The world of yowhatsshakin


The Broadcaster was developed in the middle of the shred-crazy 1980s. As such, allowing for an optional vibrato would not be out of the ordinary. And one could have easily used G&L’s tried and true Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato. But with its predominantly Black appearance, the Broadcaster called for something else: a “Black Krome” Kahler™ 2320 flat mount fine-tuner floating vibrato for an extra $190.50 (or $896 MSRP including case)! In Section III of “G&L: Leo’s Legacy” Paul Bechtoldt states only 42 out of the 869 Broadcasters were built with such a unit. And the Rarebird page for the Broadcaster on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website claims “there are only seven Kahler-equipped Broadcasters with maple fretboards.” There are some problems with these statements though. The first claim is refuted by Greg Gagliano in his first “G&L ASAT” installment in the May 2005 issue of 20th Century Guitar Magazine. On p.17 Greg states: “Rarer still are a handful of Broadcasters (44 to be exact) that were fitted with a Kahler 2320 flat-mount vibrato unit.” The second claim is discussed below. Nevertheless, whichever way you cut it, this is a very rare guitar. And it is a true Broadcaster with its soft maple body, 2 Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) single-coil pickups, single-ply plastic pickguard, and black powder-coated aluminum control panel with the Broadcaster electronics of a 3-position pickup selector, volume control, and tone control. The hard-rock maple neck has a 7½” maple fingerboard. All but the neck and board in Black of course.


G&L Broadcaster w/Kahler & maple fingerboard

The story behind this guitar

Year:                 1985

Serial number:    BC00204

Neck date:         JUN 17 1985

Body date:         7-17-85, marked ‘Built by LC Crabtree’

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

This story is the reverse of the story told for the ASAT w/Kahler & ebony board. After completing the early-ASAT in all configurations, the Broadcaster collection needed to be augmented with Kahler equipped versions. The first step was set in early-2017 when Olivia’s Vintage offered this pristine, minty Broadcaster on Reverb. There are a couple of interesting observations to be made. First, when counting the number of Broadcasters w/Kahler & maple fingerboards in the GbL Registry, this is the 9th instrument to be added; clearly more than the quoted limit of 7 above. There are also interesting commonalities between this guitar and BC00207 and BC00211. All have “the builder” (Leo or Lee Crabtree) as a cosigner in the pocket and the same dates on the inspection sticker. In all likelihood they were all assembled the same day by Lee. All have only 6 screws to attach the single-ply plastic pickguard instead of 8 screws used later on. Not surprisingly a great sounding guitar with lots of mojo. The Kahler unit in combination with a #2 neck, i.e. 7½” radius fingerboard, is not the greatest. But as long as you are not dive bombing, it adds a nice warble.