G&L Build Quality

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jwfran04, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. jwfran04

    jwfran04 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    So I wanted to try something a little different and stumbled upon some videos of the G&L ASAT Special, justnick's video in particular sparked my interest. I got a new ASAT Special Tribute with the mahogany body for a good price so I went ahead and took a chance through the mail (great return policy helped, free return shipping!). I got it in the mail today and was floored by the quality of the instrument! Great sounding pickups, stellar fit and finish for the most part, and pretty much ready to play right out of the box. I think for the money, I would be hard pressed to find a better foreign made guitar. I'm seriously considering getting a USA made Legacy as I am a past owner of a American Standard Strat and miss those tones. I'd be interested to hear anyone else's thoughts on G&L's as I feel (and some other threads around here have stated the same) they are really underrated. As a disclaimer, I am in no way affiliated with G&L (or any other company for that matter, just an amateur here).
     
  2. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    36,346
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    I think G&L is as good if not better than Fender at every price point.

    I'd own a Bluesboy if I could find one with a thicker neck. Congrats on the new guitar.
     
  3. XKnight

    XKnight Member

    Messages:
    11,091
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    I never owned a Tribute Series G&L, but have owned many USA G&Ls from the 90s to the present and they all have been exceptional quality instruments. I would compare regular USA G&L to Fender Custom Shop as far as quality. One caveat, G&L pickups don't generally sound like Fender pickups so the tones will not be the same. Not better or worse, just different.
     
  4. Multicellular

    Multicellular Member

    Messages:
    7,883
    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Never owned one, but ive played a few and they were all nice. Good array of options too.
     
  5. airportbar

    airportbar Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    CA
    This.

    As far as the pick-ups, they've started mixing in different types of Alnicos in both the Legacy and ASAT models, in addition to their usual MFDs, Z-coils, and blades. I played an ASAT Classic Alnico not too long ago that sounded like a vintage tele through a blackface amp.
     
  6. LPMojoGL

    LPMojoGL Music Room Superstar Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,284
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I have a USA G&L Legacy. Great quality instrument. Like it better than any Fender I've ever picked up.
     
  7. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,254
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    This is what I have, too. I got it a few years ago and did a few modifications along the way. I put on a bone nut, gave it a Plek job, replaced the saddles with the US version (they are brass), and gave the neck a satin finish. With .010 or .011 gauge pure nickel strings, I think it sounds amazing. Folks who hear it don't believe how cheap it was.
     
  8. jwfran04

    jwfran04 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Yeah, I'm going to change the nut, put on a tusq string tree and sand down the neck finish to make it satin too. Really pleased with the guitar already, a little work and I think it will be even better.
     
  9. GGinMP

    GGinMP Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco peninsula
    I traded up from a Fender Japan Strat to a G&L Legacy. Liked the Strat a lot, but I love the Legacy. My #1 for 20 years or so.
     
  10. o0Ampy0o

    o0Ampy0o Member

    Messages:
    2,480
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Location:
    Over the Radar
    General build quality is very good. Some people think the G&L necks are chunkier than Fenders. They offer different necks though. The standard on the USA models is the one frequently described as chunkier than a Fender.

    Some models like the Legacy have bass and treble roll off (they call it PTB passive treble bass) rather than the traditional Fender Strat control settings so this will have an effect on the tone. Essentially you have a volume, treble and bass that works on each pickup. There will always be differences of opinion on Strat tones. Even with a Strat some people change their underwear less than their pickups searching for something they don't even know of until they find it. If you have a fixed idea of what The Strat Tone is you should probably change the wiring if you get a Legacy. I have a broad concept of a Strat tone. It merely requires single coils in the three positions with at least the 5 traditional switching positions. It will quack.

    You can order off a limited option menu and have a G&L built accordingly. I would discourage ordering sunbursts and ordering tinted necks. Buy those off the showroom floor (hard store or online if the actual guitar is shown) so you know what you are getting. G&L is inconsistent spraying sunbursts and tinting necks. Necks range from orange to golden to yellow-greenish. The real orange has been eliminated but not the yellow-green. I have seen bursts that are practically solid black with only a spot of wood grain showing in the center. Or there is hardly any burst at all, common on Honeybursts. G&L seems to have a blurry definition of some colors. Sometimes the colors are indistinguishable between the different bursts (3-tone, two-tone, Tobacco, Autumn, Honey, Cherry, etc.). Someone can come up with a description of what makes which but the factory doesn't consistently adhere to it. They are all generally beautiful results but when you order something you have an expectation.

    Other than tinted necks and bursts order away.
     
  11. duaneallen

    duaneallen Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,867
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    OC/LA
    Definitely check weight. I've owned a couple of G&Ls, and played many others. The build quality is there, but most of them were very heavy. A big turnoff for me.
     
  12. SouthpawGuy

    SouthpawGuy Member

    Messages:
    2,867
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    G&L is now including the weight on the build or spec sheet for guitars.

    fwiw I have 20+ G&Ls, and eight US Fenders, the weight of the G&Ls does vary more than the Fenders (which are all of a similar weight, except for a '70s Strat which is heavy ). My lightest Legacy is just over 7lbs, the heaviest must be over 8.5lbs.

    As for neck size older G&Ls almost universally have smaller necks than current ones, all of my '90s G&Ls have a neck size very similar to both of my '90s AM Std Strats.
     
  13. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,765
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I can't say I'm overly impressed with their quality these days. The necks always feel kind of "unrefined" for lack of a better term. They're too heavy, pickups never sounded that great to my ears, and unlike many, I actually don't like their overly clunky hardware. A local high end guitar shop used to carry them many years ago and I remember them being pretty decent then but that was maybe 10 or 15 years ago.
     
  14. Turi

    Turi Member

    Messages:
    9,497
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    My USA ASAT is freaking amazing.

    Best build quality, ever. You can't beat it. I wouldn't change a thing.

    Absolutely amazing guitar in every way.

    Hearing more good stuff about the tribute build qualities has me really wanting to snag myself a bluesboy tribute.

    Southpaw has what is one of the best looking guitars I've ever seen, period. Gorgeous cherry burst bluesboy.
    So freaking nice.
     
  15. SciFlyer

    SciFlyer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,854
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    MI
    I ordered a custom Fallout last year and it is the nicest guitar I own. They got everything right. I have no complaints. Took about 11 or 12 weeks if I remember correctly.
     
  16. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

    Messages:
    3,979
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Location:
    NJ
    I keep hearing about the Tributes..sounds like they are a great value. The Fallouts were blown out recently..if I had the need I would have jumped on one.

    I have only owned one, a USA Legacy I bought new in 2008 or so. Great guitar, built like a brick sheet house and I love the stability of the trem and it is great for palm mutes and working the trem with the palm of your hand.

    That said, I'm a bargain hunter and would probably buy used if I bought another.

    I classify G&L with Heritage and Hamer for great values.
     
  17. DCFanatic

    DCFanatic Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Build quality is superior to Fender USA by far.

    Owner of an ASAT Custom Classic, ASAT Bluesboy and ASAT Legacy (US built).

    The Factory PLEK probably helps with the initial setup, but whenever I've picked up a USA Fender at a shop I've been underwhelmed compared to the quality of the G&Ls I owned.
     
  18. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,089
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Mid Atlantic USA
    I've been a big G&L fan since the mid-90s and have several. I agree on general build quality being superior. Love my G&Ls...

    Given the tendency to smaller necks I'm lucky to have pretty chunky necks on my ASAT Z-3 Semihollow (factory order, total home run in quality, sound & playability) and ASAT Bluesboy SH (a used/mint local find with a big neck). My S-500 also has a moderately chunky neck.

    FWIW, weights (these are all '90s guitars) are:

    S-500 8.0 lbs.
    Z-3 SH 6.7
    ASAT Spec. SH/Bigsby (#1) 6.4
    ASAT Spec. SH/Bigsby (#2) 6.0
    GbL LE 7.1

    Don't have the weights for the Bluesboy (light) and SB-2 bass... I also had a '93 Legacy that I miss that was under 8 lbs.
     
  19. jocfan1

    jocfan1 Member

    Messages:
    687
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Philadelphia, OH
    Yup. In fact I have yet to jam with anyone else who didn't find my Legacy at least competitive with any Strat they own.
     
  20. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,240
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    can't speak for the tribute series but the usa g&l's rival fender custom shop quality at a much better price. my '14 legacy special is a fantastic playing and sounding guitar. the build quality is up there with my usa hamers which is top notch.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice