The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

With ultimate pickup maestro Leo Fender still around, G&L did not always use their own designs even then, especially when it came down to humbuckers. The first model sporting a more traditional version of the venerable bucker is actually one of the rarest models in the G&L stable: the 2nd X-body Interceptor HH. Introduced in 1986 (see the “Interceptors” page), it came with longer horns on the body than its Interceptor II predecessor and rear-mounted controls. The pickups are Schaller humbuckers specially wound by Helmut Schaller controlled by rear-mounted 3-way mini-toggle switch, CTS 250kΩ Audio Taper volume control with 200pF ceramic capacitor, and separate CTS 250kΩ Audio Taper tone controls with .022μF caps for each pup. For the (3-part) soft maple body one had the choice of either Black or Clear Red/Black finish. The 2nd X-body Interceptor came standard with Kahler™ 2320 flat mount fine-tuner floating vibrato and a hard-rock maple (pre-BBE) #4 neck: 1¾” nut and 25” radius ebony fingerboard. It also has a matching “sickle headstock” with teat and gold lettering. Even though an ad slick had been made already, production of the X-body Interceptor was halted almost immediately because they just weren’t popular enough. More information on the about 19 2nd X-body Interceptors “prototypes” in existence can be found on this page in the Rarebird section of the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Registry, although it contains several errors including G&L researcher Paul Bechtoldt’s claim of only 8 to 12 2nd X-body Interceptors in existence.

 

G&L Interceptor HH (2nd X-body)

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  1986

Serial number:    G017884 (used in 1986 ad slick)

Neck date:          JAN 14 1986

Body date:          OCT 31 1984

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

When you compare the pictures of some of the 2nd X-body Interceptor in the GbL Gallery, especially the HH ones, you’ll notice they all have a straight lay-out of the controls. The one featured in the ad slick on the other hand has its controls laid out in a curve. Just like this one! Which leads me to believe this is the actual guitar used in that photo shoot. This jibes with the date stamps although a 1984 date for a 2nd X-body is interesting as well as puzzling. Incidentally, the Black Interceptor SSS in the slick has S/N G016688. When I found this guitar around Independence Day 2016 at a $1k discount on Reverb offered by Jay Rosen Guitar, given its rarity, and after unearthing these interesting facts, the sale was quickly made. When the guitar came in, it was clear it had definitely been played: couple of dings, some light buckle rash on the back, damaged pickup mounting ring, and really dirty back of the neck. The Schaller humbuckers are very hot and overdrive the preamp on my Boogie 5:25 way before you reach 10 on the volume knob. Typical for the era I would say. The separate tone controls are nice and give you plenty sound sculpting options. Interestingly enough there is a Hot Pink 2nd X-body out there (S/N G016664, shown as picture 10 in the color section of Paul Bechtoldt’s “G&L: Leo’s Legacy”), with the same control lay-out, allegedly owned by Joe Perry of Aerosmith fame!