This custom USA ASAT Classic S features:
- Old School Tobacco finish on Swamp Ash, 7.8 pounds
- Scraped Wood binding
- Original Leo Spec. 1.625" body depth
- Vintage tint satin maple neck
- Modern Classic neck profile, 9.5" radius, 1-11/16" nut width
- Optional Indian Rosewood fingerboard
- Medium jumbo frets
- G&L split and drilled tuners
- Tortoise Shell pickguard
- G&L MFD ASAT “ashtray” bridge pickup assembly
- G&L MFD S-500 middle pickup, reverse wound
- G&L MFD neck pickup
- Volume and tone controls
- 5-way pickup switch with pull volume control for 7 total sounds
- Plek® laser guided fret finishing
- Deluxe tolex hardshell case
- Made in Fullerton, CA
While G&L has many standout instruments, the ASAT Classic S is one of our favorites. The flexibility of the "Nashville" pickup format is hard to beat, and unless you need a vibrato there is not much the ASAT Classic S cannot do (It's part of our live rig). G&L's MFD pickups follow a different path to getting strong output and dynamics. By using a low resistance coil and a relatively strong ceramic bar magnet, the MFD pickups blend both extended frequency response and ample output. While having less midrange scoop than a traditional Fender-style pickup, they drive pedals well and have enough midrange presence to work well in live settings.
The original Tele® is a pickup is an enigma: Players want to love it, but the pickups are variable at best, and often muddy and compressed. The G&L ASAT Classic MFD pickup really "fixes" the Tele neck pickup, and you get lovely round, slightly hollow tones but with less compression and greater clarity. Like any MFD pickup there is great string-to-string separation, and chords shimmer with depth and clarity. Full up, it's got a lot of power and can really drive pedals. But don't forget to turn it down and explore a varying range of tonal shades. A little volume roll-off brings out a nice vintage character without the mush. For rich blues-infused crunch, this pickup works nicely with moderate amounts of overdrive. Remember, most early Zeppelin was a Tele....
The bridge pickup is a show-stealer with twangy Tele goodness, fuller midrange and less of an icy top end. Big rock tones are no problem with this guitar, and it's got humbucker-like output with marvelous harmonic complexity and sparkling detail. It's a great pickup for lead guitar work, and with your favorite stomp box you can rock this guitar one moment and dial it back in an instant for a country number.
The reverse wound S-500 middle pickup has more body and a little less high end response than a traditional middle pickup. But on the plus side it's not overly sharp or thin, which is often an issue with middle pickups. It's hard to describe the "middle pickup sound" but you know it when you hear it. It's the sound of Stevie Ray Vaughan or Henry Garcia of Los Lonely Boys. You can easily cover this tone with the Classic S.
The in-between positions on Classic S have that classic out-of-phase cluck, but with more punch and clarity than the typical Strat®. Lastly, pulling up the volume control lets you access the traditional neck+bridge pickup combination, which has that characteristic country twang that is perfect for shimmering rhythm playing, or a little chicken pick'n. Throughout the range, the MFD pickups add a touch more midrange and girth, providing classic tone but with more body.
While "vintage tone" rules the hearts and minds of the guitar forums, the G&L ASAT Classic S provides traditional vintage flavors but with the output, clarity and punch that makes it great for both recording and live performances (And you can plug your ASAT and your Les Paul in the same amp and not have to redo all your settings). With its highly flexible morph of Tele/Strat sounds, and the ability to put out some serious crunch, the ASAT Classic S takes Leo's famous "plank" far beyond its humble roots.