Sometimes the best low bid is a trade.
I have a friend named Mac Whiteside, who lives in Austin, Texas. He has done a lot of custom guitar builds and modifications for me over the years. He’s also an avid G&L collector. He mentioned that he had an ’80s G&L SC-2 in his guitar arsenal. He sent me a picture, and for some reason I just fell in love with it. I’d never owned a G&L from the ’80s, and I was curious how that guitar would compare with my newer G&Ls. We talked several times about a guitar swap, and when I finally found the right guitar, he said okay.
Bottom Feeder Tip #289: Sometimes a guitar trade with a friend makes sense when money is scarce. Both parties get a new instrument to satisfy their guitar-playing wanderlust, while saving their money for more important things, like, well, other guitars.
The SC-2 arrived, and I was excited about the look of it. The original white finish had aged over the years into a beautiful yellowish cream color. The maple fretboard and headstock likewise had an aged look.
Besides its twin single-coil pickups with adjustable pole pieces, the SC-2’s straightforward electronics are represented by its control set: volume and tone knobs, and a 3-way pickup selector.
Here’s a little history on G&L: After Leo Fender sold Fender to CBS in 1965, he took the money and joined the team that started Music Man as a silent partner in 1971. He did that for nearly a decade and left Music Man to start G&L in 1979, with his longtime collaborator and the inventor of the Stratocaster, George Fullerton. Incidentally, the letters “G” and “L” stand for George and Leo—pretty casual for two industry titans.
The SC-2’s headstock displays the company’s lineage, with a very Leo look.
So, back to the SC-2. That model debuted in the early ’80s, when Leo and George wanted to create a new line of inexpensive but fully professional guitars at G&L. The SC-2 had the same Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups as its older and more expensive sibling, the venerable ASAT Special. It also used the same bridge, switches, and wiring as the ASAT. In fact, outside of the body shape and lack of a pickguard, this guitar is the same as an ASAT Special in nearly every way. The feel, electronics, and build are all top notch and as professional as it gets. I liked my SC-2 so much that I later added a black Hipshot bender to match the black-powder-coated hardware, so it could go into battle anytime, anywhere, on my terms.
A 3-bolt setup holds the neck firmly in place—another classic Fender design element, translated to the G&L brand.
So, how do the early-’80s MFD pickups sound compared to my newer ASATs? Very similar: a little lower in volume, but with a bit more sizzle in the top end. Check out how it sounds in my MP3 at premierguitar.com. The lighter weight of the guitar’s body also gives the SC-2 a different sound than the ASAT, while retaining the bite that MFD pickups are known for.
Is it a keeper? Yeah, and Mac made me promise to let him know if I ever decided to get rid of it. He understands.