Introduced in 1982, the S-500 was Leo Fender’s evolution of the iconic single-coil double-cutaway guitar that he invented in the early 50s. 36 years later, the G&L USA Fullerton Deluxe S-500 takes that re-imagining and modernises it further.
The original S-500 re-designed the familiar pickups and vibrato bridge becoming mainstays of the model, and this version has G&L’s Passive Treble and Bass (PTB) system as well as a mini-toggle for expanded pickup selection options.
Body & Neck
Much like most S-type guitars from the mid-50s onwards, the Fullerton Deluxe S-500 has an Alder body. Alder has a relatively light weight which means this guitar will be easy on your back and it has been said that Alder offers a well-balanced tone to guitars.
The neck is a MCNK or “Modern Classic” profile which is very comfortable to play with its generous edge roll and a mild taper which goes from fairly slim to a little bit thicker up the neck. The 9.5” radius fingerboard has a reasonable curve that's comfortable for fretting chords but doesn't make string bending difficult like more curved, vintage-style fingerboards. The rosewood fingerboard makes for a natural and smooth playing experience and it has been said that rosewood adds warmth to the tone.
Electronics & Hardware
The electronics and hardware are what really set the Fullerton Deluxe S-500 apart from similar guitars of the past. The pickups are Leo Fender-designed G&L Magnetic Field Design single coils. These pickups are hotter than a more vintage-voiced single-coil making it perfect for higher gain. However the MFDs also retain the ability to produce smooth, articulate sounds that S-type guitars are known for.
The PTB system adds greater functionality and flexibility to the tone controls allowing you to shape the bass and treble with more precision. The mini-toggle expands the switching capabilities of the Fullerton Deluxe S-500 further than traditional S-types giving you the option to select just the bridge and neck pickups for a T-type style sound or selecting all three pickups together.
Another innovation on this guitar is the Dual-Fulcrum vibrato bridge (also designed by Leo!) that allows you to easily bend up or down and greater tuning stability than its vintage counterparts. The Fullerton Deluxe S-500 looks and feels like a classic S-type but with far more expansive tonal variety.
- Construction: Bolt-on
- Scale: 25 1/2"
- Pickups: Leo Fender-designed G&L MFD single coils
- Body Wood: Alder
- Neck Wood: Hard-Rock Maple with Caribbean Rosewood fingerboard
- Neck Profile: G&L MCNK with 9.5" radius and 1 11/16" nut-width
- Nut: 100% natural bone
- Frets: 22 medium jumbo, nickel, Plek dressed
- Tuning Keys: 12:1 ratio, sealed-back
- Bridge: Leo Fender-designed G&L Dual-Fulcrum vibrato with forged brass saddles
- Controls: 5-position pickup selector, volume, treble, bass (PTB system), mini-toggle switch enabling additional pickup combinations of neck+bridge or all three pickups together.
- Case: Deluxe Gig Bag