In praise of the G&L ASAT Special

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by NoahL, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. NoahL

    NoahL Member

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    Just a few thoughts as I sit at work wishing I were at home playing. Don't think of this guitar as "a Tele that isn't a Tele." Think of it as a very proud cousin, once removed, to a Tele. This is the G&L with the soapbar-sized pickups and the beefy top-mount bridge. Bridge pickup isn't mounted to a baseplate, just to the body like the neck pup. Here's what I like about this guitar. First off, because it's a top-loading bridge, the strings don't feel under so much tension. This guitar doesn't fight you like a through-body Tele or a G&L ASAT Classic. Now, lots of good Tele players like the fight; I like the not-fight. ;-). A buddy of mine has a '78 Tele thinline with the two wide-range pickups, and my guitar reminds me just a little of that one, the relative warmth and roundness -- and I'm sure it's because they're both top-loaders with the pickups mounted to the body. Which gets to the pickups. As others have noted, they're not P-90s. But they're fat and clear and warm and hi-fi and wide-range and unlike any other pickups on earth. Be prepared to roll off the tone knob, cuz they can get pitchy. And be ready to lower the pups and whatnot. You'll need to fiddle. But the ASAT gives you a special, wide tone palette -- that can get plenty Tele-like if you tweak it -- plus a different kind of playability than any Fender Tele. Give one a shot sometime and don't go in thinking, "This should sound like a Tele." Think, does this guitar have a cool tone or not? P.S.: I don't work for G&L or any store. I work for an ad agency that pitches dental products and software -- which is why I sit here thinking about guitars.
     
  2. Joseph Hanna

    Joseph Hanna Member

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    I've had countless guitar's over the last 25 years....countless. I've even owned an original 1962 Strat. The only guitar out of all of them that I didn't and won't sell is the ASAT Special.

    The pickups are like nothing else out there and for my money the coolest sounding guitar on the planet. That said however, some clubs with their NASTY electric prove to be a real challenge hum wise.

    Great guitar!
     
  3. Dog Boy

    Dog Boy Member

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    i owned one from the late 80s and it was a great sounding guitar. Heavy though, and I couldn't bond with the vintage radius and jumbo frets.
     
  4. mango

    mango Member

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    Mine is an '88,so it's technically just an Asat,but still has the large MFD's.
    I love the guitar,and my little Boogie loves the guitar.
    It does not play well with my Pod though,the p-ups make it tough to get a real good sound out of the red bean.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  5. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    ASATs seem to be a love 'em or hate 'em kinda guitar.

    I have one of the first ASATs ever made. Next to it is an '86 Broadcaster.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. SouthpawGuy

    SouthpawGuy Member

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    I got my first ASAT Special about three weeks ago, got another one last week. Amazing tone from those MFDs.

    The first one is kinda toppy sounding, definitely have to roll off the tone ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    The second one is a '90s three bolt neck one and it is no way near as bright ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. frisco kid

    frisco kid Member

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    Damn I miss this ASAT! Great guitar that could actually do it all...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Chuck King

    Chuck King Member

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    I bought an ASAT Special after spending an afternoon at GC playing every Tele variant they had, plus an ASAT. The only things that came close to it cost well over double what I ended up paying.

    [​IMG]

    A friend of mine also has one---this one has a four-bolt neck (his is three) and the body is a bit thicker than his, and it seems to have a little more "spank" or twang.
     
  9. Karabal

    Karabal Member

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    I LOVE my ASAT special. I bought the tribute version (because I loved the 9.5 radius) and my particular tribute sounded better than the other tributes there. It is currently my #1. I'd never sell it!

    If anyone is curious what the pickups sound like here is a clip of me playing mine w/ my band.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4HDZIqUK2Y
     
    Axe-maniac and surfhard like this.
  10. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    I love mine. The pickups sound great high gain, crunchy or clean. The have the roundness, complexity and interesting character of a single coil but are still hot like a humbucker. A great sounding versatile axe. I also like the fact that the guitar incorporates all the incremental improvements Leo came up over his life. He wasn't stuck in the 50s.

    Karabal, love your band clips.
     
  11. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    A friend of mine that's heard me play about 3 dozen different guitars over the years says the best sound I ever had was my ASAT.
     
  12. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    I play ASATs with trems, and I feel like they're the magical missing link between a Tele and a Jazzmaster. I can't imagine switching guitars at this point. -E
     
  13. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Excellent point. I keep looking at JMs and I keep smelling long term technical headaches, and a general fussiness. I like the body profile - and I can just do that with a USACG JM body with Tele/Esquire works one of these days.

    But the trem ASAT Special covers a lot of that coveted JM ground and does so in a package that functions well and needs no constant triage. I've got 5 USA G + Ls and I cannot find Specials (even just the Saddle Lock ones) in a color combo I like at a price commensurate to the other 5 I have thus far. Rats.
     
  14. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    nice clip and nice song...two broads in the band you are outnumbered my friend

     
  15. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    Uh, ignoring price :dunno you could order a custom job with trem, offset waist, the arm contour (can't think of the technical term) and color of your choice. Or maybe find a new SC-2 with trem (easier, although I don't know what finish you want and I hate the flat radius). I'm tempted to let one of my '60s Mustangs go to finance such a guitar. -E

     
  16. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

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    Good for him! :love: -E

     
  17. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I've owned several ASATs over the years. My favorites were my first (mid 90s ASAT Special ash/rosewood) and my current ('86 ASAT ash/rosewood). Plenty of clarity, great ergonomics, and easy to play. I refretted the '86 with jumbo frets and it is great.

    Bryan
     
  18. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    Got a few hours on this one.


    [​IMG]

    ca 94 ASAT, ash and rosewood. On the heavy side, thin neck, polyester finish. Nothing sexy. It just works. Oh and here is what the rest of it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    hunter
     
  19. Jiffy_Jeff

    Jiffy_Jeff Playin Tunes and Having Fun! Silver Supporting Member

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    Tis mine now!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  20. hey_day

    hey_day Member

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    Has anyone tried to change the pots from 250 k to 500k and check the grounding to alleviate some of the noise and reduce the need to lower the treble constantly?
     

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