Gordon Smith and "Junior" single cuts

Spiteface

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As ever, I want more guitars than I know what to do with. Recent things have made me think about getting a Les Paul Junior. Something really simple. A lump of wood with a pickup on it. I happened across the latest signature model Gibson is putting out for Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day.
Looks alright, I thought, probably won't cost much to make and sell. The very similar-looking M2 costs about £400 and this has only ONE pickup. Then I see it's over a grand, and the closest thing Gibson's offering to normal in the new 2019 line is a double cutaway with a horrible big pickguard that looks even more like it's hiding a multitude of sins underneath. That's out of the question, especially with Gibson's iffy quality control these days.

Also, recent trips to Gamlins and issues of Guitarist magazine have alerted me to Gordon Smith guitars. So I visit their website and I realise they do a nice singlecut version, but also the opportunity to custom-order guitars. Tinkering on the site shows I could get what I wanted for well under a grand. The idea of having something that isn't an off-the-peg guitar appealed to me, too.
However, this has me tempted: https://rguitars.co.uk/products/gordon-smith-gs1-60-p90-natural-cedar

Not sure what Cedar's like as a tonewood, and this is a thinner body than is more typical of the “real thing”, so this is something I would need to look into. They also do a more typical mahogany:

https://rguitars.co.uk/collections/...ucts/gordon-smith-gs1-thick-body-mahogany-p90


Apparently the quality of these things is better than ever these days since Auden took over. I'd be OK with the natural finish on these, but again, liking the idea of a custom guitar for under a grand.


Anyone have any experience with Gordon Smith? And as alluded to above, is Cedar a good wood? Apparently Gordon Smith's used it for decades, but I only ever seem to read stuff about acoustic guitars using cedar, no electric stuff.
 

Kostas.

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I've always read positive comment about GS guitars, I learned about them in the early 90's when I was reading Guitarist magazine. Here's a recent demo from them


Personally, unless it's an exact replica, I don't expect guitars to sound like the "real thing". Instead I enjoy guitars that have something new to offer, that's why I have used several "exotic" woods in my Warmoth guitars and I haven't been disappointed. Ruokangas & Kauer are using Spanich Cedar in their electrics but they say it's closer to Honduran Mahogany than to Cedar.
 

Troy McClure

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I was looking to buy one of their earlier GS versions a few years ago. The name was sold in 2015 to Auden guitars and they kind of went a bit more mass market after that so hard to know if they're still the same quality as the earlier GS ones but the earlier ones always get good reviews. Guitars aren't exactely hard to make so checking out reviews of the newer models should give a good idea if the finishing, fret work etc is up to scratch after 2015.
 

Spiteface

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I was looking to buy one of their earlier GS versions a few years ago. The name was sold in 2015 to Auden guitars and they kind of went a bit more mass market after that so hard to know if they're still the same quality as the earlier GS ones but the earlier ones always get good reviews. Guitars aren't exactely hard to make so checking out reviews of the newer models should give a good idea if the finishing, fret work etc is up to scratch after 2015.

General consensus in reviews seems to be that they are better in many ways under Auden, without losing what made them special before. Certain quirks, and the circuitry is kept intact, so they're wired like they always have been.
 

Spiteface

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Anyway, over the weekend, I went out and tried a couple of Gordon Smiths for myself - A white GS1 60 (singlecut) with P90:

gordon-smith-gs1-60-thick-mahogany-body-dog-ear-p90-vintage-white-gloss-top-body-angle.jpg


And a double cut GS1 with Humbucker (I was curious to see the difference between pickups and if the coil-split was usable to me)

56424d4690931b0f55d63b8dd249c24e-1200-80.jpg


Both great guitars, felt good to play. The white one has a poplar body as opposed to the mahogany of the double cut, but any differences I heard I wouldn't really put down to the woods. Definitely think the P90 tone is a gap I need to fill. Whether it's a custom build remains to be seen. I need to think this over, but it definitely made me more likely to get one soon.
 

longjaw

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I had a double cut GS1 from the mid to late 80s around 10 years ago and was thoroughly underwhelmed by it - soon sold it on.
 

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