A lot of L2000 players leave the preamp off most/all of the time, some even going so far as to remove the batteries completely. The preamp itself is not the traditional active preamp that most basses these days use, either. Really serves to buffer the signal and provide a little treble boost in the third switch setting. I rarely use it, but will occasionally kick it on if I'm playing in a situation where I'm running into the PA and I don't have power to run a few pedals. But that almost never happens. Point is, if you're liking what you're hearing out of the L2000 demos, then you should be able to find something you like with the L1000.

And for what it's worth, the SB-2 that I used to have was more aggressive than the L1000/L2000. So don't let your impressions of the SB series sway you too much.

Have you had a chance to play the L1000 at your local dealer? Not sure if that's an option with the Covid situation. But go try it (even with roundwounds) through either a padded amp input or with the volume backed off about 15%. I don't find the L-series overly aggressive in parallel mode or on the L1000's single coil mode. It's when you get into series or OMG that they tend to be harder for some people to tame.
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Re: Suitable music genres for the L1000.

Postby John Lee » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:11 pm

Thanks for the response and the info.

I haven't asked about playing the L1000 at my local dealership, as it turned up at some point during the lockdown (presumably recently, as they would have had to close shop earlier on) and I'm unsure what their response would be. However you have inspired me to give it a go, so methinks I will offer to wash/sanitize my hands as many times as they want, and to only play it whilst wearing a 3M facemask. I'll also bear in mind what you have said about amps and settings, so I will ask what amps they have in stock there (I ignored amps the last time that I visited, due to being blown away by the beautiful Rally Red finish on the L1000, and also due to being pressed for time). There is good chance that they will say yes, as things have eased off here somewhat, although unfortunately we are still living under some restrictions until vaccination time. I'll post the results of my attempt A.S.A.P.

I know all about the aggression of the SB1 and SB2, as I have had a go on them myself. They are not right for my playing style, though I dig the purity of the SB2. As it happens there is also an L2000 Tribute at my local dealership too, so if it's not too much to ask I'll have a go on that too and see if actually having a go on one (instead of just listening to it) changes my mind about the electronics system. In all fairness I still think that I'll take the JB and either L1000 or LB100 route, as I've been with the J Bass as main bass since my beginnings, and don't fancy spreading myself over too many basses tonally.

Thanks,

John
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Re: Suitable music genres for the L1000.

Postby John Lee » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:29 am

Managed to contact my local G&L dealer, and they have said that they are fine with me having a test run on the L1000. I've told them that I will take some sanitizer of my own to use in addition to theirs, and that I will wear a 3M facemask at all times. They have also said that the instrument will be cleaned after my use, just in case I am asymptomatic. Can't wait to have a go, but I may have to wait a couple of days in order to fit it in with my schedule, as I am busy getting life back on the go after the main part of the lockdown, I will have to fit things in around their reduced opening times, and the dealership is about four miles away from where I live.

Will post the results once I have had a play. I've been told that if the instrument sells between now and when I manage to get there, that they will order another one to sell.

John
Last edited by John Lee on Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suitable music genres for the L1000.

Postby TDR1138 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:18 am

Nice. Curious to hear your impressions of it.
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