My guitar collection - G&L


The history of the ASAT™Cat starts at Alley Cat Music in State College, PA. On the cited page and in this post on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website one learns some experimentation around 2007 led to adding a modern day RW/RP S-500 middle pickup to your basic ASAT (Special). Does not mean there was not an employee guitar or two already with the same wiring harness and pickups. Or that elsewhere owners were not modifying their ASAT by adding and/or substituting pickups. And it is certainly not the first time people try to combine the sonic capabilities of a Stratocaster with a Telecaster; it is why ‘Session’/‘Studio’ models are so prevalent. Even PRS has used it on some of their 3 pickup models. Strangle enough, it is actually the live environment instead of the studio where one would benefit the most having to tote less guitars. Oh well. G&L also offers the ASAT Classic ‘S’ model, combining Tele-style ASAT Classic Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pups with an S-500 MFD pup in the middle, and ASAT Classic ‘S’ Alnico with G&L Alnico neck and bridge pups with a Legacy (CLF-100) Alnico center pup. But what about using these Jumbo MFD pickups as the basis? Easiest would be to just add a third one in the center as in the ASAT S-3, but for many that is too clunky of a solution interfering too much with the right hand when picking. Hence the solution offered on the ASAT™Cat by using the smaller footprint S-500 pup. Several runs were produced of this dealer commissioned Special Edition, on which page you can read more on the differences between each. As far as appointments are concerned, it otherwise the same as the ‘S’ models, i.e. Saddle-Lock bridge, volume control, and push-pull tone control for additional pickup options. Many neck options are available and one can get solid and semi-hollow versions.


ASAT™Cat prototype

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


At least to the best of my knowledge, this was the last pickup combination I was still missing. ASAT™Cats from the initial 2007 run have rarely been offered in the used guitars marketplace, if at all. The 2nd maple run in 2013 sold out pretty fast too. The ASAT Signature ‘500’, pre-dating the ASAT™Cat by 17 years, initially escaped me because the seller took it off the market. The ones offered by eCommerce site disappeared before my eyes over the course of 2014, posing quite the quandary how to secure one. I sincerely believe that this particular model has a bright future given the statement in this YouTube video that 43 were sold by Alley Cat Music alone. So new ones may await in the future. But when in early-2015, Greg Gagliano offered this prototype up for sale on the GbL website it is hard to say no to such an instrument with a beautifully figured okoumé body finished in Old School Tobacco Sunburst and hard-rock maple neck with matching 12” fingerboard and Jescar Medium Jumbo 57110 frets. There is actually another, very similar prototype (shown here) differing only by an Autumn Burst finish and rosewood board. Why these prototypes were built I do not know; plans for any future runs perhaps? There is an oddity about this particular guitar. With a DC-R value of 5.01kΩ, the S-500 middle pup seems to be pretty much a run-of-the-mill version. But whereas the DC-R value of the bridge pickup is usually higher than the neck pup, it is inverted here: 4.95kΩ (neck) vs. 4.02kΩ (bridge). Are the pups interchanged? That inversion seems to reflect itself sonically. The neck pup is fairly hot and easily overdrives the front end of my Express 5:25. It’s still well balanced though when combined with either S-500 pup and/or bridge pickup. Turning down the volume evokes bell-like tones and some delectable sounds when you cycle through all 7 pickup combinations ranging from warm and jazzy to raucous and gritty. Nice!

The story behind this guitar


CLF61097 (prototype #1 of 1)

02/03/2014, marked ‘UIX’, ‘VTGN’, ‘Tob Sunbrs’, ‘NOBadge!!!!’, ‘5627-1’

none, marked ‘RC’, ‘NO AC’

D’Addario EXL110 Nickel Wound Regular Light (10-46)