My guitar collection - G&L


Another G&L ASAT III from the pre-BBE era, again with a soft maple body but now with a rare Silver Sparkle finish and a 7½” rosewood fingerboard. This finish was offered on several G&L models between 1989 and 1991 and is the precursor to the Silver Metallic finish still available. Not surprisingly, John Jorgenson was a big reason G&L looked into developing this finish. With DC-R values of 4.07kΩ (neck), 4.22kΩ (middle), and 4.02kΩ (bridge), this particular guitar seems to have the rarer Skyhawk Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups. This in contrast to this pre-BBE ASAT III w/maple board which has higher DC-R values across the board. It further has a chrome Locktight (Saddle-Lock) bridge, white enamel pickguard, control panel housing an ASAT III wiring harness (5-position pickup selector, volume, tone), hard-rock maple neck, 1⅝” nut, and G&L stamped closed tuning machines. More information of the pre-BBE ASAT III is found in the Registry on the Guitars by Leo website by visiting the its Rarebird page in the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Registry.


ASAT III (pre-BBE) w/rosewood fingerboard

The story behind this guitar


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Greg Gagliano shows an ASAT with a similar finish on his website which inspired me to look for one too. This guitar was acquired from (aka York Music Shop) on Reverb in 2019, about a year after it was initially listed. Before, it was owned by Brandon Vestal, who once had several other guitars in this collection in his possession. But let’s talk a little more about that finish! It is 1962. A silver sparkle finish had never been done before and George & Leo want to figure out how to do just that to finish a couple of Teles. They decide to pulverize a silvered mirror, which, as we all know, is glass. Sharp glass! The powder is carefully mixed with the other components for the finish on 3 Telecasters: one for Buck Owens, one for Forrest White, and one that George kept himself. Only after all this careful experimentation, they know how to create the sparkle! G&L could build on this experience some 25 years later, when a crushed mirror is fortunately no longer needed to create a Sparkle Silver finish. Comparing this finish with the Silver Flake finish on the John Jorgenson Signature or his Z-3 prototype, one notices the larger particles in the latter two. There is an extra hole in the body as well as in the pickguard. Did this guitar once have a Roland synth pickup? This ASAT III nicely complements the earlier referenced maple board (pre-BBE) ASAT III. And lacking the S-500 pups, this one is indeed just a tad warmer, realizing fully it also depends on pickup heights etc., which I tried to correct for. To have that quack in the middle positions is an absolute blessing. It cannot be overstated how great a pre-BBE ASAT III of any kind sounds. Call it my luck this guitar was still around after a year on the market.

The story behind this guitar



FEB 23 1989, marked ’10’, ‘6’

JUN 15 1988

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