My guitar collection - G&L


After the experiment creating the ‘The Rembrandt’ in March 1988, the idea of having Leo Fender’s signature on the body of guitars and basses was not abandoned. Later that year G&L introduced the Signature series. This pre-BBE ASAT III with a black signature decal on the upper bass bout of its swamp ash body in Natural Gloss finish happens to be one of the first. It is the oldest Signature in this collection for sure. And a special one at that. It has all gold hardware, including the Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato (DFV) with an old style gilded vibrato arm with white plastic tip. This DFV still has the serial number stamped on it, hinting to being New Old Stock (NOS) since the S/N on other DFV carrying guitars had already been moved to the neck plate for almost 5 years. The 3 S-500 pickups have their coil pieces gilded too. Originally, the guitar came with these pickups mounted on a white enameled aluminum pickguard and controlled by a Broadcaster wiring harness with 5-position switch, shown below, mounted on a gold control panel. However, the previous owner changed the tone stack to a PTB circuit, with associated changes in the pickguard and control panel which are discussed below. This guitar has a hard-rock maple neck with 7½” maple fingerboard, black pearloid markers, and a 1⅝” nut. The tuning machines were changed to gold Schaller Locking units still with a tab instead of a position pin. Note that the headstock does no longer have the “by Leo Fender” headstock decal still present on this ASAT III w/rosewood board from a month before. Although the guitar has been modded, it is still a (pre-BBE) ASAT III Signature and hence a Rarebird in the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Registry.


ASAT III Signature w/DFV and PTB

The story behind this guitar


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This guitar was previously owned by Dale Garay who also sold me his F-100 Series II-E w/DFV. For this guitar, he modded it in an interesting enough way it was worthy to be added even though modded guitars are avoided as much as possible. How it would sound when the original Broadcaster wiring harness would be changed to the PTB circuit? And what about adding an expander switch? The PTB circuit mounted on a white plastic control panel is almost correct: all pot and all but one cap values are what they are supposed to be. But it misses the second 2,200pF cap on the bass cut pot in series to ground. This makes that pot only effective over the last 30% or so of its travel. To match the style, all 3 control knobs are gold of course. The 3 pickups are mounted on a custom made single-ply plastic pickguard with the expander switch in the corner, close to the 5-position pickup selector, though not wired in like on a modern day G&L with that feature. Instead, engaging the mini-toggle switch adds the neck pickup to all settings of the pickup selector. To be explicit, this offers the following combinations: 1- bridge+neck, 2- bridge+middle+neck, both providing extra functionality, 3- middle+neck, 4- middle+neck, and 5- neck, the last 3 being settings already available without the expander switch. But that does not matter. Notwithstanding these shortcomings, the guitar sounds absolutely great with a lot of Strat-like character. And the neck is amazing, as is the construction.

The story behind this guitar



MAR 28 1989, second stamp FEB 6- 1989

MAR 16 1989, marked ‘Sync’, ‘981’

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