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View Full Version : G&L ASAT Tele looks great - but the pickups?!


MarkF786
01-12-2010, 07:20 PM
I've been thinking of getting a Tele and the G&L models look great, but WTF is the deal with the pickups? I want a traditional Tele sound, and I don't think G&L's MFD pickups will give me that sound. I really wish they offered an ASAT Tele with traditional pickups.

Can anyone give me feedback on the G&L MFD pickups? For a classic sound, would I have to replace them with a more traditional pickup?

Mark

Loobster
01-12-2010, 07:23 PM
They sound amazing, but they aren't what you're looking for if you want a 'traditional' Tele sound. They are a lot bigger sounding, fatter, more present. Just sounds like a Tele on steroids or maybe a cross between a vintage Tele pickup and a P90.

Strat
01-12-2010, 07:36 PM
They are better than tele pu's....which is why they are there.

morgan918
01-12-2010, 07:44 PM
You kinda need to hear them. They're pretty amazing. Lots of string definition, very clear, and like loobster said a cross between a p90 and a tele, but I'd add with some clarifying filter on top, if that makes sense. Incredible pickups.

Loobster
01-12-2010, 07:46 PM
Very very clear, yes! Loads of definition. They sound amazing for pretty much everything, incredibly responsive. Every guitarist that hears or plays my US ASAT Special asks to buy it from me.

mediocreplayer
01-12-2010, 09:21 PM
I am glad there are many people who like the MFD's. I was shopping for an ASAT with no chance to play one, and basically asked the same question somewhere else, and got almost the exact same replies.

I bought the guitar. I hated the pups with a passion. I found them too loud and not sweet-sounding at all -- someone said this is a function of the ceramic vs. alnico. But I couldn't wait to get rid of that guitar. The buyer who played it loved it and said it is miles better than his Tele, so it's obviously a sound with many admirers, but I am not one of them, and neither will be anyone who is looking for a traditional Tele sound.

geetarman
01-12-2010, 09:43 PM
I like the MFD's alot if you roll the volume back you can get some Tele like tones but if you want a true traditional Tele sound you're going to have to replace the pups.

SkydogFan81
01-13-2010, 01:08 PM
I replaced mine with some Curtis Novaks...killer Trad Tele sounds!

D.G.
01-13-2010, 01:14 PM
I hate to say it, but if you want a trad tele sound, just buy a trad tele.

I loved the sound of the G&L's I've owned, but I really need a tummy cut on a tele shape or it's too uncomfortable to play, especially standing. I currently own a Am Deluxe Tele w/ SCN's and I really like it, but it also is more of a variant on the classic tele tone than an absolute clone.

shark_bite
01-13-2010, 01:18 PM
ASAT != Tele

G&L doesn't make a Tele. They make ASATs. Good for them. It drives me nuts when people call them Teles though. T-type? Sure. Inspired by? Most definitely. But if you want a true Telecaster, I'm not sure anything on their product line fits the bill. The ASAT Classic is as close as they get, but with 6 saddles, it's a different guitar.

Besides, Teles don't come with an inferiority complex that requires their owners to bash all similar guitars. Apparently G&Ls do. Good for them.

tnvol
01-13-2010, 01:18 PM
I love the pups in my ASAT. Better than any Fender tele I've played.

Bryan T
01-13-2010, 01:24 PM
I love the large MFD pickups in the ASAT Special, but they definitely aren't a traditional sound. If you want more aftermarket options, get the ASAT Classic. While it still has MFD pickups, they are traditionally sized pickups and it has the tele-style bridge.

hcole
01-13-2010, 03:44 PM
Besides, Teles don't come with an inferiority complex that requires their owners to bash all similar guitars. Apparently G&Ls do. Good for them.

I guess it only makes them passive aggressive!

All things considered if you're looking for traditional tele sounds you'll probably want to change the pups.

bobcs71
01-13-2010, 03:47 PM
I've played ASATs on & off for years. I like the MFD pickups but no, they aren't a traditional tele pickup design.

shark_bite
01-13-2010, 03:50 PM
I guess it only makes them passive aggressive!

All things considered if you're looking for traditional tele sounds you'll probably want to change the pups.

:D

All in jest of course. But really, there's a disturbingly high incidence of G&L owners who bash Fenders just because they're Fenders. Leaves me with a really sour taste in my mouth when it comes to G&L, no matter how good they actually are.

Gasp100
01-13-2010, 03:52 PM
I have had several ASAT's and the closest you are going to get is in ASAT Classic on roll off the volume (and tone) until you're ready for a lead. Really nice guitars, not completely traditional Tele though. FWIW I had an ASAT upgraded with a Callaham Bridge/Saddles and Fred Stuart pups in it... man that was nice, should have kept it!

jads57
01-13-2010, 04:14 PM
I actually liked the G&L Tele type p/ups except for single coil buzz. Give Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe Guitars (p/up maker) he can make any thing you want at a resonable price!

morgan918
01-13-2010, 05:21 PM
I bought the guitar. I hated the pups with a passion. I found them too loud and not sweet-sounding at all -- someone said this is a function of the ceramic vs. alnico.

I agree with the pickups not being sweet sounding. I think that's what I liked about them though. But like others said, if you want a traditional tele sound, get a real tele. I do love the way the asat's play though, more than my teles.

frank4001
01-14-2010, 08:00 AM
Try this for the bridge pick up if you havn't...Its not going to nail it but I think it gets closer. Lower pole all the way down and slightly raise the middle ones. Adjust the height to match the front volume. I like them but I can understand people who don't. They are very aggressive and you have to use your tone control. I have to use the tone control on my '63 too though so...I like the pick ups but I can understand how some people don't.

Rob 62
01-14-2010, 08:24 AM
I've owned both a G&L ASAT Classic (great guitar), and a couple of different Telecasters. As other posters have pointed out - they are different animals. I lifted the following description from my post in another thread on G&L - it tries to describe the difference in sound and response of the two pickups (MFD/ceramic vs. Traditional/AlNiCo).

A typical Telecaster pickup is strong on the fundamental, without a lot of overtones - this is where the term "dry" usually comes up. The G&L MFD pickups are anything but dry. I'd describe them as fat and round, featuring a lot of harmonic overtones, a lot of output, and more of a hi-fi sound, overall. With a high signal-to-noise ratio, they were much quieter than any Fender pickup I own, or any P-90.

Doc W
01-14-2010, 09:26 AM
shark, I own an ASAT Classic and I agree with you about a lot of G&L owners. I don't quite get why they get so riled up.

I like the ASAT but it did take a while to get over it not being a Tele. I like it for what it is and I do play a lot of country with it. It has a real nice twang in the right amp, but it is not the same as a Tele. I think it is no accident that Fender guitars sound so good in Fender amps and I think that my SR draws a certain something out of the ASAT that other amps might not. I hope that doesn't sound nutty.

For the record, I also play a Fender Strat (my main guitar) and a Gibson ES-345.

jadams71
01-14-2010, 03:15 PM
I would think you would want to look at the classic series rather then the special series of ASAT's. I will admit that G&L's are as some have said like fender teles on steroids but then why not buy a fender and replace the pick-ups rather then a G&L?

curtis
01-14-2010, 03:45 PM
I loved my asat sooo much when I first got it apart from one thing - the tone wasnt distinctive enough for my tastes. Plays like a mofo tho, kind of the best electric I've ever played.
I never expected it to sound like a tele, but it didnt sound like anything, if that makes sense. Then I kind of realized that it sounds like an asat, and thats that!
I rag the back out of that guitar at every oportunity, I recently got a road worn tele which i feel the same about.
If you want tele tone, get a tele, but try the asat first - you never know.

hunter
01-14-2010, 07:20 PM
Lower the neck pup about as low as it will go. It'll probably go down until the ears are flush or slightly below the pickguard. Lower the bridge pup until you get the volume where you want it relative to the neck. I usually raise the treble side back up on both pups very slightly (~1/16). Sweeter, and still plenty of output and clarity.

G&L recommends setting the pups much higher in their setup manuals but I hear the goods with the pups lower. I've got a lot of hours on ASATs and they're still favorites. If lowering the pups doesn't work out then you probably just don't like em.

hunter

hb_nz
01-15-2010, 04:07 PM
I ended up replacing the pickups in both of my G&L's mostly because those damn bridge pickups are so microphonic. I also found myself on occasion wanting that more traditional tele tone, but I have to say the original pickups recorded very well and they certainly weren't bad sounding pickups - just different. At times the bridge pickup with some OD sounded almost like a tele crossed with a ceramic P90 - which ain't a bad thing at all IMO. As a note about pickup construction they read 3.7K and yet are LOUD - which shows there's more to how they perform than what reading they give...

In the end, I don't think they will appeal to traditionalists but they're still a good and interesting pickup in their own right.

richey88
02-08-2010, 03:35 PM
Here's fuel for the fire:
http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii126/richey888/CVT.jpg

http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii126/richey888/telepu.jpg

Classic Vibe tele, bought used ($149 woo-hoo!) but definitely G&L ASAT pickups (see this pic from a bona-fide G&L (my crap camera phone pix don't do 'er justice but the CV pickups look JUST like this, down to the white cloth around the brigde p/u):
http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii126/richey888/asat.jpg


Why would you take the pickups from an ASAT and install in a Classic Vibe? I'm not complaining mind you, I like the sound. A little raunchier than a standard Tele, but there are CTS pots in there so easing off on volume and tone does wonders!

Just thought I'd show y'all. Look for Classic Vibe Rock and Woods Junction videos by richey88 on YouTube (I'm at work and YT is blocked) to hear this unusual bird in action...

brikus
02-08-2010, 03:58 PM
I've been thinking of getting a Tele and the G&L models look great, but WTF is the deal with the pickups? I want a traditional Tele sound, and I don't think G&L's MFD pickups will give me that sound. I really wish they offered an ASAT Tele with traditional pickups.

Can anyone give me feedback on the G&L MFD pickups? For a classic sound, would I have to replace them with a more traditional pickup?

Mark


If you want the Tele sound, an Asat classic is the way to go, IMO
I personally tried an Asat special, with two of those big pickups they have @ G&L. It definitely does NOT sound like a Tele, but don't get me wrong, it's still a GREAT guitar. Plays like butter and the sound kicks all kinds of ass. The bridge pup is really good, the neck one is simply amazing.

DavidMgT
02-08-2010, 04:15 PM
The MFD pickups are outstanding, but do not sound like tele pickups.