Price paid: $ 1100
Purchased from: Encore Music
Sound — 10
This guitar was incredibly versatile for a 2-pickup "Tele" type guitar. The bridge pickup is aggressive but less trebly than others of it's type, so it gives a cool crunch with some gain going. The neck pickup is everything to love about a PAF-type pickup: warm, articulate, and it sounds good in almost any style of music. I was primarily using this guitar through my Budda Superdrive II amp, the 80 watt halfstack variant. While I'd never choose to use this type of guitar for heavy rock like Black Sabbath, my band's singer didn't always understand that and would call out that kind of song while I was wearing the Bluesboy; the guitar did well enough that no one but me would have noticed the slightly strange tonal difference in the mix. For typical cover band stuff, it was fantastic and rarely did I need to grab my Les Pauls or modded G&L Fullerton unless The Music got real heavy indeed. Crisp or warm, with a nice middle position compromise. The guitar was fantastic.
Overall Impression — 10
My cover bands tend to play most genres of rock, stopping just short of most "metal" styles. A typical night means everything from The Georgia Sattelites to Aerosmith to Alice in Chains. And I could use the Bluesboy on most of it with no problem. The only thing stopping me would be that I am a tone freak and would twitch a little hearing a semi-hollow Ash guitar on a song whose original tone had been done on something with solid mohagany. In my 20 years of playing, I tended to be a Gibson Les Paul guy, but G&L caught my attention with the Fullerton I bought in 1999 (and have rewired several times, something I enjoy) and this guitar. I ordered it before playing one-something I never do-and never felt a need to change pickups, even for fun and variety. I had to sell the guitar due to a massive financial emergency, and am definitely replacing it. I've worked at Fender, Tom Anderson, and G&L dealers during my time in the industry, and I've always found the G&L guitars to be a step better than the typical American Fenders while sounding as good and being as configurable as the Andersons. This guitar was the best "Tele" I'd ever played. And I'd played most of 'em.
Reliability & Durability — 10
My equipment gets used pretty hard. I bounce around among cover and original bands in both Live and recording situations constantly, and my gear shows the mileage. It's not abused, but occasionally it gets packed away without getting wiped down and I have as many bumps and clumsy moments as anyone. I changed the strap buttons to Schaller-style strap locks upon delivery, which I do with all my axes. The guitar was able to go as long as I was, longer actually: after 4 sets, I'm usually toast while the guitar rarely needed tuning and still played great after a long show. Very dependable, and it asked for little attention beyond typical maintenance.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory set-up was fine, though I use heavier strings and had the store's luthier make the changes necessary. The pickups were mounted perfectly, and I had no issues what'soever with any paint blems, misalligments, or defects what'soever. G&L's quality control was on the ball when that one rolled off the line!
Features — 9
I ordered my Greenburst ASAT Classic Bluesboy in 2000, getting it late in the year. Because it's easy and fun to option out a G&L, I went nuts: semi-hollow. Sperzel locking tuners. Bound ebony fretboard. "Fullerton" V neck. Greenburst w/matching headstock. No f-holes. The guitar already comes with an "ASAT Classic" pickup in the bridge and a Seymour Duncan "Seth Lover" humbucker in the neck position. The bridge is a personal favorite combining full intonation capability with individual brass saddles. It came with a molded hardshell case, and I added strap locks upon delivery.