2000 (approx) G&L S-500 Premium MIJ 2 Tone Sunburst & New Hard Case
Well, you won't see many of these! Few people will know that G&L have built some of their guitars in Japan. This started just before the end of the last century and according to some sources, only lasted a few years before construction shifted to Korea & later Indonesia but other information suggests that they still build them in Japan now. I'm not so sure but they definitely built a few around 2000 & these were built to the usual high USA specifications & all pickups, electrics plus the bridge were USA but the tuners are Japanese GOTOH
This particular guitar is very good for it's age but does have some wear with some minor dents along the bottom edge of the body plus a couple of indents on the back of the guitar (photographed) The frets are excellent. Please check out all the photos in the gallery. As stated, G&L guitars are really highly rated & this guitar plays really well & looks really good.
Here's some history & info from the web. Firstly about the G&L S-500 and secondly some history about the company
G&L S-500 (From G&L)
The G&L S-500™ debuted in 1982 as Leo’s own evolution of the traditional double-cutaway bolt-on axe, delivering innovations including the Dual-Fulcrum™ vibrato and Magnetic Field Design™ single-coil pickups, each designed by Leo Fender† himself. These MFD™ pickups deliver a bright and sparkly top end and robust bottom end, all without losing midrange focus.
You’ll find plenty of punch in the MFD pickups, but what’s surprising is how glassy and detailed they become as you roll back the volume and bass controls, the latter a part of the S-500’s PTB™ (Passive Treble and Bass) system which functions on all three pickups. What’s more, the S-500 includes a mini-toggle switch to allow neck+bridge or all three pickups together. In a pinch, the neck+bridge combo does a convincing faux ASAT™ Special. Talk about versatile!
The S-500 features a Leo Fender-designed Dual-Fulcrum vibrato, a work of engineering art which allows bending up or down with unsurpassed stability, while offering a silky feel through its beefy aluminum vibrato arm. The S-500’s hard-rock maple neck features a gloss finish, while its 9.5” radius lets you bend notes deeply and its Plek-dressed medium-jumbo nickel frets deliver silky playability.
Leo’s forward-looking spirit is clearly reflected in the S-500, a guitar he designed for players who share that spirit. If that’s sounds like you, you owe it to yourself to check out the S-500.
Clarence "Leo" Fender sold his eponymous company Fender in 1965. He designed and produced instruments for Music Man in the 1970s through his company CLF Research. When relations with Music Man soured, G&L was created to continue operations apart from Music Man. The G&L name comes from two founders' first names, George Fullerton and Leo Fender.
G&L instruments are similar to the classic Fenders, but with some modern innovations. They are built at the same facility on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California that produced the early Music Man instruments. G&L instruments are not widely distributed but are highly regarded by many musicians and collectors. The relatively small scale of production further allows for more custom options that are not possible on larger production lines. The Tribute range of G&L are built outside the USA, firstly in Japan then in Korea and Indonesia
Leo Fender and George Fullerton created improved designs over the years, with the most advanced being featured in G&L instruments.:
The Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups use a ceramic bar magnet in combination with soft iron pole pieces with adjustable height, instead of the traditional Alnico magnet, and allow a player to set the pickup output per string, as opposed to the entire pickup as a whole in traditional single-coil pickup designs. MFDs are known for their distinctive tone, which combines clarity, high fidelity and power with an airy "sweetness".
Before 2003, Tribute guitars were briefly produced in Japan for non-US markets, shifting to South Korea.
The pickups used are all originally made by G&L in Fullerton, California.
Here are some specifications
G&L S-500 2 tone Sunburst
Manufacture Around 2000 Japan
Colour: 2 tone sunburst
Neck: Maple with Maple fret board (bolt on) gloss finish
Fingerboard:Maple 242 mm (9.5") Radius
Profile: Modern C Shape
Weight: 3.498kg (7lb10oz)
Scale Length 25.5"
Width at nut 41mm
At 12th Fret 51mm
Pickups: (Neck) G&L USA MFD pickup (see above)
(Middle) G&L USA MFD pickup
(Bridge) G&L USA MFD pickup
Bridge: G&L Dual Fulcrum Vibrato
5 way Switch
Controls:1 Volume, 2 Tone (Bass & Treble), Lever 5 Way SW
Micro switch giving Bridge/Neck & All 3 pickup combination
Pickguard: White 1 ply
Hard Case: Thomann Black Plain (Can be upgraded)
As stated many times, due to courier damage, all my guitars are shipped in hard cases (usually new) this one being a plain black one. I do have a tweed option and these are a little dearer (Extra £12). If you prefer that, please email me for details. If you are collecting, I'm happy to knock off the price of the case (About £30) & I may even have an old gig bag you can have to take it away in
So to sum up, an excellent guitar from G&L Japan. This model is impossible to find here in the UK unless you import it. Why not play something that's just a little bit different?