The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

To figure out whether a certain combination of body wood/neck wood/finish makes sense, you’ll have to build prototypes. Some combinations will work and some won’t, the inherent risk in any business. But you’ll have to do the experiment to figure that out. Same is true for G&L. They are always on the lookout for interesting pieces of tonewood. In 2011, they built several instruments using Western Sugar Pine for the body and this Bluesboy is a prototype. The question G&L tried to solve was whether a non-yellow/orange/amber transparent finish, and in particular a red, green, or blue finish, would match the more yellowish hue of the pine. At least for Clear Red the experiment turned out to be successful. But that was not the only experiment on this guitar. The neck as well as the 12” fingerboard are (dark-)Roasted Maple. Roasting is supposed to increase the stiffness of the neck but G&L had no experience whatsoever with handling this more brittle material. To their own admission, hairline cracks formed around the position markers when they were pressed in but the Clear Gloss neck finish is nicely sealing those. It has a DiMarzio DP421 Area Hot T Alnico 2 hum-canceling pickup in the bridge position and a Seymour Duncan ‘Seth Lover’ (SH-55N) humbucker in the neck, 3-way pickup selector, and volume and tone control. See also this page on the G&L website: http://www.glguitars.com/prototypes/guitars/index.asp.

 

G&L ASAT Classic bluesboy pine prototype ‘Port & Chocolate’

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2011

Serial number:    CLF062973 (prototype)

Neck date:         10/??/2011 (written), marked ‘ASAT’, ‘062973’, ‘see’

Body date:         SEP 26 2011

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

Usually, prototypes are never offered for sale and no customer will ever see them. Even more, in many cases they are destroyed by the factory. But as related in connection with my Korina ASAT Classic protoype, ProGuitar Shop in Portland, OR, offered several prototypes for sale early-2012. Apparently the reasonable interest for these one-off models might have given G&L some ideas. So on June 28, 2012, web master Craig Dewey posted the intriguing announcement on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website of the availability of G&L prototypes, basses as well as guitars, through several interested dealers. Beyond including several more prototypes associated with the Korina Collection and unique finishes, the list also includes some prototypes of uncommon tonewoods: a Monkey Pod (East-Indian walnut) bass, spalted Alder instruments, and several Western Sugar Pine guitars. Although not yet included when the list was first published, when it was added the next day, this guitar immediately caught my eye due to its sheer beauty. Music Castle in Royal Oak, MI, acted as the dealer for this absolutely gorgeous instrument which reminds me so much of the wonderful “Sampler of 3 different ports paired with 3 different Theo chocolates” dessert I’ve had several times at Ray’s Boathouse that it warrants the ‘Port & Chocolate’ nickname. For a moment I was afraid she was involved in a derailment 20 miles east of Glasgow, MT, but it safely arrived. It is hard for the pictures to do justice to the beautiful chocolate colored neck. The guitar just looks stunning for real. And it sounds great too largely due to the pickups. Although not an MFD, as the website incorrectly states, nor a nondescript Seymour Duncan Tele-pup as stated on the spec-sheet, the hum-canceling DiMarzio has still a lot of spank but with a little more warmth. To my ears, it balances well with the slightly brighter sound of pine. And the in-between sounds are still delectable too. Supposedly because it is a bit softer, pine dents easier, but it is a very good tonewood. Cool!