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Links and resources - Updated 4/10/2021

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:56 pm
by Ken Baker
G&L Guitars

G&L Online Store

BBE Sound


GuitarsByLeo, AKA "The KCC"

The Registry at GuitarsByLeo

Allen wrench sizes at BassesByLeo, from Greg & Craig

G&L Support page.

G&L Dealer page US & Canada. International distributors are listed here.

As many of us are aware, there is an incredible array of sounds to be had from our L series basses. Add in the "DavePlaysBass" mods and it just gets better. A player with the handle of "Femto" put together a bunch of recordings of the various sounds to be had from all sorts of switch settings and congregated them on a single page. That page is here. Femto, I don't know who you are or where you are, but thanks a lot for your hard work!

Edit 11/2/2017. Speaking of DavePlaysBass, TDR1138 nudged me a bit to post the source of our non-factory (non-"K") single coil circuits. I couldn't find my copy (it's around here someplace), so he send me another one. With that, here's how it all started, right here.


G&L Tribute Serial Numbering

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 9:05 pm
by Ken Baker
G&L Tribute Serial Numbering scheme

From GuitarsByLeo

Tribute serial number formats are:

nnnnnnn (e.g., 0123456 - Made In Japan Tribute Models only)
Just a string of numbers with no date coding

YYMMnnnn (e.g., 01234567 - Made In Korea Tribute Models only)
Two digit Year, two digit Month, four digit serial number
Example: 02113587 would be the 3587th instrument built in November of 2002

YYMMnnnnn (e.g., 012345678 - Made In Indonesia Tribute Models only)
Two digit Year, two digit Month, five digit serial number
Example: 090812428 would be the 12428th instrument built in August of 2009

LYYMMnnnn (e.g., L01234567 - Made In China Tribute Models only)
"L" to denote Chinese, two digit Year, two digit Month, four digit serial number. Cantrell Rampage
Example: L10030974 would be the 974th instrument built in March of 2010


Switchcraft jack information

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:17 pm
by Ken Baker
Switchcraft jack information

Open frame jacks, such as those found in G&L Legacy guitars, Fender Stratocasters, etc. Links to Switchcraft.
Open frame jack dimensions.

Enclosed frame jacks, such as those found in some older G&L basses, MusicMan StingRay basses, etc. Links to Switchcraft.
Enclosed frame jack dimensions.

Deep panel jacks, such as those found in modern G&L L series basses, G&L ASAT guitars, etc. Links to Switchcraft.
Deep panel jack dimensions.

Schematics for all the above

The above can also be found in the L series jack replacement page, found here.


Skijump Comments and Setup Hints

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:00 pm
by Ken Baker
So this guy describes a case of skijump...

This is a copy & paste of a post of mine done elsewhere. It was my response to the question, "Can skijump be permanently repaired?"

But first... Some may not know what skijump is, so a brief description is in order. Skijump is an abnormal forward bow/bend in the neck at roughly the neck/body joint, which is usually about the 12th fret. This bend results in action that is very high at the 12th fret. The instrument is usually playable up to about the 9th or 10th fret, with unplayably high action until about the 18th or 19th fret. Trussrod and saddle adjustments cannot compensate for skijump.

Can skijump be permanently repaired? Sometimes maybe, but everything I've read and learned says that it's pretty much permanently disfigured. It can usually be repaired, and the repair may last for several years, but the repair rarely is permanent over the life of the instrument.

The root of the problem is that the wood of the neck isn't as strong as it needs to be, particularly in the area of the neck/body joint. This basically means that it can affect ANY neck type - bolt-on, set, or thru, though it's most often seen in bolt-on necks due to human involvement. This is not a problem that will affect all necks, and is actually unusual. However, for those necks that may be more susceptible to skijump, the problem's onset can be hastened and/or exacerbated by improper neck tilt adjustments, whether via adjuster or shim.

3-bolt necks with the MicroTilt (Fender) or Precision Tilt (G&L) are, by design, really no more susceptible to skijump than non-adjustable necks. Where they run into problems is when users over-adjust the tilt then over-tighten the neck screws, which can force a skijump through the mechanical clamping action of the neck screws. It's a matter of where the neck screws are located relative to the position of the outboard end of the body pocket and the tilt adjuster. If you raise the neck heel enough with the adjuster then really crank down on the 2 neck screws nearest the outboard end of the body pocket, it is possible over time to draw the neck into a skijump bend. While a bunch of people over-adjust the tilt (at least at first), the lion's share of the problem here is the over-tightening of the neck screws. I've bought (and sold off) a badly skijumped bass where this was exactly the cause of the problem. I currently own a 25 year old bass where the 3-bolt neck has been properly adjusted using a fair amount of tilt and just enough tightness on the screws to keep the neck perfectly in place and there is zero skijump in evidence.

Shimming can create the same sort of problem as adjusters but it takes a little more effort to screw things up. In my experience, it's best to place shims at neck screw locations (with holes punched in the shims). Then the neck screws are carefully tightened, but not over tightened. If shims are placed outboard of screw locations and the neck screws are over tightened, the same clamping action described above can cause problems. It's also worth noting that the middle screws on 6-bolt necks especially need to be carefully tightened. Perhaps a thinner shim can be placed there in addition to the shim used to create the tilt.

In the end, it's just a mechanical problem stemming from the strength (or lack of enough strength) of the neck wood. The bad part is that humans sometimes don't help much. There is no way of knowing ahead of time, or during the manufacturing process, if a given neck may be susceptible to skijump. It is literally the luck of the draw. It's also worth noting that even with a neck that may be susceptible, proper use of tilt adjustments and neck screw tightening will probably help avoid the problem all together.

Michael Dolan is a well respected luthier in Santa Rosa, CA, USA. What he many times does to repair skijump is plane a little bit extra from the fingerboard from about the 11th or 12th fret to the end (23rd or so). This allows for the skijump to return, which it will do, and still leave the instrument in more-or-less playable condition. He then re-frets the board and re-finishes what needs refinishing.


JB and JB-2 Pickup Dimensions

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:04 am
by Ken Baker
Pickup lengths for G&L Vintage Jazz Style pickups:

USA JB and JB-2 pickups are different lengths.
Neck: 3.60" (91.44mm)
Bridge: 3.72" (94.488mm)

Tribute JB-2 pickups are the same.
Both: 3.64" (92.456mm)


Early 80s L-2000 Circuit Diagram

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:58 pm
by Ken Baker
Circuit diagrams for the early 1980s L-2000 basses.

Click the image for PDF versions.


This diagram, along with technotes from Paul Gagon of BBE/G&L, can be found here on the BassesByLeo main website.


Replacement pots for your G&L bass

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:43 am
by Ken Baker
Replacement pots for your G&L bass

Below is a listing of the pots needed for various G&L basses along with links to G&L's online store. Pots for the new M Series basses are not yet available.

Some things to pay attention to:

[list]USA basses use solid shaft pots (except for a small period when supplies were short) which require knobs that use set screws. If you have the urge to change out your Tribute bass controls to USA pots you'll also need to invest in a set of USA knobs.

Tribute pots have split shafts and are designed to use push-on knobs. They can use the USA-style knobs with set screws, but special sleeves are required to fit over the knurled shafts.

The bass control pot that G&L uses in its instruments is a bit of an odd duck. Technically, it is referred to as a 1 megohm reverse audio (or reverse log) taper pot. They are not a real common part, so sourcing them outside of G&L can be a challenge.

For those who are technically inclined and might be wondering, the 250K and 500K pots (both USA and Tribute) are audio taper. The 1M pot (also both USA and Tribute) is, as noted above, reverse audio taper. None of them are linear taper except for the M Series basses.

USA built ASAT, L-1000, L-150x, Climax, L-2000, and L-2500 basses all use the same pots: 250K for the volume and treble, 1M for the bass. The 250K are located here. Be sure to select the proper resistance. The 1M are located here. Note that the 1M are split shaft but a sleeve is included for use with the USA instruments.

USA built SB-1 and SB-2 basses of all vintages use 250K pots for everything. These are located here.

USA built JB-2 and JB basses also use all 250K pots. These are located here.

USA built El Toro and Interceptor use 250K for the volume, 500K for the treble, and 1M for the bass. These are located here and here. Be sure to select the proper resistance.

USA built "Old Guys"; Lynx, L5000, LB-100/Legacy; use all 250K pots. These are located here.

Tribute Series L-2000 and L-2500 use the same pots: 250K for the volume and treble, 1M for the bass. These are located here. Be sure to select the proper resistance.

Tribute Series JB-2 basses use all 250K pots. These are located here.

Tribute Series SB-2 basses use all 250K pots. These are located here.

Those Tribute basses where the pots are mounted to a pickguard may be able to use the short-shaft guitar versions of the pots, but this should be decided on an individual basis because this isn't a hard & fast rule. The pictures on the G&L Online Store are accurate representations, so eyeball what you have and compare it before placing your order. Also know that the longer shafts will work just fine with a pickguard; you'd just use two nuts per pot to position and mount it.


Setup Basics

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:10 pm
by Ken Baker
Setup basics

Slack off the strings and loosen the Saddlelock screw. Set the B (or E) saddle so that it has about 1/8" of clearance between the bottom of the saddle and the bridge plate. Then adjust the remaining saddles to roughly follow the fingerboard radius. The G saddle should have less clearance than the B (or E), to give you an idea of where I'm headed. Be sure to keep the bottom of the saddles parallel to the bridge plate and all adjusters in contact with the bridge plate to avoid odd vibrations later.

Read this and retune to pitch. Fret the B (or E) string at the 1st and 21st frets (a capo will help here) and measure the clearance between the string and the 8th fret. Adjust the trussrod so that this clearance is .018" to .022" (.45mm to .56mm). Retune and readjust intonation.

These might not be your ideal settings, but they should get you in the ballpark and get the saddles about where they should be. If it's way off you may have to shim the neck, which is not at all uncommon and is another bridge we can cross. Anyway, fine tune from here remembering that the trussrod is mostly used to raise & lower overall action and that the saddles are used to fine tune (meaning small adjustments) individual strings, particularly in the higher registers. Don't forget to re-tighten the saddle lock screw.

Pickup height is a matter of personal taste and how hard you want to drive your amp. MFD pickups are VERY hot, so a lot of players lower the pickups quite a bit. The fat string side is usually lower than the skinny string side. The pole piece adjusters are like little volume controls for each string. You can leave them as is, adjust to follow fingerboard radius, or adjust for whatever you want. If raising them, a little bit can go a long way. If the bass is new, turn them in a half turn to break loose the wax potting, then adjust as needed. Important: Be sure to fully engage the allen wrench in the pole adjuster to avoid stripping it out. Don't force things, as the poles and adjusters are soft iron.


El Toro and Interceptor Switches and Controls

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:44 pm
by Ken Baker
The switch settings for the El Toro and Interceptor are a little different than those of the L Series basses. Here's how they work:

Controls are Volume, Treble, Bass. Just like the L series, they also work in passive mode.

Top switch: Pickup select; neck, both, bridge. However...

Middle switch: Parallel, Series/OMG. This is where the El Toro and Interceptor become unique. The humbucking pickups' coils are internally wired in series, so series mode here cannot be selected in the same way that series mode can be selected in the L series . What the switch does is this: In parallel mode, the two pickups' signals are used either singly or in parallel to each other, which allows for pickup selection. In series/OMG mode, the two pickups' signals are aggregated in series. Because the pickups' coils are internally connected in series, selecting an individual pickup would break the entire signal chain. So in this position, the pickup select switch doesn't work. The net effect of series/OMG is a large, virtual, 4-coil, series-connected, humbucking pickup with huge tone. And then they added a 0.1mfd OMG cap to the signal chain to sink off a pile of treble.
TL;DR - Parallel or Series/OMG with pickup select only available in parallel.

Bottom switch: Active/Passive. Unlike the L series, active here does add a bit of gain.


A cautionary tale of induced noise

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:15 pm
by Ken Baker
Back in August 2013 member delta90h posted that he was having trouble with EMI noise with his US L-2000. Here's the thread.

Over months of back & forth and a lot of work on his part, it finally came down to the strings not being properly grounded. Why? They were Elixir coated strings. He replaced them with non-coated strings and the issue was resolved.

As I said at the end of the thread, we'll take this as a lesson to remove the coating from the eyelets before installing.