31 October 2012

Guitars: Testing G&L JB-2 Tribute Bass Guitar


This entry was already published during August 2009, in my old Spanish version of this blog. Just revisiting the entry here.

I am a guitarist not a bassist so, I just wanted some not so expensive bass guitar that could do the job while recording bass guitar tracks.

Mi first try was with a Peavey Zodiac. This one was made in China and, even that its overall look is good, the knob of its potentiometer was loose and, still is.
I've recorded bass tracks with the Zodiac and, quickly I knew the truth: this bass guitar has a lot of dead spots, there is a big level difference between notes, some seem to fall into a dark hole, some seem to explode in my face so, the material was inconsistent, with high peaks and an low average level.
All that made really complex to suit the bass to the mix. Additionally, lots of "bings", "plincks" sounding behind the notes made the recording really dirty.
The 24 frets of such a bass give an strong tension to the strings, making the bass difficult to play.
After that experience, I searched info in Internet, always keeping in mind to get a nice bass guitar whitin a reasonable budget and, finally I've decided myself to go for a G&L bass. Since I was more interested in some Jazzbass type and, I don't like active pickups, I've ordered a model JB-2, that came today.


Heavens!. It came in a carton box, without soft or hard case, just an ugly carton box.
So, I've opened the box with some excepticism about what I would find inside.
Removed the protective plastics and, hold the bass on my hands.
Hmmm... the woodwork seems good. Well, not the quality levels you can see in a Fender USA Deluxe or Ibanez Prestige but, at least it seems to have same finishing level as a Fender USA Standard. So far, so good.
Let see the backside... Damn!. Made in Indonesia!. Can be anything worst than a Made in China? Made in Indonesia, maybe?.

The guitar was well protected inside the carton box, with some polyspan seats to hold the neck and body so, it came with any single flaw or ding and, perfectly tuned!.
It comes with a cheap instrument cable (of those that last a week) and a key for the thrussrod.

Overall, disappointed with the box but, satisfied with the look of the instrument, for this price level.

Playing it

After seeing that "Made in Indonesia" I was really scared!.
So, I plugged the bass guitar with the cheap cable to my preamp SPL Track One, without compressor neither EQ, just adjusting the input and output levels and, started a Pro Tools session to test the bass.

Alleluia!. That's what I wanted. No dead spots. Every note sounds clear and defined and has a nice attack. Its pickups are designed in USA and have an overall good sound.
The G&L bridge gives a good sustain to this bass guitar.
The neck is well finished, easy to play and, the settings were perfect for me.

I've inserted the plugin SVX then, and tested the sound thru a virtual bass amplifier and... I liked what I heard!.


Well built, goo sound and cheap... what else do you want?.
If it came with a soft or hard case I would be even more happy with the purchase but, at the end, it's the sound what really matters.
I recommend you this bass guitar, if you are in a similar situation as mine.


  1. The pickups are not made in the USA despite what it might say on various websites or on the neck tag hanging off these basses in shops. The JB-2 Tribute pickups are made in Indonesia to G&L's specifications.

  2. I have this bass aad it plays very well, using it as a frequent workman's instrument. Pickups are kind of weak, and not as powerful as a Fender '62 P-bass pickup. They are both sized about the same as a neck Jazz bass, but very hard if not impossible so far to find replacements. I may have to get them rewound by a reputable pickup company to get a more powerful sound i prefer.

    1. This bass sounds and plays incredible good for its price.
      I know the bridge pickup hasn't the same size as a JB pickup and, this makes difficult to swap stock pickups.
      That's the only issue I see to this bass.


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