G&L Tribute Series SB-2, made in Japan 1999, vintage white. G&L was Leo Fender's swan song in guitar and bass design, and they offer some brilliant takes on classic designs. The Japanese-made Tribute instruments were never marketed outside Japan; the rest of the world got the later Korean and Indonesian offerings, which are good instruments but don't offer the same level of build quality and mojo as MIJ examples like this one. The SB-2 body shape is a slightly slimmed-down version of the P Bass, with a neck not dissimilar to a classic Jazz Bass. It instantly feels quick and comfortable; it's perfectly balanced and an absolute breeze to play. The Leo-designed pickups offer a stack of extra punch, dynamics and clarity, so combined with the chunky high-mass bridge, you get a whole stack of definition, clarity and cut on top of that classic round rumble. The pickups work beautifully together, offering a modern and tight tone; otherwise they're equally happy serving up classic P and J tones when used separately. The worn-in white finish has a cool slightly green cream look; lending a little punk edge to an otherwise pro-hi-fi aesthetic. This is a brilliant instrument that'd make a perfect cover-all-bases bass for a busy working player.
Model: G&L Tribute Series SB-2
Made: Japan, 1999 (serial 9020014)
Finish: vintage white, 3-ply tort guard
Neck: maple with rosewood board, dot inlays, 12" radius, satin finish
Weight: 4.1kg approx
Mods: pots replaced
Pickup: original G&L MFD split coil and single coil
Cosmetic condition notes: mild finish wear. There's some light marks on the end, bottom edge and back of the headstock. The neck is pretty clean, minor dimples only. The back has a few minor scratches and dents, mostly along the edge of the body carve. On the sides, there's some minor dents on the top and bottom horns, and a number of light dents and a reasonable chip on both the bottom edge near the knobs and the top shoulder area. The front has some extra screw holes from a twice-repositioned thumb rest, as well as some minor dimples around the bridge and on the shoulder carve and some play scratches on the guard and top horn. Nothing to nasty really. Overall: good condition (7/10)
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets look pretty good with some normal wear; 8/10 for life left. Set up with fresh 45/105s.