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G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar Tobacco Sunburst Rosewood Fretboard

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The G&L S-500 debuted in 1982 as Leo's own evolution of the traditional double-cutaway bolt-on axe, delivering innovations including the Dual-Ful...Click To Read More About This Product

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Packed with Leo's final innovations for exceptional value.

The G&L S-500 debuted in 1982 as Leo's own evolution of the traditional double-cutaway bolt-on axe, delivering innovations including the Dual-Fulcrum vibrato and Magnetic Field Design single-coil pickups, each designed by Leo Fender himself. These MFD pickups deliver a bright and sparkly top end and robust bottom end, all without losing midrange focus.

You'll find plenty of punch in the MFD pickups, but what's surprising is how glassy and detailed they become as you roll back the volume and bass controls, the latter a part of the S-500's PTB (Passive Treble and Bass) system which functions on all three pickups. What's more, the G&L Tribute Series S-500 includes a push-pull expander switch on the treble pot to allow neck+bridge or all three pickups together. In a pinch, the neck+bridge combo does a convincing faux ASAT Special.

The G&L Tribute Series S-500 features one of Leo's favorite pairings: the power of MFD pickups mellowed by the high porosity of a mahogany body. Making the most of this delicious combo is Leo's Dual-Fulcrum vibrato, a work of engineering art which allows bending up or down with unsurpassed stability, while offering a silky feel through its beefy aluminum vibrato arm.

Leo's forward-looking spirit is clearly reflected in the S-500, a guitar he designed for players who share that spirit. And now, it's available at a price within reach of every working musician. Once you play a G&L Tribute Series, you'll never look back.

Case sold separately.

FEATURES
Construction: Bolt-on
Scale: 25-1/2"
Pickups: Leo Fender-designed G&L MFD single coils made in Fullerton, California
Body wood: Mahogany
Neck wood: Hard-Rock maple with rosewood fingerboard
Neck width at nut: 1-5/8"
Neck radius: 12"
Neck profile: Medium C
Frets: 22 medium jumbo, nickel
Tuning keys: 18:1 ratio, sealed-back
Bridge: Leo Fender-designed G&L Dual-Fulcrum vibrato
Controls: 5-position pickup selector, volume, treble, bass (PTB system), push/pull expander on treble pot enabling additional pickup combinations of neck+bridge or all three pickups together
Case sold separately

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
G&LTribute S500 Electric Guitar
 
4.9

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (14)
  • Good feel (13)
  • Good pick up (12)
  • Fun to play (11)
  • Solid electronics (10)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (11)
  • Practicing (11)
  • Recording (10)
  • Rock concerts (9)
  • Small venues (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (12)

Reviewed by 14 customers

Displaying reviews 1-14

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(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent, Underrated Guitar

By Mike R

from Rhode Island

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • High Quality, Low Cost
  • Lightweight
  • Solid Electronics
  • Variety of Tone
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts
    • Small Venues

    Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

    The G&L Tribute S500 is one of the best value guitars out there. The pickups are fantastic and pair very well with effect pedals. They have a higher output than classic single-coil pickups, but much more detail than humbuckers. These are incredibly versatile pickups and are capable of playing any type of music. The construction quality is very nice as well, especially considering the Tributes are crafted in Indonesia. I've had MIM Fender's, and the quality of the Tribute G&L's far exceeds that of the Fenders. Lightweight, solid feel, highly adjustable set up, and mind-blowing pickups make this guitar an unbelievable value for the price. I would recommend this over any MIM Fender. I would also recommend this to someone thinking of getting a G&L Legacy. Legacy's are fine, but the pickups are much, much better on the S500.

    (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Beyond your expectations, and then some.

    By Santino G

    from Carrollton, GA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Feels like a professional instrument
    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Quality Fit And Finish
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts
      • Small Venues

      Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

      You'll be pleasantly surprised to know that this import model is in fact made overseas. Goes to show you, the world is round, and quality craftsmanship can be found outside of the USA... surprise surprise.

      At this price range, no one should be over picky. But this instrument allows you to be at this price point. The hardware feels just as good as the USA models. The vintage white is a tad creamier (think french vanilla) than the picture here poses. The 12'' radius is a dream. Perfect in my opinion for those intricate scales. A set up will make your fingers smile and bring out its true potential.

      A bit on the heavier side because of the mahogany, you will find however, that it carries a wonderful resonance when played. The quality of this instrument (mine anyways) rivals a USA fender any day. No exhageration. In fact, i wouldn't trade mine for a USA fender at all. Perhaps only if it was a custom shop, then I may consider. Seriously. It plays better, feels better, dare i say it, sounds better. the vibrato on the S-500 is first class; far above any stratocaster's; it's truly massive. cannot stress its quality enough.

      The tone is indeed on the hotter side. I none the less am able to tune in the stratiest of strat tones. far more expressive. there is no mud unless you desire it. crisp highs, deep lows, crunchy mids... it really does what you want. did i mention this is funk machine too?

      i don't think i would ever go back to alnico v's after playing mfd's. I scratch my head, and ask... why should i? the tone is lovely. versatile. You will not put this guitar down.

      Having said all of this above, i will have to also add some discretion. I have been buying my guitars lately from a dealer. I needed an inexpensive, yet, good instrument. these tributes are exceedingly great. I bought mine in person, having it set up already, nice and low too. Keep in mind, you will have to set yours up once you receive it. It has been stored, moved etc. Give it some love and be amazed.

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Leo Fender's last and best creation!

      By C. J. Camp

      from Seattle, WA

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Recording
        • Rock Concerts
        • Small Venues

        Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

        According to Leo Fender himself, the G & L guitars are NOT meant to be like Fender guitars. They are meant to be the NEXT STEP in the evolution of what Leo called "the working man's bolt-on guitar." As others have noted, the S-500 is capable of a MUCH WIDER RANGE of sounds than the Fender Stratocaster. This is part of what Leo intended. I think it's noteworthy that, in the last several years, Fender has tried to copy the S-500s with a dual-fulcrum vibrato, different types of bridges, and various switching choices not seen prior to the 1990s. Late in his life Leo stated, unequivocally, that the G & L guitars were, "The best guitars that I ever made."

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        VERY NICE BUT...

        By Bob

        from MT

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

            I've had the guitar for only a week now
            Ok, first, the guitar is very well built and near perfect in cosmetics, neck shape, fret dress, controls. Really no imperfections noticed. I've had a couple similarly priced Epiphones in the past and this Tribute puts those two to shame, it really does.
            The pickups are great and provide any sound that I need so all in all it's a great buy.
            The main problem I'm having is with the tremolo system. First let me mention a couple of points that are not a problem but different from the guitars I'm used to playing. The 12" radius is nice but I'm used to the 9.5 so I have to adjust to it; medium jumbo frets-another adjustment on my part, like I said these are not problems but you should be aware of the specs especially if you are only comfortable playing thinner necks and smaller frets.
            The real problem is not staying in tune and the trem system is the culprit. One of the main reasons I bought this is because of the great reviews this trem system has gotten over the years. So this one may be a dud. The tuners are ok, the nut is average and I would suggests an upgrade. I've had the guitar setup twice to recent g & l specs along with 9s, and 9.5s instead of the 10s which it came with. Nut sauce, string stretchin and hours of playing on it. All that and any use of the trem will still put it out of tune. Not once did the strings remain in tune after using the trem. It just doesn't reset to its neutral point. I've had bigsbys that have functioned much better than this. I'm going to give it another week because some people have suggested playing it for a while and that may help the trem system seat itself, if that's even a thing.
            A fine guitar for the price just be aware that the trem system may be a headache on some of these. I'll try and write another review if I exchange this one for another.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Love It!

            By DMAN

            from Hoffman Estates, Il.

            About Me Novice

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing

              Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

              Just picked up guitar again after many years. I was looking for a decent giutar that wouldn't break the bank and found one in the G&L S500. It was an open box (blemished ) item. When I received it and looked it over I could not find a mark on it. It had a beautiful sunburst tobacco finsh. I tuned it up and tried it out and couldn't be more satisfied. It was hard to put down. It will sure make getting back into guitar a lot of fun.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Simpy Fantastic

              By Ray

              from Auburn

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Recording
                • Rock Concerts
                • Small Venues

                Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                Just recently picked up this guitar and it far exceeds what I was expecting. One of the best feeling necks I've ever owned (I currently own 19 guitars ranging from a Hondo on up to a PRS Custom 24). Great tone selection with the 5 position switch and p/p pot. Quality all around. This is my new favorite guitar which I will own and play for many years to come.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Excellent Choice!

                By Yinch

                from GA

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun To Play
                • Good Feel
                • Good Pick Up
                • Good Tone
                • Solid Electronics

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Jamming
                  • Practicing
                  • Recording

                  Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                  Great Pickups, more dynamics, more balls, love the push/pull option to have a Tele-like tone, construction is excellent. I also have the older Korean made one, the construction is better with Korean, I like fret works better. But the New ones has more powerful pickups. Either way, can't go wrong!

                   
                  5.0

                  Outstanding Value!

                  By GodZdoG

                  from Sarasota, FL

                  About Me Experienced

                  Pros

                  • Fun To Play
                  • Good Feel
                  • Good Pick Up
                  • Good Tone
                  • Solid Electronics

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Jamming
                    • Practicing
                    • Recording
                    • Rock Concerts
                    • Small Venues

                    Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                    I play in a worship band. My other guitars are PRS CEs from the mid 2000s. I have high standards. This Indonesia made G&L Tribute S-500 guitar is the equal of my others. Nuff said.

                     
                    5.0

                    Wow...

                    By TonyR

                    from Columbus OH

                    About Me Experienced

                    See all my reviews

                    Ask me a question

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Elegent and Sexy
                    • Good Feel
                    • Good Tone
                    • Solid Electronics

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                        I waste an enormous amount of disposable income on guitars... and since I'm only an experienced hobbyist rather than an actual professional musician, I try to stay under the eight bill retail price point. After just one day of playing this G&L Tribute S500, I knew this guitar was going to be in my "keepers" club, i.e., the six I will keep if the other 20 have to go for some reason. To me, it matches the feel and build quality of an American made Strat and exceeds its sonic capabilities... the multi-field density pickups are great, very responsive to strumming intensity and strumming position. Embarrassingly, it was several days before I realized that there was a push-pull tone knob; and as it turns out one of my favorite sounds is the middle position with the tone knob in the out position. The Passive Treble and Bass system is also quite nice, allowing you to dial in a wide range of sounds. I was initially planning to go for the sunburst, because it is so fricken gorgeous, but something told me to step out of my normal pattern and go for the vintage white... as you can see a gorgeous guitar in its own right. My only complaint is that the push-pull tone knob is very difficult to pull out... I may end-up replacing just this knob with something that is easier to grip and pull. I highly recommend this guitar to anyone wanting a guitar that feels like a high-quality Strat, but that is capable of covering more sonic turf than your typical Strat -- at a much lower price point.

                         
                        5.0

                        Great guitar for the price.

                        By Tom the Teacher

                        from St. Petersburg, FL

                        About Me Experienced

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Electronics provide many tone optioins
                        • Fun To Play
                        • Good design elements from Leo Fender
                        • Good Feel
                        • Good Pick Up
                        • Good Tone
                        • Solid Electronics

                        Cons

                        • Box didn't contain manual or warranty card.

                        Best Uses

                        • Jamming
                        • Practicing
                        • Recording
                        • Rock Concerts
                        • School Bands
                        • Small Venues

                        Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                        Great strat-style guitar for the price that includes design features developed by Leo Fender (G & L stands for George and Leo). The pickups were designed by Leo Fender. By pulling the treble pot out, you are able to get different tones from all three pickups combined and the neck and bridge pickups combined. In other words, you have a lot more tone options than you have in other strat-style guitars. The Leo-designed dual-fulcrum bridge allows you to bend up or down in a very smooth fashion. To learn more about the guitar, see the Guitar Interactive review of the G & L Tribute S-500 on YouTube. The reason the guitar is so cheap is because it's made in Indonesia (I believe). Though this may scare some people, this is a high quality guitar. The only minor thing I wasn't happy about was that there was no manual or warranty card in the box. I couldn't figure out how to install the trem bar properly. There is a tiny hex screw that pushes a nylon brushing into the trem bar to keep it in place. If you accidentally over-screw the screw when the trem bar is not inserted, it is easy to lose these tiny items. You can order a set of 6 screws and nylon brushings from G & L. The screws and brushings are also used in other places in the bridge (I believe).

                         
                        5.0

                        Great quality and sound for the price

                        By Jeff

                        from Redmond, WA

                        About Me Experienced

                        See all my reviews

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Good Feel
                        • Good Tone

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                            This guitar punches well above its weight in fit, finish, and sound quality. The sunburst finish is gorgeous, the fret work is spot on, and the MFD pickups have a great range of tones with the bass/treble controls. Yes, I can get the same type of strat "quack" out of them as I do my Fender strats. Thought the 12" radius neck would be noticeably different than the typical 9.5" I play but I don't feel a difference. Came strung with 10's which I swapped for D'Addario 9.5's. Had to adjust the truss rod, trem, and string height a bit but the playability improvement was more than worth it.

                            Minor quibbles: doesn't use Switchcraft jacks/switches or CTS pots which I feel are the standard for consistency and longevity. Easy to upgrade, though. No gig bag, tools, manual (not online, either), or hang tags. The out-of-the-box experience is as bare bones as it gets.

                            (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            I could not find really better for thrice the price

                            By Wenta

                            from Thailand

                            About Me Experienced

                            Pros

                            • Fun To Play
                            • Good Feel
                            • Good Pick Up
                            • Good Tone
                            • PLEKed
                            • Stay in tune

                            Cons

                            • Noisy on high gain inputs

                            Best Uses

                            • Jamming
                            • Practicing
                            • Recording
                            • Rock Concerts
                            • School Bands
                            • Small Venues

                            Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                            Need to ask a luthier to setup intonation and fret 0 according to the strings you are using and your playing style (do you prefer low or high intonation ?) so that open chords at the bottom of the neck does not sound out of tune... They use a PLEK machine so it's near perfect for the other frets and the board. I consider changing electronics and mics for a di marzio or a rio grande set, since they are a little bit noisy and the pots feels a little bit cheap - but it sounds pretty good already - I will first try to isolate with adhesive copper foil.

                             
                            5.0

                            I fell hard when i got my g&l tribute s500

                            By John merrifield

                            from Cedar hill tx.

                            About Me Experienced

                            Pros

                            • Fun To Play
                            • Good Feel
                            • Good Pick Up
                            • Good Tone
                            • Solid Electronics

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Jamming
                              • Practicing
                              • Recording
                              • Rock Concerts
                              • School Bands
                              • Small Venues

                              Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                              I absolutely love this guitar i have several other guitars awsome in their own right but i always come back to my baby the s500, definitely my favorite neck on any guitar I've played & the pickup setup is almost endless possibilities of tone love it

                               
                              5.0

                              The best stratocaster ever made

                              By Tombrown at sg3 thread for gibson com

                              from Windsor ct

                              About Me Experienced

                              Pros

                              • Fun To Play
                              • Good Feel
                              • Good Pick Up
                              • Good Tone

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Jamming
                                • Practicing
                                • Recording
                                • Rock Concerts
                                • School Bands
                                • Small Venues

                                Comments about G&L Tribute S500 Electric Guitar:

                                This guitar gets a very wide range of sounds.

                                Going though a vintage fender champ your in heaven, it sounds as if the pickups were designed aroubd that amp.

                                The bridge pickup gets a p90 sound once you overdrive it a little bit, but flip a switch and you can get telecaster sounds very easily. I also am hearing sone other familiar guitar sounds as i am tweaking it. With the bridge and middle its overdrive with a little glass on it.

                                The tone controls are bass and treble and really work.

                                With them on 10 its totally stratocaster , telecaster sounds.
                                But i have the tones on 3 and it sounds great

                                These pickups are very powerful and difficult to adjust

                                At one point i put the neck pickup flush with the pickguard and the bridge at 3/16 inch high with the bridge and i swear it sounded just like a pre cbs stratocaster.

                                That is not by accident my friends

                                This is the best 500 Guitar on the market hands down

                                Displaying reviews 1-14

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