For the longest time I put off buying a G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy or any other Telecaster style guitar. I had never really understood why everybody loved these single coil guitars. As I grew as a guitarist and my ear for tone developed, it became apparent that I NEEDED a single coil guitar in order to be versatile and prepared for any gig.
Fender Telecasters can be a bit expensive. So I started researching Telecaster type alternatives. The best rated alternative I could find was the G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy.
- G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy Tribute
- Things to Consider Before Buying the G&L ASAT Bluesboy
- The Finish
- The Tone
- Social Proof
So, you’ve decided you need to invest in a single coil guitar. We know that professional guitarists always have at least one humbucker guitar and one single coil guitar. When it comes to single coil guitar, the go to choice is usually a Telecaster or Stratocaster. Famous artists like Tom Petty, Prince, Jimmy Page, and John 5 (of Marilyn Manson) all played Teles.
Single Coil or Humbucker?
Telecaster style guitars like the G&L ASAT or the Fender Telecaster, can come with single coils, humbuckers, or a combination of both. Its important that you understand the difference here. Single coil pickups offer a more complex, cleaner, more sparkly tone. If you are playing alot of clean guitar like in blues, country, pop, or praise and worship, then a single coil tele will be a better choice.They help you punch through the mix.
Although they aren’t typically found in Telecasters unless specifically designed for them, Humbuckers offer a much denser, beefier tone. They do well with distortion and aggressive music. If you are playing heavier rock, you’ll probably gravitate toward a humbucker tele. The best way to figure out what you like is to get your hands on these guitars and try them out. Go to your local music shop and play some guitars.
For me, I needed to understand the hype and experience this guitar for myself. There was one major problem though…they are pricey. I remembered that my old guitar teacher loved telecasters, but he never rarely played Fenders. So I called him up. G&L was the brand. He had nothing but great things to say about them. I looked into it and ultimately settled on the G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy.
G&L was founded by Leo Fender himself. He invented the Telecaster back in 1951. And according to Leo Fender “G&L Guitars and Basses are the best instruments I have ever made.” I tend to believe him don’t you?
The G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy is a factory-modded version of the traditional single-cutaway bolt-on axe. For players looking for the unmistakable warmth of a classic humbucker in the neck position, the Bluesboy delivers with a well-balanced pairing of a G&L Guitars alnico humbucker and a single-coil G&L Guitars bridge pickup.
When I first received this guitar, I have to admit, I was skeptical. The price was great, maybe a little too great, was there a catch? It was my first telecaster guitar, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I played it for an hour, and completely fell in love. Its hard to put into words, but I’ll try.
First of all, this guitar is SO WELL BUILT! Like a tank, but built with finesse and it plays so smoothly and easily. The paint is very high quality. This guitar is SOOO comfortable to play. It just felt right, like I had been playing it for years.
You definitely feel the solid quality of every part of the guitar. The neck is nice and thick and the sustain is incredible. The body is just the right and enables string vibrations to resonate from the guitar, almost eliminating the need for an amplifier, very impressive.
The pickups were a bit disappointing. They seemed mismatched, and I eventually upgraded the bridge pickup. The brass saddles look amazing and absolutely add resonance to the overall tone. There was not one dead spot on the entire neck. Overall you’ll be very happy with the G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy.
Fantastic Build Quality
Resonant & Beautiful Tone
High Quality Hardware
Thick, Dependable Neck
Volume & Tone Pots Very High Quality
Mismatched Pickups (In my opinion)
Fret edges needed sanding.
Color not exactly as was pictured.
Tuners were generic.
Bridge Pickup was not an ASAT MFD. (G&L Proprietary Design Pickup)
Factory Specs ASAT Classic Bluesboy:
Body shape: Single cutaway
Body type: Solid body
Body wood: Poplar
Body finish: Gloss
Neck shape: C standard
Neck wood: Hard-rock Maple
Scale length: 25.5″
Truss rod: Standard
Neck finish: Satin
Neck: AS4255C humbucker
Active or passive pickups: Passive
Control layout: Master volume, tone
Pickup switch: 3-way
Bridge design: 6-saddle with individual brass saddles
Tailpiece: String thru body
Country of origin: Indonesia
Fret size: Medium jumbo
Number of frets: 22
Nut width: 1.62″ (41.3mm)
Okay so lets dive deep and touch on some of the main features that really convinced me that this was the guitar to buy.
My Detailed Review of the G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy... 3 Years Later.
The important thing for me is that a guitar be built incredibly well. This G&L ASAT Classic Tribute does that for certain. Whats cool is that this guitar is built with all the same parts and hardware as their expensive models. I think this is the best tele guitar you can get for the money. There were no corners cut when G&L built this guitar. It has surpassed my expectations for sure.
The brass saddles alone add great value to this guitar. Typical Fender Telecasters don’t usually come with six individual brass saddles, especially not for this price. Believe me, the flexibility of the individual saddles is a must. Not to mention they warm up the tone and increase the resonance of the strings. I will insist on this feature on all my future tele style guitars.
The ashtray style bridge plate on this is one of the thickest, best quality plates I have seen on any tele. It is tastefully engraved with “ASAT Classic“ between the pickup and the saddles, adding a unique look to the guitar.
The tuners aren’t anything special, but they are totally smooth and the gear ratio allows for very precise tuning. They hold tune very well and I was satisfied.
The neck on this guitar is wonderful. Its without a doubt the most comfortable guitar neck I’ve ever owned. I’ve owned over twenty guitars. The satin feel of the unfinished neck is now a must for any guitar I purchase from now on. The truss rod is easy to adjust and very smooth turning. I like a bit of relief in the neck, it also works very well with a capo all the way up to the 6th fret.
We have to talk about the tone. Up until I started playing this guitar, I had not fully experienced the depths of guitar tone. Tone is sooooo crucial to guitar players. Its something we chase after endlessly.
The quality of the paint job is professional grade. Its nicer than the paint job on my car. Its very thick and durable. The color is unique, and there are tiny metallic flakes throughout. The clear coat makes it shiny. I was expecting a lower quality paint job for the price. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
This guitar taught me so much about guitar tone. Where this guitar really shines is the the middle position. The tone is crisp, yet incredibly deep. The bridge position can cut through the mix. The neck humbucker however is a little too muddy. But, when you combine the two in the middle position you get solid gold guitar tone. I believe this is the reason why so many players reach for the tele style guitar.
Eventually I decided to upgrade the single coil to a Dimarzio Tone Zone T, and it has become my go to guitar. I use it for gigs every single week. I play it more than any other guitar I own.
Me playing my G&L ASAT through a POD HD500x (w/ heavy effects).
My Rating of the G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy
I give this guitar 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Who the G&L ASAT guitar is for:
I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a single coil or a tele style guitar. Perfect for players that want “Fender Quality for Squire Price”. Its a great platform for those who like to upgrade their guitars one part at a time. You won’t find a better guitar in terms of value for the money. You will be pleasantly surprised by this well built, affordable guitar.
Who the G&L ASAT guitar is NOT for:
The ASAT Classic Bluesboy is not for players in need of a powerful humbucker tone. This model may not be a good choice if you don’t like single coil pickups.
If you are a professional that needs professional grade hardware and parts, or a fully loaded workhorse guitar for touring, then this is not the right model for you.
For that I would recommend the G&L USA Series that are built right in America. These models are configured the same, but with top of the line parts.
More Professional Grade Telecasters:
Fender Custom Shop
RNR Relics Guitars
I do my research before I buy, and this time was no exception. I scoured the internet for other reviews, and found that they are mostly positive. Here are some screenshots from other reviews around the internet.
Alternatives to the G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy
Here are alternatives similar in price to the G&L ASAT Classic Tribute Bluesboy. I believe the G&L is the best overall value.
I really hope you have learned more about this guitar and thought the review was fair. The G&L ASAT Classic Tribute Bluesboy is a solid choice for single coil or telecaster type guitars. If you have been thinking about buying a telecaster, this guitar is an excellent choice and a great deal. You get alot of value with G&L that you might not get with other big name brands.
The build quality is unsurpassed. The hardware is high quality. The neck is the most comfortable I’ve ever played. I’m very satisfied with my G&L. I have since upgraded many components on it and use it daily. Its my go to guitar. Give it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Please use the links below to check out this great guitar. I would really appreciate it.
The Axe Dr.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a “G&L ASAT”?
The G&L ASAT Classic is Leo’s final word on the traditional single-cutaway bolt-on axe. Framed in a classic boxed-steel bridge, the single-coil Magnetic Field Design™ bridge pickup created by Leo Fender† delivers crisp attack with complex harmonics while individual brass saddles offer modern levels of intonation refinement.
Flip to the single-coil MFD™ neck pickup and you’ll discover a delectably rich tonal palette, from round clean jazz tones to thick, gritty blues. Put ‘em together and you’ll find a whole ‘nother level of heaven.
The Tribute® Series ASAT Classic is dripping with Leo mojo at a price attainable for every working musician. Once you play a G&L Tribute Series, you’ll never look back.
Before his death in 1991, Leo Fender said “G&L Guitars and Basses are the best instruments I have ever made.”
2. Where are G&L Tribute Legacy guitars made?
Tribute G&L's are made in Korea by Cort Guitars. (Cort Guitars are really quite nice guitars.) Most of the hardware is manufactured by foreign companies. Some models use real G&L made parts. The pickups used in the Tribute Series Guitars are actual G&L pickups made in the USA.
3. What does “G&L Guitars” stand for?
The G&L name comes from two founders' first names, George Fullerton and Leo Fender. Leo Fender needed a new means to build his guitars after selling Fender in 1965, and leaving Music Man in 1970.
4. What are the best alternatives to the Fender Telecaster?
5. LTD TE series TE-254
4. Ron Kirn Signature T-Style Guitars
3. Classic TC (Manson Stage Series) by Cort Guitars
2. Veritas Portlander (Boutique Guitar Builder)
1. G&L ASAT (by Leo Fender).