‘The Real Ones’ - A history of G&L


The Korina Collection must have given the artisans at the Custom Creations Department at G&L enough confidence to keep experimenting with different woods for building instruments. Although there is a matching ASAT Special and ASAT Bass made of zebrawood built in 1995, only since 2010 G&L really started experimenting with different tonewoods beyond the more standard alder, swamp ash, Honduran mahogany, and maple. Sugar pine has been used, korina, as well as African mahogany (khaya), monkeypod (aka East Indian walnut), and Empress wood. So what to do next? How about using another African hardwood with the rhythmic name okoumé (or acoumé)? According to G&L, this wood has “... a lot of mahogany’s warmth and a bit of maple’s snap”. But foremost, it is light and although mostly used in plywood for ship building, it has found its usage as backs and sides of acoustic guitars. Although not part of the mahogany family, okoumé is also referred to as Equatorial mahogany, a term generically used for certain mahogany like species sourced from places like Africa, the Philippines, and South America. The Savannah Collection, announced on June 3, 2013, combines a semi-hollow okoumé body with a korina top finished in Old School Tobacco Sunburst. Like for the Korina Collection, the necks are quartersawn maple with pau ferro fingerboard and light tint gloss finish. All four models in the Korina Collection are reprised, i.e. the Savannah Collection ASAT Classic Bluesboy, Savannah Collection ASAT Deluxe II, Savannah Collection ASAT Junior II, and Savannah Collection ASAT bass, with a notable new addition: the Savannah Collection ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90. The included Limited Edition Silver Certificate of Authenticity (COA) as well as the website states “a total of 250 instruments”, referring to the complete series. So technically, each of the 5 models could have a different run than 50 depending on popularity. In addition, these instruments come with the small CCD logo on the back of the headstock, Custom Build spec sheet, and deluxe tolex form fit case. Production of instruments in the Savannah Collection was concluded in June 2015.

Unlike the multitude of prototypes built for the Korina Collection, only a few were built for the Savannah Collection. Esthetically, the Savannah Collection can be traced back to a Korina Collection prototype, an ASAT Deluxe II sans pickguard in Old School Tobacco Sunburst finish with S/N CLF065956 and completed October 29, 2012. A Savannah Collection Deluxe II, hence with semi-hollow okoumé body with korina top, was completed April 18, 2013. This guitar, with S/N CLF067267, is also missing its pickguard and is finished in Autumn Burst. That same day, a Savannah Collection ASAT Junior II with S/N CLF067288 was completed, still without pickguard but in Old School Tobacco Sunburst, the finish used for this collection. On the now archived prototypes webpage on the old G&L website, referenced on my “Prototypes” page, one can also find instruments used for the pictures on the G&L website: Savannah Collection ASAT Junior II with S/N CLF067514, Savannah Collection ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90 with S/N CLF067515, and Savannah Collection ASAT Deluxe II with S/N CLF067517. All these were completed May 13, 2013 as was the Savannah Collection ASAT bass with S/N CLF067460, also shown on the archived site.


The CCD Savannah Collection