My guitar collection - G&L


The Hellecasters member Will Ray’s signature model was introduced in 2002 and was a staple in the G&L stable for more than a decade. Although the Will Ray Signature Model could be ordered in about any desired configuration, at the initial release Mr. Ray elected 3 finishes for the solid swamp ash body: Clear Orange finish with Pearl pickguard for the less adventurous or either Silver Metal Flake or Turquoise Metal Flake (like this one), both with a mirror pickguard. This guitar has standard middle and neck Z-coil pickups and overwound bridge Z-coil pickup with extended-length pole pieces for a wider bobbin aperture. The ASAT Z-3 wiring harness includes a push-pull volume control allowing for the combinations of bridge+neck or all 3 pickups. Of course it also had the Hipshot Will Ray ‘Helle-Bender’ B-bender/Saddle-Lock bridge combo, the former allowing bending the B-string up a full note. The 12” rosewood fingerboard on the hard-rock maple neck had Will’s choice of skull position marker inlays, Dunlop (Medium) Jumbo 6100 frets, 1⅝” nut, and chrome Schaller Locking tuning machines. This later version has the more rounded ASAT headstock shape whereas earlier versions have a sharper cornered S-500/Comanche headstock like on John Jorgenson’s ASAT Z-3 prototype. My Will Ray came in a standard thermoplastic G&L case but all the case candy: 2 Will Ray slide rings and 2 of his instructional DVD’s (“B-Bender Mania” and “Stealth Slide”). The US built version of the Will Ray Signature model was discontinued at the end of June 2015. But you can still find information in this archived snapshot from 2016.


Will Ray Signature model

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


About a month after I got the Z-3 Semi-Hollow, I received an email from Craig Dewey. Craig has been webmaster of Guitars by Leo for many years. In his mail he indicated he wanted to move some guitars and being aware I was still missing a Will Ray Signature model, he first wanted to check in with me. After he sent me many pictured, including one of the scratch on the silvered side of the pickguard, the deal was easily made for a guitar with such impeccable provenance. So after years of being without the 2 incarnations of the Z-3 model, both were added to the collection in about 3 weeks (with Z-12 ‘Big Red’ coming on its heels only a week later). And now I own all 3 Signature models (and a prototype) of the steady members of The Hellecasters! This guitar sounds phenomenal. The more powerful bridge pickup adds a lot of grit to the sound. Playing around with the B-Bender is fun (do not forget to tune the raised note with the set screw). Wonderful instrument with looks and attitude in spades unfortunately no longer in production.

The story behind this guitar




JUL 31 2007, second stamp JUL 30 2007, UPC has 07/16/07 stamp

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