The world of yowhatsshakin


Another model from G&L’s Custom Creations Department (CCD) in the Special Build category although somewhat with an asterisk (see “Previous Guitar”). The shop wanted to revisit the concept of the ASAT ‘Classic III’, but stay closer to the ‘Session’ concept well known among Nashville cats: you add a Strat middle pickup between the 2 Tele-pups. But as you can read below, G&L gave it its own spin. This model was first released in 2004 with a run of 100 instruments. Between 2004 and 2007 there were some one-offs produced but on April 19 of 2007, another official run of 100 instruments was announced including 25 in Butterscotch Blonde finish with maple fingerboard. As for the 2004 run, the 2007 run has a semi-hollow (no f-hole) swamp ash body, hand-rubbed Gun-oil tint with gloss finish Bi-Cut hard-rock maple neck, Dunlop Medium Jumbo 6100 fret wire, and 1⅝” nut. The standard traditional sized ASAT Classic neck and bridge Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups are augmented with a reverse wound S-500 pickup, a Strat-style MFD, in the middle which distinguishes this model from the ‘Classic III’ and giving ‘S’ in the model name a double meaning beyond ‘Session’. To maximize the sonic possibilities, it has a 5-way pickup selector, volume (push-pull for the 2004 run) and tone (push-pull for the 2007 run); but with exceptions to the rule as indicated below. The main other differences between these 2 runs are the neck wood/board radius combination: Bird’s Eye maple/7½” for 2004, straight grain maple/12” for 2007. For more information on this Special Build version see:


G&L ASAT Classic ‘S’

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2007

Serial number:    CLF47151 (one of 25)

Neck date:         JUL 17 2007

Body date:         JUL 11 2007

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

Obtaining this model was a relatively long trek. It was clear to me that after the ASAT ’50 and owning a ASAT Classic for more than 10 years only one color was possible for this model: Butterscotch Blonde. Beyond that, the configuration needed to be as close as possible to the aforementioned 2 guitars. You would say that now it’s a production model, it would be easier to get a Butterscotch Blonde ‘S’. But then you would have overlooked my preference for the Bi-Cut neck as well as CCD built instruments! That right away limits your choice to 25 guitars in existence. Besides that, many of the modern versions of the Classic ‘S’ have rear-body and/or arm contours which would deviate from the desired specs too. So you live with the small differences: this ‘S’ does not have a Bird’s Eye maple neck but a standard neck with a lighter Tinted Gun-Oil finish and a 3-ply instead of 1-ply guard. Fair enough. Once there was a 2007 ‘S‘ available on eBay and instead of “Buy It Now” (BIN), I made an offer. Given all the data that I had, I thought a very reasonable offer. Nevertheless it was rejected and I was left holding the bag. Just after a bunch of guitars came in at the end of 2011 and I had just ordered the missing Korina Bluesboy in my collection, another 2007 Classic ‘S’ shows up on eBay, again with BIN but at an even lower price than the previously mentioned auction and with a tweed OHSC to boot. Let me think about that for a while, ... YES! Notwithstanding what is stated on the G&L web page referenced above, many of the 2007 guitars, especially the earlier ones, still have a volume push-pull instead of tone push-pull to enable the combination of all 3 pups or bridge and neck in addition to the “standard” combinations provided by a 5-way switch. This guitar is no exception to the exception. On his website, Greg Gagliano writes of his Classic ‘S’ that it makes the ‘Classic III’ Limited Edition “... all but obsolete”. Don’t agree; they both have their strong points. Of course there is a lot of similarity when choosing either bridge or neck by themselves. The differences are when the middle pickup is involved. Only the middle+neck is hum-canceling in the ‘III’ whereas that is true for the bridge+middle combination in this version of the ‘S’. The S-500 pickup adds more mellowness to the ‘S’ and of course the expander switch gives you more options. That in itself makes this model unique. Maybe that is what Greg was thinking about.