Introduced in 1980, the F-100 was G&L's first guitar model, brimming with new thinking and the optimism of G&L's founders. The F-100 featured two humbucker pickups, the very first guitar pickups employing Leo Fender's proprietary Magnetic Field Design technology. It also featured a complex active/passive electronics system, in step with a trend in the late 1970s and early '80s when guitar makers were pushing the envelope further in the quest for tonal versatility. Over the next few years, however, dealers prodded the company in another direction: passive electronics used with G&L's single coil MFD pickups. G&L enthusiasts speculate as to why, but the most logical explanation is that this phenomenon was due to Leo Fender's association with single coil guitar pickups. While many enthusiasts of vintage G&Ls are fond of the original F-100s as the were, many others felt that the instruments electronics held back the guitars potential. That may well have been the case, because the F-100 was only produced in considerable quantites through 1983.
The G&L Custom Creations Department has long been captivated by the F-100's pickups, and indeed the tooling and parts were re-created in 2005. After lengthy experimentation with specification and positioning on the body, the MFD guitar humbuckers returned to the world in the G&L 25th Anniversary Model. Even then, it was certain that these modern day MFD humbuckers would not have been done justice if they were only to make such a brief appearance, and the Custom Creations Department developed a plan to install these pickups in a shape true to the early vision of G&L's founders. Just as in the 25th Anniversary Model, the plan called for these MFD humbuckers to be free to sing with a minimum of electronics, save for the addition of a coil split switch enabling the outer coils to be used for truly honest and compelling single coil MFD tones.
The time has come for the F-100 to re-emerge from the hallowed halls of Fender Avenue: G&L’s Custom Creations Department is pleased to introduce the F-100 Return Edition. The body shape and dimensions are faithful to the original, though executed with a spectacular Premium Flamed Maple Top with Natural Wood Binding and a stunningly rich Port Wine Finish exclusive to this Limited Edition model. The Custom Creations Department deemed the original, short-lived G&L headstock design inappropriate, and instead used the mid-80's version where G&L's trademark hook shape was added to the design. In the spirit of Leo Fender, the F-100 Return Edition is respectful of the successes of the past yet unbound by them. This is not a reissue, but it carries the same expression of optimism as did the very first G&L guitar. Though the F-100 captures an essence of the original, the development of its pickups, its simplified controls, comfortable neck feel, world-class Plek fret dressing and impeccable finish are true to today's G&L, the product of more than 25 years of refinement.