My bass collection - G&L


The Matador Bass was introduced in 2019 exclusively through the G&L Custom Shop. Undoubtedly it can be ordered more decked out but its default version looks something like this: an alder or swamp ash body depending on the finish, (4-string) Saddle-Lock bridge, 2 custom wound G&L split-coil LB-100 Alnico V pickups, each with their own volume and a single master tone, a hard-rock maple neck with 9½” fingerboard, bone 1⅝” nut, and Ultralite bass tuning machine. More or less a double pickup Legacy Bass (now LB-100) were it not for a couple of important adornments and additions. The idea of using 2 split-coil pickups is not novel. Between mid-1983 and 1985, Fender carried the (active) Precision Bass Elite II, described in an article by Willie Moseley in the May 2003 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine. Note the conjecture that in turn the Elite II might have been inspired by the L-2000! The alder body on this specimen has a beautiful Shell Pink Thin Urethane finish. These Thin Urethane finishes are exclusive to the G&L Custom Shop. It is complemented by a 3-ply Black/White/Black pickguard. The wiring harness is a not unlike the SB-2T, but has an additional mini-toggle series/parallel switch for the neck pickup while the output jack is still on the chromed control panel. The neck is rather plain, neither roasted nor quartersawn. It is attached to the body by 6 bolts, each with their own ferrule. The large black position dot markers look great on the maple fingerboard. The headstock shape harkens back to olden days through the absence of the G&L hook. It comes with a Deluxe tolex hardshell case with the Custom Shop logo on the lid. However, although that logo is also embossed on the paperwork envelope, it is missing on the spec sheet itself which neither has the signature of the man then running the G&L Custom Shop: Dave Brown Although much rarer, there are a couple of Matador Basses with split-coil MFD pickups like this Silver Metallic Matador Bass built for Tim Lefebvre. Strangely enough, this model is (so far) not mentioned anywhere on the G&L website.


Custom Shop Matador Bass

The story behind this guitar


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Amid the CoViD-19 crisis in 2020, this bass appeared at a more than reasonable price on Reverb made available by Michael Swarbrick through his Mike’s low end lounge. He had used it for a couple of months and it was just not his thing. I had seen this bass before when it was initially offered by Drum City/Guitarland in Wheat Ridge, CO, a shop offering quite a few early Matador Basses, When opening the case, the bass exuded its innate beauty. The model decal is very elegant, all the parts and finish look well balanced and in harmony. So time to plug it into the PJB Suitcase Compact. Whatever Mike had dialed in sounded absolutely thunderous, round, and with girth. The bass provides considerably more sonic options over my Legacy Bass. Slap, funk, James Jamerson, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, ... It is all there.

The story behind this guitar



9/19/2019, marked ‘Custom Shop’

9/4/2019, marked ‘Custom Shop’, ‘MATADOR’, ‘SPK’, ‘MP’, ‘VTSN’

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