This is as mint condition customer return guitar with all paperwork and original case.
This USA G&L Z-3 features the following:
- Clear Forest Green on Swamp Ash, 7.8 pounds
- Original Leo Spec. 1.625" body depth
- Rear contour for extra comfort
- Satin clear G&L 'Modern Classic' neck, 1-11/16" nut width, 9.5" radius
- Carribean Rosewood fretboard
- Medium jumbo frets
- G&L split and drilled tuners
- Plek® laser-guided fret and nut finishing
- G&L Z-Coil MFD noiseless pickups (w/"Will Ray" bridge Z-coil)
- 3-Ply White Pearl Pickguard
- G&L Saddle Lock bridge for outstanding bell-like sustain
- 5-way pickup switch for traditional Strat® type pickup combinations
- Pull volume for neck+bridge or all three
- Deluxe hard shell Tolex case
The G&L Z-Coil pickups are typically associated with the more popular Comanche guitar, but in the ASAT they take on a quite a different character. A chunkier body and saddle lock bridge design results in a sound that is a little less aggressive than the Comanche, with a sweet top end and more substantial lows. In addition we specifically like how Swamp Ash compliments the Z-coils; as it provides a sweeter top end and a more restrained midrange response that enhances the overall balance. Looks great too.
These are dual coil pickups, where the side-by-side arrangement of the coils creates true single coil sound, but with a lot more output and a broad, flat response. The Z-Coils have tremendously good balance, and there are no dead spots anywhere in across the tonal spectrum. As a result you do lose a little of that glassy midrange scoop characteristic of a traditional Legacy-type single coil, but the benefits are great sensitivity to playing style and excellent pedal performance. And no noise.
Working the pickup switch, pull volume, and the tone controls, the Z-3 can elicit everything from twangy country, smooth and articulate clean tones, chicken pickin' or neck tones that are reminiscent of an ES-335. The in-between position are strong, clear, and have that wonderful out of phase quack without sounding thin and anemic. If you like switch position 2 and 4 on your Strat, the Z-3 will knock your socks off. The Z Coils also love pedals, and the strong output and even response of the MFD pickups creates big, articulate rock tones with great string-to-string definition and lots of harmonic content. Using a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive pedal we got nice fat lead and rhythm tones that were crunchy and detailed but never harsh. Not as glassy as a traditional single coil, but more substantial in the manner of a humbucker but with greater midrange clarity and note separation.
One little-known tweak we added is the former "Will Ray" version of the Z-coil bridge pickup. With more windings that the regular MFD Z pickup, it adds bumps the mids for a thicker tone with slightly softer highs. For those that feel the Z-coils have a little too much high end, this is the cure. It also works great with overdrive and distortion pedals. While not an official option, it's also available separately at the oneline G&L parts store on their website.
The neck on this guitar is the standard Modern Classic decked out with a handsome Chechen fretboard. It is a fairly new Rosewood-alternative at G&L and is often referred to as "Carribean Rosewood". The color is a little lighter than most Rosewood, and it reminds us of Pau Ferro. It's dense, tight grained, very smooth, and we found it to be smooth feeling and percussive. Absolutely no reservations, and it's CITES-friendly. The Modern Classic profile 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.
The G&L ASAT Z-3 is really a breed unto itself. You get all the familiar 5-way sounds that you'd expect out of a three pickup guitar, plus the Nashville-ready neck+bridge combo just by pulling the volume knob. Plus you get the noise-free enhanced dynamics of the Z-Coil pickups that just ooze power, detail and clarity. A true chameleon wrapped up Leo's classic T-shape, the G&L ASAT Z-3 is worth a serious look.