My guitar collection - G&L


From the front this guitar looks pretty much identical to the F-100 Series I of the previous page: similar swamp ash body in Natural finish, early string through body Locktight (Saddle-Lock) bridge, 2 Magnetic Field Design (MFD) humbuckers, also here with cheese head slotted machine screws to set the pole piece heights, bunch of controls on a chromed control panel, hard-rock maple neck with 12” ebony fingerboard, large dot position markers, skunk-stripe on the back, and “diagonal” Schaller open tuning machines. But closer inspection reveals 2 important differences. First, the mini-toggle switch between the treble cut and bass cut knobs on the control panel has a white tip instead of black. Second, the model designation on the headstock includes an ‘E’ indicating this guitar has a preamp on board as part of the controls to dial in the 2 MFD humbuckers differently compared to the passive F-100s. How all these controls work and interact with each other is explained in this section on the (active) F-100E wiring harness. On the then price list, this model appeared as ‘F-100-IE’. The fact this is an active F-100 becomes undeniable when the guitar is turned around; the battery cover can hardly be missed. Between 2010 and 2017, G&L carried a reissued (passive) F-100, as shown on this archived snapshot from 2017 or discussed by Greg Gagliano in connection to his F-100 “reissue” on his website.


F-100 Series IE

The story behind this guitar


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Either a Series IE or Series IIE is one of if not the most versatile instrument ever to appear in G&L’s lineup. The Series IIE was the first active F-100 and I felt the collection was incomplete without a Series I version. It is nice both the bridges as well as the fingerboards on these active F-100s are complementary. Does the fingerboard radius make a difference? Not too much in my opinion. I am familiar with the criticism a 7½” radius causes notes to fret out when bending. But you would hard pressed to associate an F-100 with a shred guitar. The road to acquisition was interesting. Eric Monte had listed this guitar on Reverb in late-2019 and we went back and forth a couple of times with Eric learning more and more about this model and me trusting the process it would not escape. One of my most satisfying transactions where both seller and buyer were very happy with the end result, even if it took a couple of months. All these switches give you 27 unique combinations and hence a ton of sonic options, from trebly icepick to warm creamy jazz. I consider this active model to be one of Leo’s master pieces which unfortunately saw the light of day in an era where it fell outside the then current trends, never reaching the commercial success it deserved.

The story behind this guitar



JUN 23 1981, marked ‘CL’, ‘6-23-81’

OCT 8 1981

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