The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

After the G&L Custom Creations Department (CCD) had produced their prototype for a Korina ASAT Classic Bluesboy and decided to run with it, Steve Grom, Director of Manufacturing and Custom Creations at the time, quickly recalled the second model ever to be issued by the CCD: the ASAT ‘Junior’, a kind of tongue in cheek Gibson-ification of an ASAT. In part it was inspired by the large MFDs often being mistaken for some kind of P-90 pickup. It is also well known that some of the most prized Gibson guitars are built with Korina as their tonewood, specifically original Flying V’s and Explorers built at the end of the 1950s. Among guitar players Korina has been coined “super mahogany”; with a sweeter midrange and very responsive. So the question Steve posed was “How would a Korina Junior sound?” In particular, how would it sound with the real P-90 pickups VP of Engineering Paul Gagon happened to be working on instead of MFDs? After preparing one of the Korina bodies with a G&L AP4290B neck pickup and AP42108B bridge pickup, the answer was quickly found: magnificent! Decoding the pickup designations is similar as discussed for the pups on my ASAT Deluxe: Alnico magnet in P-90 style pickup with 9000 and 10800 windings, respectively, using 42 gauge wire and Black covers. The looks of this instrument are very much like the ‘Junior’: same kind of pickguard, rear-mounted 3-way pickup selector and Gibson style volume and tone controls, and finally Tune-O-Matic bridge and tail piece, both produced by TonePros. But beyond the body wood there are also some other differences. The quarter-sawn hard-rock Eastern maple 12” (#1) neck has a Pau Ferro fingerboard, typical for this series of Limited Editions. And the neck is finished with a light tint gloss and PLEK’ed of course! For the complete specs on this guitar, see the picture below. Info provided by G&L can be found here:

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/customcreations/Korina-Collection/korina-asat-junior-2.asp.

 

G&L Korina Collection ASAT Junior II

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2011

Serial number:    CLF063436 (one of 100)

Neck date:         07/28/2011

Body date:          NOV 28 2011

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

I put my order in for this model and the Korina ASAT Deluxe II shortly after the July 19, 2011 announcement of the release of the Korina series. Had to wait until just before Xmas for its arrival.  But what a beauty! The wonderful Aged Natural finish accentuates the body wood, which shows some streak of black Limba here and there to give it a nice aura. It has amazingly cool looking pups with a slightly slanted bridge pickup, also present on some others as reported on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website by their owners. It is clear this one was built late in the year: it has a serial number plate, small CCD water slide decal, and correct Silver Certificate of Authentication. With the Deluxe II and M Series basses, the Junior II is also the first model for which a new “football” style output jack is used. The deep barrel jacks were known to create problems with certain brands of guitar cable. Although my brand (Monster Cable) is considered to be one of these brands, I have never seen any problems with the barrel jack on any of my guitars. Over time, all G&L ASAT models will have the football output jack. But in October 2012, Steve Grom stated that the transition was more time consuming than anticipated, having to set up all the various drill fixtures.


I found the sweet spot for this guitar after tweaking the controls on my amp a bit. Beautiful clean tones when dialed back, warm when using the neck, sparkling cleans with the bridge, and everything in between. But when you crank up the volume it barks and growls just like I remember listening to guitarist playing a Gibson Jr. or Special, and the likes. Absolutely amazing and subtly different from MFDs with more mids and hence a tad warmer. Wonderful and unique mix of Gibson and Fender sounds. Bravo!