My guitar collection - G&L


Empress wood has a similar look to swamp ash, but is a bit softer and much, much lighter. As a tonewood, there are subtle differences but the weight difference makes it an interesting material for instruments hung over shoulders for hours on end by gigging musicians. The first time G&L used this wood on its instruments was a special run in late-2014/early-2015, this ASAT Classic Alnico (Empress) among them. The Empress wood body on this guitar has a gorgeous Natural finish with a Satin “Frost” topcoat. Otherwise, this ASAT Classic Bluesboy has an ASAT Classic 6-saddle bridge, single-ply black plastic pickguard, ASAT Classic Magnetic Field Design bridge pickup, an A2S4248N neck humbucker, post-2016 standard instead of the Seymour Duncan Seth Lover used until then, wiring harness consisting of 3-position pickup selector, a volume control, and a tone control, hard-rock maple neck, 9½” radius rosewood fingerboard, Jescar Medium Jumbo 57110 frets, 1¹¹⁄₁₆” wide Graph-Tech nut, and G&L branded locking tuning machines. For more information on the standard version, visit:


ASAT Classic Bluesboy (Empress)

The story behind this guitar


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This model was of interest for 4 reasons. First, the Empress wood (paulownia tomentosa) body. Second, the “Model Logo Delete” option which only leaves the G&L logo on the front of the headstock. This option is standard on the Doheny and very common for instruments shown at any of the NAMM shows but, although it can be specified, not seen frequently elsewhere. Third, this guitar not only shares the trait of an Empress wood body with my SB-2T ‘Juicy Lucy’ but also the use of a transitional serial number. And last but not least, it ties in with this site’s main theme which is to cover as many factory pickups combinations used on the ASAT model. And truth was, the A2S4248N had been missing, a void amplified by the fact it has Alnico II (or Alnico 2) magnets instead of the more common Alnico V. So when Michael Roti listed this particular instrument on Reverb in May 2020, I jumped on it. Incidentally, there is another interesting contemporaneous tidbit. Right when this guitar came on the market, the Fretboard Journal released a podcast on a number of acoustic guitars and ukuleles build from boards harvested from paulownia trees planted 20 years prior on former US president Jimmy Carter’s estate. The term “Empress wood” was never used nor uttered but it is definitely the same wood. As with the other Empress wood models, one has to be careful lifting the guitar out of its case expecting something much, much heavier. Great plus. Sonically, the A2S4248N sounds very good by itself as well as in combination with the MFD neck pickup. Even more so after throwing on some 11s and tuning the guitar to open-G. It is clear G&L spend some time balancing both pickups for the best result. Kudos.

The story behind this guitar



OCT 26 2016 (on butt), 10/21/16 (on UPC sticker)

OCT 25 2016, marked ‘A’

D’Addario EXL116 Nickel Wound Medium Top/Heavy Bottom (11-52)