Legacy vs S-500

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by geng, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. geng

    geng Member

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    Hi
    I have an eye on G&L legacy but I like to know the main difference between Legacy and S-500 models? Is it the same building quality, is it much different in sound? Is Legacy more vintage and S-500 more modern sounding instrument?
    Thanks
     
  2. Super Locrian

    Super Locrian Member

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    The S-500 is kind of an upgraded version of the Legacy, and has different pickups (which are wired so that you can have Neck + Bridge, or all 3 pickups simultaneously, in addition to the regular configurations). The S-500 also has better tuners (16:1 ratio vs. 12:1 on the Legacy).
     
  3. geng

    geng Member

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    Thanks
    So it is basically more versatile. I like that!
     
  4. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    The S-500 does have ceramic pickups, which to a vintage purist is like saying bad things about Jesus.
     
  5. tastylicks

    tastylicks Supporting Member

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    The Legacy sounds like a classic strat. The S-500 looks a lot like a strat but sounds significantly different, more of a modern higher output sound. Not the signature strat sound. Both are v nice guitars in IMO, but it would be worth playing one of each to decide which one you really want, sound-wise.
     
  6. TheOneOff

    TheOneOff Silver Supporting Member

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    :rotflmao
     
  7. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    I had a very early S-500 and absolutely loved it. Can't comment or help out on the Legacy.
     
  8. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Have had each. Very different sounding guitars. I think one either likes the sound of G&L MFD pickups or they don't. As has been said, they are ceramic, lots of glassy output, and they are night and day apart from Legacy alnico pickups. I personally prefer the sound of the Legacy.
     
  9. geng

    geng Member

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    Thanks

    I didn´t know S-500 have ceramic pups. I am looking for a pretty classic strat clean sound but also with more modern features and that distorts well. I have Fender 60th american anniversary stratocaster with vintage 57' so I´m used to Fender clean but I find it lacks sustain and more modern drive sound quality. I also have Musicman Axis Sport HH with great sustain and decent clean (coil tap).

    I heard nice S-500 wideo clips on Youtube.
     
  10. Zim

    Zim Member

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    You can mod the Legacy or any strat to do the Pup section like that found on the S-500 easy enough. And you can do it w/ a push/pull knob if you don't want to drill a hole for a toggle.


    Oh, And I love my '94 Legacy. Nice Classic tone!
     
  11. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    I had both. Couldn't get a tone I loved out of the S500, despite the upgraded switching. The Legacy was da bomb! One guitar I was nuts to get rid of. I'd like it back. Had one hot rails and two hot stacks in it. Super sweet.
     
  12. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    geng,
    I too have an American 60th Strat with the 57/62's in it, yes, I did pick it out from others and it is 7 .5 lbs, richly resonates, sustains well, sounds very vintage, and with the bridge pickup wired to the Delta tone control I find it will give great overdriven tones by just turning down to 7 on the tone knob. I did however install pure nickel strings and Shaller locking tuners, and did a set up, otherwise it is bone stock.
    What I am saying is a good set up should get you where your headed. Also try the pure nickel strings. And check to be sure your pickups are not too close to the strings. The 57/62's have the Alnico 5 magnets and will pull real hard on the strings destroying your sustain if they are too high. This will cause the complaints you describe as far as tone and sustain go.
    If you do these things and feel you want more from your overdriven tone then you could always drop a hotter pickup in the bridge position, but the 57/62 pickup is definately one of the best when it comes to traditional vintage Strat tone.
    Otherwise good luck in your search for tone and I hope you find it wherever it leads you.
    Best Regards!
     
  13. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    The Legacy pups are a nice mix between classic and modern. Since you're already familiar with MusicMan, Legacy pickups actually sound a bit like those in a MusicMan Silhouette Special. I prefer the Silo Special over the Legacy, and I sold my G&L's for a couple of the Silos, one in HSS and one SSS. Have you tried the Silo Specials yet?
     
  14. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    Dude, that is BS. It does not sound significantly different than a Strat. The pickups are a bit different and do have some more power but it still sounds like a Strat. I used to own one and I've owned several Strats and the S-500 sounds like a Strat. I'm not saying that it would sound exactly like a 1954 Stratocaster but to say that it sounds "significantly different" than a Strat is just stupid.
     
  15. geng

    geng Member

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    I tried silo special once in a music store and I liked it - it was very similar to american deluxe strat (v-neck) I had before my 60th anniversary. My friend son have silo special and lend it to me once for band practice but it sounded very bassy, definatly more than the guitar I tried in the music store and more bassy than my axis super sport. Not as high output though.
     
  16. geng

    geng Member

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    Thanks a lot
    Few weeks after I bougth my 60th fender strat I noticed a strange rattle, almost like it was some fret issue. I went back to the store and they took it for set up. Hey told me that it was a few things they changed to fix it. But all the time pickup has been very low so thats not the issue. I have heard before that vintage 57/62 needed pure nickel strings so I'm gonna try that. I use it with Mesa Lone Star classic 212 combo. Maybe they don´t match well together.

    Regards
     
  17. Oakley

    Oakley Silver Supporting Member

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    I love the sound of a Strat in someone else's hands. But the Strats I've owned have always sounded thin to me. When I played an S-500, I found a Strat-type guitar that I could really enjoy playing. It doesn't really sound like a typical Strat. It leans a little in a P-90 direction. But it sounds more like a Strat than anything else. It's a good guitar for someone looking for jazzy clean tones. That's why I like it. Probably not what most are loking for in a Strat type guitar, but perfect for me.
     
  18. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    I have had both. I prefer the Legacy. But really the difference is only pickups and electronics which are easily changed.
     
  19. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Curious if the bassy sounding one had a rosewood board. They use a pretty hefty rosewood slab. I have a rosewood and a maple, and the rosewood has a husky/bassy voice, whereas the maple one is bright and crisp sounding. No, not high output, but not vintage either.
     
  20. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Geez, this reply's a bit OTT. You're both basically agreeing...

    Both great sounding guitars, but - yes - the Legacy (or the now-on-hold George Fullerton Signature) are much more vintage/trad strat while the S-500 has more output and a more strident attack. The MFDs are badass, but capable of being more in-your-face and powerful. Of course, both models have G&L's PTP wiring which pushed either into the other's territory somewhat.

    Great info at the G&LDP FAQ:

    The G&L MFD Strat style pickups (4.1K - 4.7K) use a powerful ceramic magnet for increased output with fewer turns of wire. They are rather quiet for single coils and can easily overdrive a tube amp way before a guitar with alnico pickups could. These are harmonically rich pickups, but the overall tone varies greatly depending on the guitar that they are in. Early style S-500s and all SC-3s tend to sound bright while these pickups sound darker in Nighthawks, Skyhawks, Invaders, Interceptors and later style S-500s. Rolling back the treble control on the early S-500s and SC-3s will yield a more conventional sound while rolling back the bass control will do the same for the other models.

    G&L Vintage Style Alnico V (6.4K - 7.0K) - By 1995, G&L began hand winding its own vintage style alnico pickups for the Fullerton Signature model and they were eventually fitted to the Legacy as well. Like the Duncan SSL pickups, the G&L units have flush polepieces. The G&L pickups produce bright and glassy Strat tones. The bridge pickup has richer tone than the Duncan counterpart. The in-between sounds do not have as much "latex" to them as the Duncans.
     

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