The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

For 14 years, the only G&L Esquire-esque model available was the ASAT ’50 designed by Tim Page and produced in a limited run of 10. There are folks out there that claim a single pickup guitar has a certainly purity: the absence of the second pup prevents interference from another magnetic field nearby and all a designer has to work with is the resonance frequency. And there is the Yardbirds’ Jeff Beck mystique of course. But it would take until the Winter NAMM 2013 for 2 Esquire-like models to be announced: this model, the true successor to the ASAT ’50, as well as one with a single Alnico pickup designed by G&L’s Paul Gagon the year prior. In line with some of the model names devised in that era, i.e. Ascari and Fiorano, they were named Solamente, Italian for “alone”. This guitar has a top-bound alder body and is finished in Three-tone Sunburst, with a 3-ply white pickguard. The single Tele style Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickup is mounted in a modern chrome plated box-type bridge with 6 individual saddles for easy intonation. The controls are similar to the ASAT ’50: single volume and a 3-way switch which only engages the single tone control when the middle position is selected. In the bridge position, the tone stack is completely bypassed; all you get is the pup in its purest form. In the neck position the tone control is bypassed once again but the fixed filter with a .0033 μF cap just adds a little warmth and darkness to the tone though not as drastic as for the ASAT ’50. There are still decent amounts of mids and highs present and it doesn’t sound muffled. The wonderful hard-rock maple neck with Satin Vintage Tint finish has a 12” East Indian rosewood fingerboard, Dunlop Medium Jumbo 6100 frets, 1⅝” nut, and Schaller tuners. You can find more information on G&L website at:

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/asat-classic-solamente/index.asp.

 

G&L ASAT Classic Solamente

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2013

Serial number:     CLF068007

Neck date:          06/19/2013, 7-3--13 (written)

Body date:          06/19/2013

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

One of the first pictures of the ASAT Classic Alnico appearing on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website was a beautiful bound Three-tone Sunburst version being assembled in the shop. This became the ideal. And although that one was double bound, this one comes close enough. Incidentally, it was bought from the same store where the ASAT Classic Solamente Alnico originally came from: Upfront Guitars in Bellingham, MA. It nicely contrasts with the ASAT ’50 in terms of materials used. Strangely enough esthetically this guitar is closer to the Classic Alnico prototype and Classic Alnico ‘S‘, whereas my Solamente Alnico is closer to the ASAT ’50Classic and Classic ‘S’ in an amusing kind of role reversal. Beautiful guitar nevertheless. And the single MFD pup shines with noticeably more aggression and broader range of frequencies in the resonance peak compared to the Solamente Alnico. The front-end of my Express 5:25 is easily overdriven. The tone control works beautifully and the neck setting is much better than on the ASAT ’50. When first engaged it reminded me of a slightly cocked wah pedal. When in late-2015 G&L finally published their webpage for the Solamente, this assessment was confirmed by Paul Gagon’s rationale to develop this model. Very nice indeed and a wonderful chicken pickin‘ machine.