My bass collection - G&L


If any of the Climax guitars are a rarity, i.e. the Climax “XL” or Climax “plus”, this is even more true for the Climax Bass. It first appears on a frequently missing insert to the 1992-1993 Catalog, shown below. The contoured swamp ash body, here in Honeyburst finish, has the Saddle-Lock bridge and a single L-series MFD humbucker, much closer to the bridge as the single pickup on the L-1000 but a tad further away than the bridge pickup on the L-2000. What makes the bass belong to the Climax family is the sculpted area around the neck attachment. It is not too surprising this has not been used before or since on any other G&L instrument given the reduced amount of wood around this critical area. The narrow hard-rock maple (BBE-era) #6 bass neck is very similar to the 2nd-style SB-2 and ASAT Bass (see previous pages), with a non-slab, 7½” radius rosewood fingerboard (a maple or a fretless ebony fingerboard were the other options) and 1½” width for the nut. The headstock has G&L branded Ultralite bass tuning machines. It is hard to find more information on this model, even on the Guitars by Leo website. Although few could have been built between 1993 and 1996 with 63 are listed in the Registry, the Climax Bass has not been elevated to Rarebird status. Fortunately there is a review by Michael Duclos written for the March 1994 issue of Guitar World. And he actually bought one after writing the piece! More than a decade later, Willie G. Moseley also wrote about this model in “G&L’s Climax & LB-100”. The Climax Bass and its wiring harness is the ancestor of the L-1500 which made its debut in the 1996 Catalog. The main differences between the 2 basses? The L-1500 lacks the the sculpted area around the neck attachment, while still using a 3-bolt attachment, and has an increased 1¾” nut width.


Climax Bass

The story behind this bass


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


This bass comes from IRC Music Store in Indianapolis, IN who acquire the bass from another store which went out of business. Allegedly, the bass was never sold by the latter, so it is New Old Stock (NOS). The original case was lost but the replacement (Chinese) case looks great. Given the pup position, this bass provides excellent settings for funk and other genres requiring slap bass. Note that this bass has the transitional curved veneer fingerboard, thicker than those used in the pre-BBE era and up to early-1992. By the end of 1993, G&L had started using slab fingerboards with a flat glue surface to the maple neck. Although the Climax Bass/L-1500 schematic, accessible by following the link cited above, shows the switch close to the treble control as a series/parallel switch. However, the DC-R values of 3.88kΩ with the switch up and 7.51kΩ with the switch down demonstrate in this particular case it is of the single-coil/humbucker variety. One more thing. I have big hands but no problem with the 1½” nut width. The neck plays absolutely great.

The story behind this guitar



MAR 05 1993, marked ‘CLI’

FEB 26 1993, marked ‘5’, ‘HON BST’, ‘128’

D’Addario EXL170 Nickel Wound Light Long Scale (45-100)