The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

It has taken a while but here it is. The second Limited Edition designed by participants of the Guitars by Leo (GbL) forum spanning the years 2012 and 2013. Whereas in 1998, when the first GbL LE was designed, it was Doug Abrams of Indoor Storm in Raleigh, NC, and Brad Traweek of the forum who pulled the cart over the finish line, this time the reins were taken by Bob Mullen at Music Source in Wildwood, IL, and Patrick Krook aka JagInTheBag on the forum. After a lot of back and forth it was finally decided what this sequel should look like while still leaving plenty of room for customization in terms of neck profile and add-ons. I finally decided to deck out my LE-2 #2 as follows: the basic spec of a modified Fallout swamp ash body in Autumn Burst finish, previously  featured only on the Launch Edition models, with front and rear body contours, single ply black guard, ASAT Special MFD Jumbo single coil neck pickup (referred to as wide bobbin MFD on this site), F-100 MFD bridge humbucker, 3-way pickup selector, volume, push-pull tone control for bucker split coil, dark roasted quartersawn maple neck and board, with my selection of a Dual-Fulcrum Steel (DFS) bridge, Graph Tech nut, and Schaller locking tuners. What makes this model special? Lets go down the list. The Autumn Burst has exclusively been used for the Launch Editions of the ASAT Classic Alnico and the ASAT Classic ‘S’ Alnico, the Fallout is only available with Saddle-Lock bridge, the pup combination is unique to this model, the DFS is an upgrade over the Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato (DFV) bridge adding a 1018 cold-rolled steel block and stainless steel saddles both machined from billet material, and the dark roasted maple neck and board as found on my ‘Port&Chocolate’. (In July 2014, Martin Music Guitar in Memphis, TN, commissioned a run of ASAT Classics and Legacies with roasted maple neck, most with roasted maple boards but also some rosewood boards.) On September 25, 2014, it was announced that G&L would no longer build instruments with these kind of necks due to production problems related to its inherent brittleness, although the use of medium roasted maple necks was not excluded at that moment. Unfortunately this meant that LE-2s assembled in late-2014 do not have this unique neck. Not surprisingly there is no info out on the internet on this model beyond what can be found on the GbL site. One small detail though: you have to be a member and logged in to see it!

 

G&L GbL LE-2

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2014

Serial number:    CLF069117 (#2 of 25)

Neck date:          none, marked ‘Guitars by’, ‘DFS’, ‘B’, ‘311751-1’

Body date:          none

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

In the first week of May of 2013, I put in my order right after Patrick and was assigned #2. Nice! Then I just had to await final delivery. Apparently there was enough variation in the specs and the fact that some of the LE-2s are lefties that it took the factory quite some time to get things done. Dave McLaren posted some pictures at the end of September 2013 of several necks and bodies under construction. Then on December 26, 2013, the picture below was posted on the GbL website. Check out the post to see some interesting other versions too. For the keen observer, one will notice that the neck still has a bone nut in that picture. Apparently in relaying the order to the factory, the Graph Tech nut specification got dropped. This explains the entry on the spec sheet as well as the “B” on the neck heel. But due to that picture, I was able to have it corrected before the guitar got to me in mid-February 2014. So thanks to Dave for coming in during the Christmas break! I have not been able to find date stamps nor a UPC sticker, although I have not taken out the pups. The spec sheet has 1/6/2014 as the completion date. There was a question whether G&L made modifications to the pup windings, especially for the neck one. But with values of 4.95kΩ for the neck and 15.53kΩ (8.03kΩ when split) for the bridge it seems normal production pups were used. This guitar has wonderful rock tones on either pup with volume cranked. Lucinda Williams’ ‘Changed The Locks’ came out effortlessly. But boy, do these pups clean up nicely. And what about the combination? Chime-like is the term I would use, nicely balanced, with clear lows, mids, and highs. Turn on a tremolo effect and start playing ‘In My Room’ by the Beach Boys. Yum!