BGRA: G&L L-1000 (1982)

Manufacturer G&L Model L-1000 (1982)
Reviewer Capt. John N. Raguso Email
Experience 42 Item owned A very, very long ti
Review Date 2006-01-02 Price paid $245
Bass type4 string fretted
Neck joinBolt-On
Neck constructionhard rock maple
FingerboardIndian Rosewood
BodyMahogany, 2-piece
Finishglossy black
Pickupssingle MFD dual coil humbucker
HardwareSchaller lightweight clover head tuners
ElectronicsPassive, with standard volume and separate treble & bass cut controls; 3- way toggle for twin coil humbucking, single rear coil, and single coil with extreme bass boost
I picked this 1982 L-1000 bass up used for only $245 way back in 1986 and it has been my solid fav ever since. I also own Stingrays and Sterlings and other G&L basses, and have bought and sold dozens of Fender basses in my 42-year pro playing career.

However, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can touch the quality, sound, top-shelf construction and playability of this G&L L-1000 bass. Without question, Leo Fender hit a 5-run homer with this axe and it simply is the best production bass on the market, bar none.

I've owned a few L-2000s, which are made with a different wood (Alder) than the mahogony on this bass. I also find that the L-2000s will buzz like crazy under the right circumstances (house lights and dimmer controls at most bars and clubs), which drives me crazy. The humbucking position on the L-1000's toggle is the cleanest and fullest sounding that I have ever heard from a passive bass, featuring balanced output on all four strings, with chunky lows and crystal clear highs. The single coil position sounds a little thinner with less low end growl, very much like a Fender P-Bass. The single coil with bass boost toggle position will literally blow the speakers right out of your amp, so be very careful with this setting. I use this sound for funky slapping stuff, but roll off the volume a bit to reduce the overdrive. I don't know how Leo Fender got all of this tonal variation out of a single passive pickup format, but he did and it really is the best bass I've ever played that has a consistently great sound from year to year, no matter what amp or speaker combination I select for the gig.

You really have to pick up and play a mid-80s L-1000 to get the full meaning of my words. This bass is the "real deal" and is more "Fender" than any Fender bass I have ever owned in my lifetime. I love this so much I bought another used (1986) L-1000 as a backup to it on ebay bay, but the new one has a swamp ash body and a slightly different sound that is still nice in its own right, but not quite the same.

The mahogany body on the 1982 version sounds the richest to my ears. I would love to have one of these with a maple fretboard, which would add a little to the brightness of the sound--so if you see a nice one, give me a shout.

I can't believe that the current G&L owners (BBE took over after Leo died in 1991) stopped production of this fine instrument in 1992. What a shame! G&L rules the bass waves, no doubt, with the best sound and fit & finish in the business for the investment. Believe it dudes, I speak the truth.

construction (100%)
Totally bullet-proof, excellent fit & finish, massive saddle lock bridge
playability (100%)
A thinner, faster and more comfy P-bass neck
appearance (95%)
Basic passive layout, ergonomic controls,
sound (100%)
Versatile, can cover any style, THE BEST
value (98%)
Can't believe the used ones are going so cheap
service (95%)
G&L folks are always available; great website too
overall (100%)
This is the best passive bass on the planet, period!
The BGRA is generously underwritten by David King of Bass Guitar Systems.
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