Purchased from: Specialty Traders in WV
Features — 9
2015 Tele type in Indonesia made and finished in the USA. Neck is a C shape and much like a Telecaster (G&L was George and Leo and ASAT is Almost the Same As a Tele). Mahogany body and maple neck with rosewood fretboard. Gloss all over the body is a reddish brown (like ale) and neck tint is light yellow/amber and nice. Bridge is like a TonePros with 2 locking Allen screws to keep the tailpiece on the studs. 2 passive P-90 type from a known G&L designer. Volume and tone knobs and a 3-way switch. Nice tuners are very smooth and well chromed. Smallish knobs are nice to feel.
Sound — 9
I like P90s and these are not equal to Fralins, but keep it all in perspective with the price. These pickups are fairly strong, very clear, and have some depth to them. Adjust the pickups and especially the "D" polepiece closer to the strings to get string-to-string balance. To me, country, a lot of rock, and rock 'n' roll do well with a P90 guitar. Add a pedal for distortion, or wah-wah, or reverb and you get a wide variety. P90s are very versatile and tend to be "edgy" and aggressive yet able to be clean and bluesy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory setup lacked only 1 thing. Strings at fret 12 were 1/16"... perfect. All I did was CAREFULLY lower the nut slots with nut slot files to satisfy the "3rd fret test"... a simple adjustment. Even the neck relief was OK for .010-.046 gauge strings. Finish is perfect with no defects; fretboard needs light oiling and wipe off; be prepared to have the frets cleaned and polished off. You can do it all yourself for very little $. All controls work fine and only a small oxidation of the frets was noted ... fret ends were perfect and rounded and polished! Wow! I rate a 10 since virtually everything important was dead-on and normal adjustments were easy.
Reliability & Durability — 10
All solid Tele type made by G&L? No need to even ask... It's a rock. Strap buttons and jack are quite nice. The finish is poly and not overly thick. Remember: it's a $300, to your door, brand new guitar with a nice padded bag! Chrome is well done and heavy; not that cheap looking stuff that flakes. A Tele is notoriously rugged and simple, so no need to fear a breakdown. Consider if you like it a lot, to upgrade the P90s with Kent Armstrongs or another quality set more to your taste (Fralin is the "premium spread").
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar covers most all old fashioned music... from the 1950s to today. It's not a rock or shred guitar. Totally simple, solid, good hardware, well finished with good pickups and looks cool as hell and plays very nice. I have a Tribute S-500 and Tribute ASAT Classic and have owned USA Comanche, S-500 in the past. For the $$ difference, get a Tribute and pocket hundreds of bucks! I rate this 9 "overall" because it is not perfect. The neck could have had the fretboard edge rounded just a bit, and use Grovers with those small kidney buttons. But, I repeat: to your door: $300 NEW.