My bass collection - G&L


Here one of G&L’s first 5-string basses with a fretted, 7½” radius, maple fingerboard. Otherwise it is very similar to the fretless L-5000 of the previous page, except for the Bahama Blue finished soft maple body and the standard knobs as used by the factory. As before, the single Z-coil (hum-bucking) pickup is controlled by a volume control and a tone control. The quartersawn hard-rock maple neck has a 34” scale, 1¾” nut, sickle headstock without G&L hook, and 4+1 Ultralite bass tuning machine layout. This Rarebird has its own page in the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Registry with links to additional pictures in the GbL Gallery. For more on this model, one is once more referred to Greg Gagliano’s website, featuring his 1989, 1990 (also in Bahama Blue), and 1992 L-5000s, as well as Willie G. Moseley “G&L L-500”.


L-5000 w/Maple Fingerboard

The story behind this bass


Serial number:

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The fretless L-5000 is not exactly conforming with factory specs, something that always nagged me just a tad. When this L-5000 was offered in late-2019 by Howard Thompson’s Guitar Emporium on Reverb, it provided the opportunity to correct this. And what a beautiful specimen it is! The contrast between a dark body and a light fingerboard is always eye catching. The dates on the CTS potentiometers are identical to those on the fretless L-5000. The neck heel does not have a date stamp but in the pickup rout one finds a “price tag” sticker with a date of “041089”. Its S/N had not been registered yet in the GbL Registry, bringing the total to 99 at the time, about ¼ of the estimated 400 built, 41 with a maple fingerboard. Note that the current strings are a set of LaBella Long 750N-B Black Nylon Tape strings which feel and play absolutely great. The clarity of the Z-coil pickup is astounding with lots of funky tones on one end of the spectrum and deep Motown thump on the other end.

The story behind this guitar



APR 18 1989


D’Addario EXL170-5 Nickel Wound 5-string Light Long Scale (45-130)