Robert Poss G&L SC1 (pt2)

An update to my Robert Poss G&L article…

A couple of months ago I posted an article written by Robert Poss of the band ‘Band Of Susans’ about his fascination with the rare early 80’s G&L SC1. (Click here to check it out.) The SC1 was one of the earliest designs by the new G&L company, and is sort of a mix between a Fender Mustang & Telecaster/Esquire. After posting the article I myself became quite interested in the SC1 & SC2 as they looked quite cool, and in Australia at least are very rare. I’ve never seen one.

Also the fact that Page Hamilton used a SC2 to record most of his parts on Helmet’s album ‘Strap It On’ had something to do with it, as I love that album. His use of the G&L in the early Helmet days was a carryover from his days playing guitar with Band Of Susans.

Band Of Susans with Page Hamilton on the far right, along with his SC2

Anyway, a few weeks ago I saw a post of Robert Poss’s facebook that he was selling some of his music gear, and amongst the various bits and pieces was a VERY cool looking vintage white G&L SC1, complete with the trademark Robert Poss designed & fitted scratchplate.

I had received a small bonus from my job for a large project I’d completed so I thought ‘what the hell’ and contacted Robert that I wanted to buy it.  He very kindly unbolted the neck, packed the parts in a box and sent it on it’s long journey from New York to Australia. 4 days later it arrived at Tym’s Guitars shop in Fortitiude Valley, which is around the corner where I work.

I rushed over to the shop in my lunch break and ripped open the box. Robert had very carefully packed all the parts in bubble wrap, so I ripped them open and quickly bolted the neck & body together. The neck is a three bolt… exactly like the old 70’s Fenders, which from what I’ve read are fine. The reason they got a bad wrap is that some 70’s Fender necks just didn’t fit the neck pockets due to CBS screwing everything up to save money.

I then ran back to work (in the rain) with the guitar and sat it next to my desk while I tried in vain to get some work done… which was very hard. I just wanted to string up the SC1 and play it!

Finally work was finished, and as soon as I got home I restrung my new axe. The tremolo springs needed loosening to get the action sitting right, and apart from taking a while to tune due to the neck settling… IT PLAYED FRIKKEN’ GREAT!

The neck shape is absolutely fantastic. It feels like one the the best Telecaster necks I’ve ever played. Thin profile but not too thin, there’s still a little meat there to wrap your hand around. The frets are thankfully jumbo’s which have been filed down. I hate tiny vintage frets… I guess that’s my heavy metal roots showing. The headstock is really cool looking too… sort of a smoother version of the 70’s Fender shape, complete with the bullet trussrod end. I like this a lot more than the current G&L shape with the little ‘kink’… This is still showing it’s Fender heritage.

The body is a little heavy, but not seriously so. That makes sense as this guitar is pure maple, head to toe. It feels solid as a rock. The tuning pegs are Schaller Klusons, which are the only thing on the guitar that doesn’t feel like it’s military spec. They’re a little vague, but as they’re the original pegs and they look great, they’re staying on there.

The following night I had band practice with my new band. It was a special occasion as I was also testing out my other new acquisition, my Mesa Boogie Mark 1 combo. I plugged it in, along with my awesome Sole-Mate Spring Reverb pedal and I instantly knew why Robert became so fanatical about these guitars. It sounded fantastic. Those G&L MFD pickups are REALLY clear sounding, with sparkling highs but heaps of power. Plus this guitar has sustain for days. I guess the maple body and that solid as hell G&L bridge are to thank for that.

My favourite bit on the whole guitar is the scratchplate. It really identifies this guitar as a former Band Of Susans axe. So, the fact it’s rare, looks cool, it’s come from an awesome New York band, sounds fantastic, plays great… this guitar has snuck into my #1 spot. I’m stoked!