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The G&L CLF Research L-1000 is a modern update to a classic, yet lesser known Leo Fender bass design.
G&L is the final legacy of legendary guitar builder Leo Fender. When Leo, along with George Fullerton, founded G&L in 1979 he, in addition to re-working his old iconic designs, set about creating new ones.
In the pantheon of Leo Fender-designed basses, the L-1000 is perhaps the most underrated. Nearly 40 years after the original came out G&L are keeping the design alive with the CLF Research model – named after Leo’s own research company.
Body and Neck
Interestingly, this bass utilises the less commonly used Okoume for its body. Okoume is a hardwood that has a similar grain pattern to Mahogany, which can be seen through the sunburst finish. However tonally, it has been compared closer to Alder with its full tone and resonance.
The maple neck has a comfortable, slim, C-shape neck profile that fits well in the hand. The fingerboard radius is 9 and ½” which is common amongst Leo Fender-designed instrument and is a happy medium between flatter modern radii and the more curved, vintage radius.
The Caribbean Rosewood fingerboard makes for a natural and smooth playing experience, and it has been said that this material adds warmth to the tone.
Electronics and Hardware
Right in the centre of the body is a G&L Magnetic Field Design (MFD) humbucker. MFD is another of Leo’s innovations and is essentially a ceramic bar magnetic with individually adjustable soft iron pole pieces. In practical terms, this results in higher output per wind giving these a full and powerful sound.
This bass might only have one pickup, but the addition of a 3-way mini-toggle gives the L-1000 impressive tonal versatility. The toggle allows you to select between parallel, split and OMG (a type of treble cut) modes for a variety of sounds in one pickup.
The CLF Research L-1000 features a dual-action truss rod with twin graphite stiffening rods for rock-solid neck stability. The bridge is a G&L Saddle Lock and features chrome-plated brass saddles and, as brass is known for its impressive sustain and resonance, this bridge definitely adds to the L-1000’s tone.
Here's What G&L Say About the CLF Research L-1000:
The new CLF Research L-1000 brings back the best of the iconic passive G&L bass from 1980. Fans of the vintage G&L “wunkay” know.
It's that rounded, fast shape of the neck combined with the slick feel of an old gloss finish. It's the clean, modern aesthetic of the original CLF/G&L headstock.
It's the tactile delight of those beautiful CLF Research knobs shimmering from an elegant chrome control plate. And of course, there's the legendary punch of the L-1000's MFD humbucker in OMG mode.
Now take all that goodness and pack it into the slimmer mid-90s L-Series body shape for added comfort and lower weight, and you can make it through that 3 hour gig with tone and style to spare.
And when you're on the road, you can count on the neck to be more stable than those beloved vintage wunkays, with a modern dual-action truss rod and twin graphite stiffening rods. Add it all up and you've got the best of the vintage CLF vibe with the best of modern G&L elements.
The CLF Research L-1000: Return Of An Icon
In the late 1970s, Clarence Leo Fender was looking forward to launching his new G&L brand featuring his latest innovations including Magnetic Field Design pickups and the Saddle Lock bridge. Leo developed these technologies at his CLF™ Research company, and production of the new G&L instruments took place in the CLF Research factory on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California, where G&L production continues today.
The new CLF Research L-1000 is a fully modern “wunkay” that pays homage to its roots with classic details including the early CLF/G&L headstock and neck profile, beautifully reproduced CLF knobs and control plate, and red-capped mini toggle switch.
- Pickups: G&L Magnetic Field humbucking pickup
- Body Wood: Okoume
- Neck Wood: Hard Rock Maple w/ Caribbean Rosewood fingerboard
- Neck Profile: CLF/G&L 1 5/8" slim C with 9 1/2" radius
- Frets: Medium Jumbo, Jescar 57110 18% nickel silver
- Tuning Keys: Custom G&L "Ultra-Lite" with aluminum tapered string posts
- Bridge: Leo Fender-designed G&L Saddle Lock with chrome-plated brass saddles
- Electronics: 3-position mini toggle for parallel/split/OMG pickup modes, volume, treble, bass
- Case: Deluxe Tolex hardshell