The world of yowhatsshakin


The full story of the Broadcaster/ASAT cannot be told without discussing the SC-2 (and SC-1) first. They were not the first with Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pups: the F-100 preceded them with MFD humbuckers in mid-1980. Nor are they the first with single-coil MFDs; that honor goes to the S-500 introduced in March 1982. But those wide-bobbin MFD single-coil pickups everybody not into G&L frequently mistakes for P-90s were introduced in September 1982 on the SC-2, an entry level model. As such, it is the true forefather and inspiration for the model making up the vast majority of my collection. The first incarnation of the SC-2 had a 2-piece, Mustang shaped, slab soft maple body and hard-rock maple neck with 7½” radiused maple fingerboard with large position markers, pickup selector, and single tone and volume controls. Most SC-2s were equipped with a Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato (DFV) as is the case for this specimen. The springs used in the DFV to provide the restoring force are very interesting on pre-BBE guitars. Until the end of 1980, only 2 (nickel- or chrome-plated) steel springs with 37 turns were used (see e.g. my 1980 F-100 Series II). This worked fine for the set of 9-42 strings used by the factory but not so much for heavier gauges. So a third, identical spring was added in the center. Now complaints came from the field that the unit was too stiff. As a compromise, Leo used a spring with thinner steel wire, 43 turns to get the same length, and hence lower spring constant to allow for optimal stiffness over a range of string gauges. Initially, both types of springs looked the same which led to inconsistencies in the combination of springs used. It is hard to count turns on the fly! Hence the omission of additional plating to get the look of the copper-plated steel spring now so famous and responsible for the unique feel of a pre-BBE DFV unit. (Current day DFV units use standard Fender Stratocaster springs.) The body shape changed to more Strat-like in early-1984, as seen on my other SC-2, but with the introduction of the Broadcaster in May 1985, the SC-2 disappeared from the catalog only to make a triumphant return in 2008 reviving the Mustang-like. For pre-BBE SC-2s, the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website does not provide information on how many of each subtype were produced, i.e. first vs second body style, hard tail vs vibrato. The numbers must have been high enough not to warrant the Rarebird label in the Registry for any of them. For the BBE-era SC-2, you find info at:


G&L SC-2 (1st style) w/Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato

The story behind this guitar

Year:                 1984

Serial number:    G010158

Neck date:         JAN 13 1984

Body date:         FEB 08 1983

Strings:              D’Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light (9-42)

This is my second SC-2, preceded by my 2nd style SC-2 with hard tail (and all my other entry level instruments for that matter). And like that guitar, this one was also purchased from a fellow GbL member, Adam Baker, who in turn had bought it in 2009 from Murali Levine, another (old-)GbL member. For the 1st style SC-2, I was specifically looking for a Black one with the DFV. The body is from early-1983 but if the stamp on the heel is to be believed, the neck is from almost a year later and from just before the transition. The guitar is complete with original vibrato arm, mixed springs, and the tolex hardshell case with black interior and no compartment, just 2 dividers. Not unexpectedly, given my previous experience with other SC-models, this one turns out to be a rocking machine. Great tapers on the pots (again), wonderful fingerboard (again). You catch my drift. Keeper!