‘The Real Ones’ - A history of G&L


Beyond the Limited Editions, the Custom Creations Department also built special instruments of which more can be, and have been, produced at a later time: the Special Build models. Since this is not as exclusive as the LE’s, I mostly focus here on the instruments actually in my collection. The first Special Build model was the ASAT Classic ‘S’, based on the ASAT ‘Classic III’ but with a reverse wound S-500 pickup instead of a reverse wound Classic neck pickup. The first 100 were built between January and May of 2004 with 50 in Honeyburst/maple board/pearl pickguard, 25 in Three-tone Sunburst/maple board/tortoise pickguard, and 25 in Three-tone Sunburst/rosewood board/tortoise pickguard. A second run of 100 instruments was announced in April 2007: 25 in Three-tone Sunburst/rosewood board/tortoise pickguard, 25 in Cherryburst/maple board/pearl pickguard, 25 in Honeyburst/maple board/pearl pickguard, and 25 in Butterscotch/maple board/3-ply black pickguard. There have been several additional runs of this model, differing in color scheme and body contours, and it has become a production model, apparently since January 2008 but officially announced in November 2010. Immediately after the initial run of the ASAT Classic ‘S’, the CCD began production of the ASAT ‘Super’, in this case inspired by the ASAT ‘Junior’. The introduction of the Super started a series of all mahogany guitars which are marked as Special Build but never appeared on the corresponding G&L webpage cited above. Here they have been given their own page. A model that does appear on that G&L webpage is the ASAT Classic Bluesboy Spalted Maple, the first 60 of which were produced in January and February of 2008 with tops harvested from a special batch of spalted maple the company had acquired. In May of the same year, after a second batch of spalted maple had been located, several models were released: 100 Legacies, 100 L-2000 basses, and 40 ASAT Classics Spalted Maple (continuing the number sequence of the Bluesboy Spalted Maple).

At the start of 2018, the Custom Creations Department morphed into the G&L Custom Shop, building highly customized instruments in addition to Limited Editions. It can be argued the Special Build models moved under the CLF Research label specializing in building instruments with a distinctive early-1980s vibe and including some exciting new models.


CCD special build models