The world of yowhatsshakin


Leo Fender never overlooked the low-enders. From the start, G&L had an almost equal balance between guitars and basses: of the less than ∼50,000 instruments produced at the time Leo Fender passed away, ∼46% were basses. So in late-1982 when the SC-2 was introduced as an entry level guitar, the SB-2 was introduced in parallel. This bass had a slab soft maple body without contours, Locktight (now known as Saddle-Lock) bridge with stamped S/N, hard-rock maple neck with maple fingerboard, 34” scale length (as for all G&L basses), 1⅝” nut width, and similar finish options as for the SC-series: White, Red, Viking Blue, and Black. The pickups used in the 1st style SB-2 are inspired by the single-coils used on the venerable Jazz-bass but of course still with a G&L twist: 2 Magnetic Field Design (MFD) single-coil pickups with adjustable pole pieces. In ’85, this version of the SB-2 was discontinued while evolving into the Lynx Bass. All in all, as G&L researcher Greg Gagliano states in connection with this 1984 SB-2 on his website, the 1st style SB-2 basses was not produced in abundance but apparently there are too many to warrant the Rarebird status on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) site.


G&L SB-2 (1st style)

The story behind this bass

Year:                  1982

Serial number:    B010792

Neck date:         12 8 82

Body date:         NOV 24 1982

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

Just like its SC brethren, a wonderful example in black; it fits right in. I had been looking for a specimen like this for a while and one had shown up late-2012 with original hardshell case to boot. But while focussing on other things, I did not grab it only to discover that it disappeared without seemingly having been sold nor being relisted. One Saturday afternoon in March 2013, my wife told me she would like to learn to play the bass and stated her intent to just grab one and start playing. My response was that the L-2500 was pretty heavy and that I would prefer the ASAT Commemorative bass to stay in its case. So we looked around on to see if there was something available that would serve her purpose as well as being a valuable addition to the collection and the closest we got was a 1981 yellow L-2000 for a reasonable price. But what do you know? When I checked back on eBay about an hour later, this SB-2 had been listed with a great BIN price. Its monicker has two meanings now: it can still be ‘Standard Bass’ (or either ‘Student Bass’ or ‘Single-coil Bass’ as claimed by others), but for us it is ‘Snollie-Boefie’ for entirely personal reasons. When it arrived it seemed like it had hardly been played; entirely pristine looks and the deepest smoothest Black finish I had ever seen. I was curious about the sonic qualities of this bass. In reading up on the pickups, although marked as extremely versatile it seemed one has to roll back either the tone control or the amp tone stack to tame the pronounced highs. As it turns out, just rolling back the tone control suffices for me. What you’re left with is an amazing sounding bass: expressive, snappy, deep, about anything you want it to be. Who would think such a simple tone stack would give such great results? Well, maybe you’re less surprised if you have played SC-models but still ... And another instance of a ‘student’ model being far from entry level quality!