My guitar collection - G&L


In 1996, G&L introduced the ASAT Deluxe, a model with mahogany body and figured maple top and 2 Seymour Duncan humbuckers. Clearly, the ASAT Custom guitars with maple and rosewood fingerboards featured on the previous page are esthetically the precursor to that model. But introduced in 1997, the ASAT Deluxe also had a semi-hollow version where the body would have “Voice Chambers (left and right)” and the top had optional f-holes. The ASAT Semi-Hollow was introduced at the same time, but according to the specifications in the catalog insert featured below) it has a swamp ash body with swamp ash top. With its non-bound flame maple top finished in gorgeous Clear Orange, this guitar harkens more back more to the ASAT Custom. Of course it has 2 Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups here on a pearl pickguard, although black, white, tortoise, or vintage pickguards were optional. The ASAT wiring harness consists of the usual volume and tone controls with a 3-position pickup selector. Hence the proper title of this page should be something like ASAT Special Deluxe Semi-Hollow, but such a model name never existed. If one focusses on the figured maple top, one would find the ASAT Custom and/or ASAT Special Deluxe. As discussed on the previous page, the ASAT Special Deluxe has had different woods for the body over time. Although no longer carried as a model, an archived webpage is still available. Back to this guitar, one finds a custom ordered, factory mounted Bigsby B5 vibrato bridge, instead of the default Saddle-Lock bridge. One notices the Bigsby is positioned in a recess such that the string heights turn out right. The hard-rock maple #1 neck with 12” rosewood fingerboard is also special in that it has Schaller Locking tuning machines but still with tab instead of positioning pin. G&L still carries the all ash ASAT Special Semi-Hollow, to which the ASAT Semi-Hollow was renamed around 2004, with its page on the new G&L website at:


ASAT Semi-Hollow w/Bigsby

The story behind this guitar


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Writing the “Patents & Parts” chapter forced the making of an inventory of all the different things in the collection. And it became abundantly clear a Bigsby B5 was sorely missing. On the Guitars by Leo, Darwin Ohman had frequently written about swapping in a Bigsby vibrato and what a nice implement it is. If you would find a Bigsby on an G&L in any of the online stores or auction sites, chances are it will be an ASAT Deluxe (Semi-Hollow). Only occasionally one sees an ASAT Special. But then still, it needed to be something more than a guitar with just a Bigsby. Fortunately, during 2017, this guitar was offered by Tyler Robison from Savannah. GA. As stated above, it is a kind of model that does not even exist as such. I had great hopes something interesting would pop up when the neck was taken off. Alas. And since this is the first (and likely last) guitar with a Bigsby, of course all the strings popped of their peg in the exercise. Restringing did not turn out to be too hard. The guitar is a bit noisy when the string or bridge is not touched so there might be a slight ground problem. But otherwise this beauty sounds marvelous. Given the geometry of the arm, and how you swing it out of the way, the Bigsby forces you to play with a unique approach. And the warble is just gorgeous, smooth, and silky. Now I finally understand what Darwin was talking about.

The story behind this guitar



JUN ?? 1998, marked ‘CLORG BODY’, ‘#1’, ‘LEG’, ‘ASAT’

JUN 08 1998

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