The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

In discussing the Broadcaster w/maple board, I told you the history of the Fender Telecaster and the first ASAT model Leo Fender produced for his last company G&L. After he passed away, Mr. Fender was honored by 2 special G&L instruments: the Commemorative Edition ASAT Classic and Bass. But no guitar existed to “celebrate” the birth of this remarkable man: a non-guitar player who was instrumental to the creation of all popular music currently known by inventing the “instruments of the trade”. Until 2009 that is. To celebrate what would have been Leo’s 100th birthday on August 10, 2009, the Custom Creations Department (CCD) at G&L issued 100 Limited Editions: 50 ASAT guitars and 50 L-2000 basses. This is one of the only 3 guitars (allegedly) made available on the US market. According to the website (see link below) the solid swamp ash body is constructed out of 2 pieces. However, I have the hardest time finding any seam at all on mine, leading me to believe it is a 1-piece body finished in a beautiful Sentimental Blonde: a custom version of Pearl White Blonde. It has a quarter-sawn hard-rock maple neck with vintage 7½” fingerboard radius and Dunlop Medium Jumbo 6100 fret wire. All the appointments on this model harken back to one of the earlier generations of the ASAT after G&L ceded use of the Broadcaster name. Just like these early ASAT’s, both the pickguard as well as the control panel are made from cold-rolled 6061/T6 aluminum finished with a black wrinkle powder-coat. The patented Saddle-Lock bridge, the Schaller machines, and the volume and tone knobs are also all black. Very stylish! And the astute reader might notice that Bob Page decked out his ASAT Trinity in similar fashion. Up to circa 2005, all G&L pickups were hand wound. For this model, they returned to this procedure for the 2 Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups, using New Old Stock (N.O.S.) 42 gauge plain enamel wire. But not all is old fashioned: this instrument is set-up with modern PLEK technology. To top it all off, the guitar comes with a tolex hardshell case with black plush lining and the logo of the CCD embroidered in the case lid. Also included are a Silver Certificate of Authenticity and a special book written by Mrs. Phyllis Fender: “Leo and Me - My eleven years with guitar maker Leo Fender”, which also contains the dedication of this one: #21/100. The G&L webpage on this model, with incorrectly titled book, can be found at:

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/customcreations/CLF_Centennial_ASAT/index.asp.

 

G&L C.L.F. Centennial ASAT

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2009

Serial number:    CLF55630 (#21 of 50)

Neck date:         03/09/09

Body date:         OCT 12 2009, second stamp OCT 09 2009

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

The perfect model to bookend the ASAT’s with 2 large MFDs on the other side of the Broadcasters. First, many details of this model celebrate improvements and inventions on early G&L models: e.g. the MFD pickups and the Saddle-Lock bridge. The aluminum pickguard is another good example; the metal being part of an RF shield to reduce external electromagnetic interference. But a lot has changed too in the intervening years. PLEK definitely has found large acceptance in the industry. But not by everyone though. At a store meeting with Paul Reed Smith in May 2009, he almost exploded in mock indignation when the wife of Mike Lull asked him whether PLEK was used at PRS! On the G&L side of things, the 4-point bolt-on neck has superseded George Fullerton’s perfect(ed) 3-point neck attachment. The patented Bi-Cut neck has been replaced by a more traditional method where the maple fingerboard is sliced off the maple neck and reattached after a Non-Compression truss-rod has been installed. I just happen to be a big fan of many of these “older” technologies.


It was also the one guitar I was pretty sure of that I would have to buy new; with an related pretty steep price tag for such a rare model. By late March 2010, I had spent a substantial amount of my G.A.S. budget on the Trinity and the John Jorgenson Signature. But on my birthday in early April, my wife surprised me with this guitar! Never asked where she found it, and in all honesty, I’m not really interested either. Would just spoil the magic! It didn’t come with the Factory Tour DVD (although Guitars by Leo’s Craig Dewey and Steve Grom at G&L kindly provided me with a new one!), warranty card, or guitar chord, so I assume it is second hand. But what I do know for sure is this: it is an absolute beauty, both esthetically and sonically. It might be the curvier fingerboard, and/or the hand-wound pick-ups, and/or the aluminum pickguard, but there is a bell-like clarity to this guitar I have not experienced on any other. Thanks sweetie, from the bottom of my heart!