This ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90 features the following:
- Tobacco Sunburst finish on Alder, 8.0 pounds
- Original Leo Spec. 1.625" body depth
- G&L 'Modern Classic' neck profile, 1-11/16" width at the nut, 9.5" radius
- Maple neck with satin vintage tint finish
- Medium jumbo frets
- Bone nut
- G&L split and drilled tuners
- 3-ply parchment shell pickguard
- G&L P-90 neck pickup
- G&L ASAT Classic MFD bridge pickup
- Ashtray bridge with 6 individual brass saddles
- 3-way switch, volume and tone control
- Plek® laser guided fret finishing
- 10 year warranty and certificate of authenticity
- Deluxe tolex hardshell case
The P-90 pickup was originally developed by Gibson around 1946, and was a mainstay in their hollow body jazz line for years. It was the also original pickup used in the the first Les Paul guitars in the early 50's. Using a fairy shallow, wide bobbin and a bar magnet underneath, the P-90 "Soapbar" develops a thicker tone than a traditional Fender single coil, with more midrange.
Many players have never experienced a good P-90 pickup, and oftentimes they are wound too hot, making them sound stuffy and dull. The G&L P-90 is anything but that. Moderate in output, the G&L P-90 is open and clean with a full midrange, defined bass response, and a high end that is softly rounded but detailed. It sounds more open and less compressed than a traditional Alnico Tele® pickup, with better attack on the wound strings and more upper end clarity.
Played cleanly, the P-90 has has enough attack to punch through the mix, but it's got some body and it's not sharp or spiky. Paired with an alder body, it's punchy with solid wound string response and a high end that is bright but with more girth than a Fender style single coil. As more gain is applied, the pickup takes on a creamy voice that sings nicely, without a stuffy, congested midrange honk that afflicts over wound pickups. There is still a good amount of note definition, and again it's less mushy than a traditional Tele neck pickup. How does it sound compared to the chrome covered humbucker used in the standard Bluesboy? Leaner, cleaner, with more high end extension and a tighter low end. For jazz or really fat blues crunch the humbucker is a good choice, but the P-90 stylistically is a closer cousin to the bridge pickup.
The ASAT Classic bridge pickup is well known for its strong output, excellent clarity, and ability to both twang and rock. The low notes have a great chewy, bouncy twang that is perfect for country picking, and there's plenty of detail, depth and sparkly sweet high end. However the ASAT's beefy output also makes it a great lead pickup, and with overdrive this pickup bursts forth with rich detailed overtones and tons of sonic complexity. It's reminiscent of a Les Paul Jr. (also a P-90), but with fewer mids and less snarl. Don't be fooled by its looks: This can be a serious rock and roll pickup, or you can play a Square Dance with it.
Tonally, these pickups work nicely together, and are closely matched in output. Both pickups combined produce a nice sparkly rhythm tone with lots of chime and detail. The bass is very clean with a nice springy vibe, and it's a great setting for county picking, or when you feel like knocking out a little George Harrison or Chet Atkins.
The G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy 90 is a great marriage of G&L's excellent P-90, and their immensely flexible ASAT bridge pickup. These pickups are great individually, and there is also plenty of synergy between the two. If you don't think you like P-90 pickups, it may be because you have not played a good one. G&L has made a really good P-90, and in the process opened up a new range of options for players willing to think out of the box and forge their own style.