G&L Guitars was founded in 1980 by the legendary Leo Fender, in partnership with long-time associates George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt. The company purpose was to continue improvements on the founder’s earlier designs. From the ASAT to the Rampage, the Legacy to the Comanche, the end result must have satisfied the notoriously picky creator. Leo Fender referred to the instruments that emerged from the factory he’d personally designed on Fender Ave. in Fullerton, California as the finest instruments he’d ever made. The present-day G&L is proud to carry that banner, with Leo’s widow, Phyllis Fender, staying on as the honorary chairman of the company.
Over the years, G&L’s roster of models has expanded substantially from their first years. No matter what musical style you work with, there’s a G&L that will suit you to a “T”.
The ASAT echoes the guitar that started it all for Leo Fender. In the simplicity of its lines and design lie an immense variety of tonal variations and musical applications that span virtually every genre. The model contains many sub-variations — ASAT Classic, ASAT Bluesboy, ASAT Special, ASAT Semi-hollow, ASAT Z3 and more.
Another refinement of one of one of Leo Fender’s seminal designs, this double-cutaway, three-pickup instrument added several of the refinements Leo had been developing — MFD pickups, Dual Fulcrum tremolo system and the PTB tone circuit (see below), plus the addition of a mini-toggle switch for the full range of pickup selection.
Similar to the S-500, but with traditional alnico single coils instead of the ceramic MFD pickups, the Legacy hits the sweet spot for players who want a more vintage-style sound with the smooth playability G&L is known for.
This version of the classic double-cutaway, three-pickup design looks further to the future, with a trio of MFM Z-Coil pickups. In a concept borrowed from a design originally for a bass, these split-coil pickups deliver a punchy, wide-bandwidth tone and eliminate most hum and RF interference at the same time.
Another update on a classic Leo Fender design, this offset guitar is available with wide-bobbin MFD single coils or a pair of G&L’s MFD humbuckers. Whichever version you choose, it’s a thoroughly modern take on a guitar that helped define a genre of music.
Rampage and Superhawk
Alice In Chains guitarist and founder Jerry Cantrell started playing a G&L Rampage over two decades ago, and these two signature models echo the custom choices he’s made for his personal guitars. Even if you’re not Cantrell, these are great rock-and-roll guitars.
Taking its cue from Leo Fender’s original design for one of G&L’s earliest guitars, the SC-2, the Fallout adds an expanded tonal palette with G&L’s Alnico P-90 and meaty AW4370 humbucker in combination.
Originally released in 1984, the George Fullerton-designed Skyhawk features a slightly offset body with a slim waist and a smoothly arched pickguard and chrome-plated control panel for a little flash that makes for a guitar that’s as nice to look at as it is to play. Available with three MFD singlecoils or a pair of MFD humbuckers, there’s plenty of range here, especially with the PTB circuit available to help contour your sound.
So that every player can afford one of their designs, G&L has multiple series of production instruments, plus a Custom Shop renowned for incredible precision and stunning finish work.
Manufactured offshore, under G&L’s precise specs, the Tribute series has a version of almost every G&L production guitar, from the most basic ASAT to the offset Doheny and Jerry Cantrell signature models. G&L Tribute guitars are a great introduction to design and quality the company is known for.
Still located in the factory on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California, that Leo Fender originally built for CLF Research (CLF for Clarence Leo Fender), G&L’s U.S. production facility turns out the Fullerton Standard, Fullerton Deluxe, Option Built and G&L Custom Shop instruments, built by hand. The Fullerton Standard line offers the ASAT Classic and Legacy in a limited range of tonewoods and finishes. Offering an incredible value in U.S.A.-built instruments, these guitars have won over many players around the world. Fullerton Deluxe models expand the range of tonewoods and finishes, also adding ASAT variations like the Classic Bluesboy and ASAT Special, as well as the Comanche, Skyhawk, S-500 and Doheny. The Option Order builds take it to the next level in production guitars. In Option Order, the full range of standard G&L models are available with a wide array of options. If a fully custom instrument isn’t quite what you’re in the market for, but you’re looking for serious build quality and spectacular finishes, this is the destination.
Magnetic Field Design Pickups
G&L’s Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups were one of the designs of which Leo Fender was most proud. Less susceptible to RF interference, even in single-coil versions, they have approximately double the output per wind as traditional, fixed-pole-piece alnico pickups. MFDs are warmer, with a wider bandwidth, and greater adjustability. Leo ended up developing multiple versions in single-, double- and split-coil versions that are spread across G&L guitars and basses. (US Patent 4,220,068)
G&L’s Saddle-Lock bridge system was designed by Leo to deliver greater sustain and harmonic content. The bridge adds mass for improved transmission of vibration to the body, and locks the saddles to that mass, which also improves sustain. (US Patent 4, 281, 576)
PTB Tone Circuit
Standard on many G&L Guitars, this Leo Fender design is a passive treble/bass control, with one knob a treble cut, and the other a bass cut. Though it may seem a little strange at first encounter, it turns out that Leo, as always, knew exactly what he was doing. The added tonal flexibility is amazing and the bass roll-off is especially useful when using more distorted tones, and it becomes a sort of “de-mud” control, enabling clearer articulation and subtle control of overdriven sounds.
Dual Fulcrum Tremolo
While there have been a number of other dual-fulcrum tremolo bridges developed, Leo Fender’s floating design, which debuted on Music Man guitars of the ’70s and was further refined for G&L, was one of the first. With massive brass inserts, large milled rolled-steel bolts and a steel plate, it offers excellent sustain. The smooth and easy control of the bar is ideal for everything from easy flutters to full-on dive bombs and horse whinnies.