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Gordon Smith Guitars Society

Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by valiant, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. valiant

    valiant Tele-Holic

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    Gordon Smith Guitars are handmade to custom order in Manchester England
    and are the longest running guitar maker in continuous production in the UK.
    Gordon Smith Guitars make handbuilt guitars that feature their hand wound
    pickups and were the first to offer humbuckers with a coil tap as standard on a production guitar and also feature a brass nut.
    Gordon Smith Guitars are said to be the English Gibson but do make Fender inspired guitars.
    Incredibly Gordon Smith Guitars are at the same price point as far east
    imported copies and have an honest quality directed at the working musician.
    John Smith the owner says that they don't make furniture and likens the guitars to the indestructable zippo lighter.
    The guitars a favourite with punk bands are still played today by Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks.
     
  2. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have played a couple of them and they are fine guitars .They have been going years .My own choice would be the LP Junior type model .A quality job .
     
  3. Klaus Kemmerling

    Klaus Kemmerling Tele-Meister

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    Hello,

    I have a GS 2 that I bought new back in the early 1980s. The specs are similar to a SG (mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, slim mahogany body (formes like a Les Paul with symetrical double cutaways), wraparound tailpiece, 2 humbuckers with coil split.
    It was my main guitar for many years. Nowadays I play Telecasters most of the time, but the Gordon-Smith is still used occasionally.

    Greetings, Klaus
     
  4. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a lefty SG2 that I bought last year. It's made from Brazilian cedar. Apparently they no longer use mahogany. Slim neck, plays very well. Nice and resonant body. But I hated the HBs. Too much compressed clickiness to the attack. Drove me nuts. I've now put in Tonerider Rebel 90s (HB sized single coils) and it sounds great. I gig with it a lot.

    The NZ agent is now out of business, but at the time it was retailing for NZ$2,200. Due to a stuff up I got it for $1,500, which is half the cost of a Gibson SG standard here. The agent had gone ahead and ordered the guitar from the factory thinking I was going to buy it, but I was only considering it. I did not actually place an order and he forgot to cancel it, so he offered it to me sight unseen at cost price of $1,500.
     
  5. Jeri

    Jeri Tele-Meister

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    My GS1.. Bought s/h about 8 yrs ago for £125 .. . Was already pretty beat up then..

    Still going strong


    [​IMG]
     
  6. valiant

    valiant Tele-Holic

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    That Guitar has certainly got attitude.Be prepared to be very afraid.
    The quintessential English punk guitar.Nice one geezer!
     
  7. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got a GS1.5 12 string, bought new about 12 years ago costing about £450. Way better than the Yamaha offering which was about the only other 12 on the market at that time (apart from of course the Rikky 360 which was beyond my budget) The GS survived several years of gigging but now unfortunately resides under the bed most of the time as SWMBO will only put up with a small section of the collection cluttering up the living room...
     
  8. DarnWeight

    DarnWeight Tele-Meister

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    Here's my GS 1.5.

    Bought it secondhand maybe 6 or 7 years ago now (paid about £220, I think), and someone had replaced the wraparound with a Hipshot Baby Grand. It looked a bit fancy pants on the GS, and didn't do anything for the guitar's sustain. So, finally, the other week I got around to replacing the Hipshot with a heavy duty intonable wrap around, and fitted a cheap-n-cheerful unlicensed Bigsby unit. All that extra mass has really helped the GS come alive. I've been playing it non-stop ever since.

    It's got a little bit of a Gretsch Corvette look about it now...which I'm liking a lot!
     

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  9. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    I can't claim to be a member, but I'd like to. I heard about the Gordon Smith guitars from the band Leatherface, who won't play anything else. The one time I got to try one out (a G2) it was a great axe, but the neck was quite thin, and not for me. I always figured that if I finally took the plunge, I'd see if they could stick a larger neck on mine. I don't know how flexible they are about that sort of thing.

     
  10. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I have a matt black, 20 year-old GS 1.5, picked up locally a couple of years ago. Wonderfully easy to play all the way up the neck, with a double cutaway thin mahogany body, that resonates like crazy. Plenty of versatile tone from the split humbucker bridge pickup and single in the neck.

    Punky- but not cheap or disposable. A keeper.
     
  11. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I should add that I've seen plenty for sale that had obviously seen some action. They are not as fragile as they first appear and are true players' guitars- unsung and inexpensive. Like a more delicate and versatile LP junior. Highly recommended!
     
  12. valiant

    valiant Tele-Holic

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    Flaneur....like to username....did it come to you while walking round Paris slowly.
    Gordon Smith Guitars are working guitars and as tough as old boots....basic like a Zippo lighter and not considered as a furniture.....however the finish can be thin and age.......then again a thinskin is prized as is a relic finish.
    Some have said that the finish on the guitars is not the best but that is on the cheap entry models and they have their own aesthetic....a kinda "wabi sabi"......although the high end guitars are fine looking instruments that can cost over £700 the basic and simple natural finish GS1/GS1.5/GS2 (£450/£500/£550) = the best value around
    and with a set of Bare Knuckle pickups....P90 as an option....and perhaps a Bigsby you
    get some axe....handmade for the price of a far east copy.
    Kinda like the GS2 double cut with the body contours (like an English SG) and the natural headstock looks great with the natural body....sort of "woody" like a Guild "CountryBoy".
    They are great value second hand but to have Mr Smith custom build one is a dream.
     
  13. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Hi Valiant:)

    Didn't you know Edinbugh is the Paris of the north? Or is it Glasgow? lol!

    The finish on my Smith is still in good nick- just the odd harmless ding and some polishing on the neck. I would love a single cut GS with P90s to go with it- that would cover most non-Tele options for me:)

    I've heard them compared with Korean PRS soapbar models- but they seem a lot less glossy and corporate than that.... loads more intangibles- mojo, if you like.
     
  14. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I never played a Junior LP or SG that i prefer to this one......
     

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  15. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a new project.
     

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  16. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

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    I've got enough scratchplate material to do something like this, a bit like the Joan Jett Melody Maker. There's some rough routing at the ends of the bridge pickup rout to cover. The previous owner must have had a bigger than normal pickup in it.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  17. steevc

    steevc TDPRI Member

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    I've got a natural finish GS2 I bought new over 20 years ago. It's not been gigged, but gets played a lot and is in pretty good condition. Still love it.
     
  18. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

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  19. goddardo

    goddardo Tele-Meister

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    Gordon Smith guitars neck thickness

    I'm eyeballing a 1983 GS1, but too far away to try.
    Can anyone tell me what the neck thickness is like on these.
    I tried an early ultra slim one once & it was a bit too slim for me.
    Also were woods, build quality better back then ?
     
  20. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    The first time I tried a GS was back in about '84 in a music shop in Plymouth, so similar era to what you are looking at. It seemed to me that it had the smoothest, fastest neck I'd ever played (however at that time my own guitar was a Hohner strat copy so that MAY have something to do with that impression).
    Having said that it must have been good as it left an impression that I still have to this day and was the reason for me buying my GS1.5 12 string (brand new and built to order in the mid 90s). fwiw, that does not have a super slim neck of course being a 12 it is a little wider than standard, but not hugely so - the pairs are very close together.
     
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