My guitar collection - G&L


Just when you think you are done collecting all ASAT pickup configurations as released by the G&L factory, they throw in a new model with a heretofore unused configuration. This is the case here. However, it is not just the pickup configuration that makes this particular guitar special. This one is built by David (Dave) Brown in the G&L Custom Shop, which started in 2018 as the continuation of the Custom Creations Department. Its 2 pickups, a G&L AS4255C (neck!) humbucker in the bridge position, instead of an AW4368C as advertised on its original spec sheet, and a G&L AP4285CR P-90 in the neck, the famous type of pickup G&L introduced on the Korina Collection ASAT Junior II, and are set in a beautiful swamp ash body sans pickguard finished in Cherryburst Thin Urethane, exclusive to the G&L Custom Shop, wood binding, a slight arm contour on top, and a full belly contour on the back. They are controlled by a wiring harness consisting of a 3-position pickup selector, volume control, and push-pull tone control to allow the coil-split of the bridge humbucker. It should be noted the ‘C’ in the bridge pickup designation denotes its chrome cover, not the Cream mounting ring to match the neck pickup cover. It has a Saddle-Lock bridge, not the boxed-steel bridge with 6 saddles listed on the original G&L Custom Shop spec sheet. The “Chrome Pickguard Screws” mentioned for trim parts on the same spec sheet does not make much sense either. The hard-rock Eastern maple neck has a Satin Clear finish, rosewood fingerboard with 9½” radius, pearl dots for position markers, Jescar Medium Jumbo 57110-S stainless steel frets, 1¹¹⁄₁₆” bone nut, and G&L branded closed tuning machines. And while there is no model decal on the front of headstock, this omission is more than compensated by the presence of a G&L Custom Shop logo on the back. Since this is effectively a one-off, no other information is available nor do I know of any plans to make it a production model.


Custom Shop ASAT RMC P-90/HB

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


When this ASAT was featured on eBay, Facebook, and Reverb after its completion on 5/24/2019, it was clear it had a pickup configuration not yet covered in this collection. Hence, on the Wishlist it went. And given these circumstances, would you not welcome a dealer to come to you with an offer for a change? That is what happened in early-2020. The folks at UpFront Guitars in Bellingham, MA dropped me a message on Reverb with an offer that was impossible to refuse. UpFront Guitars‘ Gordon Swanson even succeeded in having G&L correct the sloppy original spec sheet. One of the errors I only discovered after receiving the partially updated sheet. The bridge pickup is not what was stated either. Instead of an AW4368C, an AS4255C is found which does not have the proper ‘Fender’ spacing between the pole pieces for that location. But notice the written ‘B’ on the baseplate. Does this mean Dave intended it to be used as a bridge pickup? Yes, at least that is the story Gordon got from him. Although a proper baseplate and wide spaced bobbins were available, that was not true for the needed matching chrome cover. An esthetically less pleasing AW4368B would not have been a problem but an AW4368C was. And so things became what they are. And what’s in a name? That original spec sheet says “ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90”, mainly based on the presence of the P-90 neck pup. The online listing used “ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90 HB” to accentuate the bridge humbucker. But with its Saddle-Lock bridge, is “ASAT Deluxe 90 no top” not the most accurate model designation? Or should one go with Guitars by Leo webmaster Craig Dewey’s suggestion of using what is written in the bridge pickup cavity: “ASAT RMC P-90/HB”? Not bad either and the one used here as well as on the final revision of the spec sheet. This model followed the purchase of the Fallout of the next page which has a very similar pickup configuration. Beyond that, it being my first G&L Custom Shop model, it also contributed to the “Serial Number” section with its special format. Fortunately, after all these hiccups, it still plays like butter and sounds great. But in the final analysis, for any G&L Custom Shop instrument, given the usual upcharge compared to any production version, a customer should expect the builder to pay attention and make sure the spec sheet contains the correct details. Talking about detail: many guitars, especially those built in more limited quantities, have a mysterious star in their neck pocket as seen e.g. on this 2012 ‘TeleGib’. In a post to the Fans of G&L - CLF Research Guitars by Leo Fender and George Fullerton private Facebook group, it had been posited by Tom Jackson the star indicates the involvement of a certain Dave Brown. This guitar has such a star so Tom might well be correct in his assessment.

The story behind this guitar



4/23/2019 (written), marked ‘Custom Shop’, ‘ASAT DT’, ‘RW’, ‘S’, ‘CSN’,

‘LD’, Gold Logo’, ‘35548’, ‘CS1904017’

5/1/2019 (written), marked ‘Custom Shop’, ‘PM’

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