G&L tech resources: Pickups


Notwithstanding the high quality of Magnetic Field Design (MFD) on the Broadcaster/ASAT, many still had a problem with the look. It was not enough like a Telecaster and the pickups were often mistaken for P-90s. Hence, Leo Fender created the ASAT Classic MFD. The eponymous model, the last instrument Leo designed together with George Fullerton, was introduced in July 1990. With gold hardware being an option, one could get the pickup with gold plated pole pieces as seen on George’s ASAT Classic Signature w/Leo Fender Vibrato. One notices a big difference between the ASAT Classic neck MFD, as seen on this ASAT Classic Signature (top-bound), and a typical Telecaster neck pickup: there is no cover on the MFD. Understandably so. Otherwise one would not be able to adjust the height of the pole pieces, a defining feature of any and all MFDs. The difference is less obvious for the bridge pickup, as demonstrated with this ASAT Classic Solamente, the more since the bridge looks very similar to a modern Fender Telecaster bridge pickup, including its (about) 15° with respect to the string perpendicular. Many pre-2008 ASAT Classic MFD bridge pickup has a ’12’ stamped on the bobbin, usually on the treble side but sometimes upside-down on the bass side. Only rarely the stamp is absent, which likely can be chalked up to symmetry and probability. But none of the post-2007 guitars on this side with an ASAT Classic MFD bridge pickup show the number whereas it still appears between the springs behind the saddles for the B- and E-strings of the ASAT Classic 6-saddle bridge. Dave McLaren has stated that “the significance of [the] 12 stamp” merely corresponds to the die stamping tool number used to produce the parts. So did the supplier of the bobbins change 2008? Or the production method?


Guitar: ASAT Classic MFD