Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

ASAT vs Tele

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Hollandcaster, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Hollandcaster

    Hollandcaster Tele-Holic

    Jan 31, 2005
    Wagenberg, Holland
    Today I brought my USA 52'reis.(1997) and my USA deluxe Tele (2000) to a local musicshop to compare with 3 diff. Asat's, the Korean versions (tribute), because I neverd heard or played them.
    Well.... It's a shame but they all sounded better than my tele's. Okay, the necks were thinner, the poly coat is thin, but there is also a BIG difference in price (550 Euro Asat vs. 1600 Euro for a new 52' reiss.).
    Sound was more balanced, richer and deeper tone, more output (more output than the stock noiseless humbuckers on the deluxe).

    I played the hollow body, one with oversized pu's, and a standard kind of Asat.

    Is G&L Korea making better sounding guitars than Fender USA?
    What about the USA Asat's, are they better?
    Anyone here notice the same thing?

  2. editorjuno

    editorjuno Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 16, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I think you're making a classic "apples vs. oranges comparison. First of all, throw out "more output" as a virtue -- it's a difference, but not necessarily an improvement, and it can very easily produce the impression of "more balanced," "deeper," and/or "richer" (see my third point about amp settings). After all, if output was all that important then an SG or LP would be better than a Tele or ASAT! Second, your Fenders have their hands tied in that the '52 RI is a replication attempt and the '00 Deluxe is limited by the VN pickups, which are often called "Vintage Toneless" here Stateside (no offense meant). Third, unless you take the time to thoroughly tweak the amp settings, you might as well not have bothered making the comparison -- the guitars have very different pickups and body styles, and differences like that requires lots of attention to the amp knobs.

    That said, I've been very favorably impressed by the MIA G&Ls I've tried, so I wouldn't be surprised if the MIK "Tribute" series wasn't also exceptional -- I particularly like G&L's approach to the Tele-style semi-hollow guitar, imo it's both a nicer looking instrument and the "Classic" version is much easier to tweak (e.g. bridge, pickups, control plate orientation) to my personal preferences.

  3. cvansickle

    cvansickle Tele-Holic

    Jul 29, 2005
    Atlanta, GA USA
    I went Tele shopping a couple months back. I tried everything in Fender's line, from the Squiers and MIM Fenders all the way up to the 52 Reissue. Honestly, I was not happy with the performance, playability or sound of any of these models.

    Then I tried the G&L ASATS, both the USA and Tributes.

    I had the money to buy any guitar I wanted (within reason, of course). I wanted to buy one that played well, sounded great and had, for lack of a better term, that certain "mojo."

    I bought a Tribute Classic Semi-Hollow.

  4. sdmyers

    sdmyers TDPRI Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Hi, Everyone,

    Well, I'm lucky enough to have a terrific 52RI and two G&L ASAT Classics. One G&L is a '96 solid with the three-bolt that was "Esquire-ized" (by Vintique!) and now uses a Duncan Broadcaster pick up in place of the hotter G&L pickup. I wouldn't have done the conversion if I didn't own a regular Tele, but to tell you the truth, I really like this axe. The other is a '99 stock four-bolt hollowbody. They're both excellent guitars, in my experience, though the newer one uses higher quality hardware inside. The hollowbody does the "Telecaster" blues/classic rock thing beautifully for me. I'd still like to get another Fender Telecaster product, some day, but my G&Ls have been great, so far.

    Best To All,

  5. Wild Rice Chris

    Wild Rice Chris Friend of Leo's

    The G&L Tributes are set up in the USA factory and use USA pickups (the same as on the USA ASATs).

    They really are nice, I think I need one now that I've sold both of my old G&Ls. :(

  6. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Horses for courses. There's no rule you have to prefer Fender: viva la difference! It'd be boring if they were both the same except the name.

    IMO, and YMMV, Leo's hearing was going when he invented MFDs which to me sound harsh and strident and only do 'Texas blues'; and the pickups in the ASAT are different yes, but no better. My needs are obviously different. I can't get over the 'almost Fender' headstocks, either.

    While workmanship of G&Ls is first rate, and I had a magnificent bass in my hands the other day, the neck profiles of the guitars I tried leave me totally cold.

    But freedom is a great thing: we're all free to buy what we like.

  7. tweeddeluxe

    tweeddeluxe Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 16, 2003
    Ya, pity about that dewclaw idnit?

    I find the neck profiles of most Fenders leaves me cold as well. What's up with all these skinny necks?

  8. rcotler

    rcotler TDPRI Member

    Jan 13, 2004
    Fender or G&L, do what feels good.

    My only true love of all electrics is my 96 goldburst ASAT Classic (alder body, 3 bolt neck, 7.5 raduis birdseye maple). The neck has low frets and a thin satiny finish, and plays like silk.

    I've found the trick to smoothing out the sound is to use Ernie Ball Pure Nickel strings. They sound warmer and less shrill on the ASAT than nickel plated wrap and steel wrap string sets.

    I was flipping between a 52RI and the G&L, and the 52RI is still on my "someday" list, but for me the G&L felt right.

    I will have to check out the Tribute line in the near future. I'm sure I will play some MIM and Squire teles as well. Then I can bring one home and have to explain to my wife once again the reasons someone needs more than one guitar.

  9. Wild Rice Chris

    Wild Rice Chris Friend of Leo's

    Here's the G&L I just sold:
    And the one I keep forever:

    Nice Headstock! :D

  10. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Colorado Springs
    I like 'em both!....

    Here's my recently-acquired ASAT Special:


    ...I really love it, but I've owned many Fenders that were every bit as good, including many Mexican Teles, particularly the Deluxe and Classic models.

    Just my opinion....


  11. Tom S

    Tom S Friend of Leo's

    Aug 3, 2005
    Ah, Korean G&Ls. That explains the low price on the G&L I saw recently at a GC. I didn't even know they were importing Korean-made models. Well, I haven't been following guitars that closely for a while.

    Mileage varies, of course. I played that particular G&L guitar while comparing a bunch of teles (Mexican, Korean, Indonesian, American). I found it dull and lifeless, and didn't like the neck at all. But then again, I found pretty much the same thing with all the current-issue teles I played that day. The only one I liked (a lot) was the American Deluxe, but I already have one.

    I had an American G&L thinline with dual buckers and a Bigsby that I bought new, via the net. It was an absolutely gorgeous guitar, really nicely made, and I couldn't resist it. But it looked better than it played, as I never felt inspired while playing it for some reason. I sold it.

    So everyone is going to have a different reaction. I agree with editorjuno, though, about amp settings. In the audio equipment world (if you think tele-lovers are nutty, these guys set the standard for crazy), it has been shown time and time again that when there is even a slight increase in volume (1dB-2dB is plenty) between two components being compared, listeners attribute more depth, "air," complexity, richness, etc. to the slightly louder component. This has been shown in blind testing even when two identical components were compared.

  12. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

    No problem, Hollandcaster, with you preferring them Ass-hats to your Fenders. So I'm gonna do you a deal.....

    I'll buy you the 3 Korean Ass-hats, and as a favour, I'll take away those AWFUL 52 RI and USA Deluxe teles of yours which you dislike so much.

    Wadda ya say? ;)

  13. gbenson

    gbenson TDPRI Member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Queens, NY
    I agree, they're kind of apples and oranges. The ASAT Classics can be very sterile, but they make up for it in clarity.

    If I could find one with a neck my hands would get along with, I'd own a dozen. But I don't own a single one. I hate the neck profiles.

    The build quality on both the MIK and MIA is outstanding, though. It puts Fender to shame, IMO. The finish on even the MIK's is a thin coat of durable poly (no different than a thin coat of nitro to me) and the fret work and hardware setup is perfect.

    I do own a set of those ASAT Classic pups and I use them in my various projects. The bridge pup is very punchy and hot (a smidge to much "edge" to it). I can do heavy metal levels of distortion with the bridge pup. the neck is very, very Hendrix/SRV neck position Strat. They both sit in a mix very, very well. You can always turn the treble down in the EQ, but can't do the opposite for muddy pickups.

    But in between?

    shooooo- it's like psycho-cluck. It's such a unique sound. it's still Tele-like, but very Hi-Fi and absurd. I find alot of uses for it.

  14. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    to me, it all comes down to individual guitars. Fender's quality has always been inconsistent, all the way back to 1951 there have been gems and dogs. I still think the best Fenders are the best guitars, still to this day, they just have THAT sound and that feel.

    I've got a 2004 American Ash Telecaster that is an amazing instrument.

    The best Telecaster I've ever played or heard was a 2005 Fender Custom Shop John English masterbuilt '52 RI... Fender USA still makes incredible guitars

    I'm not doubting the quality of any G&L product, but imho no, G&L Korea is not making better guitars than Fender USA

  15. frankthomson

    frankthomson Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 12, 2003

    G&L USA makes a superior guitar. I have not picked up one that didn't feel *nicer-made* than a USA tele. I truely love them both.

    fwiw, i have 2 ASAT Classics, 1 ASAT Special, and 1 ASAT III, all USA. Fine, fine instruments.

  16. Maestro

    Maestro Tele-Holic

    Hey Waalwijk I live there two!

    Did you go to con musica or That new guitar shop? I've been wanting to check that one out.

  17. Hollandcaster

    Hollandcaster Tele-Holic

    Jan 31, 2005
    Wagenberg, Holland
    Hey Maestro

    Hey Maestro,
    That's funny, wordwideforum, and living in the same country! I hope the picture of me (and the band, official Heeren van Amstel liveband) is visible.
    It's great to see so many people like Asats to!
    I won't sell my tele's, but see the asat as an add-on!
    I love the colour from your Asat Colo! Frank Thompson, you must be a lucky man!

  18. Hollandcaster

    Hollandcaster Tele-Holic

    Jan 31, 2005
    Wagenberg, Holland

    I tested the asat's by "Strings&Things" in Kaatsheuvel, the new store.

  19. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 19, 2005
    Bowling Green, KY
    I have switched to ASAT Classic's in a band environment. I play for a alternative country recording artist, and I play most of the crunchy electric parts. I'm able to cut the volume back on the ASAT and play cords and parts that blend with the group. This gives me more of a Tele type sound. When I boost the volume I get a lot more crunch and sustain, with less volume change (compression) than most guitars.

    I'm not crazy about the narrowness of the neck, at the nut, but I'm getting used to it. I do like the 7.5" radius, although a Fender neck, would be my first choice.

  20. msteurbaut

    msteurbaut Tele-Holic

    Apr 6, 2005
    :D lol

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