My guitar collection - G&L


The canvas on which this piece of art is created, the platform on which this guitar is built is one of these fabulous late 1980s ASAT guitars, still with a maple body, here in Three-tone Sunburst, and all black hardware. The latter includes the black powder-coated Locktight (Saddle-Lock) bridge, aluminum pickguard, control panel with black knurled knobs to operate the Broadcaster/ASAT wiring harness, and black chromed tuning machines. Instead of Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups usually found on an ASAT, here 2 HG-2R “Angled Offset” MFD humbuckers are used. On the Interceptor II or Cavalier, these are both mounted at an angle. Here the neck pickup is rotated to fit into the “straight” rout for the Jumbo neck pickup causing its pole pieces to be at angle with respect of the strings. The absence of Jumbo MFD pickups could indicate an after-the-fact swap by one of the previous owners. However, it is marked as an employee guitar due to the rarity of the HG-2R pickups used. And if that assessment is correct, it would imply it was assembled at the G&L factory as such. Note that just like the other guitars with 2 HG-2R pickups, each completed in and by the factory, only one of its pickups has “ANGLED-OFFSET HUMBUCKER” in between the rows of pole pieces. Here it happens to be the neck pickup, similar to the Cavalier. A #2 Bird’s Eye maple neck with matching 7½” fingerboard, 1⅝” nut, and a script “by Leo Fender” decal at the tip of the headstock complete the package.


‘ASAvalier (employee guitar)

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


So close, but no cigar! The correct neck pickup under these circumstances should have been an GHB as found on the HG-2. In that case the pair of pole pieces would have lined up properly with the string. Alas. So far, the only known guitar with the proper HG-2R/GHB combo is a Mustang-shaped prototype built and originally owned by Fred ”The Finisher” Villarreal. The phenomenal paint job on that guitar demonstrates the high quality of work Fred delivered when he was responsible for the finishes at G&L. Just check out the burst on this specimen for one! Since this guitar is so close to a Cavalier it has been bestowed the nickname ‘ASAvalier‘ in contrast to the ‘CavASAT‘ which with its Jumbo MFD neck pickup is closer to an original ASAT. The ‘ASAvalier‘ is the last guitar purchased during 2020, with CoViD-19 raging around the world. But I had seen it once or twice before with the guitar residing in Canada which was an impediment. For no good reason as I learned after purchasing guitars from the Netherlands and Germany without problems. As long as no ebony and/or Brazilian rosewood is involved, the CITES treaty is not in play. So when Paul’s Boutique in Toronto, ON offered it on Reverb, it made the trip to south of the border. The Canadian border that is of course. When updating the entry in the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Registry, it had been entered as having an ebony fingerboard. The neck is about 2 years younger than the body so indeed, it could be a neck replacement. It would also mean the guitar is from 1986 proper, more in line with the serial number. And yes, the stamp was set to an impossible date. Should that have been FEB 3 1988 instead? Who knows? The wiring harness is also put together with parts from different years. The volume pot is from week 10 in 1986, in line with the age of the body. But the treble pot is from week 16 in 1981, about 5 years earlier. Although the strings are offset and/or at an angle with the pole pieces, that does not affect the balance and demonstrates the power of the adjustable pole pieces to create this balance. Being humbuckers, the pups are quiet but with a lot of top end and sparkle. Whomever put this guitar together created a fantastic sounding instrument.

The story behind this guitar


G018845 (employee guitar)

FEB 30 [sic] 1988

JUN 25 1986

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