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G & L Guitars

Does anyone have any experience with G & L guitars ? If so what do you think, pros, cons, etc. In particular the G & L strat styles.
I've been looking at picking up a new axe, and lite upon G & L, I saw some in a store, they sound ok, but that's just in the store, so really can't tell.
A couple things I did notice though is that the tail piece floats or rests on what appears to be a rubber wash between the tail piece and the body, humm, wondering if I could actually lock the tailpiece to the body, like I can on my fender and have no whammy if I want.
Also, I think, but could be wrong, the string height off the body is higher than a standard strat, I notice how high the pickups were raised, suggesting the string height was actually higher.
The guitars seemed to be setup just fine and play well.
Any thoughts. .


BobRogers Thu, 03/29/2007 - 09:38
I don't have any experience with the strat copy, but I had one of the teles. It was very nice. Excellent fit and finish. Fretwork, nut, setup as good as Fenders twice the price. (I do my own setups, so this doesn't matter much to me, but it show the level of care.) I sold it because is was very similar in tone to a Fender I have, and I liked the vintage style bridge and the color (CAR) of the Fender. The G&Ls tend to be hard to sell on the used market, so they are a great deal used and a not so good deal new (if you have to resell).

moonbaby Thu, 03/29/2007 - 10:20
G&L makes very good instruments, much better than "L"'s original company, for sure. I have an ASAT thinline from their import line and even it beats the "real" Tele thinlines I've seen lately. Great fit and finish.
Anyway, I work with a couple of players who have the Strat-style models made in the States. Theirs aren't the lowest action, either, and the reason for that is that many "modern country" players (a large % of their customers) tend to want more 'snap' and sustain in their sound, and a
real low slinky action won't help you get that. You might discuss this with your local guitar tech. Does the G&L dealer have one?

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 03/29/2007 - 12:31
String height

moonbaby wrote:
Theirs aren't the lowest action, either, and the reason for that is that many "modern country" players (a large % of their customers) tend to want more 'snap' and sustain in their sound, and a
real low slinky action won't help you get that. You might discuss this with your local guitar tech. Does the G&L dealer have one?

Sorry I didn't mean to imply string height as in 'action', as in string height off the fingerboard......I meant string height off the actual guitar body. Fender strats have a very low body to string height, where as a Teley is a bit higher, (I'll stand to be correct though). High or low, what's better ? my right hand seems to be more comfortable with a higher setting.
But back to my orginal point with the G & L strat types, I thought the string to body height was higher than a normal Fender Strat, I'll take a better look next time I go back.
And yes the deals has a couple in the store to play, which I did, nice guitars....I'm just wonder what people's impressions are, especially from people who have played them for a while and as in maybe comparsion with a standard American strat.

moonbaby Thu, 03/29/2007 - 14:31
Well, JoeJoe, you have a point there. I have owned probably a dozen Strats over my lifetime, and the string clearance over the pickguard has
always bugged me because it made it too easy to scratch it up with the pick. It also may have something to do with the tailpiece assembly. The G&L's sits a bit "higher in the saddle" (bad pun intended), and that may
translate to more downward pressure on the saddles, which aids in sustain and tuning stability. Personally, I am not a fan of the American Fenders and don't think they are worth the $$ they are asking for them.
Anyone I've known with a G&L has a Fender or two, and seem to prefer the G&L as their "main axe". Some have had them for going on 20 years now.

Davedog Fri, 03/30/2007 - 16:20
These are quality guitars.

As in ALL things, comparing one guitar to another is a wasted use of grey matter. They are all different. Much like two blondes. Same look, different feels.

Heres the bottom line when selecting an axe.

1. Does it play like I want it to play?

2. Does it sound like I need it to sound in order to be me?

3. Is the finish well done and does the thing feel solid in my hands?

4. Does Lenny Kravitz own and play one?

5. Sorry...............

6.Is this a piece of gear that I'm wanting to grow old with?

7. Can I afford to starve my children for a month or two in order to attain this?

8. and most importantly......

9. Will it get me laid???

Personally, I like the G&L basses a lot more than the guitars, but thats just my opinion. As for resale, the guitars dont hold up in value while the basses seem to increase a bit.

But then, Leo was a great bass builder.

I DO like the ASAT Tele a lot.

NOTHING......nothing is a Strat....... NOTHING.

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 03/31/2007 - 12:09
I don't have any personal experience, but a bit of an anecdote:

A friend of mine had been yearning and pining for an American Fender strat for pretty much his entire guitar-playing life. Well over a decade. For various reasons, he never got around to buying one-- usually, his financial situation. Finally he had the dosh to get his strat, went down to the store to play some. He played a bunch of Fenders, and also played a G&L...

And you can guess already which he walked out with. If you haven't guessed, it was the G&L. ;) That's after many years of wanting specifically an "American Fender." He's the first to admit he partially just wanted that "Fender made in the U.S.A." decal and the licensed Fender headstock shape. Yet, he walked out with the G&L. :) That's saying something when the playability and tone were that much better.


Davedog Sat, 03/31/2007 - 16:14
JoeJoeMan wrote: Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm.....Davedog, I take it you'd rather play a real strat'

This is a true statement. But theres a qualifier. It has to be the Strat that feels right to me. There are so many that are junk. American, Mexi, Korean, Martian....whatever. Notice I did NOT list the Japanese models.

I have never played a bad one.... Never. I own a 62 reissue Jap. Its 20 years old now. Its aging just like the 'real' ones age. Its stock. I have owned around 20 Strats. Several pre-CBS and 4 were 64 or earlier. Several were junk. One still makes me want to slit my wrists for selling it........................

GregP's point about which guitar his friend walked out of the store with only illustrates the point as what was available to him in that particular store at that particular time. On another day, with an exceptional instrument available, he might have had his long standing dream fullfilled by the Fender boys.

They're all different. I cant emphasize that enough. And what you get as far as setup and condition at the store is a crapshoot too.

I ONLY look at the weight and the comfort of the neck when I'm looking at instruments. A setup, done properly, can make any guitar be the 'perfect' instrument. And you're NOT going to get a great setup at any of the the Guitargets or Banjomarts. Sure theres lots of product, but enough doggs in the selection to forever taint someones opinion of a particular make or model.

Go to a boutique dealer who takes pride in their wall hangings and sets things up to a playable condition.

Its then that the true nature of an instrument of choice can be deduced.

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 04/01/2007 - 12:19
Well the point i'm getting from you guys is that....either G & L or Fender Strats are good, ahh depending on setup, pickups, my playing needs, etc.
Good point Dave, I don't want to buy site unseen, ie mail order, so I'll press the dealer to get the setup right before the sales.
Anyway, here is what I'm wondering about G & L, not that I've commited to one yet, but will any issuses arrise at some point, like if I decide to change the tail piece or replace the pick guard, or even a neck should I damage it someday, could I replace with standard strat parts ?

Davedog Sun, 04/01/2007 - 17:49
...A Strat is a Strat. A G&L is a G&L. Parts for one ,are not parts for another.

Both guitar makes have replacement parts available.

Again, and this is only my take on it....When you make a purchase of a special guitar, there should be no need to ever replace a major part such as a bridge or a neck. If these items are not what you are looking for in the first place, then that instrument is not the one you should be buying.

Pickups are a different thing, and their replacement can be predicated by a change in styles of music or sounds. I have no qulams about getting these to go with the current thing....But a neck is a HUGE reason to love a guitar and the bridge is another.

I've only been referring to a 'mainline' number instrument here. Theres plenty of second line and even thrird line instruments that can be heavily modified to fit a particular need. At one time whilst touring around, I had four guitars on hand on stage. Two that I played most of the time and another that was tuned to a 'G' for slide only and another that was tuned a half-step down. Since I'm really old now, everything is a halfstep down!

The slide guitar not only had heavy strings but it also had a graphite nut that set a bit high and particular pickups that were a bit more midrangy for the slide sounds. Was it a Strat? Uhhh...duhhhh. This guitars bridge was screwed down really tight and the bar removed. It also had a solid steel trem block just for the weight and the sustain it provided.

The point being, I had no problems changing this as a specialty instrument.

But if you are seeking that 'special friend' instrument, one that will become your companion and your voice, then find one that has everything you like already installed.

Or have one built from scratch. One of my guitar players in my current rock band had a Strat-like-instrument made for him by one of the online builders. It features very nice parts, had the kind of finish he liked, and was built as a 'relic'. Like I said earlier, I've owned old Strats, Played in bands where there was a 57 onstage etc etc...and THIS instrument is MORE old STRATLIKE that a real one. I couldnt believe how accurate it is and how much it plays like a guitar from the late 50's. The electronics are modern and it sounds GREAT. The price was around the same as an American Standard.

There are options.

If you love the G&L, then get it....keep it next to you....NEVER trade it in on a girlfriend..

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 04/01/2007 - 19:36
Thanks for the advice Davedog........about getting what you want right from the start, that is.................I will keep that in mind.
I probably wouldn't be thinking about a G & L, except for the fact that there is a local dealer, and so shopping locally I have about as many G & L's to choose from as Fender strats. And the only think I know about G & L is, well they are inspired/made by Leo........the man !
I gotta say though, that I don't go that much on how a guitar feels or plays because I've owned so many and I seem to get use to how they feel and play after awhile no matter what shape/feel the neck has. The Fender strat I mainly play now is an instrument that I really didn't care for that much when I first got it.......go figure.
And I'm not so much concerned about replace parts on a G & L for the sake of changning them, but just that if something did happen would my only choice be having to go back to G & L for say a new neck.