G&L Tribute: worth the $$ savings?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by trumpus, May 19, 2006.


  1. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Hey all,

    I have been a Gibson/small semi-hollow player (though i do have a Tele a a backup, backup) guitar for a long time, but lately, have been longing for a little twang. I have been looking into picking up a strat-style guitar, and based on price:qulity ratio, the G&L guitars have risen to the top of my list.

    I don't have a ton of cash to drop on a new axe, without selling something (which i'd like to avoid right now, as i'm really happy with the rest of my gear). Realistically, what are your opinions on the G&L Tribute guitars, when compared to the USA models?

    The prices for the Tributes seem REALLY good, and if the quality is on par with the USA models, or at least better than the Fenders in the same price range, i'd be down to grab one ASAP! For those that play them, do you generally swap out pickups? Hardware? Or are the stock guitars pretty nice as is?

    Any opinions would be great!

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  2. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    IMHO the Tribute G&L's are far more consistent in quality that Fenders of the same price range, and even somewhat higher.
     
  3. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Hey trumpus,

    I wouldn't swap out the pups. They are American, same as the Legacy USA. You may want to change the pots & switch, you may not. I have one with an ash body, natural finish, rosewood, tortoise p/g and it sounds/plays great. The hardware, tuners, trem, etc. are also fine. I have no plans on changing them. Unfortunately, I got this in Dec. and have plugged it in just a couple times.

    I also have a 1996, 50th anniv. strat in Oly white and I think the G&L is right up there with it as far as quality, fit, finish, etc.

    If you're interested in either, pm me. On the G&L, I'll have to ask a friend first, as he has expressed an interest in it.

    The Fender needs a set up. I'd have that done before sending it to anyone. Great guitar, it just doesn't get any play time.

    Good Luck in your search
     
  4. NatStrat79

    NatStrat79 Member

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    i just picked up a used USA legacy for about 600 and man its the best strat style guitar ive ever played its on par with some of the custom shop fender stuff my local store had. I did however play some of the tribute series guitars before i stumbled across this legacy. What i found was that for the money they really cant be beat. For some reason the tribute asats seemed to play easier and sound better than the tribute legacys. The two tribute legacys i played were the standard series whereas the asats were the premiums so that might have been the difference. If you have the extra cash the USA G&L's really are nice guitars but if you cant afford it you will most likely enjoy your tribute series guitar.

    oh yeah and i almost forgot i was told by my local dealer that all the pickups in the tribute series are the same USA made pickups as any other G&L.
     
  5. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    I bought a Tribute ASAT last year. I was Tele shopping, and I played all the American, Mexican and Korean Fender/Squiers, as well as the USA G&Ls. The Tribute beat all the Fenders and Squiers, no question about it. It was just slightly inferior to the American G&Ls, but for the money it was an excellent guitar.

    But you must upgrade the pots - they are crap! I put Duncan pickups in mine too. The stock pups were okay, but I thought them to be a little sterile. I put a Broadcaster in the bridge, Vintage in the neck, and it's the Tele tone I've always had in my head.
     
  6. Aahzz

    Aahzz Member

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    I just recently bought a Tribute ASAT Classic, and I couldn't be happier with it. The quality's on par with my previous American Standard Strat. I may swap out the pots at some point, as they're a little stiif, but the pickups sound great, the setup's fantastic - can't go wrong with one of these, IMO. Far better than any of the Mexican or Korean Fenders I checked out.
     
  7. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the great replys!

    I am more than likely going to pick up a G&L to satisfy my Stat GAS, so it's just a matter of whether or not I can get enough cash together to grab a USA or a Tribute.

    As for switching out the pots - I have no knowledge of guitar pots. What do you guys recommend as replacements?

    Brian
     
  8. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    Check out the options for pots and caps at the RS Guitarworks web site. I really dig the Hovlands.
     
  9. guitarplayaman

    guitarplayaman Member

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    Anybody have issues with the necks? The ones I tried out to the fret edges seemed really sharp and the necks not the best quality....
     
  10. xroads

    xroads Member

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    ditto on the ASAT Tribute; had one with transparent ash body/rosewood board. After changing the pots and the nut, it sounded fantastic. No problems whatsoever with the neck or frets (the setup was on the high side, but I like that anyway). Kind of regret that I sold it....
    btw: the G&L pu's have a higher output, so some people say they sound sterile. If you prefer vintage, you might want to change them; I noticed that after the pot/capacitor change, I could dial in pretty good vintabge type sounds with theG&L pu's.
     
  11. Aahzz

    Aahzz Member

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    Mine has one of the nicest necks I've played - the fret ends are perfect...
     
  12. Junior

    Junior Member

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    A word about sharp fretends - this happens when the wood shrinks and the frets don't. This happens to all guitars with wooden necks, and is not a factory defect, it's a shop defect. Politely call it to the attention of a clerk, and they should say, "No problem, we'll take care of that." If they blame it on the factory, run away. If they can't take care of it, I'd keep shopping in the hopes of finding a store that can handle minor warrantee work.

    There was a problem with the original pots used in Tributes, G&L did the right thing and upgraded them to some of the best pots I've seen used in any guitar. If, by chance, you get an early one, just call G&L, they'll send you new pots. G&L's customer service is the best I've seen.

    Brian, for your purposes, a Tribute is perfect. A lot of the extra money for an American model goes into supporting all the options. Up to now, most all American G&Ls have been custom order. Even store stock has to be spec'd and then you wait your turn, it goes through like any private customers order. For sure, there is difference, the guitars from Fender Ave are exquisite and certainly have all the mojo that comes from many hand operations, but as a musical instrument the Korean G&Ls lack nothing in tone or playabilty, IMHO.

    Still, used, in this case, is a very good option. The Fender brand has such a hold on the general public's awareness that G&Ls sell used for "copy" prices.
     
  13. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I've got a Tribute ASAT Special semi-hollow. Frankly, I was astounded at the quality, certainly for the price. Even if it had a much higher price tag, I wouldn't have seen anything out of place; it isn't just a "good guitar for the price," it's a good guitar period. With one exception: I got an older Tribute with the crusty pots. The switch was fine, the wiring was good, but the volume pot didn't work & the tone was scratchy. Since I can replace pots myself, it cost me $10 and a few minutes of time (I learned later I could have called G&L for replacement pots.)

    It's a very impressive instrument. Mine has the big MFD pickups, which I like, but not to everyone's taste. I played a few before i got mine, and they were far more consistent than any line of Fender Teles I've played (including the 52RI.)

    In my worthless opinion, you're making a good choice.
     
  14. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    The only neg (to me) of a Tribute over a MIA Fender - and only if this bothers you - is they all have 1 5/8" nuts. But so do all the MIM and Korean Fenders as do most MIA G&Ls. I just really like the extra width. But I played a Tribute ASAT Classic and it was very very nice with great tone through a Vox AC15.
     
  15. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the great input!

    So here's another question - what is the difference, in general, between the S-500 and the Legacy?

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  16. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    The Legacy is more a traditional strat style guitar: 5 way switching, vol, tone, tone and alnico pups.

    The S500 has Leo's MFD pups and an extra toggle to give you a total of 7 sounds.
     
  17. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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    I will picking up a Legacy Tribute in June. Up here in Toronto, they are about $10- $50 above the price of a MIM Standard Strat depending on finish and where you buy. I preferred the sound of the pups. The Treble and Bass rolloff are more logical to me. I like the 12" radius over the 9.5"

    The S500 is totally different beast. Wide range of sounds, generally fatter, in/out of phase. Nice, but I was looking for the more vintage sound.

    I'll post after I've had time with it.
     

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