My bass collection - G&L


The L-1500 replaced the Climax Bass in 1996. And whereas the Climax Bass had its style firmly rooted in the flashy, hard rocking 1980‘s, the L-1500 is more traditional looking while retaining the single L-series MFD humbucker, in the same relative position to the Saddle-Lock bridge, as well as the wiring harness, including PTB tone circuit, active/passive switch, and series/parallel coil switch. The L-1500 Custom, only produced in 1997, is an esthetically souped up version, in this particular case with a Three-tone Sunburst finished swamp ash top with clear wood binding on an alder body, also found on this ASAT Classic Custom from the same year. And whereas the latter is the only Custom guitar, on the low-ender side the L-1500 Custom is joined by the L-2000 Custom, L-2500 Custom, and L-5500 Custom. Ordinarily, these basses would have a fully contoured body, but given the top has binding, a Custom bass only has the rear body “belly cut”. For the L-1500, the hard-rock maple neck has a 7½” radius maple fingerboard, but rosewood was available too. And on the headstock one finds the G&L branded Ultralite bass tuning machines of course. What are the differences with the Climax then? For one the absence of the sculpted area around the 3-bolt neck attachment and secondly the increased 1¾” nut width. The January 1, 2010 price list still includes the L-1500 with a (BBE-era) #7 bass neck, i.e. 7½” fingerboard radius and 1¾” nut. But the January 1, 2013 specifies a #12 bass neck, i.e. 12” fingerboard and 1⅝” nut width. The L-1500 was discontinued at the end of 2017 but this archived snapshot from the same year is still accessible.


L-1500 Custom

The story behind this bass


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Neck date:

Body date:


In the context of the L-5500, I explain the relevance of 1997 as a cut-off year. And also this bass precedes the transition to a 6-bolt neck attachment for this type of bass. Second, it turns out the L-1500 Custom is as rare as it is beautiful. When this bass was purchased from Michael Fodera in mid-2019, it was only the 4th L-1500 Custom added to the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Registry. Its wiring harness is discussed by following the link provided above. Unlike the Climax Bass, the switch close to the treble control is indeed series/parallel given the (close to) 1:4 ratio between the DC-R value when the switch is up (2.27kΩ) and down (8.17kΩ). The bass sounds and plays as expected. The simplicity is appealing and the pickup location is about perfect. The treble control is used a lot to adjust the amount of punch versus depth. And yes, the wider neck feels comfortable too.

The story behind this guitar



APR 01 1997, marked ‘L1500’, ‘L-2000’, ‘D’

APR 02 1997

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