Legacy review by G&L

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (125 votes)
G&L: Legacy

Price paid: $ 150

Sound — 10
This guitar can do just about anything, but like any single coil guitar it's better at cleans/bluesey stuff. The bridge pickup is unbearably versatile when used with the tone knobs. I usually put it on the bridge pup with the tone down at like 3-4 for a nice warm distortion tone, it handles gain fairly well this way (I can get a really nice hard rock/punk sound out of it this way). For cleans I absolutely adore the neck pup on it's own with the tone rolled off just slightly to take out the edge. it's such a nice, smooth sound that's great for really anything. Really it can do most anything except for a really tight metal or rock sound. Single coils, obviously, don't have the tight low end that a 'bucker will have, so there's a downfall. It's still passable for the rock stuff though.

Overall Impression — 8
Easily the best guitar I've played and by far the best guitar I've owned--it plays like a dream, one of the fastest, smoothest feels I've seen and it's versatility is incredible. Only things I would change would maybe shield it to reduce the single coil hum and maybe get a red Lace sensor for the brige for a more humbuckery tone. I'm more a fan of neck pickup cleans with single coils but really prefer a solid humbucker bridge for dirty signals. It doesn't fit my styles perfectly, but I'll willingly sacrifice that as no guitar I've played can match it's pure playability.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is a beast. I haven't managed to break it yet, and that says something (you should see my old Bass... ). The fact that none of the electronics are crackly or noisy should say something, although I have noticed a small ground loop issue if you push the low tone knob too hard the wrong way. Other than that, though, it's held up remarkably well--the tuners are perfect, the bridge/trem is in ship shape. The finish is a little beat and there's a couple dents in it, but this guitar is close to 20 years old, so I'm still impressed.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Didn't get it from the factory, so I wouldn't know. I assume it was pretty good, and it's held up rather well for how old it is. There is a tiny electronics issue I've noticed with an occasional buzz if I push the tone knob the wrong way, but it's no big deal. The pickup height was a little off, and the action isn't perfect but it's close--however I don't know how much of this is the guitar and how much is the previous owner.

Features — 10
Made in America G&L Legacy, late 80s/ early 90s model, I believe. Included hard case which is simply phenomenal. Doesn't even touch the tuning, got a nifty storage compartment to boot. Also came with a whammy bar which is nice but I don't use it much. A handy feature is the two-point tremolo, which I think is a more even bend and does less damage to your tuning. 22-fret maple neck is a dream. One of the fastest necks I've played (I've only been playing 2 years but I've tried some pretty fancy equipment--this thing far outplays my friend's Gibson SG). Three singles for pickups, and I love the tone. They seem to run a bit warmer and a bit hotter than a Strat, which I really love. Another oddity is the tone circuit. Unlike a normal Strat, where one tone controls the bridge pup and one the neck pup, on this guitar one tone is a low cut and one a high cut. They're both active regardless of the pickup you've selected.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    You just have to make sure it doesn't say Tribute on it anywhere, otherwise you're getting a top-notch guitar. I got a Legacy Special and it sounds so very good. I got it used for 950 CAD from a guy that has a Graphtech Ghost Piezo system installed. This is the most versatile guitar I've ever played. If you can find a good deal, don't pass it up.
    The Tribute is fine. IIRC, unlike Fender's MIM and American made, the imported G&L's are fully featured, quality controlled instruments, but without as much attention paid to the finish. You're not going to get a finished neck, but who cares? For half the price of an American G&L, it's the same hardware and same quality controls. G&L is amazing--I'm picking up a Legacy HB this evening if all goes as planned. Barely used floor model for $400. Never thought i could beat the sound out of my modified MIM, but yeah...this smokes it and costs less.
    i actually have a tribute series legacy but its the same model. this thing plays like a beast. the store where i bought it said u would be amazing how well it plays. he was right. plus this thing has been thrown, beaten, dinged, nicked and banged, but still not a chip or scratch on it. LEO FENDER WAS ONE HELL OF A GUITAR BUILDER!!!!!
    o i forgot to mention, i played sweet child O' mine on it and it is EXACTLY the same as slash's les paul!
    SuperFlyinMonke said, "You just have to make sure it doesn't say Tribute on it anywhere, otherwise you're getting a top-notch guitar." Not true--the imports are as high of quality as the American G&L's, Man! Sure, MIM's have their downfalls compared to the American Strats and Teles, but with G&L, you get the same woods, pickups (usually), wiring, special features (tone circuits & splits), electronics, and sometimes finish, but at half the cost, and they still ring in well-under a similarly equipped import Fender. To say that a Tribute model isn't a top-notch guitar is simply an uneducated assumption! Maybe when comparing a Squier Affinity to an American Strat you could say this, but the G&L models are apples to apples. Do some research and play them before assuming Tributes aren't on par with the American models.
    I am looking to buy a Legacy Immortal for about $500 Australian which includes the hardcase. I am just starting to play and I dont have much experience in buying a guitar. Is the Immortal a good deal. Is it easy to play as a first guitar?