The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

With help from G&L, this is Tim Page’s third creation of 1999. As for all of his Special Edition models, this model was exclusive sold through his and brother Bob’s Buffalo Brothers store. Tim likes Z-coils, which are ordinarily available as a triplet on the G&L Comanche and were introduced the year prior on the ASAT Z-3. Hence Tim wondered whether he could come up with a 2-pickup ASAT version for country-pickers. He was also inspired by the semi-hollow, no f-hole concept introduced a year earlier with the ASAT ‘Junior’. And finally he had just met Jerry Donahue (see the ASAT JD-5) and loved the appearance of one of Jerry’s Telecasters. So in August of 1999, according to his recollections, Tim orders just ten ASAT Z-2’s with a semi-hollow swamp ash body in natural finish with tortoise front and back binding and tortoise pickguard, satin finished hard-rock maple #2 neck with 7½” rosewood fingerboard, Dunlop Medium Jumbo 6100 frets, and 1⅝” nut. (The choice of fret wire was mainly dictated by complaints from original Blues Boy owners!) The guitar has what Tim considers the best bridge in the business: the G&L Saddle-Lock bridge. The hardware is as on all “ordinary” ASAT models, i.e. 3-way pickup selector with knurled chrome volume and tone controls, and Schaller chrome tuners. To keep costs low, this model comes in the standard thermoplastic G&L case but still with a special Certificate of Authenticity which was originally missing for my Z-2. But George Fullerton had given Tim Page advice to make additional COA’s, have them all signed and dated, but leave the serial numbers blank in case of misprints, errors, etc. While cleaning out his drawers, he stumbled over some of the Z-2 “originals” and provided me kindly with an replacement COA. Thanks again Tim for this kind act! And thank you George for your foresight! This model is only listed in the Rarebird section on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website:

http://www.guitarsbyleo.com/AUTOREG/Rarebirds/ASATZ2.php3.

 

G&L ASAT Z-2

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  1999

Serial number:    CLF14966 (#8 of 10)

Neck date:          20 DEC 1999

Body date:          DEC 14 1999

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

As of late March 2011, this completes Tim’s fab-four of Special Edition models. I happen to know he has still a couple of other ideas he hopes to execute on one day, but for now this one is part of what is still only a fabled quartet. And it is the one that caused the most headache. Not so much for me finding it. That merely took a lot of patience and a Marketplace ad by Jon Chaikin, longtime member of the GbL forum and second owner. No, the binding caused G&L such trouble they have sworn off tortoise binding forever! In an e-mail Tim explained me the how and why (see also the ASAT Z-2 Special Edition in the GbL Gallery). When initially working with it, the material turned out to be extremely fickle. Tortoise binding is mainly used on acoustic guitars where the shape is more “womanly” and corners are not as sharp as e.g. the treble horn on an ASAT. Can you imagine having almost finished one side of the body binding only for the brittle shell to break so you have to remove everything you have done so far and start anew? Or is doesn’t stay glued in the groove and pops out? Or it reacts chemically with the glue and clouds? G&L went through two vendors before a solution could finally be found. Be glad the brotherhood of luthiers at times consists more of friends than cut-throat competitors. In 1999, Bob Taylor was not building electrics yet, and G&L does not build acoustics, hence the former company was willing to provide the name of a third vendor and instructions on how to “tame” tortoise. With these guitars as the final result although due to all the difficulties delivery took place in November of 1999 instead of the intended October. And one can be pretty sure this model will not be reintroduced in this form since in all likelihood, given all trials and tribulations for just 10 guitars, G&L lost money on this deal! How about the sound? My wife says it is louder. I don’t know, it sounds extremely balanced and silent to me, i.e. without hum. A great pickin’ guitar with a sound and character entirely its own!