G&L’s new CLF Research Espada has been 50 years in the making

Marries Leo Fender’s original plans with modern guitar-making techniques.

G&L Research espada groupshot

The CLF Research Espada in 3-Tone Sunburst (left) and Natural

The axe was almost completed in 1969, but was suddenly abandoned. Fifty years later, it has now been seen through, bearing original Leo Fender design concepts as well as modern appointments.

The Espada features a swamp ash body with a G&L Modern Classic hard-rock maple neck and either a Carribean rosewood (sunburst) or maple fingerboard (natural), depending on the finish.

In terms of tone, the guitar has Espada MFD split-coil hum-cancelling pickups that can be shaped by a wealth of controls. These include a three-position pickup selector, a volume knob, treble and bass controls (PTB system), a series/parallel switch and a three-position pre-amp mode switch. The latter is powered by a single 9v battery and features positions for “Off” (passive output), “On” (buffered low-z output) or “On with high freq boost”.

As for hardware, the Espada features a Leo Fender-designed G&L Saddle-Lock bridge with forged brass saddles. This design, completed a decade after the original project was abandoned, is said to be “an efficient means of transferring more string energy directly into the grain of the body’,’ according to the brand.

Listen to the guitar here:

Lists for $1,999. More information at glguitars.com.


Get the latest news, reviews and features to your inbox.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

Join our mailing list

Sign Up Now

© 2023 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.