The world of yowhatsshakin


After BBE had taken solid ownership of G&L, some changes were made in what instruments were offered. As explained on the “Superstrat” page, the Superhawk became the Climax “XL” with only minor modifications. Sharpening the point of the horns on the body is one of them and was tailored towards an audience into Jackson and Charvel. But more noticeable is the sculpted recess around the 3-bolt neck plate on the back of the body as well as the use of the Floyd Rose Tremolo System, licensed to Gotoh Japan, instead of a Kahler Vibrato. The Climax series of instruments were only available between 1992 and 1996, after which they were renamed to Invader (again). At the same time, the sculpted neck recess disappeared too. There is not a lot of information on these guitars. The best source is a post by Gabe Dellevigne on the Climax “Plus” on the old version of the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website and revived by webmaster Craig Dewey. The body could be alder or ash, but a few were built with a soft maple body, as is this one in Sparkle Purple finish. The usually unbranded pickups could either be Seymour Duncan humbuckers wound to Distortion specs or humbuckers manufactured by Gotoh Japan. The hard-rock maple neck had either a 12” or 17” maple or rosewood fingerboard with a Floyd Rose string lock behind the 1⅝” or 1¾” nut. The headstock with Black finished front had G&L stamped, closed Schaller tuning machines.


G&L Climax “XL”

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  1992

Serial number:    G032027

Neck date:          AUG 03 1992, marked ‘BLK’

Body date:          SEP 23 1992

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

This particular guitar fulfills one important purpose: to provide a G&L model with a Floyd Rose unit. And when one became available on eBay in late 2017 for a more than reasonable price, it was added to the collection. The pole spacing of the bridge pickup is correct for the bridge. With measured DC-impedance values of 12.67kΩ for the neck pickup and 16.91kΩ for the bridge, this guitar seems to have a set Seymour Duncan Distortion pickups (SH-6N and TB-6, respectively). These pups are loud and easily overdrive the preamp stage of my Boogie 5:25 in 5W mode. Dialing back the volume, there is plenty of warmth in both. With its perfect combination of silky smooth and bite, the combined setting sounds really good. The Tremolo System has been blocked by a previous owner such the arm cannot be pulled up. Inspecting the butt of the neck heel, this guitar turns out to have the #3 neck with 12” rosewood fingerboard and 1¾” nut. Whereas in 1992 G&L was still using imperial measures for all its own parts, it is good to know the Floyd Rose string lock needs a 3mm Allen hex wrench to be operated.