The world of yowhatsshakin


Dean Coy is another one of what are currently called old-timers on the Guitars by Leo (GbL): rabid fans of all things G&L, likely with a preference for pre-BBE models but still very much interested in the new too. With his dcskunkworks, he goes further than that and has tried to push the G&L envelope in a similar fashion as Tim Page who created the Buffalo Brothers Special Editions. Only difference: Dean doesn’t have an store outlet for his models! Doesn’t mean people don’t know about him and the kind of prototypes he has created. He is most famous for a number of 12-string guitars he designed starting with one based on the Comanche, which acted as a proof of concept guitar. After all the other guitars discussed below were finished, the pickups on this proof of concept guitar were changed to wide bobbin MFD pups as found on the ASAT and this Z-12 became an A-12. Next he modified one of Will Ray’s own Signature models to create the Z-12 WR presented to Will at the 2004 NAMM. After the expo, G&L built him 4 hard-rock maple necks with 12” rosewood fingerboards, Dunlop Medium Jumbo 6100 frets, 1⅝” nut, and headstocks with only a G&L decal but without holes such that Dean could experiment with the lay-out of the tuners. David Crosby received a 2-pickup Z-12 with Strat type body which he used on the 2005 Crosby/Stills/Nash tour. An ASAT Classic Semi-Hollow body without f-holes was extensively used as a test bed for hardware improvements notably the integration of a Saddle-Lock bridge with Gotoh 12-string saddles allowing each string to be intonated separately. This guitar was later repurposed for something completely different and is no longer a Z-12. All previous Z-12s have an ash body except for the fourth one still in existence, affectionately known as ‘Big Red’. Dean received the solid all mahogany ASAT Deluxe body at the end of 2005. He slightly modified 2 Z-coil pickups such that they would fit underneath the humbucker sized pickup covers (note the absence of holes for pole piece screws). The guitar has a 3-way pickup selector, separate volume controls for each pickup and no tone control, which according to Dean is unnecessary on a 12-string. The mini-toggle is merely there to fill the existing hole. Six of the string are thru-body, the other six are anchored in the bridge. All the hardware on the body is gold coated including the ferules in the back. The headstock has 6 black G&L stamped Schaller tuners interlaced with 6 black satin LSR Precision Tuners. It is worthwhile to check out the “horse’s mouth” at:


G&L Z-12 ‘Big Red’

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2005

Serial number:    CLF33119 (one of 4 12-strings built by dcskunkworks)

Neck date:          none but one of 4 made in 2004, marked ‘A’, ‘Z-12’, ‘#2’

Body date:          OCT 05 2005

Strings:               D’Addario EXL150 Nickel Wound 12-String Regular Light (10-46)

Sometimes crazy stuff happens.  Half an hour after Craig Dewey’s Will Ray Signature Model was paid for, I receive an email from Dean in which he offers me this guitar. I didn’t have to think too long about it; one does not get many opportunities like this. Very similar to my feeling when I was offered Bob Page’s decked out ASAT Trinity Special Edition. An absolutely unique instrument with plenty of mojo. Dean sent it to me in an official G&L branded G&G tweed case but my wife didn’t like the looks. So I swapped it with the tolex case previously associated with my ASAT Bluesboy Semi-Hollow. And what a beauty it is! Using the 2 volume controls to mix the 2 pups allows you a large variety of tones provided by the clear sounding Z-coils. And you get that jingle-jangle sound you use a 12-string for of course.