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G&L CLF Research Espada in Natural Finish

Maple Fingerboard, Magnetic Field Design Pickups

Written by

Cian Hodge

You haven’t seen anything like this before - we guarantee it. This is because the Espada was Leo Fender’s very last guitar he designed, which until now has survived only in basic sketches. 

The G&L Espada (Spanish for sword) is the culmination of Leo Fender’s greatest instrumental inventions. This could be the most versatile, and dare say, complete guitar we’ve ever played.

Leo Fender's Finest Designs? G&L Espada, Doheny and Skyhawk!

Body and Neck

It’s not often you see a brand new bodyshape in the guitar world. The Espada certainly serves up the unique charm thanks to its Skyhawk/Tele/Jazzmaster/F100 hybrid design, with plenty of access to the upper frets and a neat cutaway to the back of the body. 

The neck is similar to that of a Fullerton Deluxe model – a nice middle ground between rounded and slim. On top, you have 21 medium jumbo frets and vintage block inlays on a high quality select wood fingerboard. Overall, the Espada is a joy to play and has a familiar feel despite the radical shape.


Not only does the Espada borrow a bit from your familiar guitars in the style department, but also in its sound, too. It houses a special custom-made preamp, packing a wealth of flavourful tones and offers experimentation in the bucketloads. 

Controls include a standard three-way pickup selection and volume knob, as well as treble and bass dials. You can roll of the bass for jangly cleans, or keep the bass boosted for rhythm playing. With a bit of tweaking, you can go from a hard rock high gain to fat jazzy cleans and to bluesy or folky bite.

Electronics & Hardware

There are also two added switches, the first selecting whether the Magnetic Field Design pickups run in parallel or in series. 

Parallel is your standard snappy single coil sound, while the series configuration utilises the pickups’ two polepiece design. Frequencies run through one coil into the other, cancelling out hum and fattening up the tone - a bit like reverse coil-splitting.

You also have access to a buffer switch powered by the battery alongside the EQ. This is a brilliant addition for guitarists who love a healthy pedalboard. It boosts the high-end that is potentially lost when travelling through a long signal chain. It also means you don’t have to spend more money on a buffer pedal for your board.

The Espada is equipped with G&L’s best hardware, including the ever reliable plated Saddle-Lock bridge and natural bone nut, making for a supreme performance instrument, live or at home.   

£1,399.00 to £1,999.00
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