Why We Chose This Platform
When choosing a guitar to modify, it is important that you start with an instrument that is already quality before any changes are made. We have found that the G&L Tribute Legacy™ is the best platform to receive these Player's Guitar Upgrades for several reasons. The Legacy has many features out of the box that make a fantastic guitar from the start. The Tribute Legacy is outfitted with the same hardware and electronics that come on the G&L USA Legacy and offers a neck and body made of quality materials.
The Neck Profile:
The G&L Tribute Legacy features a Medium C neck profile. Not too thin, not too thick, this neck is just right. A neck with a decent amount of thickness offers greater tuning stability as well as transfer of vibration, resulting in better tone. A neck that is too thin diminishes sustain and tuning stability. A neck that is too thick can feel uncomfortable to play. While neck profile is a personal preference, we feel that this classic profile provides a happy medium that will suit most players.
The Neck Radius:
A 12" neck radius like the one featured on the Legacy is a great balance between the vintage 7.25" or 9.5" radius fingerboards and the modern 16" or 20" radius fingerboards. It provides comfortable chording as well as effortless soloing and string bending.
The 25.5" scale of the G&L Legacy offers a classic, tight, precise playing feel. Guitars that feature a 25.5" scale have a more well defined sound with less mud than a shorter scale instrument.
The G&L Legacy is equipped with 22 medium jumbo nickel silver frets. We prefer the sound of nickel silver as opposed to the overly bright or harsh tone that can occur with stainless steel frets. While stainless steel frets may last longer, a nickel silver fret sounds better and will last a long time, especially if the player has a light touch with their fretting hand.
The G&L Tribute Legacy is available in two different wood types depending on which finish you choose. The guitars with a solid finish come with Basswood bodies. Basswood is light weight and offers a fat, but well balanced tone. It tends to have a strong midrange, but not without a certain softness and breathiness. The guitars having a translucent finish have Swamp Ash bodies. Swamp Ash is light and resonant, with a twangy, airy, and sweet tone. It characteristically offers firm lows, pleasant highs, and a slightly scooped midrange.
All G&L Tribute Legacy Guitars are outfitted with the same Leo Fender-Designed Dual Fulcrum Vibrato Bridge that is found on the G&L USA Models. This vibrato bridge pivots on two bolts machined from billets of cold rolled steel rather than the six wood screws found in traditional designs. The two bolts are set into massive brass inserts in the body. The Dual Fulcrum Vibrato uses a hardened steel bridge plate and a brass sustain block. This design offers superior tuning stability because of it's ability to return to zero more reliably, and longer sustain due to it's increased mass. The feel of the machined aluminum tremolo arm is adjustable with a single Allen Screw pressing a nylon insert. This also alows for quick installation and removal.
The G&L PTB system found on the Legacy features Volume, Treble, and Bass pots along with a 5-position pickup selector. The 5-position selector offers all traditional pickup combinations for a wide range of tones. The Volume, Treble, Bass control setup allows much more versatility than the standard Volume, Tone, Tone, which only rolls treble off of the neck and middle pickups.
What Are The Player Upgrades?
The Player Upgrades are the modifications that we have made not only to improve overall playability and tuning stabililty, but also add sustain and tone to the G&L Tribute Legacy Guitar. We have added mass to the body for increased sustain, tightened the neck joint for better transfer of vibration through the body, added a hotter pickup for better tone, and employed a number of parts and modifications to greatly improve tuning stability.
The neck joint is one of most important points in constructing a guitar. Our method of attaching the neck offers a tighter joint than traditional bolt-on or set-neck (glued on) construction. We use a system of stainless steel hardwood inserts in the neck, coupled with 316 stainless steel machine screws that pass through the body and into the inserts in the neck, creating an extremely tight neck joint. This greatly enhances the transfer of vibration between the neck and the body, increasing sustain and improving tone.
Tone Cylinder Enhancement:
The factory pickup routing pattern that the G&L Tribute Legacy uses is a rectangular "catch-all" cavity that can accomodate any configuration of pickups. While this is convenient from a manufacturing stand point, we feel that it removes too much wood from the guitar, decreasing mass and sustain. To remedy this condition, we have added bronze tone cylinders to the pickup cavity, adding more mass to the guitar than the wood that was removed. The result is an increase in sustain and added frequency response in tone.
While the stock G&L CLF-100 Alnico V USA Made Single Coil Pickups that come on the Tribute Legacy are great pickups, we felt that the guitar needed something hotter for a lead pickup in the bridge position. The guitar in the pictures has been fitted with a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails, but you can have your choice of any similarly priced, single coil sized pickup including the Cool Rails, Little 59', JB Jr., or Quarter Pounder pickups from Seymour Duncan. The single coil sized humbuckers eliminate the need to modify the pick guard. See below for a diagram of the pickup switching options.
LSR Ball Bearing Roller Nut:
The LSR (Linear String Rotation) Nut dramatically reduces the friction and binding normally associated with traditional nut designs when string bending or using a vibrato bar. Each string rides on two metal ball bearings held in place by metal fingers.
Roller String Tree:
We added a Roller String Tree to the headstock. This addition helps to increase tuning stability by allowing the strings to roll smoother and return to zero more reliably when string bending or using the vibrato bridge.
Schaller Locking Tuning Keys:
The Schaller Locking Tuning Machines are manufactured in Germany and are designed to provide rock-solid tuning stability and speedy string changes. There are no loose or floating components and the string is secured at a single point on the tuning machine. This allows the string to return to zero after string bending or vibrato bar use more consistantly when compared to traditional tuning machines. The 18:1 gear ratio of these machines allows for extremely precise tuning.
Graphtech String Saver Saddles:
As mentioned before, The G&L Dual Fulcrum Vibrato Bridge is already a great platform to start with. As part of the Player's Upgrade Package, we've added Graphtech String Saver Saddles to the bridge to reduce string breakage and improve tuning stability.
Tremol-No Tremolo Locking Device:
We also added a Tremol-No Pin Style Locking Tremolo Device. This allows you to set the tremolo to down only, up and down operation, or a fully blocked hardtail type response. All functionality is easily adjustable without the need for any tools.
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