The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

Same model name as the pre-2002 ASAT Classic Custom, but an entirely different beast. This version of the ASAT Classic Custom was introduced in 2002 at the Winter NAMM as the result of a series of experiments that actually led to a “new” model. G&L tried to see how close they could get a Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) single-coil pickup to sound like a humbucker. They extended the length of the pole-piece bushings, hence moving the magnet further down, and started to add pickup windings. Although the 200 added windings are comparable to the number added to the overwound pups used on the ASAT ‘Junior’, 20th Anniversary Model, or ASAT ‘Super’, as well as it having the same footprint, the other dimensions of the ASAT Classic Custom neck pickup make it a different beast entirely. In trying to combine this warmer sounding pup with available bridge pickups, the Tele-style ASAT Classic MFD turned out to be a match made in heaven. The fat, bluesy tones of the neck pup turn out to balance the snark and bark of the bridge pup in wonderful ways. Upon initial release, the 3 mounting screws for the neck pickup, by which one can adjust the height, were hidden underneath the pickguard. But by popular demand, later instruments had the screws exposed again. As they are for this Butterscotch Blonde version completed 10/10/2013, beyond what was supposed to be the last year of production. With the introduction of the ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90 in early-2013, production of this model was supposed to be ceased. This kind of idiosyncrasy is not new to G&L; even in the pre-BBE days many discontinued model could be ordered years beyond when it was removed from the sales catalog. Here, a gorgeous swamp ash body is combined with a tortoise pickguard. You find the usual single volume and tone controls (although the controls are domed instead of flat), 3-way pickup selector, Saddle-Lock bridge, and the wonderful Gloss Vintage Tint finished hard-rock maple neck with 12” maple fingerboard and abalone position markers really brings the guitar together. Since this model is no longer listed, the following page is no longer accessible through the G&L website:

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/usa/guitars/asat-classic-custom/index.asp.

 

G&L ASAT Classic Custom

The story behind this guitar

Year:                 2013

Serial number:   CLF068582

Neck date:        09/19/13

Body date:        none

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

From the few who own a ASAT Classic Custom of this make-up and also participated in Guitars by Leo (GbL) website, the general verdict was that the ASAT Classic Custom was the best blues guitar G&L produced. But given that it was (still) a production model, I never felt the need to chase one down hard. That didn’t really change with the announcement early-2013 it would no longer be produced. Enough (predominantly new) instruments were listed on store sites, eBay, etc. Since 2011, I had been following several offered by Music Store Live; one of them a Butterscotch Blonde which is one of my favorite finishes. At the end of August 2014, it was priced so low it became the 3rd guitar purchased from them. When it arrived, I was a little surprised though. It was not the guitar shown on their site nor their eBay listing: the string tree was in a different position, it had different position markers, and the body and pickguard showed a distinctly different pattern. Still a fantastic looking guitar mind you, with a better neck I believe, but it points out some of the dangers of buying instruments “unseen”. So how would the different engineering of the neck pup express itself? The extra windings should increase the DC-impedance of the pup. Sure enough, the measured value of 6.39kΩ is about 33% more than for the standard Jumbo MFD pickup. Sonically, this translates itself in a very warm pickup. With the already beefy neck pickup, this guitar is surprisingly well-balanced and a blues monster indeed. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.