The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

References to the Guitars for Leo website (www.guitarsbyleo.com), also known as GbL, are sprinkled throughout these pages. It was founded by G&L enthusiast Brad Traweek in July 1997 to provide a forum for admirers/lovers of G&L instruments to trade stories and exchange information. The site also introduced a public Registry where G&L’s of any era could (and can) be entered; an invaluable source of information knowing that only about 50,000 G&L’s were produced while Leo was alive and the random chronological order in which serial numbers were consumed. In the summer of 1998, Doug Abrams at Indoor Storm in Durham, NC, came with the suggestion to have this rather new forum design a new instrument as a community project: a first of its kind. Remember that in 1998 it was only a decade ago that (Sir) Tim Berners Lee “invented” the internet and that its widespread use outside of the scientific community was just picking up speed. After many months of back and forth, this guitar became the result: the ‘www.guitarsbyleo.com‘ Limited Edition, or GbL LE for short. This model has a semi-hollow mahogany body with a single f-hole and Natural finish, uses the modern day S-500 Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups, a 5-way switch with additional mini-toggle to allow additional combinations of the neck and bridge pickups, a Bird’s Eye maple neck with Clear Gloss finish, and ebony fingerboard with radius and neck profile to be specified by the buyer. The hardware consists of Saddle-Lock bridge, volume and tone controls with knurled knobs, and Sperzel tuners. Only 25 were built with an additional 2 prototypes. More on its history and how it came to be can be found in this 1999 20th Century Guitar Magazine article available on Greg Gagliano’s ggjaguar.com website as well as on its page amongst the Rarebirds.

 

G&L www.guitarsbyleo.com Limited Edition

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  1999

Serial number:    CLF12184 (#19 of 25)

Neck date:         MAR 11 1999, marked ‘#1’, ‘GbL’, ‘V’

Body date:         01 MAR 1999

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

To find these guitars was not hard: of the 25+2 produced, 20+2 are registered and many with the owner listed. But to pry them away from these owners is a completely different story. This model already made its appearance on my initial list in 2008. And many times I contemplated spamming the owners to ask them, or more accurately beg, to part with their instrument. But all of that was not necessary. I just had to wait 4 year until Doug Gossow (rosebud on the original GbL forum) posted his GbL LE #19 on the updated site. It should not be necessary to say I jumped on it right away! He had ordered his with a #1d neck: 12” radius and Modern V-shape. Unfortunately, the Certificate of Authenticity got lost in a recent move, but Doug promised me to keep looking. So who knows. But the original tweed case and sales slip are still there. The guitar looks absolutely gorgeous. The sound is very bell/piano like but I have to admit it took a bit of tweaking of my amp to make it sound great. These S-500 pups are definitely different animals than the MFD’s in an ASAT Classic. I should compare this one with the pre-BBE era ASAT III.