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NBD - G&L Tribute SB-2


RussFM

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I've been looking to replace my Spector Legend Custom (now sold to vmaxblues), with something more Fender flavoured as a backup to my Fender American Standard Jaguar. After lots of research I settled on a G&L Tribute, taking advantage of Andertons Black Friday/Cyber Monday/'well it's Christmas soon' £100 discount (still available!). I usually play my Jaguar with just the P pickup, in active mode with a little bass and treble boost, which gives it a really grindy tone that cuts through well in a one-guitar rock band. I'd never played a G&L, but the MFD pickups sounded like they'd give me the tone I was looking for.

 

I was almost tempted by the £399 L2000, that seems like a lot of bass for the money, but wasn't sure I'd get on with that wide neck, so decided to go for the SB-2 at £349, with the more familiar 38mm neck. Available in Sonic Blue with a maple board, or Black Frost with Brazilian cherry, I decided on the black. When I opened the box, I was a little disappointed and wished I'd gone for the Sonic Blue. Despite being described as 'a classy gloss finish', it's more of a matte/satin finish, like the old Fender Highway 1s. It already had a slight mark on it, and is a fingerprint magnet. However, after a quick play, I realised it's very comfortable for my pick playing, and as my budget backup, I don't mind at all if it gets some early natural wear. It's a little more unique than the common black gloss basses too, it looks great. 

 

Construction and quality wise, it's far ahead of the Squiers I've played. Better than the most of the Fender Mexican Standards too, though perhaps a step below the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz I used to have (why did I sell that!?). The neck is very smooth - I'd describe as very well sanded as opposed to a satin finish like my Jaguar. The fretwork is perfect, on quite a thick fretboard compared to my Fender. The Brazilian cherry looks like it has a more coarse grain than rosewood, but certainly more attractive than the pau ferro other brands have been using. It's a light bass, definitely under 9lbs, I'll weigh it over the weekend, but it balances perfectly on a strap. The sound is exactly what I was looking for. It's a punchy, well defined tone, like a boosted active P. It doesn't have a tone control, just two volumes. Bringing in the Jazz pickup rounds things out a little, taking off that edge. Rolling back the volumes gives a more vintage tone. There's no noise at all. Having US-made pickups in these Indonesian-made basses should have them flying off the shelves quicker than the Squiers for similar money, especially with the Fender price rises this year, but perhaps they're missing the familiar shape and Fender name. With these current discounts I might be tempted to buy another! L-2000 or JB-2 next? 😄

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Looks like a fine instrument. I played a G&L at the SW BassBash, and it was instantly lovely.

I had been a little put off by the headstock until I saw one in person rather than just photographed. It looks absolutely fine in real life.

There's a G&L in Anderton's right now fir 250 which is seriously tempting.

Edited by stewblack
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If it wasn't for the fact that I like neither Jazz profile necks or the sound of Jazz style pickups, I'd be all over a G&L Tribute for £250, even if I didn't really need it.

 

Unfortunately the only good thing about the JB-2 for me is the lack of a wonky Jazz style body.

 

For those who like that sort of thing, it's a no brainer at £250.

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I bagged a JB2 Tribute from Andertons myself last week.  I rarely buy new instruments but the Black Friday deal seemed too good to miss.  

Unfortunately I got a duff one. Upon arrival it looked good but then I noticed one screw missing from a machine head. A couple of days later I sat down to set the thing up properly with my favourite flats. On removing the strings I noticed several of the frets were  really tarnished almost corroded. I then tried to correct a forward bow in the neck. The supplied Allen key was a sloppy fit as if the socket had been rounded so I found a slightly larger key which would fit tightly but found the truss rod  would not budge in either direction.

 

To their credit Andertons 'returns'  department was very efficient and responded quickly to my emails and  the bass is now on it's way back for a refund.

 

Sorry to put the damper on things but you wonder how these things get past any sort of quality control.

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Thanks everyone! I hadn't had chance to play it again until last night. I sat down with my tools to give it a proper inspection and set up. I took the neck off and noticed it had a two small strips of sandpaper as a shim. Not sure how they were set in there as they fell out when I unscrewed the neck, but I put the neck back on without them and noticed mine too then had a significant forward bow. The truss rod was stiff, but a quarter turn sorted it out. My saddles are now very low, I could perhaps give the truss rod another slight turn and raise them up, but it's playing nicely as it is.

 

Certainly no corroded frets or missing screws though, it's all put together very well, shame you got a poor example Martin!

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