“G&L guitars & basses are the best instruments I have ever made” — Leo Fender. As the final company the iconic inventor founded before his death in 1991, G&L guitars come equipped with some of Leo’s finest tone & technology breakthroughs!
History of G&L Guitars
G&L electric guitars and basses have a familiar look, inspired by the models of one of the musical instrument industry's giants. But there's an interesting story behind that. After the legendary Leo Fender sold his successful, eponymous guitar company to CBS in 1965 — the influential pioneer moved onto new pastures.
After working with Music Man for a few years, Leo founded G&L Guitars along with George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt in 1979. Through G&L, he refined his famous formulas and innovated new guitar designs, electronics and hardware appointments — always on a mission to improve.
Leo wanted his inventive spirit to live on through G&L, and for the brand to shine even brighter after he was gone. Today, their instruments remain popular with guitarists who love classic shapes with modern, player-centric upgrades. If you're interested in the Leo Fender story and his involvement in G&L, click here.
G&L Guitars - Key Features
MFD ('Magnetic Field Design') Pickups — Provide a warm, well-rounded tone with a broad frequency response; featuring ceramic bar magnets and adjustable iron pole pieces that allow you to precisely set the output for each string. Their unique construction ultimately transfers the magnetic field to the top of the pickup rather than the middle; giving them a more dynamic and powerful quality. These pickups are installed in most G&L guitars and basses. Click here to find out more about G&L MFD pickups.
PTB Tone System — A passive sound-shaping system that essentially gives you two master tone controls: one that decreases treble like a typical tone knob, and one that lowers bass. It's like having a built-in 2-band EQ! The PTB Tone system is fitted as standard on G&L’s S-500, Comanche and Doheny models.
Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato — A low-friction tremolo which provides a smooth and "silky" feel that allows you to bend notes up as well as down. The hardened steel bridge plate pivots on knife-edge bolts that are set into massive brass inserts anchored into the body; yielding brilliant sustain. G&L’s Legacy, S-500, Comanche and Doheny guitars sport this tremolo.
Saddle-Lock Bridge — A hardtail concept that features a small Allen screw on the side of the unit, which presses all of the saddles together for consistent string spacing and to ensure that they resonate as though they're one single mass. This bridge is designed to be partially embedded into the guitar's body too, resulting in increased sustain. This is found on most G&L basses and selected electric guitar models.
The G&L Range
The G&L lineup features T-style ASAT models, S-type Legacy guitars, offset Doheny offerings, powerful L Series basses and more! They aren’t just copies of existing shapes, but are entirely their own thing — thanks to their innovative electronics and hardware.
G&L's USA guitars and basses are crafted in Fullerton, California (Fullerton Deluxe & CLF Research models), but they also have an affordable range of Far Eastern instruments called the Tribute Series. Most of these accessible guitars even boast electronics made in Fullerton!
G&L Guitars FAQs
What does 'G&L' stand for?
G&L stands for George Fullerton and Leo Fender, the two founders of the company.
Are G&L owned by Fender?
G&L are not owned by Fender, but were owned by Leo Fender; the man who pioneered the electric guitar in the early '50s.
Where are G&L guitars made?
G&L build guitars at their Fullerton factory in California, USA. It's exactly the same place where Leo drafted and invented some of their most forward-thinking designs.
Are G&L better than Fender?
Although both companies share many of the same guitar body types, it's not possible to say who is better. But both G&L and Fender have their own unique aspects in pickups, neck shapes, contouring and hardware.