For those folk that ascribe to the saying, “Leo got it right the first time,” this probably isn’t the bass for you.
For the players looking for a versatile instrument that carries on the legacy of Clarence Leo Fender, read on. The Kiloton from G&L Guitars is exactly that; an extension of a proud legacy of innovation and sound.
About the Kiloton
At first glance, it looks like the culmination of Leo’s innovations and design. A single MFD Humbucker in the “sweet spot,” with a body shape and pickguard that draw from designs of yore, but yet moving forward. This is a bass to take seriously. The smaller shape is incredibly comfy, and balances well on a guitar strap; it’s an incredibly easy to play 34″ scale bass. The location of the single pickup yields a signature tone that isn’t overly shrill or biting; it doesn’t have that “sting,” if you catch my meaning…
The MFD Humbucker needs no introduction. Those already familiar with G&L’s offerings understand this as an incredible pickup that is as versatile as it is powerful. To draw upon the capabilities of the pickup, G&L opted for a passive vol/tone setup with a 3-way switch (series/single/parallel). While this may seem limiting to some, the simple setup is great to use, with a ton of usable tones. And for the skeptics, don’t worry; the signal on this bass is hot hot hot! Switching between this bass and an active yielded no volume spikes or differences at all.
In The Mix
I’ve had the chance to use the Kiloton in a couple of ampless situations (big shoutout to the BackBeat for helping me navigate these situations…but I digress), and I’m really happy with it.
For me, I put the 3-way switch on the “series” setting and rolled the tone knob back about a quarter. This gave me a solid sound that, depending on where I hit the strings, went from smooth and warm to tight and defined. And for those occasions where I needed more “sting” for slap bass passages, I really didn’t need to change a thing. It’s got a great built-in slap tone.
In terms of where the Kiloton sat in the mix overall, I would say it sits low, much like a Precision. You feel this bass as much as you hear it. I’m sure with some more EQing, you could push it more forward, but it’s not needed.
The Kiloton from G&L Guitars is a pretty versatile bass, that pulls from decades of legendary experience to achieve it. The MFD humbucker pickup brings you the power of an active bass in a passive setting, with a very simple to navigate control panel. The body is familiar yet streamlined, with a great feeling neck. Available in Tribute (import) and American versions, there’s many options available. If you get the chance, check one out.