G&L tech resources: Pickups


The G&L humbucker comes in many forms and has been the de facto standard on most G&L guitars since 2010. When one understands the model designation, it is easy to decipher how they are put together. As an example, take the pickups of this ASAT Deluxe completed in 2005. The designation for the bridge pickup is G&L AW4370B, i.e. ‘A’ for the Alnico V magnet, ‘W’ for wide pole spacing, ‘43’ for 43 AWG wire, ’70’ for 7,000 windings using, and ‘B’ for uncovered black bobbins. Similarly, the neck is a G&L AS4250B: an Alnico V magnet exhibiting standard (‘S’) pole spacing with 42 AWG wire (‘42’) for 5,000 (‘50’) windings and black bobbins. A purportedly hand-wound version of this pickup is found in the neck position of some 2005 ASAT Classic ‘Blues Boy’ Mahogany guitars, with others having a Seymour Duncan ’59 (SH-1N). G&L also has a series of pickups, mainly used on Tribute-series models, using ceramic magnets. Hence, the designation for these pickups starts with ‘C’ instead of ‘A’. Instead of black bobbins, white bobbins (‘W’), zebra bobbins (‘Z’) or a chrome (‘C’) or nickel (‘N’) pickup cover are all options which can appear at the end of the designation. The all mahogany ASAT HB and Legacy HB Mahogany also have an AW4370B in the bridge position, as indicated by the stamped ‘R‘ for ‘Rear’ on the baseplate, where it is combined with a CLF-100 single-coil in the middle and/or neck position. As of July 2015 (and beyond), most models with one or more humbuckers use G&L’s own pickups. In the bridge position one typically finds an AW4470B or AW4470W with 7,000 windings of 44 AWG wire, e.g. as on this Fallout from 2016 or this 2021 Custom Shop ASAT HSH RMC. But one can opt to have it substituted by an AW4368C with 6,800 windings of 43 AWG wire. According to its spec sheet, this 2019 Custom Shop ASAT RMC P-90/HB should have such a bridge pickup. However, Dave Brown of the G&L Custom Shop wound one with only 5,500 turns, as pictured below, and hence using 42 AWG wire. The pickup also has the wrong distance between the pole pieces and a stamped ‘F’ (for ‘Front’) on the baseplate, indicating it is an AS4255C neck humbucker. This pickup, also available as an AS4255B or AS4255W, is the standard post-2015 neck humbucker, e.g. as found on the aforementioned Custom Shop ASAT HSH RMC. The exceptions are the ASAT Classic Bluesboy, which comes standard with an A2S4248N neck humbucker, i.e. a pickup with Alnico II magnets instead of more common Alnico V, 4,800 windings of 42 AWG wire, and a nickel-plated cover, and the now discontinued Jerry Cantrell Signature Rampage and Jerry Cantrell Signature Superhawk, both of which were outfitted with Seymour Duncan humbuckers by default. This is still true for the “standard” Rampage the G&L Custom Shop reintroduced in March 2021.


Guitar: Alnico humbucker