So, I’m in northern Orange County in southern California. I’m in La Habra, as far north in OC as you can get; I’m about 200 yards from the Orange/Los Angeles County border.
I’m looking for a good guitar/bass service location. I want to get my Carvin setup reviewed and adjusted by a professional. Years ago I had a few local spots I liked, but it looks like they’ve all closed up shop. I know that both Sam Ash and Guitar Center have service options, but… has anyone used them for this sort of thing before?
Anyway, looking for recommendations, here, if any of you are from my area and have some recommendations.
It’s been a few years since I lived in LALA Land, but as I recall, the downtown area was not be best place to visit. That would be especially so if you live in the OC.
However, for excellent and skillful service on an instrument, nothing is too far or too seedy of an area
That would change everything. I’ve been trying to find one and if I could find a really good one, I would go where I needed to. I’m outside of the biggest city in the Southeast US and I haven’t had much luck. They’ve got to be out there, somewhere, but they sure don’t advertise.
This is a good idea. I need to try that. I’ve tried asking around at music stores but haven’t had any luck. With the pandemic, I haven’t had much of am opportunity to meet many musicians outside of the music store environment.
Greetings @timsgeekery ,
You say you live up in the OC. Ok found some places for you. Not sure what kind of service you need on your bass. I do most of my setup and miner fixes, I know how to solder. I’ve replaced pickup added shielding to bass,ect… I’m good with my hand expect for my left hand that has some nerve damage, thats another story.
John Carruthers has some good videos on bass setup. He also has a book that has lot of technical and valuable bass information. Remember it’s not going to be cheap I would say from $60 to $100 plus. Do your home work. Also depends on work your going to get done. Learn to adjust your truss rod and your action on your bass will save you money in the long run,also good skill to have. You do need to buy a few tools though . Bass guitar repair kit always good place to start (amazon has them).
Here’s a list of people who repair bass guitars in your neck of the woods.
1)Guitar Doctor oc
13th St Guitars in HB does full service and PLEK. If you dont know what it is, look it up. Its cool, but costly.
Al and I found a great little store today
Also in HB.
The set up guy was not there, but they do the work in the fromt of the store, which I think is cool. You can see them do the work and talk about things you want from the set up. The set up guy is a player too, so they said he is really good.
BC Pawn and Guitar, also in HB, usually have a great selection of used and new basses and guitars, amps, and everything else.
They were my saving grace during covid.
As a pawn shop, they were a financial institution, so they. Never shut down. I could still run over and get strings, straps, pedals, capos, tuners, etc…. I went there a lot during covid.
Al and I went today, was the first time I had been there in a while.
They had a few really nice basses. A brand new Schecter stealth, matte blackout edition.
An older Aria, Cliff Burton style
Outside Huntington Beach, I dont know too many, but Al @Al1885 probably does and @BigAl , maybe @Steve_A , and others in the area.
Where in so cal are you?
I played a G&L L-1000
I think it was the nicest bass I may have ever has my hands on.
Then I looked at the back of the headstock, and realized it was a CFL
CFL is like Top line G&L
Now I am afraid to try the import L-1000
That CFL was EPIC.
It was on sale, $1200, marked down $400.
The store is a certified G&L dealer, so very reasonable priced.
I was very impressed with the store.
Had a half wall of tuners and bridges, and misc upgrade items, in stock on tje rack, they had a great selection for a pretty small shop.
Lots of great instruments, nothing overpriced. Average, or under what I would expect.
It was you I told I would go check out the G&L dealer and get my hands on one and report back if my (ever changing memory serves me correctly).
I have looked at G&L specs a lot, and was expecting a fat chunky neck. Either a P bass neck or Stingray neck (not Ray4 or Stingray SLO, a standard stingray, or Ray34, 1.69 at the nut) but the neck on this L-1000 was AMAZING. i didn’t get the specs, but it felt close to a Jazz at the nut, around 1.5” (38mm). The P and Stingray in metric are around 42-43mm
Stingray is 42.something, cuz it is exactly 1 and 11/16 or 1.6875”. I dont know off hand, but it is lesss then 43mm, but more then 42.5mm. I beleive.
Modern P are smaller then older ones, and they have changed year in year out, but when I say P neck, I am talking about baseball bat necks.
Thats what I expected out of the G&L cuz I recall big numbers at the nut, and I was always a little weary, wondering if I would like it or not.
It was not a P neck, it was a dream. Closer to a Jazz neck (which can vary year in and out, and with model series, and fender or squire, but when I talk about dream J necks, I am talking about my Ray4, or Stingray SLO special, or EBMM Sterling neck.
1.5mm at the nut (38mm)
Modern C profile (i beleive)
These are narrow, easy to play, enough room for string spacing and they are not paper thin. Ibanez SR necks have a thinner profile, IDK if it is a U or something else.
They are comfortable, and I like them
I like a little more meat in the profile. It fits my hand better.
So, this CFL G&L was like a dream of a dream neck.
I cant explain it any better, it just felt so RIGHT.
I HAVE VELT MANY NECKS i loved. I also did not do a side by side comparison with anything else (which I should have, they had a Ray4, I could have checked it next to). Maybe I will go back and check. They are pretty close to me.
Plus the fact it was marked down $400 and was $1200 new, with certificate of authenticity (and most likely, if you walked in with 1200 cash, I bet you could have it for that price out the door.
I also played a CFL Fallout.
It was as strange as I expected.
It is full sized bass, but the bridge is moved up the body, with a neck that has short scale spacing.
First thing I did not like about it, right away, was it had flats on it.
I am willing to bet, that skewed my view of the bass. Had they one with rounds, I bet I would have liked it better.
It is just strange.
Your arm and fretting hand are playing a full scale bass, cuz its not shorter.
The frets are short scale, and you (I) kind of had a hard time judging the fret positions.
I played it 5 min, and didnt have a strap ( I prefer to play, and especially test basses with straps, and get them in the perfect space for me.
Had I intentions of buying it, I would have asked for a strap.
So my opinion is I dont have much of one.
It was beautiful, fit and finish flawless, but I need to really play one, with rounds, and with a strap before I could decide.
I know there are some songs I cant really play cuz I don’t have the reach. i know I can on a SS, and this might be a SS I like if I gave it a chance, but its not realy on my radar.
The CFL L-1000 is a bucket list bass for me now.
Not to derail the thread, but we are still talking about shops in OC…
I am sure to go back, they have cool stuff, and he was an ultra cool guy.
Also, may be a bit of a drive for @timsgeekery, but might be worth it, the tech is supposed to be awesome, and worked on lots of pro’s instruments.
Al is gonna be there again, maybe if it works, we can all get lunch down here, and go back to the shop, and bring your Carvin with you.
Why not call up Keisel and have them do it?
They built it. They probably offer service in their shop, since they are a smaller, boutique builder now.
They originally built Carvin, and are still licensed to make a Carvin brand bass, if you requested it.
I think they are in Encino or something, but I would have to look it up.
Well my tech is at the 13st guitar too. They require you to make appointment ahead of time. It usually takes about a week.
I tried a few places, at the beginning of COVID, I dropped my Aerodyne off at my local for setup, I was switching the neck to fretless an probably required a shim or two, while at it I let them install the pickup it was a mix of emg and non emg pickup with all of the soderless knobs. I was told initially a week to 10 days. About 3 weeks in I called and followed up, the tech who works at fender custom shop said that I could not mix non emg pickup with emg preamp, said what?
I said don’t worry I’ll take care of that myself. I still have to wait another 3-4 weeks before I could pick it up, then finished the electronics myself. Needless to say I won’t be going back.
Big box store like Sam Ash and Guitars Center are hit and miss, sure lots of guitars passing through the tech hands but most time the miss the simplest things nit to mention not very careful with your instrument as well. Correct me if I’m wrong, I think among the fine prints they said that they are not responsible for any damage they caused while your guitars are being worked on, someone once told me that.
Moral of the story is when you find a good place stick with it, or do it yourself. I did. I was lucky, I worked on a bunch of cheap guitars Squier Stratocaster and basses, made most of the rookie mistakes everywhere. Now I’m comfortable working on my highend basses. Good tools like ones from Stewmac make life easier but it’s pricey. You can make the cheap tools work if you are experienced and know what you are doing. More expensive tools are almost fool proof.
Yessir! Thanks for checking these out! Seems like some of these G&L basses are really underappreciated gems. Sure, they don’t have the Fender logo on them, and so “what about re-sellability” and all that… but, good to hear they are awesome sounding and playing basses.
Not sure I am familiar with all their models… what does “CFL” stand for? Ah… had to google a bit, but apparently it should be “CLF” and stands for Clarence Leo Fender
Those are most likely very hard to find in Europe; also, I was more wondering about their basses in a lower price category, i.e., the Tribute basses. But, I guess they didn’t have any in that shop you were!? And, of course, why pick up another bass once you had played on that CLF
Anyway, thanks for checking them out - be interested to hear any further thoughts once you visit them again!
I know some here dont like Lobster.
But this exact bass I picked up and played, is a bass he has given one of his best reviews on.
I did not play it a long time, But I remember his review, and much of what it is capable of, especially for a single pock up bass.
I cant find anything he said I would disagree with or dispute.
CLF Research, I believe just stands for Clarence Leo Fender
The website explains it better. Let me see if I can find it and link it.
Here is an excerpt from the description of this bass
In the late 1970s, Clarence Leo Fender† was looking forward to launching his new G&L brand featuring his latest innovations including Magnetic Field Design pickups and the Saddle Lock bridge. Leo developed these technologies at his CLF™ Research company, and production of the new G&L instruments took place in the CLF Research factory on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California, where G&L production continues today.
Link to this bass on website
And look at that, it comes in Orange too.
I love the natural looking one like Lobster has too, but I would go for orange if I were buying it.
NECK WOOD: Hard Rock Maple with Maple fingerboard
NECK PROFILE: CLF/G&L 1 5/8" slim C with 9 1/2" radius
See, it says neck profile 1.625”, which to me, it did not feel tha fat AT ALL, it still felt 1.5” like a Jazz bass.
The Slim C profile could be what was the best part. IDK for sure the difference between slim and modern C, but they both feel great to me, but like I said, this one just felt amazing.
I will go back with a scale or caliper, because I find it VERY hard to believe it was anything more then 1.5 at the nut, maybe a little more like 1.55, but nothing like 1.625.
So I am very conflicted of what to think about the listings on their necks, cuz they sound wide, but do not feel it.
The Fallout series (I said CFL, it is not, but it was USA made, cuz it had a certificate of authenticity with it) also says 1.625 neck width.
NO WAY, it felt very Jazz. Neck like to me.
NECK WOOD: Hard Rock Maple with Caribbean Rosewood fingerboard
NECK PROFILE: CLF/G&L 1 5/8" slim C with 9 1/2" radius 30" Scale length
I really wonder if they are taking the neck width measurement at the 12th fret, or 8th fret, or in the middle of the neck, cuz they do not say 1.625 width at nut.
After playing a couple now, and I can say for sure, it was not that wide at the nut, they must be measuring from the dead center point of the neck.
I will say the SLIM C Profile is amazing.
If you are interested in a bass online, you may want to ask the shop, or owner to take actual measurements of the widrh at the nut, and also see where on the neck it is actually 1,625.
If you like a Jazz neck, I have no doubt you will like this neck at least as good, if now much better.
Example from my favorite neck I have on my favorite basses.
1.5” at nut. And 2.5 at the body(possibly 1.625 in the center).
No mention of profile shape, I think it is Modern C, could be Slim C like tge G&L, but IDK
Stingray and Ray34
1 11/16 or 1.6875 (42.86mm). At nut, and 2.5 at body, so same at body, less taper from nut to body.
Does not say profile on the sight, but I believe it is a “C” profile, or modern C profile, but cant be sure.
It is not as thin as the Ray4 and SLO special ( my personal favorite, from my collection), but not overly chunky, like some older P basses. They certainly are not J bass necks on stingrays or Ray34 (only Ray 4, 24 and SLO special)
My fear for G&L was that the necks would be too big and uncomfortable to play looking at those specs.
That IS NOT THE CASE ay all.
They are amazing.
And I am n love with the L-1000.
A cross between a P bass and Stingray shaped body, with a Stingray humbucker in the P bass pick up location. With all sorts of options for pick up config, for tone shaping, boosts, cuts, and switches for passive, active, single, series, parallel, and others.
Remember ot is the G&L magnetic field pick up, and you can do lots with it.
I think I even like tge L-2000, with 2 pick ups.
I think they are in better position then tje Sterling Ray4HH, and I know tge pick ups and electronics are superior, and I bet I could find way more use from the two pick ups on the L-2000 then I did on the Ray4HH. I only liked one setting on the Ray4HH, and that was tge Ray4 H. Lol.
So I sold it.
But if I had the chance to get a 2 pock up G&L (even a tribute model) I would probably go for it.
Sorry for tge length, but I wanted to be as complete as possible for you Joerg, and help figure out why their specs look to be off, thankfully.
I bet if they fixed those measurements to more industry standards, they may sell more basses.
I feel like many people might be turned off by 1.625” neck, if at the nut. If they changed it to even say, at 12th fret, it may cause a-lot less confusion, and have less people decide to not even try them, which is a shame, they are sick.
Even the tribute Jazz bass, they had there for like $400, the binding around the fretboard, fit and finish, feel, everything, it was awesome.
Squire Jazz are great Jazz bass.
For about the same price, you can get G&L jazz bass tribute series, and from limited time handling either, I think many of you with Squire Jazz basses you love, I think you will like this G&L at least as much, but possibly more.
Idk price everywhere, but it was $449 at the AB Music shop we went to, and I bet they would deal down from there.
But Squires are $449 now too, so??
No dis to Squire, but props to G&L
Strange the Jazz bass says the measurement from the nut, but the others don’t, even tho they feel the same side by side.
NECK WIDTH AT NUT: 1 1/2"
NECK RADIUS: 9 1/2”
NECK PROFILE: medium C
Oh well, these are some nice jazz basses for sure.