This custom ordered G&L ASAT Special features:
- Alder body with Fullerton Red finish and Satin Frost Top Coat, 7.8 pounds
- Front and Rear body contour
- Original Leo Spec. 1.625" body depth
- Satin clear 'Modern Classic' neck, 9.5" radius, 1-11/16" nut width
- Rosewood fretboard
- Medium Jumbo Jescar frets
- G&L split and drilled tuners
- (2) G&L Large MFD pickups
- Tortoise shell pickguard
- G&L Saddle Lock Bridge (set screw on the side locks the saddles together for better sustain)
- Volume and Tone Control, 3-way switch
- Plek® Laser Guided fret finishing
- G&L deluxe tolex hardshell case
- Made in the USA
It's tough to beat Fullerton Red for a classic 60's vibe that does not look glaringly retro. And the addition of the satin frost topcoat subdues the gloss, giving it a somewhat vintage sheen without being aged. The slightly thinner "Original Leo Spec" body has been standard for a couple years now, (the original Tele is 1-7/8" thick) and the body contours are comfy and help shave off a touch of weight.
The G&L large MFD (magnetic field design) pickup is unique to the G&L brand. Developed by Leo Fender at G&L, it employs a fairly low resistance coil (~5K range) and ceramic bar magnet construction. That may sound like a P-90 but not really; and unlike conventional high output pickups, the MFD combines strong output and wide frequency response. The MFD has the touch sensitivity, dynamics and slightly scooped midrange of great vintage single coils, but with greater tonal flexibility and output. The neck pickup has a glassy quality that is clean and articulate with a nice slightly hollow Strat tone on the upper frets. But its broad frequency response and strong low end make it very versatile, and it can easily mimic a rounder Tele or even a Jazzmaster-ish vibe. Roll off the tone control, and it takes on a warmer character, while still retaining upper and low end definition. The MFD is not just different, it's a real improvement; and the ASAT large MFD is one of the sweetest and most versatile neck pickups available in any guitar.
The bridge pickup has plenty of jangle and twang without being too sharp, and is great for clean, crisp rhythm playing. It's very much like a traditional Tele® pickup, but with a top end sweetness that most Tele pickups lack. While not voiced for hard rock, the bridge has plenty of output, and with a good pedal produces a sparkly crunch that is great for roots music or a little Tom Petty. There is a lot of high end content on tap, so rolling off the tone control a bit yields a thicker, warmer sounding tone. Both pickups together create that familiar twang and cluck that you'd expect, and with great clarity. But there's a sweetness to the top end that keeps it from getting too bright or tiring. Pickers will love this position, and so will rhythm guitarists and fans of California rock like the Byrds and Eagles.
The neck on this guitar is the standard Modern Classic which blends a slightly wider nut width with G&L's Slim C profile, and a 9.5" radius fretboard. The wider nut reduces the chance of string falloff, and the slimmer profile and 9.5" radius keeps the extra width from feeling cumbersome. G&L makes several different neck profiles, but the Modern Classic has really been a hit with players of all types.
G&L's MFD pickups make this guitar great for blues, roots, or country, but it also has the output and presence to grind out tasty rock crunch. Once you've gotten used to the clarity, power and versatility of G&L's MFD pickups, conventional single coil pickups sound a little thin and uninspiring.The G&L ASAT Special looks familiar, but it stretches beyond the humble roots of its classic predecessors to render both traditional and modern sounds, with Custom Shop workmanship at an off-the-rack price.