G & L ASAT: classic vs. special

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gasp100, Feb 3, 2008.


  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd like to hear from some current G & L ASAT owners (in particular USA made guitars) about their prefence, experiences, likes and dislikes between the special model (that has the 2 big ole MFD oversized pups) and the classic that has the standard sized traditional tele pups. I owned an ASAT Tribute special (MIK) with the big pups and I did like their character, although I felt the bridge pup didn't do too well with higher gain (could have been my amp setup at the time). Also, I did feel like I was locked in with the pups because of the shape and size of them, however I have since noticed some people have used Rio Grandes <never heard those pups> with good success if modification was in order.
    Also, any opinions on semi hollow vs. solid for a tele style guitar? I do dig semi's (although I don't know how noticeable this is in a smaller bodied guitar). I assume solid might provide a little more crisp and clear "spank"?
    Thanks!
     
  2. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a matter of preference. I stick with the Classic because it has the warmth and power I need. Specials sound kind of harsh at home, but sound PERFECT on a loud stage. If you're going to feel locked in by those Special pickups, no need to get that guitar ...
     
  3. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

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    I own a ASAT Classic (USA)- It's a little darker tone than a Fender Tele, has more output, sounds more modern almost "Straty". Very nice playing guitar

    I sold a ASAT Special Semi-hollow (USA)- It was the most beautiful guitar I ever owned. With the p90 size MFD pickups it sounded like heaven played clean but weak and thin with just slight grind. Had better success with other semi-hollow's, weird. I will be trying a ASAT Special solidbody sometime in the future.

    Both ASAT's I had felt like a million dollars when playing them!

    Oh Yeah..the stock pickups (classic & special) have adjustable pole pieces on the pickups. A GREAT feature for dailing in string-to-string balance!
     
  4. SLG

    SLG Member

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    If you are looking to get more of a Tele sound, stay with the classic. The G&L pickups are a little more full sounding than a vintage Tele. The big benefit is they are very low noise. If you are someone who likes to swap pickups, stay with the classic. The classic gives you the ability to swap in any standard telecaster pickups. I prefer the stock G&L pickups, but it's nice to have the option of trying something else.

    The MFD pickups in the Special have their own unique sound. The earlier models (pre-92) are lower ouput than the more recent pickups. The tone of the pickups is between the ASAT Classic and a P90. If you go with the ASAT Special you will need to spend a little time tweaking your setup to find the tonal combination that sounds right to you. Amps and signal chains optimized for standard Tele & Strat pickups will not automatically sound the best with the MFD pickups. That's not a bad thing; after all the MFD is a unique pickup with it's own unique sound. If you are prone to trying new pickups, pass on the ASAT Special. The only option I am aware of is Rio Grande.

    I've owned both semi-hollow and solid-bodied ASAT's. I never could hear much difference from a tonal stand point. The solid ash ASAT's have a little more Tele spank than the alder bodies or semi-hollow bodies. I like the semi-hollow guitars because of the weight difference. All the semi-hollow guitars I've tried have been less than 7 lbs. I just like lightweight guitars. Some people prefer a more solid feel to their instrument.
     
  5. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys, this is turning into an excellent resource for people with similar questions/interest in the ASAT line from G&L. Like I said, I do have experience with the special but not the classic (or a similar "traditional style tele), which might be the opposite of most people. I really did like the special pups for certain situations and would definitely buy another one in a heartbeat, but it's not the next guitar on my list if you know what I mean.
    If a G & L ASAT classic is to Fender Tele like a G & L Legacy is to a Fender Strat, I AM SOLD on the ASAT classic... The Legacy pup has the same type of tonal character difference that you have described to a Fender strat - I love it. We did some A/B'ing yesterday and my buddy was very impressed with the Legacy overall, especially with the pups. People describe them as being a little more hi-fi, more clarity and solid with less noise vs. Fender (or other similar pups) and I have to agree. I can see how some people would not dig the sounds (not vintage enough) but it works for me.
    Now, the special pickups are really different altogether and not comparable in this context. I agree they are like a mix between a Tele and a P90. Definitely an interesting and cool sound.
    But, for right now I'm looking for a more traditional Tele vibe with a little more oomph, so this looks like the ticket.
     
  6. rpjones

    rpjones Member

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    the Asat Classic is a fabulous take on the classic Telecaster, but they are pretty finicky if you play with a lot of gain. The bridge pickup will howl like a banshee. But if you play with a lot of gain you are probably not going down the Tele road anyway. I have a '94 solid alder body with maple fingerboard. Everyone that plays it thinks it is a great guitar. You can get a typical tele sound on the bridge pickup if you roll the volume off just a little (it is hotter than a standard tele bridge) and the neck pickup is very versatile. Some do not like the ceramic G&L pickups, saying they are too "hi-fi" or clinical. If you don't like them it is an easy swap for something else.
     
  7. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    This concerns me enough to make another post soon. The Tele bridge pup "howl" is something I haven't heard of until yesterday and it seems like the G&L might suffer the same issues.
    My bud has a really nice Fender Tele with a Bill Lawrence pup in the bridge which just kills clean, but howls with what I consider medium gain (if that) forcing him to swap out the pup. I'm not going to pay decent money for a Tele that can't handle some gain... I mean, the Tele is THE rock n roll guitar, right? Do the specials have this issue to? My tribute seemed okay with the specials?
     
  8. grapeshot

    grapeshot Supporting Member

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    I've owned two Specials and both were great guitars. Really nice P90ish tone. I really want a Classic Custom, that has one of the Special pickups in the neck position.
     
  9. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I just bought a G&L Bluesboy off of ebay. I'm pretty stoked, it has the Seth Lover in the neck position and people rave about that pickup. This way I know at least one pup is completely kick ass and I have high hopes for the bridge pup. But, because it's standard size it can be replaced without issue.
    The playability of my Legacy (3 bolt) neck is amazing, a very well put together guitar. I can only hope this Bluesboy is the T style compliment to it... I sure hope so.
    :JAM
     
  10. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    I loved my ASAT Classic, but I get more mileage out of my Specials. They've got a lot of sparkle AND a lot of muscle and really good definition. I played an ash Special and it just didn't do it for me; there was a noticeable loss of muscle.

    As for Specials sounding harsh, just turn your bright switch off :p

    If you want a great sounding Tele, get a Classic. If you want a great sounding GUITAR, get a Special.
     
  11. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Supporting Member

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    I recently bought an asat classic and love the feel, however I have found the MFD pickups are too hot for my taste. It is a really well made guitar pretty close to being on par with my EBMM Silhouette Special. It sounds good, but I didn't realize how much I grew to like the lower output pickups of the Silhouette until I bought the ASAT. I just ordered a set of Bill Lawrence Keystones as replacements so we'll see. (I also considered Rio Grande but it seemed a toss up and the Keystones were less expensive.)

    I realize I did not completely answer your question, but it's worth mention if you are used to lower out pickups.

    Hope this helps!

    Matt
     

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