The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

Isn’t it funny? You are G&L, the company founded by Leo Fender, inventor of the Telecaster: the work horse guitar with 2 Alnico pickups that can be heard on countless hit records defining the music of generations. And yes, you have adopted the simple, ergonomic shape of the Tele ever since you introduced the Broadcaster in 1985. You even shrunk the large MFD pickups used on the Broadcaster/ASAT to Tele-sized and tuned them to have more twang for the ASAT Classic introduced in 1990, the last production guitar Mr. Fender was involved in. And still, it takes you until 2012, a full 21 years after the passing of your founder, to finally produce an ASAT Classic with Alnico pickups whereas it took you only about a year to produce your first Alnico equipped Strat-like guitar when you introduced the Legacy in 1992! But finally, here it is. Of course you wouldn’t be G&L if you just left it at that. Electronics wiz Paul Gagon, through all his years of experience, was able to add some mojo to the equation by creating a bridge pickup with the most spanking twang “that’ll stop you in your tracks” exquisitely balanced by a neck pickup that has a chrome cover (like the original) but “leaves those anemic old pickups in the dust” resulting in some serious tone when using the in-between setting. Only the hook will give away that one actually deals with a G&L here! This prototype is one of the first 2 ever built and was shown during the G&L National Sales Rep meeting in late May 2012. It has a double-bound alder Three-tone Sunburst body, #1a hard-rock maple neck with 12” East Indian rosewood fingerboard, and gun-oil (TGN) finish. The ASAT Classic Alnico was introduced to the general public with a special 100 piece run of the ‘Launch Edition’, an instrument with a pine body and a special Autumn Burst finish.

For more information see this page: http://www.glguitars.com/prototypes/guitars/index.asp.

 

G&L ASAT Classic Alnico prototype

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2012

Serial number:    CLF064600 (prototype)

Neck date:          5/07/12, marked ‘photo sample’, ‘AC RW #1A TGN’, ‘EE’

Body date:          none, marked ‘BB’, ‘photo’

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

First some chronology. Although it is stated on the G&L website this is one of the first 2 ASAT Classic Alnico’s ever built, the other being a Butterscotch Blonde model with S/N CLF064602 also with a listed finish date of May 21, 2012, both were preceded by a Butterscotch Blonde ASAT Classic Alnico with Seymour Duncan pups (CLF59269) which was finished October 8, 2010. The initial list of prototypes was published on June 28, 2012. The ASAT Classic Alnico series was first announced by letter to G&L dealers on July 3rd and later on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website on July 20th. And like ‘The Wrangler’, this prototype was added to the list on July 24th and appeared at the (then) top of the page. (Both Butterscotch Blonde ASAT Classic Alnico guitars were finally added to the prototype page mid-March, 2013.) This Alnico immediately caught my eye because it reminded me so much of my ASAT BB ‘Contour’ with very much the same esthetics. Having just gotten the pine-bodied ASAT Bluesboy ‘Port & Chocolate’, I wasn’t that interested in another guitar with a similar body just for the finish. So the choice between a ‘Launch Edition’ and this prototype was relatively easy. But you had to wait until the guitar was assigned a dealer before you could do anything. This beauty was distributed through Adirondack Guitars in Hudson Falls, NY, but its trip was more efficient. It came to me straight from the Fullerton factory! From the notations in the neck heel and neck pocket one can see that it is a very special guitar. There is for instance no UPC sticker on the heel, just the written “5/07/12” date, hinting at a custom job. And the double binding on the body and G&L branded G&G mottled brown tolex case with black caps are nice touches too. Note also that the spec sheet has a completion date of 08/20/2012, way later than the completion date mentioned above and only 3 days before I got this guitar! And what kind of magic has Mr. Gagon pulled off this time you ask? Beautiful classic, snappy Tele-tones, less warm/mellow than the ASAT Classic but no ice-pick to be found anywhere either. Kudos again!