Long, long ago, Leo Fender created an all time classic – a single-cutaway electric guitar with a bolt-on maple neck, two single-coil pickups and 25.5-inch scale length. Then, not quite as long ago, he created another one … the G&L ASAT Classic.
G&L is the guitar company founded by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Dale Hyatt in the late 1970s. Leo sold his eponymous company Fender to CBS in 1965. He designed and produced instruments for Music Man in the 1970s through his company CLF Research. When relations with Music Man soured, G&L was created to continue Leo’s passion for guitar innovation. The G&L name comes from the initials of George Fullerton and Leo Fender.
G&L instruments are similar to the classic Fenders, but with some innovations. They were built at the same facility on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California that produced the early Music Man instruments. Based on Leo’s original Telecaster design, and originally named The Broadcaster, the name was changed to ASAT (After Stratocaster After Telecaster) in the mid 80s.
While the G&L ASAT may never match the hallowed status of a vintage Telecaster, Leo’s 80s remake has been around long enough now to be considered a bit of a legend in itself.
Much of the ASAT Classic’s design is all about being quite Tele-like but not too Tele-like. So the basic outline and construction are broadly the same, but an extra curve in the scratchplate and a kink in the headstock make it clear this is not just Mr Fender’s tribute to himself. More significant, G&L’s own MFD pickups were designed for higher output than the earlier Fender equivalents.
Other features to note include six individual brass saddles, a ‘modern classic’ neck profile with 9.5-inch radius and medium jumbo frets, and a bone nut.
Body Details: Solid ash body with belly contour
Finish: Original Translucent Blue
Neck Details: Figured Birdseye Maple Neck & Fingerboard
Neck Profile: Medium C profile
Neck Thickness 0.83″ (1st fret); 0.87″ (12th fret)
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5”
Nut Width: 1-21/32”
Truss Rod: Adjustment is at the nut
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan humbucker with coil tap
Bridge Pickup: Leo Fender designed G&L MFD alnico single coil pickup made in Fullerton, California
Controls: 3 way switch, master volume and master tone.
Hardware: Enclosed G&L tuners, steel bridge with individual brass saddles
Hardware Finish: Original Chrome
Scale Length: 25.5”/648mm
Neck Depth: 20.7mm at first fret, 24.2 mm at 12th fret
String Spacing: 35mm at nut, 54mm at bridge
Weight: 8.5 lbs
Re Pickups: The Duncan humbucker in the neck position has a coil tap switch engaged by pulling the tone knob up. This allows for single coil sounds, humbucking tones, and some nice options when combined with the bridge pickup.
Taking a standard maple-board Telecaster as a reference point, the MFD bridge pickup has just as much chime in the top end but distinctly more beef in the lower mids. MFD pickups with individual adjustment of each pole piece, letting the player effectively adjust the output of each string on each pickup. MFDs yield about twice the output per wind, making the pickup quieter while allowing a greater overall output. The sound of MFDs is fatter, slightly warmer with a broader frequency response and greater volume.
By the mid 1990s G&L started to create some more “special” versions of the ASAT Classic, almost a precursor to their own G&L Custom Shop, now in existence. These guitars were designated as the ASAT Classic Custom model, and could be custom ordered to the buyer’s own specifications, to some degree anyway.
These Classic Custom instruments featured the finest cuts of wood and unsurpassed craftsmanship coming together in some of the most spectacular instruments ever made by G&L. The philosophy was – it’s not just what you see, but what you feel that makes the difference. From exquisite fretwork to pickguard edges and fingerboards delicately sanded and buffed to feel like an instrument loved and played for decades.
This particular ASAT Classic Custom was a special order that included the beautiful Trans Blue finish over ash body, and a very special neck carve. The template for the neck on this one was taken from an original 1954 Blackguard Fender Telecaster, which was owned at the time by the owner of this ASAT. As you can see in the pics, the neck wood itself is a stunning single piece of birds eye maple. And an absolutely killer neck it is too.
It was created especially for its one owner and supplied as a gift by G&L USA in 1997 when his band was touring the US regularly. There is not another ASAT in existence with these specs.
This very special ASAT Classic has been used on some of the biggest stages in the world, and has proven its pedigree. It is in excellent condition having been well looked after by its owner since new. There are a few minor marks but they are barely noticeable. Minimal fret wear, unchanged original hardware is in good order and everything works as it should.
Body dated 6 January 1997, neck dated 15 January 1997 & signed “Francisco”.
Please note – this is a USA made G&L ASAT Classic Custom, and NOT a Tribute, or Special, which are made elsewhere, to differing standards. This one was built in Fullerton California as a special order for a special client.
The fact is that this is one of the best Tele style guitars we’ve ever listed – of any brand. It is simply a great guitar, built to unique specifications, with a record of serious professional work behind it.
Comes in its original G&L hard case in excellent condition.