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G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar 3-Tone Sunburst Black Pickguard

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The G&L ASAT Special just might be the quintessential G&L guitar, viewed by many as Leo's ultimate single-cutaway. Back in 1985, Leo Fender l...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The quintessential G&L guitar with P-90-style pickups.

The G&L ASAT Special just might be the quintessential G&L guitar, viewed by many as Leo's ultimate single-cutaway. Back in 1985, Leo Fender launched this model under the G&L Broadcaster name, which prompted a response from Fred Gretsch of Gretsch Guitars over the name just as it had 35 years earlier. History buffs will recall that the Broadkaster name is owned by Gretsch, and once again, a Broadcaster from Leo was required to have its name changed. This time around, the name became "ASAT" which is US military shorthand for an "Anti-Satellite" missile.

The ASAT Special, as the model became known, features jumbo single-coil Magnetic Field Design pickups, each with a narrow bobbin aperture for a coil which is shallow yet wide. In this regard, an MFD jumbo single-coil is similar to a P-90 or Jazzmaster pickup, yet the MFD principle provides a punchier bottom end and brighter top end sparkling with harmonics. Leo further departed with the past with the addition of his innovative Saddle-Lock bridge which transfers string energy right into the body end-grain for an incredibly resonant instrument. The result is one of the most versatile guitars ever, serving up ballsy twang to searing blues to smooth jazz tones.

FEATURES
Body 
Body shape: Single cutaway
Body type: Solid body
Body material: Solid wood
Top wood: Not applicable
Body wood: Alder
Body finish: Relic
Orientation: Right handed
Neck
Neck shape: G&L Modern Classic
Neck wood: Hard-rock Maple
Joint: Bolt-on
Scale length: 25.5 in.
Truss rod: Standard
Neck finish: Gloss
Fretboard
Material: Maple
Radius: 9.5 in.
Fret size: Medium jumbo
Number of frets: 22 Plek dressed
Inlays: Dot
Nut width: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm) Natural bone nut
Pickups
Configuration: SS
Neck: MFD single-coil
Middle: Not applicable
Bridge: MFD single-coil
Brand: G&L
Active or passive pickups: Passive
Series or parallel: Not applicable
Piezo: No
Active EQ: No
Special electronics: None
Controls
Control layout: Master volume, tone
Pickup switch: 3-way
Coil tap or split: No
Kill switch: No
Hardware
Bridge type: Fixed
Bridge design: 6-saddle Saddle-Lock with chrome-plated brass saddles
Tailpiece: String thru body
Tuning machines: Deluxe sealed
Color: Nickel
Other
Number of strings: 6-string
Special features: Electronics
Case: Hardshell case
Accessories: Info not available
Country of origin: United States

Experience the genius of Leo's contribution to the guitar-playing world. Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
G&LUSA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar
 
4.4

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (14)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great guitar

I bought this as a SDOTD. I have been wanting an ASAT for some time and the timing of the deal was just right! I love this guitar!! The set up was...Read complete review

I bought this as a SDOTD. I have been wanting an ASAT for some time and the timing of the deal was just right! I love this guitar!! The set up was perfect. It's so much more than a tele, though I do love my tele too, it's a much more versatile instrument, with a broad palette of sounds from ice pick to balls out crunchy. I also own a wonderful 1993 G&L S-500 that is one of my favorites and this guitar has the same great feel and attention to workmanship, with one exception. I'm likely being too picky about this, but the only thing that bugs me about this guitar is the slight horizontal sanding marks on the maple fretboard. The frets are perfect and the feel of the neck and fretboard are also without fault. I am quite happy with the purchase, but if I had paid full price, the sanding marks on the fretboard would have been a much greater irritant.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Lovely Guitar With Neck Problems

Sadly had to return to MF. Loved the guitar but neck had problems with buzz.

Sadly had to return to MF. Loved the guitar but neck had problems with buzz.

Reviewed by 16 customers

Displaying reviews 1-16

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great guitar

By HarryM

from Hilo, HI

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Finish
  • Tele plus
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Fret board finish

Best Uses

  • Whatever you wish to do with a fine guitar

Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

I bought this as a SDOTD. I have been wanting an ASAT for some time and the timing of the deal was just right! I love this guitar!! The set up was perfect. It's so much more than a tele, though I do love my tele too, it's a much more versatile instrument, with a broad palette of sounds from ice pick to balls out crunchy. I also own a wonderful 1993 G&L S-500 that is one of my favorites and this guitar has the same great feel and attention to workmanship, with one exception. I'm likely being too picky about this, but the only thing that bugs me about this guitar is the slight horizontal sanding marks on the maple fretboard. The frets are perfect and the feel of the neck and fretboard are also without fault. I am quite happy with the purchase, but if I had paid full price, the sanding marks on the fretboard would have been a much greater irritant.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(3 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

I don't think I will try another G&L

By JBBIN

from Texas

See all my reviews

Verified Reviewer

Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

First of all, I was impressed with the presentation. The guitar is beautiful! When I open up the case I was impressed with the presentation. Very nice! Nice finish, nice feel, and it felt great in my hands. When I looked at purchasing this guitar on the website I saw that it was made out of swamp ash. When I received it, I was disappointed to learn that it was made out of alder. If I wanted an alder guitar I would have bought an alder guitar. When I plugged it in it had a terrible feedback and with noisy pickups. Not what I was expecting from my first USA G&L. I have a tribute G&L and that is much quieter and nicer to play than this one was. Also, from my understanding G&L USA guitars have the "dot" on the back of the neck that show they are made in the US. This one did not have the "dot" on the back of the neck. I was disappointed all the way around with this purchase and returned it as quick as I received it. Even though it was a STDOTD!

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

WOW

By Drew

from Destin, Fl

Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

All I can say is WOW. This guitar is amazing. I am a Fender guy. I own, and have had many Fenders from Stratocaster Elite, Plus, Artist Series, Signature, American Standard and Specials, Telecasters from '52 AVRI, Standard and even a Blacktop, Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Mustang etc etc... Needless to say I have owned or do own a wide variety of Fender electrics and have decided I no longer want any other brand really, Fender has what I need. Then I read all these Telecaster players talking about the ASAT, specifically the ASAT special and the MFD pickups. So my guitar fund was ripe and on an impulse I picked up this ASAT special. OMG, these MFD pickups just made me a G&L guy. Now I don't expect to liquidate my collection but I don't know how much love my tried and true Fenders will receive after playing this thing. First of all, the finish is impeccable. I can't find a thing wrong with it, it is flawless and beautiful. When I picked it up it is much lighter than many of my Teles, I haven't measured or weighed it yet but it is noticeably lighter and seems a bit thinner and smaller. The neck feels smooth and the frets are nicely finished. The hardware is all top-notch and it just feels well made. So looks and feel are perfect. Then I plug the thing in and it steals my heart. On a scale of one to ten I would rate it eleventy bagillion. It is hard to describe but the notes ring out and stand alone even when playing chords each rings true. I played it through a solid state Orange Crush and a Fender Supersonic 22. Both the clean and burn channels, it sounds amazing. Another thing I noticed while playing with the tone knob, even rolled all the way back it doesn't muffle like all the fenders I have, it still somehow rings out with a different voice, a little hard to describe, I would never play a Fender with the tone all the way down, just doesn't make sense or sound right but this thing, I will find a place to use it. My new #1 guitar I'm a G&L guy now.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Pickups NOT too noisy

By Amac

from Indiana

Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

This is basically a rebuttal review. I owned this guitar, arguably the best sounding pickups I've heard. They are pretty hot pickups and, hello...single coil in design, so there will be a bit of hum when using one pup. Think of it as higher output than a strat, but less hum than a strat. In the p90 zone but quieter. The difference in a tribute and USA is felt in the neck and playability mostly, as is with most other brands and their budget models. This axe deserves more than 2 stars. No little dot on the neck? Seriously? If it has a Fullerton serial number, it was made and plekked in California.

 
5.0

My Ultimate G&L

By Gary Carl

from North Branch Township PA

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts

    Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

    Got this on SDOTD Last year and it was an insane deal for this guitar. I've had a few G&L Tributes and USA ASAT Classic, which I sold to buy this.

    This is a better Tele Type, but a whole lot more that a normal Tele cant do.

    Tis a keeper ...

     
    5.0

    Love the sound and feel.

    By Don

    from Texarkana, Tx

    Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

    I have many guitars, some costing 2 or 3 times more, but this G&L USA ASAT has become my favorite.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    4.0

    Great sound without the Tele bite

    By Beatles2Priest

    from NY

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fit n finish

    Cons

    • B quality case

    Best Uses

      Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

      Home playing and small venue. I've been been playing 30+ yrs and have Tele's and vintage mini hum Epiphones. This falls fairly close to the Epi's with a bit more bite towards p90's. It definitely has nice mids without the harsh snap. The fit and finish is great, the frets and neck dead on. Nice weight. The toggle is too close to the outside and almost touches the volume knob when in bridge position. The case is NOT up to standard, not sturdy like the old style and disappointing at reg. price but Great buy as SDOtd

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Outstanding guitar

      By Jason

      from Raleigh, NC

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

      Bought this as I had a strong desire to have a tele in my collection, and this guitar did not disappoint at all. The MFD pickups are just spectacular. The modern neck, with the satin finish, feels soft and fast. The setup arrived perfect, a compliment to G&L's plek process I assume. Top notch case, beautiful finish, great sounding pickups, outstanding playability. A true joy to play.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      EXCELLENT WORKMENSHIP

      By JD

      from SMYRNA DE

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

      THIS IS A USA MADE GUITAR,DISREGUARD OTHER REVIEW NOT ALL USA MADE G&L NECKS HAVE DOT ON BACK OF NECK,DIFFERENT JIG USED TO MAKE THESE NECKS DOES NOT LEAVE DOT ON NECK,IF SERIAL NUMBER STARTS OUT WITH CLF ON HEADSTOCK MADE IN USA,IF LOOKING FOR P-90 TYPE OF SOUND THIS COULD BE WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      great guitar

      By Mike

      from Pinson, Al

      Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

      Love this guitar very much. I like it more than my American Tele. Beautiful and great sound and playability

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      G&L ASAT special

      By G.Minard

      from Breese IL

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Pick ups
      • Sustain
      • Tone

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Can be used to play any style of music

        Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

        The set up on this guitar was excellent.The fit and finish of this guitar is also excellent.I love the pickups on this guitar they are bright and detailed. You actually need to use the tone controls on these guitars.The pickups are quiet, but I think I will do some grounding work to it when I get a chance to make it silent. I think the bridge needs grounding. I own much more expensive guitars and to be honest this one I like better.This guitar has fantastic tone and sustain it almost has the punch of a humbucker but with the detail of a single coil pickup.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        5.0

        Best set up I have ever seen on a factory guitar

        By Mikenov

        from Chicago, IL

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Great tone
        • perfect Plek set up

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

            this guitar arrived with a flawless set up from the factory. I already own an ASAT special so I knew what i was getting. I expected the newer G&Ls to be good but this guitar blew me away with how it sounded and played. The MFD pick ups from G&L are high output, drive your amp with OD, but are super reactive to pick attack. roll off the volume, or pick lighter, and you can hear every string. Thing rings like a bell.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            4.0

            Oh, YEAH!

            By Erik

            from Murphy, NC

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

            Nice finish/tone/intonation/tuners. Scent of vanilla is great, too! It IS a noisy beast, but well controlled by always keeping in contact with a string. Now, that being the case, can't help but wonder why Leo couldn't come up with a way to ground the circuit and tame the hum? Well, I'm in love with this beautiful music maker, so never mind! Just one more little complaint to register, though...the dynamic suffers from a tendency toward fret buzz at only moderate levels. I will get around to tweaking the set up once I know this particular piece of wood a little better and settle in to knowing what string gauges I want to use. I can only wonder why I have bought several guitars from Epiphone and Ibanez at dramatically lower prices and they all arrived with great set ups. What's the use in wondering? I am in love with this beautiful instrument, and like all lovers, I will set out to make her a little more perfect over time. All in good time, though, cause right now, I just want to enjoy my new pet.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            2.0

            Lovely Guitar With Neck Problems

            By oregoniv

            from Reading, PA

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

            Sadly had to return to MF. Loved the guitar but neck had problems with buzz.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            4.0

            Just buy it...

            By eeej

            from CA

            Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

            This is a solid guitar with excellent tonal characteristics. Some say it is noisy but..it has large single coils and thats what they do...get over it..use your volume knob. control your sound..
            I was very surprised at how great it played and sounded with my Twin. At the Stupid Deal price its a no brainer..At the regular price it is a high value, U.S made guitar with attention to detail. This is my first G&L and one of the least expensive guitars I own and I can get enough of this thing.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            Great fit and finish, not your typical bolt on

            By UzeUriLLus1on

            from Medford, NJ

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar:

            I've owned several strats, les Paul's, and shredder guitars. This one honestly has a sound all of its own. The MFD pickups are great. They have the output and growl of a humbicker while maintaining the singing highs and clarity of a single coil. Bought this guitar mainly because it was on sale and a great deal and I have honestly not been disappointed.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Displaying reviews 1-16

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