‘The Real Ones’ - A history of G&L


Beyond the Limited Editions, the Custom Creations Department also built special instruments of which more can be, and have been, produced at a later time: the Special Build models. Since this is not as exclusive as the LE’s, I mostly focus here on the instruments actually in my collection. The first Special Build model was the ASAT Classic ‘S’, based on the ASAT ‘Classic III’ but with a reverse wound S-500 pickup instead of a reverse wound Classic neck pickup. The first 100 were built between January and May of 2004 with 50 in Honeyburst/maple board/pearl pickguard, 25 in Three-tone Sunburst/maple board/tortoise pickguard, and 25 in Three-tone Sunburst/rosewood board/tortoise pickguard. A second run of 100 instruments was announced in April 2007: 25 in Three-tone Sunburst/rosewood board/tortoise pickguard, 25 in Cherryburst/maple board/pearl pickguard, 25 in Honeyburst/maple board/pearl pickguard, and 25 in Butterscotch/maple board/3-ply black pickguard. There have been several additional runs of this model, differing in color scheme and body contours, and it has become a production model, apparently since January 2008 but officially announced in November 2010. Immediately after the initial run of the ASAT Classic ‘S’, the CCD began production of the ASAT ‘Super’, in this case inspired by the ASAT ‘Junior’. The first ‘Super’ batch from 2004 included about 60, a total of 74 had been built as of April 2007, and in April 2010, an additional 19 were produced for the UK (6) and German (13, a Black ‘Super’ with S/N CLF10425 is mysteriously missing) markets with some different color schemes. At least 105 are known to exist, all built prior to the introduction of the aluminum serial number plate in 2011. That total has already been corrected for a duplicate S/N and 2 guitars with an updated S/N due to a neck replacement under warranty. The introduction of the ‘Super’ started a series of all mahogany guitars built over the course of 2004-2005 which are marked as Special Build but never appeared on the corresponding G&L CCD Special Build webpage cited above. A model that was included on that webpage is the 2007 Comanche Studio VI, a revisit of the pre-BBE Comanche VI Signature, with a run of 100 instruments in 2 finish/pickguard/fingerboard configurations. The first 60 ASAT Classic Bluesboy Spalted Maple were produced in January and February of 2008 with tops harvested from a special batch of spalted maple the company had acquired. After a second batch of spalted maple had been located, several models were released starting in May 2008: 100 Legacies, 100 L-2000 basses, and 40 ASAT Classics Spalted Maple. The ASAT Classic Spalted Maple could not be found on the CCD Special Build webpage either but its number sequence continued that of the ASAT Bluesboy Spalted Maple.

At the start of 2018, the Custom Creations Department morphed into the G&L Custom Shop, building highly customized instruments in addition to Limited Editions. It can be argued the Special Build models moved under the CLF Research label specializing in building instruments with a distinctive early-1980s vibe and including some exciting new models.


CCD special build models