The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

In mid-March 2013, G&L released another batch of prototypes. One particular model sparked an almost immediate debate on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website: an ASAT with TV Jones Filter’Tron pickups. Is the idea new? Certainly not. In fact, the Fender Custom Shop released their limited edition La Cabronita Especial in 2010. But whereas that model had a MSRP of $5,260, this prototype had an MSRP of $2,400. With a higher quality end product I would claim. It has a semi-hollow body and cap completely made out of African Mahogany aka Khaya ivorensis , with a single f-hole and Clear Orange finish. The TV Classic pups have clear plastic mounting rings looking very stylish. It has the standard chromed Saddle-Lock bridge and the chrome knurled volume and tone controls as well as the 3-way pickup selection switch are rear-mounted. What sparked interest in particular was the neck: hard-rock Eastern maple (#1) with light tint gloss finish, 12” Pau Ferro fingerboard, Dunlop Medium Jumbo 6100 fret wire, 1⅝” nut width, Sperzel machines, and a small CCD logo on the back of the headstock seemingly indicating it to be an official Custom Creations Department instrument. That enigma was solved after taking off the neck: it turns out to be initially produced for a Korina Junior II explaining both the Pau Ferro fingerboard as well as the decal. There must have been quite a few excess ‘Junior II’ necks since my Korina ASAT Deluxe II also has one. Makes one wonder whether there are any necks out there explicitly designated to be used on the Korina Deluxe II. And although there is no date stamp in the neck pocket, peeking underneath the neck pickup one finds “Sample” and “see Steve” written in the cavity with a Sharpie. Like for the ASAT Classic Korina prototype as well as the ASAT Deluxe Korina prototype, the “Steve” in question is likely Steve Grom, then Director of Manufacturing and Custom Creations. However, the spec sheet indicating the instrument was completed February 9, 2012, is signed by General Foreman Spencer Brown who took over the signing duties when Steve left G&L for ESP in December 2012. I am aware of a second semi-hollow hog ASAT (S/N CLF33277) with double-bound body, Bigsby, and TV Jones pups. With its Bird’s Eye Maple neck and black headstock, it has the hallmark of a NAMM guitar. It was previously owned by Dean Coy in this configuration. However, this picture in the Guitars by Leo Gallery shows that when it left the factory in 2010, it had the usual Seymour Duncan humbuckers and possibly a different neck. More info on prototypes released by G&L can be found on this page:

http://www.glguitars.com/prototypes/guitars/index.asp.

 

G&L ASAT Deluxe SH TV Jones prototype

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2012

Serial number:    CLF063940 (prototype)

Neck date:         07/21/2011

Body date:          none

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

As before, the prototype page was updated not in one fell swoop. I had completely overlooked the first update and missed out on the Spalted Alder Z-3, also in Clear Orange finish. But as soon as I learned about this one a couple of days later, I contacted James Schultz, co-owner of Seattle’s The Guitar Store, and as it turned out he had it already ordered. You see, James is one of the biggest G&L nuts I’ve ever met, and I mean that in the most positive terms. Like me, he is very enthusiastic about all the experiments G&L is willing to do whether it is by using uncommon wood species, finishes, pups (as is the case here), and anything in between. So just a couple of days before my birthday I spent a wonderful late afternoon in his shop which is chock full of many of the prototypes listed on the page above. Everybody was eagerly anticipating the opening of the case. After which all jaws collectively dropped. First the classy Custom Creations Department grey poodle interior case. Plus the guitar looks gorgeous and the TV Jones pups look entirely at home. How does it sound? Clear, ballsy, open, and with attitude. Not as open as I initially expected I honestly admit (I had Chris Isaac tones in mind), but after playing her a couple of days and dialing in a more rockabilly/surf sound, she fits the bill perfectly.