sweet spot, and playing one of these
through an old tube amp is close to nir-
vana. These basses also sound great
through a modern bass rig. The
neck profile on the early models is
close to a ’ 63 “wide ‘n’ flat” P-bass.
The more familiar rounded C-neck
wasn’t introduced until later.
$1295. Trust me, in two years today’s prices
on these will seem cheap.
Like all basses of this vintage, the electronics
might wear and parts can sometimes be
nearly impossible to replace. The original cases were one step above junk,
and I’ve seen damage to the basses
because of this. I have also seen wood
delamination, which is not a cheap
repair in some instances.
The only real mention here is that over
the years, I’ve repaired some badly
twisted and humped necks. Also, be
certain the neck is original to the bass.
These are absolute great basses. If
you want to be the center of attention, go buy a BC Rich; if you want
tone and feel, this is it. These basses
retail at about $1095.
This bass kills in all aspects of tone,
components, feel, construction and
price. These typically sell for anywhere
between $875 and $1095. If this is
still out of your price range, I’ve seen
painted versions of this bass that
retailed in the $250 to $400 range. I
suggest buying one of these that is
fully functional and not in need of any
work. The repair bill will offset the
G&L L2000E, first variant
from 1980 – 1982
This bass is the Valiant that someone
slipped a big block motor into. Other
than the same body shape and neck
profile, this is very different from the
In my opinion, this bass will destroy
a Musicman Sabre, and hold its own
against a B00 Stingray, if not perform
better. It comes complete with two
pickups, a deadly good preamp in a bulletproof package—and it’s a killer player.
This is one snotty tone plank. I prefer the
rosewood board over the maple board,
simply because I think it works better with the
The Lowdown Wrap-up
Five basses, five distinct personalities,
and all solid values. Vintage does not
have to equal expensive. I’m not saying
replace your ‘ 64 P-bass, but like most
of us on a budget, you do not have to
dream of owning a vintage bass when
there is still value to be had. In my
opinion, if purchased right you should
not take a loss come sale time.
G&L 1981 L2000e and 1980 L1000, courtesy of Greg Gagliano
Big thanks to Greg Gagliano for the
picture of his May 1981 L2000e and
his 1980 L1000 that was made on the
first day of production (as confirmed
by Dale Hyatt). These are two special
basses indeed! Until next time, drop the
gig bag and bring the cannolis!
Ditto the comments on the L1000. Be careful the preamp is still original and functioning to spec. If it sounds shrieky or shrill, there’s
a good chance the twenty-eight-year-old IC
chip is cooked. You’ll be able to find a functional replacement chip, but not an original.
Ibanez Musician MC940 “Sting”
Bass from the early eighties
What’s there to say? Great woods, great
build quality, sexy as heck. Sting loved his,
I love mine, and in the grand scheme of
things, these are dirt cheap.
I have seen terrific basses with mahogany
bodies in great colors for as high as $2000,
but a generic cool alder bass is about
Premium woods, great hardware and great
electronics were used to create a bass with a
great neck and superb ergonomics. This bass
has a custom-made feel to it that other basses in the group do not seem to have. Out of
all the basses in this category, this by far gets
the “most bang for the buck” award.
Kevin Borden has been a bass player since 1975, and is
currently President of Goodguysguitars.com.
Feel free to call him KeBo.
He can be reached at