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G&L Tribute Asat Special TSB

Electric Guitar

  • Body: Swamp ash
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 41.5 mm
  • Fretboard radius: 9"
  • 2 G&L Magnetic Field Design High Output single coils
  • 3-Way toggle switch
  • 1 Volume control and 1 tone control
  • 3-Ply black pickguard
  • Finish: Tobacco Sunburst
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  • Country
  • Funk
  • Indie

Further information

Colour Sunburst
Pickups SS
Fretboard Rosewood
Tremolo None
Body Mahogany
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No
28 customer ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.8 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
22 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

An Excellent Alternative T-type & An Excellent Guitar in its own right

Cuztard Pi, 17.02.2016
The prologue:

I'd been wanting to get a good ?Tele? to add to my ever increasing guitar collection for quite some time ? & luckily came across the G&L ASAT whilst browsing YouTube .. as you do! I'd also considered the various Fender/Squier options available, but, once I'd seen the ASAT special with the P90-like MFD pick-ups, my juices were flowing ?.. ?get one? .. ?get one? the persistent annoying voice in my head shouted to me!!

Of course I'd been aware of G&L since the 80's, but never really considered the possibility buying one previously as their USA manufacture always pushed them outside my budget (& they still are); I was not aware of the more cost effective tribute series (made now by Cort in Indonesia). Google led me straight to Thomann (who I?d not been fully aware of up to that point (in Nov. 2014) but the price they were asking for the ASAT Special was unbelievable (¤289!! = £230!!).. when the cheapest I could find elsewhere for the same guitar was around £350.
Well that made my mind up & I ordered one in Nov. as an early Christmas gift to myself. Unfortunately I then discovered that they were out of stock. DOH! New stock delivery dates slipped 2 or 3 times until I had almost given up getting one .. plus the price quoted by Thomann was steadily & significantly increasing during that time (up to around ¤380!!!). However surprisingly, and with much excitement, in mid-January a large box from Thomann arrived at my house ? what's more, good old Thomann stood by the original price per my order ? BARGAIN!!!

OK, the price a year later is 50% higher than I paid just over a year ago, but I would say it is about right for the quality of guitar you are getting. I just got lucky I guess.

.......................
The review (based on the out of the box condition, and use over the last year):

In spite of the positive reviews, to be honest, I was not expecting too much in light of the small price paid. However I am pleased to confirm that this is one hell of a smart looking, quality instrument (at any price).
The body's handsome rich tobacco sunburst is very well done & really flatters the mahogany grain of the body clearly seen through the finish. The result in my mind gives the finish an almost 3D appearance. Very cool & classy!!

As received, it was cosmetically perfect. I was impressed by the build quality plus all the hardware, from the smooth accurate machine heads to the cleverly designed bridge, had the air of quality. Nothing about this guitar would be considered cheap.

OK, at first I was not totally a 100% on the aesthetics of the unique headstock shape but I?ve since gotten used to it .. & it is certainly distinctive (and functional to provide straight string travel over the nut).

Due to the position of the top strap button & in spite of the nice weight to the body, this guitar is ever so slightly neck heavy when on a strap. It doesn?t neck dive badly like some guitars, but it is noticeable when used with a slippery nylon style strap. It does benefit from a wide/rough backed strap which keeps it nicely in place.

The set-up out of the box was totally acceptable & playable but since then I have lowered the action a bit as well as a few other standard tweaks that I normally do to any new guitar (condition fretboard, polish frets, adjust nut slots depth, new strings, set string arc at the bridge, set neck relief & action, PU heights). As always, no matter what price you've paid & whatever the brand, a new guitar will always benefit, more or less, from a good set-up to bring the guitar in line with your own preferences.

Actually it played very nice out of the box (& is even better now after my set-up). It has a comfortable slim ?C? shape neck with a very good fret job with no sharp fret-ends. The neck has been shimmed to give the perfect neck angle so that the bridge grub screws are inside the saddles ? a welcome & thoughtful touch by G&L to prevent any trauma to your picking hand whilst playing.

One thing I didn?t change was the electrics in this guitar (which I usually do dabble about with); the G&L designed circuit works perfectly including the useful taper on both volume & tone controls, the no loss of top-end when reducing volume (treble-bleed) and the nice treble roll-off of the tone control. Perfect! All guitars should be like this but unfortunately most that you buy are still stuck with old 1950 cct designs in this regard. Well done G&L!! This is one of those guitars which works in tandem with your (valve) amp to really control the sound and level of drive so that you have total control from just the guitar volume & tone knobs ... sweet!

Whilst there are no significant negatives with this guitar, it is still clearly built towards the budget end of the guitar spectrum, and follows, at least in respect of the body design, the 1950's original (Tele). i.e. ? it has a 2-piece slab body with no modern style comfort cutaways, it has the industry standard slightly intrusive 4-screw square neck-to-body-pocket heal joint that does limit open access to the top frets, it does need a bit of a set-up to make the best of it. However if you are after a T-style guitar then all these factors are true of any standard brand out there, so should not be (and in truth are not) a reason not to grab one of these G&L ASATs.

I left my comment on the sound until the end of the review, as this one aspect of this guitar is the most striking IMO. Judging the sound of any guitar is totally subjective and is affected by many diverse factors (amp, room, volume, your mood, whether played solo or with a band, what you had for breakfast ;-D etc, etc) so it is very difficult to realistically put across to a 3rd party what the sound of any guitar is like. All I can say is that IMO it sounds FANTASTIC. There is no noticeable unwanted noise. It yields great single coil tones from both PU?s. All the usual complementary terms apply: punchy, full range tones that cut through in a band situation, dynamic attack, versatile, detailed, etc, etc.
The most telling thing for me is the fact that I usually play a Strat in my band as it provides the wide range of tones I like/need. The ASAT special with its, a least on paper, more limited scope (just 2PU?s & a 3-way switch) easily matches a Strat in versatility & copes with all the tones I need/like: from country-clean to rock-dirty .Hey, I can even get very close to the ?unique? Strat ?out of phase? (Dire Straits) tone with the ASAT switch in the middle position. NICE!

.......................
The Epilogue:

Everyone loves a Tele for its simple design and straight ahead no nonsense, yet versatile tones. We guitarists tend to be an unadventurous bunch ..that?s why Fender & Gibson still do so well with their >50 year old designs. Yepp, many folks still want only one logo on their T-style guitar headstock. Fair enough. However, if you are someone willing to consider looking out of the box for what else is out there, then I would suggest that you take a close look at the G&L ASAT. Yes, it does take Leo's original blueprint to a very similar place, but in doing so it has created an attractive, distinctive, comparable quality and worthy alternative ? but with the addition of these amazing MFD pick-ups you have something very special.

I?ve been rotating my ASAT special with my other guitars when playing over the last year and it always brings a smile to my face when I hear it.

I highly recommend it; you won?t be disappointed!
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Total
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Simply superb

James1405, 16.12.2013
The first thing that hits you with this guitar is the build quality. I own 2 USA ASAT's and honestly, the build quality is no better than on these Indonesian model's. There's plenty of weight in the mahogany body which, along with the super tight neck pocket, gives for plenty of sustain. Straight out of the packaging the setup is great and the ceramic magnet pups, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE, have tons of Tele tone to die for.

If your looking for a telecaster with a bit more balls without loosing that classic Tele tone, look no further.............oh and don't bother shopping anywhere else because Thomann's price and customer service is UNBEATABLE!!! Thanks guys x
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Show variations of this product
G&L Tribute Asat Special TSB
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G&L Tribute Asat Special TSB
to the product
529 €

Electric Guitar Body: Swamp ash, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 41.5 mm, Fretboard radius: 9", 2 G&L Magnetic Field Design High Output single coils, 3-Way toggle switch,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Pickups: SS
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
G&L Tribute Asat Special BLB
(1)
G&L Tribute Asat Special BLB
to the product
569 €

Electric Guitar Body: Swamp ash, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 41.5 mm, Fretboard radius: 9", 2 G&L Magnetic Field Design High Output single coils, 3-Way toggle switch,...

  • Colour: Blue
  • Pickups: SS
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Ash
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
529 €
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