My guitar collection - G&L


After production of the pre-BBE ASAT III ceased, it took about 8 years for a return of this model. This time no maple but rather the choice between an alder or swamp ash body, as seen here. Instead of the pre-BBE thickness of 1.625”, reintroduced as Original Leo Spec in 2015 and the standard ASAT body thickness again since 2017, here the body is 1.780” thick excluding the finish thickness in both cases. And no confusion about the pickups either: only S-500 Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups were available in 1996. The more modern version of these pickups uses more windings and poly-coated wire instead of enamel. They are demoed here in a G&L S-500 video. This particular ASAT III is finished in (Three-tone) Sunburst and has a Saddle-Lock bridge, 3-ply White pickguard, and the later, ASAT Classic based wiring harness, i.e. without the 6.8kΩ resistor, but of course with a 5-position pickup selector. The hard-rock maple neck has a maple fingerboard with 7½” radius, 1⅝” nut width, and G&L branded closed tuning machines. Unlike the pre-BBE ASAT III, the 1996-1998 ASAT III is not considered to be a Rarebird notwithstanding only few were produced. The only (official) information found is this one archived snapshot of this model’s webpage on the first G&L website from 1998.


ASAT III (BBE-era) w/maple fingerboard

The story behind this guitar


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A very late addition to the collection indeed. There was no reason to add one beyond completing the fragmented history of the ASAT III. Actually, that would not do it justice entirely because 1996 turned out to be quite an interesting year with the introduction of a fair number of new instruments like the (pre-2002) ASAT Classic Custom, ASAT Deluxe, ASAT Custom (mainly for the international markets), and the reintroduced ASAT III. The first 2 were seen in contemporaneous advertisements but the latter 2 not, with the ASAT Custom never even showing up in any marketing material. At least the BBE-era ASAT III was spared that ignominy. So the BBE-era ASAT III was always on the radar but, with several BBE-era guitars already present, it just had a lower priority. When Danny Jones posted his 3-bolt ASAT III on Reverb in 2020 the timing seemed to be right. The guitar sounds great with nice quack in the in-between settings. The main sonic difference between this guitar and the 2 pre-BBE ASAT IIIs of the previous pages is more treble and punch; the older ones are just warmer sounding. This can be due to any of the differences: age, pickups, body thickness. It is just what it is.

The story behind this guitar



AUG 28 1996, marked ‘ASAT’, ‘#2’

AUG 06 1996

D’Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light (9-42)