The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

The ASAT Bass is effectively an L-2000 with a different body. Still same pickups, same electronics. That is not how the model started out. With the help of Lloyd Chewning, Dale Hyatt had a 2-piece swamp ash ASAT guitar body with Natural finish fitted to a hard-rock maple L-2000 neck with (well played-in) Satin finish and Indian rosewood veneer fingerboard. Dale had the presence of mind to have a nice ASAT Bass water slide decal made. One problem, clear from the get-go, was that due to this different body shape, this bass was neck heavy. After looking for solutions and a call to Helmut Schaller, using their aluminum lightweight machines solved that problem. Now Dale wanted to make the bass look as much like an ASAT guitar as possible. So he used 2 Magnetic Field Design (MFD) Jazz style single-coil with adjustable pole pieces, similar to those found on SB and Lynx basses, but with the pups laid-out as on an ASAT guitar only slightly less separated. The black wrinkle powder-coated pickguard is of similar size as on the ASAT and, with respect to its position, also abutting the neck. The wiring under the similarly finished control panel is even the same as on the ASATs of that era (and Broadcaster) with CTS 250k Audio Taper pots, 200pF disk capacitor on the volume, 6.8kΩ resistor with .100μF cap on the tone, and 3-way pickup selector. The hardware is completed with a Locktight (Saddle-Lock) bridge. The bass was put into the hands of several test players. Their main criticism was that this bass lacked the growl, punch and depth due to the placement of the pups far from the bridge. Several other prototypes were built with varying pickup combinations. Around New Year 2017, Carter Vintage featured an ASAT Bass prototype with 3 single-coil pickups having single adjustable pole pieces underneath each string. Otherwise this other prototype has a maple fingerboard and only an outline of a pickguard in pencil on the unfinished body, although it looks from existing screw holes a similar one as on this bass was once there. In the end, the ASAT Bass prototype with the same pickups and wiring as the L-2000 that went the rounds was the most liked and hence that is the configuration currently in production. There is no information on this bass other than what is provided in the provenance below. It does not even have a serial number although that was not uncommon for prototypes at G&L.

 

G&L ASAT bass prototype

The story behind this bass

Year:                  1989

Serial number:    none (from Dale Hyatt collection, only prototype built with this configuration)

Neck date:         JUN 18 1989

Body date:         5 18 1989 (written in pen)

Strings:              D’Addario EXL170 Nickel Wound Light Long Scale (45-100)

If one collects ASAT guitars with about any G&L pick-up combination possible, I could make the argument that this is merely a 4-string ASAT with long neck. Of course it is also a very cool instrument which stayed in Dale’s possession until his death. As with many of Dale’s instruments, it ended up with Mike Teepe, of Acme Guitars in St. Louis, MO, whom my lovely wife purchased it from in April 2016 for my birthday. Personally, I like the sound. The center position is very funky; think Seinfeld slap bass. With the tone control you still get very well defined and deep tones in both other positions. It may be somewhat of an oddity sonically, but it looks absolutely fab.