Part Four

1970 - Music Man and G&L continued. (George & Leo, later Guitars by Leo) Musical Products. G&L guitar designs tended to lean heavily upon the looks of Fender's original guitars such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster, but incorporated innovations such as enhaced tremolo systems and electronics. Despite suffering several minor strokes, Leo Fender continued to produce guitars and basses. While he continued to refine the fundamental designs he had created decades earlier, he also earned many new patents for innovative designs in magnetic pickups, vibrato systems, neck construction, and other areas. Nevertheless, he never learned how to play the guitar.

A friendly, modest and unassuming man (his "coffee mug" was a styrofoam cup with the word "Leo" inked on it), he had the lifelong admiration and devotion of his employees, many of whom have remarked that the best working years of their lives were spent under Leo Fender. He died in 1991 from complications of Parkinson's disease. His pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

The company which bears his name, Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, is now one of the largest musical instrument conglomerates in the world. G&L is a guitar design and production company founded by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Dale Hyatt in the late 1970s, after Leo left the company he founded that still bears his name. G&L instruments are similar to the classic Fenders, but with some modern innovations. They are hand built on Fender Avenue, in Fullerton, California. They are not widely distributed but are highly regarded by many musicians and collectors. The relatively small scale of production further allows for more custom options than are possible on larger production lines.

After the passing of Leo Fender in 1991, Fender's wife, Phyllis Fender, passed the management of G&L to BBE Sound of John C. McLaren. George Fullerton remains as a permanent consultant, and Leo's wife Phyllis remains as Honorary Chairman of G&L. It's believed that Leo Fender claimed the G&L line of instruments to be his greatest achievement, and that the instruments were of the highest quality, even better than the average Fender stringed instrument.


Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato

G&L Guitars offer several proprietary features, in an attempt to differentiate from other guitar companies, including:

List of 4 items

G&L guitars

G&L produces several distinct models of guitar & bass products, including:

Electric guitars

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Electric basses

G&L L-2000 - USA 1994

G&L L-2000 - USA 1994

All G&L basses feature bolt-on necks and 34 inch scale lengths. Five-string versions use 3+2 tuners; earlier models made prior to the BBE takeover carried a 4+1 arrangement.


In 2003 G&L introduced the Tribute series, a more affordable alternative to its hand-made selection. Tribute G&L's were made in Korea by Cort Guitars using mostly foreign-made hardware, though some original parts are also used on select models. The pickups used are all originally made by G&L in Fullerton/California. Production has since moved to a Cort facilities in Indonesia.

Before 2003 for a short time there was a production of Tribute guitars in Japan. But when production in Japan became more expensive and the best Korean manufacturing raised to the same quality level, the production moved to Korea.

The Tribute series is offered in many of the same body shapes as their original creations. These currently include the ASAT Classic, ASAT Classic Semi-Hollow, ASAT Special, ASAT Special Semi-Hollow, Invader XL, Legacy, Legacy SB, and S-500 guitar models and L-2500 & L-2000 bass models. The SB-2 was offered briefly but was discontinued, however, it was reintroduced late 2006/early 2007. The JB-2 was introduced to the Tribute series at the same time.

External links

List of items

Retrieved from


Leo Fender may have passed on, but his name and innovations will probably last forever amongst others like Orville Gibson, Les Paul and C. F. Martin as great guitar manufacturers and innovators.

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