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Guitar Special

G&L F100, L1000


Even in his seventies, Leo Fender, the man who gave us the Strat and Tele, is still going strong. His latest creation is the G&L range, a company formed with his old partner George Fullerton.

Their F100 six string is of medium weight but looks lighter and has a mahogany body left mid brown.

The hardrock maple neck has a 25½in scale length, is attached via three bolts through the triangular, micro-tilted back plate and reveals an Allen keyed truss rod poking through the curvaceous headstock. The machines are Schaller copies of Klusons, the nut plastic and the top three strings rest under a retaining clip, so few drastic departures from tradition so far.

The changes start at the pickups which are a "Magnetic Field Design", claims the colourful handout sheet. They're black, presenting two rows of adjustable pole pieces and magnets have been cut in an unusual way, apparently reducing the north/south extremes.

The control plate is a gleaming chrome crescent running along the bottom edge, but the effect is spoilt by tacky chrome knobs. The master volume is tucked up by the treble pickup, close to your little finger, and the other two are not standard tones but a bass and a treble control.

One black, mini toggle switch puts the pickups in and out of phase. A red mini toggle flips them between humbucking and single coil, but always gives the single coil setting an extra bass boost — an area of weaknesses in some pickups. While the guitar is in phase, the treble control gets cut out on the tail pickup: it's automatically full up.

Devilish device, this, since it means you can trim down the treble for rhythm playing, yet flick to the tail pickup and know it will have maximum cut.

The sound... she magnifico. Very fat, very gutsy, thicker and perhaps a shade warmer than Leos of the past, though both the pickups are enormously versatile, sparkling at the top end and battering at the bottom. The tail pickup runs through an endless gamut of tones from brittle crystalline to a lovely singing sustain, while the neck selection is exceptionally funky on the bass boosted single coil position. Both the MFDs are loud with a lightning fast attack. And rarely have I met a tremolo arm that can be heaved back and forth like a Guinness beer pump, and stay perfectly in tune. This one does. It floats on two knife edge fulcrums that fit into V shaped cuts on the sustain pillars.

A final word on the construction. Superb. The neck/body joint is a snug fit, the holes are neatly cut to the perfect size (no quarter inch gaps around pickups) and every piece of machinery — heads, saddles, controls etc — function smoothly, without noise and look built to last. £564



As is the six string, so is the bass, my son. Another beautifully fashioned instrument, heavy on character and comfort and this time with an ash body left natural and an ebony fingerboarded neck that feels warmer to the touch than the lacquered maple of the F100.

It's 34 inches of string stretch from a plastic nut across 21 silver/nickel frets, down to a rock solid bridge with an individual height and intonation adjustment for each saddle. An Allen keyed grub screw at the side of the chunky chromed surround presses the saddles against each other to prevent rattles and boost the sustain.

Like the six string, the body is two-piece, but the join is almost impossible to detect unless you eye up the bottom edge and spot the differences in grain. The strap buttons are treated to felt washers, and the back of the thin flat neck sports an attractive walnut strip.

The strings could have been spilt over the neck, they're that close. The action is superb, light and low, but still responsive and lacking in annoying clanks or boings. Harmonics abound, and the natural tone is one of smooth, refined thundering. Only the top G stands out as a brighter twang, and thus leaves itself open to plenty of snapped string funkiness... do I hear anyone complaining? No, I thought not.

There are no dead spots or nasty resonances anywhere along the neck, and access to the uppermost notes is fast and easy. A joy to play, and tinkering with the tone controls will drive you anywhere from clean, mellow jazzy lines to nastier rock and roll, though other guitars will give you more top and "graunch" than the G&L can provide.

The controls are replicas of the F100, apart from the switches. Just one this time, a three-way toggle that puts the coils out of phase, in phase and humbucking or single coil. £545



Previous Article in this issue

Fender Bullet, Bullet Deluxe Bass

Next article in this issue

Gibson Chet Atkins, Lucille


One Two Testing - Copyright: IPC Magazines Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

 

One Two Testing - Dec 1982

Guitar Special

Gear in this article:

Guitar > G&L > F100

Bass > G&L > L1000


Gear Tags:

Electric Guitar

Review by Paul Colbert

Previous article in this issue:

> Fender Bullet, Bullet Deluxe...

Next article in this issue:

> Gibson Chet Atkins, Lucille


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