My bass collection - G&L


The body looks much wilder and quirkier on the Interceptor Bass, but under the covers this model is identical to the El Toro-E. It has the same 2 small footprint HB-2 Bi-Pole™ Magnetic Field Design (MFD) humbuckers and wiring harness, which initially appeared on a control panel. With steady production starting in March 1984, the Interceptor Bass was available with mahogany, ash, or maple body (see this example from 1985), again just like the El Toro. This instrument an example of a swamp ash body Interceptor Bass in Blue Pearl Sunburst with some mineral streaks in the wood. The 34” scale hard-rock maple neck has a 7½” rosewood fingerboard, 1¹¹⁄₁₆” nut, and a matching sickle headstock with G&L hook and gold font. The Interceptor Bass attained Rarebird status and has its own page in the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Registry with links to additional pictures in the GbL Gallery.


Interceptor bass (control panel, ash body)

The story behind this bass


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These basses do not show up all too frequently so when Southside Guitars in Brooklyn, NY, listed this one, it came West. Its SKB case, held together by duct tape, was barely worth the name hardshell case but the bass now rests in a modern G&L tolex case. As far as the color is concerned, nowadays one would call it Cherryburst. But that was not the moniker G&L used in 1984. Another G&L collector, John T. White, had sent me pictures of a matching set of 1st X-body Interceptors (then) in his possession, still in original shipping boxes indicating “Blue Pearl SB” for the color. The finish on this bass looks identical to those. And it is found among the limited number of finishes provided in the January 15, 1984 price list without any other sunburst finish being available. The DC-R value for the bridge pickup came out to be 209.1kΩ compared to 4.46kΩ for the neck pickup. Weird! Clearly the preamp circuit is loading the output already. However, in passive series mode the DC-R measures 8.65kΩ indicating the bridge pickup by itself is about 4.19kΩ which makes more sense. What is the difference between the wider MFD on the L-series or ASAT basses versus these HB-2 Bi-Pole™ buckers? The 1984 “Kings Of The Road” slick claims “... that there is a reduction in the collapse of the magnetic field, thus producing a more even response”. The sound is very good indeed: powerful, strident, deep, growling, in your face, even. It can be anything you would like it to be. And somebody must have loved playing this thing given all its battle scars. Absolute great bass, sonically and visually.

The story behind this guitar



MAY 30 1984

APR 26 1984

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