The world of yowhatsshakin


Not only is Leo Fender the father of the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars. We should not forget he also originated the Precision, Jazz, and Stingray basses at different companies. After he had started G&L with George Fullerton, soon enough he applied his newly developed Magnetic Field Design (MFD) humbuckers to a bass model, the 4-string L-1000, the first G&L bass issued, and affectionally known as the ‘Wunkay’ among its aficionados. It clearly has some semblance to the Fender P-bass. This bass has a mahogany body with Black nitrocellulose finish. The electronics consists of Volume, separate Bass and Treble Tone controls, and a red tip splitter switch. The hard-rock maple neck has a beautiful fretless ebony fingerboard with 12” radius and the old headstock shape, i.e. no G&L hook. The L-1000 was discontinued in mid-1992. On his website, Greg Gagliano features several ‘Wunkay’s from 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1992, and 1993, illustrating the evolution of this model. As a side note, in 1997 G&L reintroduced a bass with a single large MFD humbucker with the L-1500. The main difference between the L-1500 compared to the L-1000 is that the pickup on the former has been shifted towards the bridge.


G&L L-1000 fretless bass

The story behind this bass

Year:                  1983

Serial number:    B011011

Neck date:         3 4 1983

Body date:         12 7 1982

Strings:              D’Addario ENR71 Half Rounds Bass Regular Light Long Scale (45-100)

I always thought my fretless bass would be something like a JB, bought new, and with ghost lines. But when Guitars by Leo (GbL) member beedubyuh put his nicely relic’ed 1983 ‘Wunkay’ up for sale in the Marketplace that preconception went out the door. Note the thin ebony fingerboard which is more veneer than slab. The splitter switch is very interesting in that it has 3 positions. The Instruction sheet states that the position toward the nut is the “Humbucking” mode, the middle position “Single Coil” mode for normal playing, and towards the bridge selects “Single Coil” plus added bass boost. And what an enormous amount of fun it is to play this beautifully looking instrument (for its age) which clearly has been loved. Everyone of the switch positions is very useful and the sound is beautiful: rich, warm, deep, funky. And playing fretless doesn’t turn out to be too hard. Again, fun!