$350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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Larry Mal
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Re: $350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:20 pm

See, to get to your point, I don't know a whole lot about the Z-coils either. I've played a Comanche in the past and liked it but it was in the store and I didn't really get all that much lasting impression from it.

I would love a Comanche, though.

That being said, though, you're all seeing a day by day evolution of this boy trying to wrap his mind around noise free pickups that aren't hum buckers. They used to be terrible; also I used to be a slave to the guitar magazine mentality that if anything was even the slightest deviation from vintage then it couldn't be good.

In my defense, I went from a neck through Carvin which had splittable modern hum buckers and they sounded terrible and I hated the guitar. Then I went to having a Jazzmaster and for all its imperfections fun sound just burst out of it, so it's not like I only went by magazine wisdom.

Still, it's with some embarrassment that I still am quite a slave to that way of thinking and probably always will be to a degree.
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BoringPostcards
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Re: $350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

Post by BoringPostcards » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:47 pm

Comanche is indeed a very fun model. I would also like to have one some day.
That white tribute with the matching headstock looks really nice.
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Re: $350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

Post by mbene085 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm

I get it. I had a similar struggle with biases that came partly from "guitar culture" and partly from the reality of disliking most humbuckers I got to lay hands on (growing up in the era of Gibson 498s being on everything) and loving the sounds I could get from the single coil guitars that were available to me. In the earlier days of the internet, audio and video demos weren't an easily accessible thing so all you had to go on when considering expensive pickup purchases were the opinions of others, and we all know how that goes.

Here is as good a demo of the Z coils as I've been able to find. You have to try not to listen with your eyes and expect the Comanche to sound like the strat it looks like, because it doesn't and that would be disappointing. But close your eyes and listen to the variety of tones coming from it in the demo. Plenty of them are thick and warm. Plenty of them are defined and cutting. With the PTB and a set of Z coils, there are so many sweet spots of useful tones that you really can't make a video that shows the full extent of that. This video shows the exact same guitar but EQ'd a bit more "Fender-style" than the first video. You can similarly push the guitar into a more "Gibson-style" tone with very little effort through the tone knobs and your pedals/amp. You never find demos of Z-coils playing really heavy tones but they are also every bit as well suited to that as any humbucker I've ever tried.

All I can really say is that in my time actually owning Z coils, I've never been able to get a bad sound out of them. They've never been muddy when I want something warm, and they've never been ice-picky or thin when I want something clear and cutting and defined. And my Mustang is the first time I've ever heard them in a 24" scale guitar, or even heard of them being put in a 24" guitar, and the tones I get are all equally good but distinctly different from any ASAT Z or Comanche I've heard, which is what makes me want to try them in a Jazzmaster, even if I end up with the regular set and not the Danny Gatton bridge model. I'm convinced by my experience that they'd sound different enough to functionally act like a different set of pickups from the Mustang's.

They're also super fun to play. I've often blamed the steel pole/bar magnet construction of a P90 for being the reason I don't find those pickups fun to play, but MFDs feel different. They don't have the immediate feel of alnico rod magnets in a Fender or Firebird, but they don't have the rounded string attack of a P90 that makes me feel disconnected from the guitar despite having steel screw polepieces and bar magnets. I know the whole "deal" with MFDs is that they shape the magnetic field in a specific way, and I thought that was mostly a marketing thing but at this point I've owned almost every format of MFD they make and they all sound and feel unlike P90s or PAFs so they clearly aren't lying.

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Re: $350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

Post by BoringPostcards » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:45 am

The Comanche was its own model originally with only marginal resemblance to a Strat. It had a very metal look to it. It later changed to an F100 style body in the 90s, and then to the Strat shape in the late 90s.
I like the F100 (version 2)body Comanche the most.

Version 1
Image

Image

Version 2
Image

The version with the extra toggle switches is the Comanche VI, which is an enhanced version of the Comanche, with even more tonal options. They still make them occasionally. You can order one.

Edit: Seems the pics will not show. Annoying.
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Larry Mal
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Re: $350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:00 am

mbene085 wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm
I get it. I had a similar struggle with biases that came partly from "guitar culture" and partly from the reality of disliking most humbuckers I got to lay hands on (growing up in the era of Gibson 498s being on everything) and loving the sounds I could get from the single coil guitars that were available to me. In the earlier days of the internet, audio and video demos weren't an easily accessible thing so all you had to go on when considering expensive pickup purchases were the opinions of others, and we all know how that goes.



They're also super fun to play. I've often blamed the steel pole/bar magnet construction of a P90 for being the reason I don't find those pickups fun to play, but MFDs feel different. They don't have the immediate feel of alnico rod magnets in a Fender or Firebird, but they don't have the rounded string attack of a P90 that makes me feel disconnected from the guitar despite having steel screw polepieces and bar magnets. I know the whole "deal" with MFDs is that they shape the magnetic field in a specific way, and I thought that was mostly a marketing thing but at this point I've owned almost every format of MFD they make and they all sound and feel unlike P90s or PAFs so they clearly aren't lying.
No doubt. They really were slapping those 498s on everything. I used to hate them, in fact, when I got the Les Paul that I still have I remember thinking that all of a sudden I sounded like Bad Company and I hate Bad Company and that was all my guitar could do.

Now I have learned to appreciate them, though. They are actually pretty good pickups that are more versatile than I used to think, or maybe more accurately I am finally able to use them well. But I don't want any more of them... the one Les Paul is enough, and if I ever got another guitar with them I would pull them and put something better in there.

And regarding the MFD pickups, I absolutely love them and have been a user of theirs since the 90's. But only on basses, though. I have no idea why I have never come around to viewing them as good guitar pickups, and I'll bet it's just because of guitar magazine culture living rent free in my head.

Maybe I should add that to the list of new year resolutions.
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Re: $350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

Post by Solomon » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:50 am

It's a "Will Ray,"Z coil, not a Danny Gatton. Danny was never associated with G&L and his pickup choices were vintage or Joe Barden. Not trying to be douche, FWIW.

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Re: $350 ASAT Classic Stupid Deal

Post by mbene085 » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:43 pm

Solomon wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:50 am
It's a "Will Ray,"Z coil, not a Danny Gatton. Danny was never associated with G&L and his pickup choices were vintage or Joe Barden. Not trying to be douche, FWIW.
Totally correct. I know Will Ray and the Hellecasters well and have absolutely no idea why I had such a brain-finger disconnect there but thanks for pointing it out!

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