G&L: Legacy, S500, Commanche

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gasp100, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone compare / contrast these guitars? The Legacy and S500 look almost identical to my untrained eye. The Commanche obviously uses those Z3 pups which scare me because I doubt they could ever be replaced, but they also have really good reputation as well (or so the internets say ;)
    There is an S500 on the bay that I'm reviewing with a humbucker in the bridge, but I've never seen that config before. It looks like a mod - anyone have any info on something like that? It's the only one I've ever seen. Might be cool.
     
  2. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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  3. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Member

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    I'm pretty sure they all have a swimming pool route, so you can switch pickups however you like. I have a Comanche and like it quite a lot, but may sell it because I've gotten used to beefier necks. I like the tones, and the noise-free operation is a big benefit.

    John
     
  4. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    I haven't played a Legacy. I really like the S-500s. The difference between the two is that the Legacy has DiMarzio's and the S-500s has G&L MFDs, which sound like Strat pups to me, but better. I suspect I would prefer the S-500 should I ever play both.

    The Commanche has the Z-3 pickups, and I find them to be very bland, although I like them in the Will Ray. Hope that helps! -E
     
  5. EndOfSystem

    EndOfSystem Senior Member

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    I've owned 3 Legacy's and 2 S500's, I found the S500 to be heavier. The last one I got from Buffalo Bros. was just over 9.5 lbs!!! I sent it back. What an anchor! The sound of the S500's are not like a vintage strat, but louder very nice. The Legacy's to me where very vintage, the pups weren't Dimarrzio ( I don't where that came from) but simple alnicos. Killer guitars for the price, hands down blows any production Fender away. The finishes are very, very nice. Get the neck with Satin, no gloss and your good to go.

    All of my Legacies where really nice, better that any of the 6 or 7 Strats I owned, all either american deluxe or vintage hot rods.

    I finally ended my "strat" journey with a Suhr. What are you gonna' do?

    - EOS
     
  6. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    Legacy's have never used Dimarizio single coil's. G&L winds their own "vintage alnico" single coils. Go to the G&L website and read up for yourself
     
  7. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

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    I have some Legacies and a S-500 and a Z-3 which uses the same pickup as the Commanche. The Legacies are the nicest to me because they are very nicely voice, vintage like everyone says. The S-500 sounds like 3 telecaster pickups put together still a single coil sound butmore midrange and a bit hotter where the Z coil pickup sounds the farthest from a vintage coil pickup, takes another step away the Legacy pickup.
     
  8. VintageKnob

    VintageKnob Supporting Member

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    I've also owned a few Legacy's and an S500, and now the only G&L I have is an ASAT classic which I love.

    Thinking about the MFD pups, I didn't keep my S500 long enough (too heavy) to try it, but with my ASAT, they have so much more output than traditional pups that for a vintage tele sound I keep the volume at 5 or 6, to get more body and fullness I'll go above that.

    It's almost like you've got two pups in one by using the volume knob. Perhaps the same apply to the MFD in an S500. I had an older Leo sig one I picked up used from GC. Returned it though. At the time I was looking for vintage tones.

    - D
     
  9. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow, some really good info here. Thanks folks.
    I guess I should really try and figure out what I want ;) Vintage vs. more modern, weight, customization, etc... I did have a Legacy and I thought is what fantastic (3 bolt). The S500's look nice too. The Commanche is really intriguing (as is the ASAT Z3 for sure).
    Anyway, lot's of choices from G&L and all good.
     
  10. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    Really? I thought I read the DiMarzio thing on G&L's site. Maybe they used to get 'em from DiMarzio? Maybe I'm wrong? -E

     
  11. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Leo & co. have outsourced some of their pickups, as well as using Kahler trems, from time to time depending on model specs at the time. Recently they dropped the Seymour Duncan Seth Lover neck bucker as standard equipment on Bluesboys, but you can still order it that way.

    I like the Comanches the best. A little more civilized than the S-500 MFDs, and quieter as well. My alder hardtail S-500 with ebony board is quite light, lightning sharp instrument, careful where you point it.
     
  12. jcground

    jcground Member

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    Legacys never had DiMarzio pickups. The early ones had Seymour Duncans, but newer ones have G&L's own Vintage pickups, as correctly noted by RussB.

    http://www.guitarsbyleo.com/faq.php3#Q2


    I have a very old SC-3 and an early 90s S-500. Both of my G&Ls have MFD pickups - hot, but work well in a variety of styles of music. I've gotten a lot of compliments about their tone. The Legacy will give you more Stratty quack, though.

    Another feature of the S-500 is the extra mini toggle that wires the two outside pickups together. Using it in combination with the traditional 5-way, you can easily get any combination of the three pickups, including all three on at once or just the two outside pickups. I love that.

    Both the Legacy and S-500 have a swimming pool route (unless you get a deluxe with a figured top and no pickguard), so pickup changes are do-able, though I've never been tempted to swap out my MFDs.

    FWIW - neither my SC-3 or S-500 are what I'd call heavy. Their weight is pretty typical of a bolt-on. My S-500 has an ash body, maple neck and rosewood board. Because it was purchased in the early 90s, it has a pretty thin neck carve. That was the rage back then, but not what I'd choose today if I was buying a new one. Note G&L has a variety of neck carves, so get what you want if you order one. G&Ls are often a very good deal on the used market, but make sure you know what you're getting because of that variety. Another thing to look for is the earlier G&Ls have a 3-bolt neck with a microtilt adjustment. Unlike 3-bolt necks from another famous builder in the 70s (which people avoid like the plague), the G&L 3-bolt design is excellent. They made the switch to 4-bolt eventually, I think because of the negative stigma of the 3-bolt design, but people in the know often prefer the G&L 3-bolts.
     
  13. ShaunzNoiz

    ShaunzNoiz Member

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    I've owned both a S-500 and a Legacy. The S-500 I could never get used to. The pickups were just a little bit too sterile to me. It was a beauty, and if I would have been thinking I would have kept it and changed the pickups.

    The Legacy is very much vintage strat. Sounds great. I have two pic gaurds for it that I change out between the standard pickups and a set of Joe Bardens with a Joe Perry model in the bridge. It's a flame thrower with the barden set-up.
     
  14. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    That's what I was thinking of. Sorry for the sloppy history. -E

     
  15. frisco kid

    frisco kid Member

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    All apologies to any Comanche owners but to my ears, the Z single coils sound best in a semi hollow ASAT platform.

    [​IMG]


     
  16. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I'm not prepared to challenge you on the Z-3; I just don't have enough seat time on one to know whether I'd prefer this model. I can say I can't reasonably fault this relatively lightweight ash bodied guitar. It simply does so many things a Fender Strat can't do:

    [​IMG]


    (that didn't stop me from picking up another Jimmie Vaughan today)
     
  17. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    I've got a 99 Comanche and really like it for all the sounds you can get from it . It's the only Strat type guitar that I'll actually used the middle position :AOK
     
  18. frisco kid

    frisco kid Member

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    Nice Comanche!:dude

     
  19. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I guess I should preface this and say that I've owned:
    A KILLER silver flake 3 bolt Legacy... missing it bigtime, best strat I ever played/owned
    Many excellent ASAT's including a great Bluesboy. I guess what threw me on those was the SUPER high output of the pups. I should have gotten used to and used the volume control more
    A MIK Tribute ASAT special that was also really nice, no match for the USA's though.
    Truth be told, I'm SUPER intrigued with those Z3 or Commanche pickups. At first I totally wrote them off as weird looking, but now I can't stop thinking about the ASAT Z3. Still, it's a little pricey even on the used market.
    I'll find something. I guess the question to always ask is neck carve / radius when buying a G&L.
     
  20. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

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    I had a Comanche and liked the sound enormously. For some reason I didn't like the same pickups in a hollow ASAT Z3.
     

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