Serious GAS: Another Tele or... ASAT?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by The Illustrated Bassist, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. The Illustrated Bassist

    The Illustrated Bassist Member

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    My favorite local store carries Fender and G&L and is considering phasing out Fender (they move the volumes to keep carrying Fender, but there are other issues in the mix). The guys in there love the G&L instruments for the quality... and I've spent a couple of hours playing the ASATs they have in stock. They're good instruments, but I'm really having a hard time seeing how they are superior to a MIM Tele that's a little cheaper or an American Tele in the same price range...

    I've played some Indo and USA ASATs (though not the USA ASAT with the 'regular' sized pickups). I have 2 MIM Standards, and right now, they're the only guitars I have (I just sold my BT Jaguar and BT Jazzmaster - wasn't playing them anymore, I don't keep guitars I'm not going to use). I've though that maybe its time to treat myself to a "higher quality" guitar as I am going to cap the number of electrics at 3... I'm not a collector.

    I hung out at GC today and played an American Standard they had in there. Yes, you can see some of the quality differences, although I'm finding it hard in my mind to justify another $500 for the "differences". I wish they had a Baja Tele to try out; I know it has a chunkier neck but the radius - it should feel about the same looking at the specs online. I love some of the online sound demos I've seen of the Baja, and, its a little cheaper, but I'm not crazy about a traditional Tele bridge. Being able to adjust each string, I think the guitar shreds a little better.

    I've owned a Strat, 335, Ibanez GAX-70, Jet King III, AJD-91, the BT Jaguar and Jazzmaster, and I've sold all of those. I keep picking up Strats, and finding out that I - and I learned to play guitar bouncing between a big Yamaha dreadnought acoustic and that 76 Strat bought new by my parents - don't really like guitars with either floating bridges or tremolos on them (the 335 had a Bigsby on it. That went away quickly for a trapeze tailpiece. Bigsbys are junk IMHO). I'm not a wang bar player, and I don't play music that requires a wang bar, so having another Tele sounds just fine to me. I get great sounds of a Tele for what I do, which is mostly jazz.

    I keep picking up Strats, thinking that I'll find one that I like, but so far, I haven't found one that I like the way it feels (yes I know shop setups usually are factory and nothing to write home about), and I honestly don't think it sounds any better than a Tele (in fact, I think Teles sound *better*).

    I like the way G&Ls look, but... I can't seem to bond with them, and I've read a number of opinions on here, but if I'm going to plunk down $1K for a guitar (then again, I might find another awesome MIM Tele and save myself the cash LOL) I want to make a good decision...

    And oh - for you other jazz players out there - every time I sit down in a GC with a Tele, pick a clean amp sound, and roll of the treble a little with a heavy Jazz III style pick, I get tons of compliments by the passers-by ("I didn't know you could play jazz on a Tele!") :)

    I like the guys in the shop, they've been great to me, but so far, even though they seem very nice, G&Ls don't speak to me in the same way that a Tele does...
     
  2. jpervin

    jpervin Member

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    That should help make your decision easier.
     
  3. upfrontguitars

    upfrontguitars Member

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    The ASAT is somewhat of a Tele on steroids. More output, a little darker sounding but very good dynamics and clarity. The ASAT bridge pickup is an excellent lead guitar pickup: Plenty of output to drive pedals, reasonable midrange, and with overdrive lots of harmonics. Why not order an ASAT the way you want it? You can pick neck profile, camber, frets, fingerboard, body wood, etc. It does not cost any more to order than it does to buy off the rack (at least it should not in theory).

    If you want true vintage Tele tone, stick with an upper end Fender or one of the many custom builders. Or buy a MIM and then plan to spend some money on electronics, and take what you get wood-wise. The ASAT was Leo's "next" Tele. He was not trying to recreate the original.
     
  4. brianr0131

    brianr0131 Member

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    If you want a G&L buy used....the resale SUCKS....which is really only a factor if you buy new. Grab a used one for a great price, they're excellent instruments
     
  5. The Illustrated Bassist

    The Illustrated Bassist Member

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    That was my fear, particularly buying new. They seem to sit on For Sale lists forever... and, if I don't like it, I'm going to really eat it selling it (if I bought new).

    I have a friend that's built her own Strat partscaster that's dying to build me a guitar...
     
  6. cfo_deebiedaddy

    cfo_deebiedaddy Member

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    I love ASAT specials but buy what makes you happy!

    You can easily pick them up used for $650ish, or a tribute series (still a v. nice guitar if you get the right one) for $300-350. But, you're more or less out of luck for aftermarket parts unless you want to throw a Rio Grande pickup in there.
     
  7. BallisticGuitars

    BallisticGuitars Supporting Member

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    I'm really biting my tongue here...

    The superiority of one instrument over another is up to you and what you expect from a guitar. A $500 MIM Tele may seem like a good deal compared to a $1200 ASAT Classic. In a few years that $1200 ASAT will seem like a good deal compared to a Fender CS Nocaster. The thing to remember is that the quality of the wood/hardware/electronics and attention to detail is relative to the amount you spend and what you expect from that guitar.

    I think G&L guitars, ASATs in particular, are hard to beat regardless if they are new or used.
     
  8. The Illustrated Bassist

    The Illustrated Bassist Member

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    I actually went to one of the GCs here today and walked out with a 3 color sunburst American Standard Strat. Liked the way it sounded and played; the fact that it had been out on the floor and not all beat up a good sign.

    They did have a Custom ASAT in green on the used wall, the guy is hoping to get $1900 for it. Awesome guitar, but I think I'll be happy with the American Standard...
     
  9. ieso

    ieso Member

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  10. The Illustrated Bassist

    The Illustrated Bassist Member

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    :)

    I am happy... poorer but happy LOL (I did pay for half of this selling my Blacktops...)
     

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