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G&L more Fender than Fender?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by karnac, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. karnac

    karnac Tele-Meister

    Nov 8, 2013
    Leo Fender thought so, but why isn't G&L as or more popular? Is it just because of history and marketing? What is your take on it?

  2. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2013
    Rock Hill, SC
    Fender is what is available in my area. I've never seen a G&L in person.

  3. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    G&L has had very poor distribution in most of the US, and there were a couple of years in the early '90's when the company had some quality control issues, IIRC...

  4. smithsonian

    smithsonian Tele-Meister

    Oct 6, 2011
    San Antonio, TX
    cbs did a good job making fender a household name, but it seems to me that G&L (at least where i live) is much more expensive as well. another thing that makes it less attainable. the fact that fender started making cheaper versions making it readily available to almost anyone who could save a little for a guitar.
    also, as far as i understand, Leo had more freedom with G&L.

  5. BobbyB

    BobbyB Tele-Afflicted

  6. stratomite

    stratomite Tele-Meister

    Oct 10, 2007
    Wasn't Leo kind of put in the position of needing to say that since G & L was his new start-up project and he was in direct competition with virtually the same designs as Fender. Fender company had his name, but he always had his reputation and goodwill in the name.

    Today FMIC is a merchandising machine. The name is iconic and they have the development, production and marketing dollars to keep it that way.

  7. slippin slider

    slippin slider Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 30, 2013
    Very well spoken sir.

    I think that there a G&L dealer in Marin County, Bananas at Large.

    Is that sticker recognition? Why I would buy brand x before brand z?
    To be really synical... If you slapped a Fender Decal on a plywood dust mop
    handle some people just might by it for it's future relic collectors value

  8. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Dec 12, 2004
    Hard to find in 100+ mi radius, US stuff.

    I do know that quite a few are heavy in the near 9 lbs area

  9. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    I've never seen one in a shop either.

    Way I read it Leo spent a lot of time at G&L trying to iron out all the squeaks and screeches that had made Fender guitars so popular in the first place. He couldn't understand why guitarists often preferred Fenders to his smoother new product.

    I've played my mate's ASAT. It's a nice guitar, but it just feels too slick.

  10. skerwo

    skerwo Tele-Meister

    Interesting theme. I always loved the G&l guitars for their sound, playability and quality. What I really don´t like is the headstock, I always found it really ugly. Just a problem for my eyes, but I think a lot of people are buying guitars also because of the look.

  11. wstarkel

    wstarkel Tele-Meister

    Nov 14, 2012
    Norcross, GA
    I've never owned a Fender, but I've owned two G&Ls: a Legacy and a Blues Boy. Loved the Legacy, liked the Blues Boy. Played plenty of Fenders, but they never did it for me.

    Brand name recognition has a lot to do with it. Brands like G&L, Heritage, etc., have reputations amongst people who look for guitars outside of the big companies, but you have to explain the background of those smaller outfits to non-guitar players. Lots of non-guitar players know Fender and Gibson.

    Also, logistical and economical considerations have to be taken into account. I got my G&Ls through ebay and took a real chance on them; I liked both of them and got decent deals, but I didn't make my money back when I sold them. A used Fender holds its value much better than a G&L. As for the logistics, a few folks have chimed in and said they've never played / seen a G&L. Most authorized dealers are in smaller shops in larger towns, so you have to look for them. My closest G&L dealer here in Atlanta doesn't even keep the guitars in stock, you have to order one.

    Not taking anything related to instrument quality in the equation, Fenders are a very easy choice: good resale value, name recognition, widespread, etc. I've been lucky enough to be able to A/B Fenders and G&Ls, and was able to make a decision based on my preferences. Unfortunately, not many guitarists have that option.

  12. tweedtone

    tweedtone Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 2, 2004
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Back in the mid-'90s, I passed on buying an original run G&L Broadcaster and I still regret it to this day. Lovely guitar.

  13. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    Fender is more popular than G&L for the same reason that reissue tweed Bassmans are more popular than a Musicman amp from the 80s, with built-in phaser. Leo Fender constantly pushed against the technical limitations of his time in the '40s, '50s, '60s and on. But those limitations gave us things like Tele twang and tube distortion. Fender is still associated with those old technologies that we love so much, while G&L and Musicman are associated with the state-of-the-'80s-art, that many of us love much less.

  14. speedingjet

    speedingjet Tele-Meister

    +1 on that headstock.
    It is really among the ugliest I've seen.

    I've played a couple ASATs. They were nothing short of excellent instruments.

  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I had to look to find the G&L dealer in my area but I'm glad I did. I read on the G&L forum that the company really took a hit during the last recession. I hope they're doing better now, because they're a relatively small company making great guitars. You have to wish them continued success.

  16. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    For the early 90's, my only Tele was this ASAT I bought from Dale Hyatt right after Leo died. Great guitar, but more like a Tele on steroids.


  17. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Jan 23, 2007
    Theres a limit to how good , or costly a bolton neck guitar should be , IMO...
    Im very far from being a believer of all things Fender , since decades ago...One of the dealbreakers for me is that the headstock of the G&Ls are about the ugliest around , I dont even look at them twice , sorry

    BTW , Leo was an engineer , couldnt play guitar at all ,and never figured out why the earlier designs kept selling after he gave the market a new , improved design.
    He never understood why the Tele could still sell after the Strat was introduced etc.......He was devastated that he was supposed to work at designs so closely related to the Strat and Tele at G&L

  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I don't look at them twice either. No, wait, I look at the headstock whenever I dust it off.

  19. LongLiveRock54

    LongLiveRock54 Tele-Holic

    Mar 30, 2010
    Worse than this? :D


  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Submitted for your disapproval...


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