Review: G&L Tribute Series Fallout Guitar — Video
In 2013, G&L debuted the Fallout model, which was based on the company’s original SC-2 guitar introduced 30 years before.
While the Fallout retained the SC-2’s slim body shape and 25 1/2–inch-scale length, it featured a different pickup configuration that made it ideal for a wider range of players.
This year G&L has expanded the Fallout family with an affordable Tribute Series version that offers nearly identical features but sells for about a third of the price.
Whereas the original SC-2 had two G&L-designed single-coil pickups, the Fallout model received a full-size humbucker at the bridge and a P-90-style single-coil pickup at the neck, a configuration that is also featured on the Tribute Fallout.
The two pickups are exclusive G&L models designed by respected electronics guru Paul Gagon, and the bridge humbucker offers a coil-split function that is activated by pulling up on the master tone control, allowing it to provide tones similar to those of the original SC-2. Other controls include a master volume knob and a three-way pickup selector switch.
The Tribute Fallout has a mahogany body that’s light, comfortable and well balanced, with a slim, contoured shape that resembles a hybrid of a Telecaster and Musicmaster. The maple bolt-on neck has 22 medium jumbo frets, a medium C-shaped profile and a 12-inch radius, and it’s available with either a maple or rosewood fretboard. The high-quality hardware includes G&L’s own exclusive Saddle Lock bridge design and 18:1 tuners.
The Tribute Fallout may be an inexpensive import model, but it’s built to high standards. The neck pocket is impressively tight, and every part—including the pickups, tuners, neck plate and even the pickguard—is installed with precision and an attention to detail that gives the guitar a very solid feel and nearly immaculate appearance. My test model arrived with action that was impressively low and comfortable.
While many mahogany-bodied guitars can sound dark, the Tribute Fallout’s humbucker actually delivers surprisingly bright, percussive and lively tones that are more like the biggest single-coil pickup you’ve ever heard.
The neck P-90 pickup is where this guitar’s warm, singing tones lie, and players can easily dial in smooth “woman” tones à la Clapton and Santana by backing down the tone control. The split single-coil humbucker bridge pickup tones are sparkling and snappy enough for genuine chicken-pickin’ country licks, but at full humbucking mode and high gain it produces snarling lead tones that slice cleanly through a mix.
LIST PRICE $572
MANUFACTURER G&L Guitars, glguitars.com
THE BOTTOM LINE
The humbucker bridge and P-90–style neck pickups were designed exclusively for G&L by Paul Gagon and deliver a wide range of distinctive tones. Although the body size is somewhat slim, the neck has a full-size 25 1/2–inch scale, 22 medium jumbo frets and a 12-inch radius.
With its slim body shape and distinctive voice, the G&L Tribute Fallout is a great choice for guitarists looking for an affordable player’s instrument with tons of personality.