ASAT Classic Review

manufacturer: G&L date: 01/04/2012 category: Electric Guitars
G&L: ASAT Classic
The first impression you get when you see the guitar, you think its ugly. When you hear it, you'll be astonished.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 7.7
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reviews (3) pictures (3) 99 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
ASAT Classic Reviewed by: vagelier, on january 08, 2010
1 of 17 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 650

Purchased from: Local guitar shop

Features: Before I start reviewing, I need to tell my story. I had started playing guitar about 1,5 year ago, and to begin I bought a squire Bullet. After a while I learned that a proper guitar was needed. I had about 1000 euro at the time, but decided I would aim for a guitar half that cash. So I started looking. When over time, it became clear I wanted a tele, I started focusing on them, finding that probably the best reviewed and IMO the best tele I had played so far was the Fender Baja. After long weeks of thinking, I finally persuaded myself, walked to the shop, and spoke: "I want to buy the Baja. Or is there anything else I should try?" "you could try this, he answered", pointing at an even more ugly tele than the Baja. I took it in my hands, plugged it in, and 10 minutes later I walked out of the shop, having spend more than I would ever imagine. I had no doubts altogether. I was convinced in a sec. Now for the review. The neck is quite thick, I think more thicker than your average tele, which makes it easy for chords. Soloing is great too, but like all teles, it ain't for metal. It has 21 or 22 frets (not sure, it's not here atm so I can't check) and has two single coil pickups. The body is heavy, I don't really know what kind of wood its made out of and the tuners appear solid. I think they are. It has a volume knob, a tone knob and a 3-way pickup switch. It has a maple neck. I got a bag and a certificate showing it's an actual G&L guitar. Body is tele style obviously. I don't really know much about guitars, nor do I care. I found out that features such as how many frets or type of tuners and bridge don't mean a lot. I just care how a guitar plays and sounds. So this part is actually quite bleh. Sorry. // 7

Sound: The reason why I bought this guitar. I use it through my Fender Frontman 15W and it sounds okay. When I use through my friends 50 W Fender amp, it sounds friggin awesome. I hardly ever use the neck pickup, but it gives a nice bluesy sound I guess. I find it the most appropiate for jazz, but then a tele isn't really appropiate for jazz at all. Both pickups together give a very beautiful RHCP-like sound. It reminds me of under the bridge. It sound quite delicate and full. I love it to get a more soft sound compared to the bridge pickup. The bridge pickup is a beast. It gives you the regular tele twang, begging you to play the intro riff of "Sweet Home Alabama". But when you add some distortion, you unleash the beast that inside the G&L. Its like a lions roar, so raw, so aggressive, so awesome. Its really good for surf&the likes, basically good for anything. The tele is very versatile. Its good for basically any style, which is the reason why I bought it. So if you're not really sure which style you're gonna play with it, or you're just interested in different genres, teles in general are awesome. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: G&L is a company made by Leo Fender, the original maker of the Fender company. He sold it though, and started a new company called G&L with his friend George. G&L makes higher quality but more expensive Fender-style guitar. It's kind of an Elite-Fender company. The guitar set-up was adequate. I needed to re-string it, seeing it hung in the shop for probably over a year. The pickups were fine, like the action was. I found no flaws at all. One thing that I regret was that I pulled off the foil on the pickguard so carelessly, leaving spots on it still half a year later. The wood is really heavy, but you'll get used to it. The finish isn't really beautiful, but then, that's how a tele's supposed to be imo. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I'm not really careful with my guitar. I dropped it, and now a piece of the finish is gone. Also, the fretboard is also starting to loose its original colour. I don't mind. I think teles should look like they've been beaten. The guitar is quite ugly, its got a yellow/white finish and looks quite cheap. Nevertheless, I can really depend on this guitar- I'm sure that, no matter how I beat it, it will keep sounding awesome. Yes, the finish won't last, yes, the fretboard glim will vanish, yes the button on my selector switch has fallen off, but that only makes it more of an animal. And more original. // 8

Overall Impression: The first impression you get when you see the guitar, you think; its ugly. When you hear it, you'll be astonished. And I like that. It has an attitude like: "I don't care if you think I'm ugly, 'cause I rawk." Though it is a very pop-ish guitar, the bridge pickup with a good dose of distortion will blow away all those softies. It can definetely have a lot of power with the right amount of distortion. I'm not sure if I'd buy it again if it was stolen, seeing I got it for almost half the original price because it was the last G&L and I could get it tax free. I can't afford it either, but I'd definetely go for another tele. Tele's are so awesome; they're simple, but they got the right attitude. It's not about looks, it's really about how it sounds and feels. Sure, a dimebag darrel with lightning finish is awesome, but the tele is more than just about looks. Its about the sound and playability, and nothing else. // 10

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overall: 9
ASAT Classic Reviewed by: krehzeekid, on march 24, 2010
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 1500

Purchased from: Acoustic Music Shop

Features: This particular guitar is an American made (2009) G&L ASAT Classic. The body is made out of a single piece of swamp ash, which is finished in a transparent butterscotch blonde, and a rock maple neck with a maple fingerboard, both finished in a vintag-style tinted laquer and held on with the ubiquitous 4-bolt, G&L branded neckplate. The body also features a black, singly-ply pickguard (though others do exist). The neck features 22 (of what appear to be) medium frets and abalone Dot inlays, though there are many options available. The tuners are fairly generic looking 12:1, sealed-lubricating, and feature adjustable knob tension, something you don't really notice untill it is gone. The bridge is a boxed steel design, remeniscent of the ``ashtray`` style found on Vintage Fender telecasters, with 6 individual brass saddles. The body is a string through and, much to my disdain, features a string saddle for the B and E strings (though I'm yet to notice a problem). The strap buttons are nothing special, though they seem to work fairly well at holding the guitar in place. The pickups are G&L`s own Mangnetic Field Design, traditional-sized single coils in the Standard Telecaster configuration. The controls are, again, a fairly Standard Telecaster set-up: 1 volume knob, 1 tone knob and a 3 way selector switch. Overall, there is nothing astounding or all that innovative about the features of this guitar: it is the evolution of the Fender telecaster. Everything, however, is done to an extremely high Standard and kudos must be given to G&L for including a high-quality case, especially in an era where it has been deemed acceptable to supply a $2500 guitar with a gig-bag. // 8

Sound: I play primarily in a Ukrainian functions band, so I play alot of polkas, but I have a good amount of experience playing pretty well any type of music. That being said, I bought the guitar to compliment my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp in an effort to produce better clean blues, jazz, classic rock and country tones. On a clean setting with the bridge pickup engaged and both controls wide open, you get the signature Telecaster bite with absolutely searing precision. But, there is also a sweetness to be had, making this somewhat more versitile than a typical telecaster. Switching to the middle position (activating both pickups), the ASAT suddenly sounds like a strat! No kidding, it sounds almost identical to a Strat with a tex-mex pickup on the bride. The neck pickup yields a very warm almost jazzy tone that managaes to be thick without loosing definition during chording. Though I'm usually not a fan of playing with the tone control, this one can be used in moderation to take some of the heat of the tone, helping to mellow it a little bit. Turn the tone too far, and you get mud; moderation is certainly advisable. Going to an overdriven or slightly distorted (we`re talking Vintage Marshall territory on the outside here)yields truly brilliant tones. The bridge has significant bite and an absolutely screaming to end and excellent note definition on chords. Though extremely bright, it does not fall victim to the shrill or brittle highs often produced by tele`s and is by no means `thin` sounding. The neck pickup produces a more mellow tone with significantly more bass and lower mids. This is a less versitile tone, but is most certainly excellent for bluesy playing of all sorts. The middle position is somewhat of a dissapointment: it is not bad, but it simply does not match the other positions in clairity. It sounds somewhat like a cheaper Strat and tends to garble notes together rather unpleasantly. Going to higher gain settings using my Randall combo yielded suprisingly good results, though they werent altogether that good. The guitar is suprisingly capable of handling higher gain levels, maintaining its clairity and character, but it simply feels lacking. The guitar doesn't like higher gains, and it shows. Quite frankly, I am not suprised: this guitar was never meant to handle high gain, so the fact it doesn't sound completely like a flock of angry geese is commendable unto itself. Beyond that, the guitar is suprisingly quiet in operation, being only slightly louder than any of my humbucker equipped guitars. It is also rather loud, adjusting your amps level before plugging in would be adviseable. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set-up on this guitar is about the best I`ve seen. The action is low, but not so low that it feels like you are playing some shredding guitar. The frets are all dressed nicely and have nary a sharp edge protuding past the fingerboard. The intonation is quite good too, remarkable considering the guitar was made in warm, humid California and now resides in cold, dry Edmonton. Furthermore, the control pots have an assuring firmness to their movement, giving you the feeling that they will work for some time to come. And much respect to G&L for actually taking the time to cut the nut properly. The finish of the guitar is quite good, though there are a few thick spots on the back, but this is hardly a concern as it takes a fairly concentrated effort to spot them. The plating on the hardware (all of which is chrome) is good: it isnt the best I`ve seen, but it is consistent and looks quite good. Finally, G&L deserves massive thanks for putting good strings (D`Addario .010-.046) on the guitar at the factory. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have not had the chance to play this guitar live much yet, but given the solid feel and the inherent reliability of the simply design, I suspect this will be a highly durable instrument. The finish seems as though it ought to be able to withstand years of abuse (my bass has seen 11 years of service and some serious hits and only suffered some minor dings), as does the plating on the hardware. The tuning is also extremely stable, a nice thing to know when playing live. As mentioned above, the strap buttons are nothing too speacial, but they seem to be working. I am, however, using the little plastic strap-locks by Dunlop. As much as I think I could use this guitar live without a backup, I simply will not in case a string breaks or some other unforseeable even occurs. Just of note: this guitar comes with a 10, yes that is a decade, warranty against manufacturers defects and G&L is great about getting replacement parts out fast and cheap. They really do stand by their creations. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for about 8 years now, and I have (sometimes pitifully) played most major styles at one point or another. This is not the most versitile instrument, but it isnt really meant to be. It is however, the very best blues, classic rock and folk guitar I have ever played. There is simply something about a tele that makes is great, and this guitar takes that inherent quality and improves. Compared to a Fender, it is clear that Leo did a little extra work to make the G&L infinately better, and it is most certainly worth the premium money when compared to a Fender. If it were stolen, I would certainly buy a new one. Though, I don't really plan on allowing that to happen! // 9

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overall: 9.4
ASAT Classic Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 04, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: trade

Features: I traded my Fender American Standard Strat for a gorgeous, candy apple red ASAT Classic after falling in love with the tone of Steve Cropper. After some research, I learned that G&L was in fact another company started by Leo Fender a few years prior to his death. The best part of the story is that he took his original designs and improved them ten fold. Everything on my ASAT Classic is standard with a rosewood fretboard and standard pickups. It's essentially just like a Fender Telecaster so the features aren't anything of a revelation except that the pickups have much better output and electronics are a big improvement over current-day Fender products. // 8

Sound: If you play blues and country, this is definitely your axe. I love Mike Bloomfield, Steve Cropper and Billy Gibbons so this guitar did not disappoint when I tried their styles out. If you want to venture out into jazz, aggressive rock and perhaps even metal, I would most certainly recommend seeking out the G&L Comanche. At the end of the day, the ASAT Classic is far superior to the Fender American Standard Tele. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar belonged to someone else prior to me so the set-up was great and played-in a little bit. I really have no complaints in this category but the finish is nothing to write home about. However I have played new G&L's in the store and they sound just as great. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This thing is a total workhorse and so well-built. Very dependable, it's almost 10 years old according to the manufacturing number and it's in mint condition. I'm very impressed with how well this instrument is built and how well it has held up. It's versatile really for anything you wanna do musically (i.e. Live-work, studio-work etc...). I rarely have to tune it also. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a perfect match for the styles that I play and if it were stolen or lost I would do everything in my power to replace it. It has been said that construction of G&L instruments are how Fender instruments used to be made. With my experience with the ASAT Classic and Vintage Fenders, I could not find that statement to be more true. The ASAT Classic along with the other members of the G&L family of products are fantastic displays of American Craftsmanship, continuing the rich Legacy of one of the best guitar luthiers known to man. Used American G&Ls are super cheap too if you're in the market and I consider G&L to be the best kept secret in electric guitars and basses. // 10

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