NAMM: G&L Tom Hamilton ASAT Signature Bass

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Aerosmith bass player Tom Hamilton hinted at this one when I interviewed him recently: a new signature ASAT bass from G&L. He didn’t really spill any details at the time, but when I asked if he’d ever thought of having a signature bass, he said:

“I am! With G&L! I actually went down to the company, which occupies the same buildings as way way in the past, and I was allowed to go and hang around in Leo Fender’s lab, where he used to come up with his stuff. He has all these bizarre mock-ups of basses that are just planks of wood with strings on them, and it’s all chaotic and sloppy and everything’s all over the place. It was awesome to just sit in his chair, because I’m always worried about what a disorganised person I am, and here I was in his office and it was just chaotic. I was like, “Okay… I guess it’s okay!”

From the G&L website:

Putting the Punch in the Aerosmith Sound

Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton has been playing G&L ASAT Basses for nearly twenty years since he bought his first blue metal flake ASAT Bass at 48th Street Custom Guitars in New York City. Since then, G&L has built several more ASAT Basses in a variety of finishes, but there’s something about G&L’s over-the-top metal flake finishes that keeps him coming back for more.

Tom loves the tone, the way the ASAT Bass cuts through the mix in a live setting and the way it tracks beautifully in the studio. Why mess with such a good thing? Well, after listening carefully to Tom’s live performance and studio tracks, G&L VP Engineering Paul Gagon thought he could dial in the pickups to suit Tom’s style even more. Ideas were exchanged and prototypes were built, carefully moving the output and resonant peak until the perfect spec was nailed. Aiden Mullen, Tom’s tech, had this to say:

“The new bass you built for Tom is fantastic, and he started tracking with it like twenty minutes after it arrived. Every G&L we get is excellent, and the new pickups are perfect.”

The ASAT Bass Tom Hamilton Signature Model features the new “Hamiltone” Magnetic Field Design humbucking pickups mounted in a Western Sugar Pine body for reduced weight and an aged-satin-finished quartersawn maple neck that better withstands the rigors of worldwide touring. Naturally, the model features G&L’s stunning metal flake finishes, available in Blue, Red or Turquoise Metal Flake with a fresh twist: Silver Metal Flake faux double-binding for even more visual pop on stage. Tom’s signature and special caricature are placed discreetly on the rear of the headstock.