My guitar collection - G&L


Looking back, the year 2012 turned out to have a theme: prototypes. In all, 4 were added to the collection that year. As stated on the referenced page, prototypes were frequently produced at G&L and many of them are still around. This ASAT Classic Signature is also a prototype in some respect whereas it is just another production guitar in another. As far as the latter goes: a Tele-style body with hand-wound ASAT Classic Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups, string through body design, with the bridge pickup mounted in an ASAT Classic 6-saddle bridge. What it has in common with the ASAT of that era is the maple or ash body, white enameled aluminum pickguard, volume control, tone control, 3-position pickup selector, hard-rock maple Bi-Cut neck with choice of rosewood or maple fingerboard, and 1⅝” nut. Incidentally, all pre-BBE ASAT Classics were Signature models. The ASAT Classic only appeared as such on the January 1, 1992 price list, after the transition of ownership and when Signature models were no longer part of the lineup with exception of the Commemoratives. For more information on the early ASAT Classic (Signature) one should consult Greg Gagliano’s website which features Classic Signature from 1990 and 1991. For the modern day Classic see the factory page at:


ASAT Classic Signature (top-bound)

The story behind this guitar


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So far, the “just another production guitar” part has been discussed. So what about the prototype aspect? After Leo passed away in early-1991, Dale Hyatt came up with idea to create the ASAT Classic Commemorative. In the run-up to that project, several field prototypes were built early-August and mid-October 1991: about 10 triple-bound and only a few (5?) top-bound Classics, as Greg Gagliano wrote me. My top-bound Classic has a gorgeous 2-piece swamp ash body in Cherryburst and a #2 neck with maple fingerboard. The grain of the body outshines both my ebony and maple board Commemoratives in my opinion. Instead of the more elaborate decal for the Commemorative, it just has Leo’s signature on the upper bout, still giving it a certain cachet. It is said that Dale Hyatt introduced bound ASAT bodies and necks starting early-1991, but these field prototypes are still some of the earliest production guitars with this feature. Beyond the Commemoratives, only a few, if any, bound ASAT Classics were produced until double body binding was offered as an option on the ASAT Classic in the October 1, 1994 price list, just after the 22 ‘Daddy’s 22nd Anniversary’ guitars had been built. My interest piqued by what Greg Gagliano had written about them, I had always been on the lookout for any bound ASAT Classics with an October 1991 birth date. And early-November 2012 one showed up on eBay offered by Olivia’s Vintage. They clearly were aware of what they had so it did not come cheap. But alas. It is still one of the last instruments of the pre-BBE era which ended when Dale Hyatt retired from G&L on November 4, 1991, shortly after this guitar was finished. The guitar is incredibly light and absolutely sounds as fantastic as it looks!

The story behind this guitar



OCT 07 1991, marked ‘433’, ‘#’, ‘CL’

OCT 16 1991, marked ‘433’, ‘#’, ‘S/B’, ‘5 ¼lb’

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