#1
I'll preface this by saying both that I've never played an ASAT (or G&L for that matter) previous to purchasing one online, and I've never bought a guitar blind before like this. I've been playing the same Epiphone Les Paul guitar for over a decade and decided I wanted a more telecaster like sound to balance my rig out a bit. I read good things about G&L guitars in general and watching a bunch of videos online and decided I wanted to try one.

My local Guitar Center doesn't even carry G&L guitars I found out, and then I noticed a couple days later that Musician's Friend had a sale on the normally $500 ASAT Classic for $300. I figured I'd roll the dice and order one completely blind given the special. It arrived today and I'm not sure it sounds how it's meant to sound.

For instance, the 10 gauge E string's tone dies off relatively quickly when plucked. When amplified, the tone almost sounds like there's a piece of paper or something partially muting/touching the string to dampen the sound, whereas when I just pluck the string acoustically (without amplification) it sounds fine.

The sustain is much better on the thicker strings, and the thicker strings are substantially louder than the thinner strings. This is not the case at all on my Epiphone where there's a balance as all strings are well represented when I let a chord ring.

Also, the bridge pickup setting is considerably louder than the neck which seems unnatural to me. The volume and tone nobs are turned all the way up just FYI.

Does this sound like it needs some sort of adjustment which I know new guitars sometimes need? I'd hate to invest money in a guitar I'm ultimately going to send back if need be.

I can record something if that'll help diagnose what could be going on here.

Thank you for all serious replies ahead of time.
#2
Probably you just need to adjust the pickup height. Not a big deal. Try dropping the height of the pickup (side with the high E) and see if the sustain & tone changes. Could be too close to the magnet. 
I own two G&L guitars and love them. I did have to set the pickup height on both but I do for most of my guitars. Mostly personal preference anyway. 
#4
Quote by webjunk
Probably you just need to adjust the pickup height. Not a big deal. Try dropping the height of the pickup (side with the high E) and see if the sustain & tone changes. Could be too close to the magnet. 
I own two G&L guitars and love them. I did have to set the pickup height on both but I do for most of my guitars. Mostly personal preference anyway. 

sounds dead on to me.
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#5
Any buzzing present? Its possible (and not a terrible idea either way) that a good setup is needed. If the pickup height adjustment doesn't work, the next thing to try would be either you or a tech setting the neck relief, bridge height, and intonation while your at it.
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#6
^ yeah that's what i was thinking. or even just take some measurements to see if it needs a setup.
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#7
Just needs a good initial setup. 

I think most folks should budget for one when they buy a guitar and just consider it part of the cost of new (to them) guitar ownership. 
#8
I tried adjusting the treble end of my pickup from everywhere between 1-32" away from the pole piece (when the 22nd fret is fretted) to 5-32" away which seems like it would be a sizable difference. That said, I did not notice much difference at all.

Wouldn't raising the pickup, thereby making it closer to the string, make the strings on that end sound louder whereas dropping the height would make the strings on that end quieter? So by that logic I want to lower the pickup on the thicker end and raise it on the thinner end (high e) I would think. I did that and it might sound marginally better and more balanced, but it could probably be better.

Maybe I'll take it in to get professionally set up as recommended by most in this thread because I'm still missing that elusive balance between all the strings and the pole pieces are not adjustable with this pickup style (which I know can affect it, as well).

There's no buzzing anywhere to answer that question, as well.
Last edited by rbf737 at May 1, 2017,
#9
Quote by rbf737
Wouldn't raising the pickup, thereby making it closer to the string, make the strings on that end sound louder whereas dropping the height would make the strings on that end quieter? So by that logic I want to lower the pickup on the thicker end and raise it on the thinner end (high e) I would think. I did that and it might sound marginally better and more balanced, but it could probably be better.

The magnet's in the pickup will effect sustain and volume. Too close (strong magnetic field) and generally it can keep the string from vibrating. That kills sustain but volume as well if the string is kept from vibrating freely. Too far away and it can not "Pick Up" the vibration of the strings and while sustain will be at its best, volume will also be low. 
Truss rod, intonation and those setup issues will not greatly effect the pickups although important of course. String action height does because adjusting changes the distance from the pickups. 
There is no real absolute correct pickup height, just like most everything else setup on a guitar. Some like pickups closer to get more of the attack of notes although it lessons sustain. Some further for maximum sustain. I have a friend who tours with two identical guitars with pickups adjusted differently the only difference. 
Try adjusting much further and closer and see what you like. Bringing it to someone to adjust may not give what YOU want but often just a compromise or their preference. How can they know what you want if you don't know yet? 
Not sure it needs a setup in general if you have no issues. I'm a firm believer in people learning to setup their own instruments. Not difficult at all. 
#10
webjunk
Quote by webjunk
The magnet's in the pickup will effect sustain and volume. Too close (strong magnetic field) and generally it can keep the string from vibrating. That kills sustain but volume as well if the string is kept from vibrating freely. Too far away and it can not "Pick Up" the vibration of the strings and while sustain will be at its best, volume will also be low.
Truss rod, intonation and those setup issues will not greatly effect the pickups although important of course. String action height does because adjusting changes the distance from the pickups.
There is no real absolute correct pickup height, just like most everything else setup on a guitar. Some like pickups closer to get more of the attack of notes although it lessons sustain. Some further for maximum sustain. I have a friend who tours with two identical guitars with pickups adjusted differently the only difference.
Try adjusting much further and closer and see what you like. Bringing it to someone to adjust may not give what YOU want but often just a compromise or their preference. How can they know what you want if you don't know yet?
Not sure it needs a setup in general if you have no issues. I'm a firm believer in people learning to setup their own instruments. Not difficult at all.


Good info, thank you for taking the time. I guess I'll keep finagling with it and see what I can come up with before giving in and taking it somewhere. I certainly don't want to take it in somewhere and have it not sound any noticeably different when they've finished.

The only thing I know is that I want a balance like I get out of my Epiphone. I pluck the low and high e strings on that guitar and the volume is roughly exactly the same between the two and the sustain on the high e holds its own.
#11
Just try different adjustments on the pickup higher/lower and see where it needs to be, and it wouldn't hurt to have a tech give it a proper set up, especially being in the $500 or less price range those guitars typically need a good set up when purchased.
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#12
Any chance you could do a recording to see if what you're talking about can be picked up that way?
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#13
I think the pickup height adjustments I've made have made a positive difference as I don't feel now like if I recorded something that anyone could find anything wrong with the tone versus when I first posted on here.

I'll still probably keep messing with the height from time to time, but I'm much more pleased with the sound now than when it arrived. Thanks for all the help all.
#14
Quote by rbf737
I think the pickup height adjustments I've made have made a positive difference as I don't feel now like if I recorded something that anyone could find anything wrong with the tone versus when I first posted on here.

I'll still probably keep messing with the height from time to time, but I'm much more pleased with the sound now than when it arrived. Thanks for all the help all.


Good deal glad you were able to work it out!

If it sounds good now maybe make some slight tweaks to really dial it in, it is amazing what haveing a pickup too close or too far from the strings can do to your sound.
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#15
Quote by Evilnine
Good deal glad you were able to work it out!

If it sounds good now maybe make some slight tweaks to really dial it in, it is amazing what haveing a pickup too close or too far from the strings can do to your sound.


Too true.