The world of yowhatsshakin


Three comes after two. So one would expect that after the SC-1 and SC-2, with one and two, respectively, Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pups, the SC-3 would sport three of them. Not true! When G&L introduced the SC-3 in December 1982 (see picture of a January 3,1983 typed price sheet below), it shared the Mustang-like, slab soft maple body, hard-rock maple neck with 7½” radiused maple fingerboard, teat-less headstock, and closed tuning machines w/tab with its ‘student’ model brethren, but not the pups. Instead it has 3 Strat-style MFDs as offered on the Nighthawk/Skyhawk model controlled by simpler electronics of volume, single tone control, and 5-position pickup selector. These pickups have lower DC-R values and lower magnetic field strengths than the pickups used on the hog S-500 of the same era. Being more tailored to Strat-players, it comes as no surprise that it has a Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato (DFV) with old-style arm, although the model was available with fixed bridge. Notwithstanding the cheaper price, it was still build with impeccable workmanship and attention and the model was fairly popular. Only an estimated 350 ‘Mustang’ SC-3‘s exist and hence the early part of the SC-3 production has attained Rarebird status with its own page. All instruments registered have a DFV.


G&L SC-3 (1st style) w/Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  1984

Serial number:    G010763

Neck date:          JAN 27 1984, marked ‘#3’

Body date:          JUN ?? 1983 (paint obscures day)

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

Likely one of the last Mustang shaped SC-3s ever assembled, this beautiful black specimen was bought in mid-November 2012 for a very reasonable price from fellow Guitars by Leo (GbL) member Ken Chevelle. Usually you’ll see the (3rd) Strat-style SC-3 in the marketplace simply because there are so many more of them. And many times the arm is missing, forcing you to contact Gabe Dellevigne at Electric Stringed Instrument (ESI) to get a period-correct replica. Not in this case. This guitar clearly had been well taken care of and came complete with one. It also has the “copper” vibrato spring G&L used in the days. This center spring is actually a copper-plated steel spring of a different, lower elasticity than the standard steel springs on the outside providing optimal balance, stiffness, and stability for the DFV. The Black finish fits right in with the other ‘entry level’ models in my collection. Another interesting tidbit about this guitar is that before Ken, it was owned by Brad Traweek, founder of the aforementioned GbL website. The Nighthawk/Skyhawk pup magic is definitely there. It has the beloved Strat-quack in the in-between positions but with its own character. The pups individually have a certain warmth and great definition to them. I can totally see, and more importantly hear, why this model stuck around until 1991!