G&L more Fender than Fender?

karnac

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 8, 2013
Posts
161
Location
Wisconsin
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?
 

dan1952

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Posts
4,604
Age
69
Location
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...
 

smithsonian

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 6, 2011
Posts
398
Location
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.
 

stratomite

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Posts
291
Location
K.C.O.P.
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.
 

slippin slider

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Posts
1,623
Location
California
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.

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
 

Doug 54

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Posts
6,635
Location
Ohio
Hard to find in 100+ mi radius, US stuff.

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

hemingway

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 14, 2012
Posts
9,550
Location
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.
 

skerwo

Tele-Holic
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Posts
680
Age
54
Location
near Munich, Germany
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.
 

wstarkel

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Posts
186
Location
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.
 

tweedtone

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Posts
1,511
Age
55
Location
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.
 

Edgar Allan Presley

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Posts
3,738
Location
Colorado
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.
 

BigDaddyLH

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Posts
62,425
Location
The best place on Earth
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.
 

fezz parka

---------------------------
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Posts
13,841
Location
Del Floria's Tailor Shop
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.

DSC_0005-1.jpg
 

viking

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Posts
4,928
Age
56
Location
Denmark
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
 




Top