My guitar collection - G&L

 
 

Sweetwater, the Fort Wayne, IN based musical equipment megastore, became an official G&L Premium Dealer in early-2020. Only a short time later, a total of 100 “Dealer Special Edition” guitars were commissioned in 2 configurations. On the Sweetwater website, they themselves refer to it as a “G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Custom”. Quite the mouthful for a model designation. As of September 2018, G&L uses the Fullerton Deluxe label when building a large sized batch of instruments with the exact same configuration with a choice of no more than 2 or 3 finishes. No modifications/customizations such as available in the Option Order line are allowed. For the duration of the run, many times a year, whatever the configuration may be is what one gets. That is certainly the case here. What both configurations have in common is a 1-piece(!) swamp ash body with top binding and belly contour, pickguard delete option, an ASAT Classic 6-saddle bridge housing the ASAT Classic Magnetic Field Design (MFD) bridge pickup, a Jumbo MFD pickup in the neck position, and an ASAT Classic wiring harness with volume, tone, and 3-position pickup selector. The ASAT Classic Custom had been discontinued 7 years prior in lieu of the ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90, but by specifying this pickup combination, Sweetwater enticed G&L to resurrect the model. At least to a certain degree since the 2002-2013 ASAT Classic Custom has a souped up Jumbo MFD neck pickup with extended pole pieces and about 200 extra windings whereas the neck pickup on this newer version is just run-of-the-mill. All 100 guitars also share a vintage tint satin finished hard-rock maple neck with 9½” fingerboard, Jescar Medium Jumbo 57110 frets, 1¹¹⁄₁₆” bone nut, and G&L branded closed tuning machines. The distinction between the 2 configurations is that 50 have a Clear Orange finish, white top binding, white pickup cover for the Jumbo MFD pickup, and a maple fingerboard whereas the other 50, including this one, have a Vintage Natural finish, tortoise top binding, black cover for the Jumbo MFD, and an Indian rosewood fingerboard. The back of the headstock has “LIMITED” etched underneath the “1980-2020” seen on any G&L instrument built during their 40th anniversary. A Limited Edition it is, even though the included spec sheet does not mention it, in contrast to e.g. the spec sheet for the Fallout Bass Launch Edition. Neither does the sheet make a reference to a Fullerton Deluxe, which is why it has been left off in the model name for this page. In addition, whereas any Fullerton Deluxe guitar would come in a G&L deluxe gig bag, this model is still protected by a black tolex hardshell case. Beyond the provided references, no other information is available.

 

ASAT Classic Custom Limited Edition

The story behind this guitar

Year:

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Neck date:

Body date:

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As far as specs go, the markings on the neck heel tell the whole story. This is how to decode that G&L speak: a Sweetwater (‘SW’) commissioned ASAT Classic Custom (‘ACC’) finished in Vintage Natural (‘VNAT’) with a rosewood (‘RW’) fingerboard. The 1-piece ash body (‘1PC ASH’) has top binding made of tortoise (‘TBT’), a rear contour (‘RC’), i.e. a belly cut, and the pickguard delete (‘PD’) option. Finally, the ‘VTSN’ indicates the presence of a Vintage Tint Satin neck. I learned about this guitar on 10/13/2020, the day it was completed, through a post in the G&L Musical Instruments group on Facebook. Craig Dewey, webmaster of the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website, is always kind enough to replicate these posts and it showed up on the GbL site the day after. I was immediately struck by the beauty of the V-shape figure. But it was not listed on the Sweetwater website. Only CLF2007320 was, with a figure not half as evocative (see the top of the GbL post). In communicating with the sales people I learned a couple had been sold already and I just assumed CLF2007319 was surely one of them. In the mean time others came in and in the 3rd week of October 2020, 4 with this configuration were listed. CLF2007316 can be found by scrolling down in the GbL post. Its straight figure is also appealing to me, so I put dibs on it. But only a day later, CLF2007319 showed up with a set of detailed pictures to boot. Its purchase was quickly completed. And what about that tortoise binding? Had it not given G&L so much trouble in 1999 building just 10 ASAT Z-2 guitars that Tim Page told me at the time G&L would never use it again? But here we are, 21 years later, now with 50 guitars getting the treatment. OK, since these are only top bound, the number is equivalent to 25 double bound Z-2s. Still, quite the surprising development. As expected, the neck pickup has less girth than the one on the ASAT Classic Custom of the previous page. But the pickups are still nicely balanced with a little more chime. This looker definitely also has the sonic goods. This is now my youngest ASAT as well as G&L instrument in general. Chances are pretty good it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

The story behind this guitar

2020

CLF2007319

07/21/20, marked ‘SW-ACC-VNAT-RW’, ‘1PC ASH-TBT-RC-VTSN-PD’, ‘BPU’

JUL 3 2020

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