The world of yowhatsshakin


Whereas G&L stopped production of the slab body 1st style SB-2 bass in 1985, the SB-1 underwent a couple of changes. The soft maple body now has a Precision-bass inspired split-coil Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickup. However, G&L experimented using a Schaller PBX pickup on the very early ones produced in 1985. This bass finished in Three-tone Sunburst is one of these. Of course it has the rock-solid Saddle-Lock bridge. The controls are a simple volume and tone control mounted on a single ply, black, plastic pickguard. The hard-rock maple neck with 7½” radius maple fingerboard, 34” scale length, and 1⅝” nut width completes this model. The current day SB-1 looks pretty much the same. It’s page can be found on the G&L website:

G&L SB-1 (2nd style)

The story behind this bass

Year:                 1985

Serial number:    B016597

Neck date:         OCT 3 1985

Body date:         SEP 24 1985

Strings:              D’Addario ECB81 Chromes Bass Light Long Scale (45-100)

I learned about the use of the Schaller PBX pickup through the 1985 SB-1 featured on Greg Gagliano’s wonderful website. I started specifically looking for one in the same finish as my 1st style SB-1 and with this pickup. During 2016, I saw one dated as a 1987 bass and could be had dirt cheap. If you were willing to fly to the town of brotherly love that is. Instead, a 2nd style SB-2 was first acquired. Just a month or 2 later this SB-1 became available through the Chicago Music Exchange. The bass comes with non-original knobs (see picture below). But I happen to have some spares for the time-period correct knobs laying around, so who knows? I like the featured knobs though and they are on original CTS pots from 1984. So clearly, it is not a complete pot replacement. With the Chrome flat-wounds the sound is incredible: mellow and deep. Playing the ‘Silly Love Songs’ bass lick is cool and fun.