The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

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) site 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 wasn’t an employee guitar or two already with the same electronics and pickups. Or that elsewhere owners weren’t 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 to 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 for additional pickup options. Many neck options are available and one can get solid and semi-hollow versions.

 

G&L ASAT™Cat prototype

The story behind this guitar

Year:                 2014

Serial number:   CLF61097 (prototype #1 of 1)

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

Body date:         none, marked ‘RC’, ‘NO AC’

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

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 guitarsandeffects.com disappeared before my eyes over the course of 2014. Quite the quandary on 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 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’s hard to say no to such an instrument with a beautifully figured Okoumé body finished in Old School Tobacco Sunburst and 12” maple fingerboard. 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. Whereas the DC-resistance of the bridge pickup is usually higher than the neck pup, here it is inverted: 4.95kΩ (neck) vs. 4.02kΩ (bridge). Are the pups interchanged? (With 5.01kΩ, the S-500 pup seems to be pretty run of the mill.) But 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!