Actually it’s more of a NGGBD – New Guitar Going Back Day, as my GS1000 was damaged in transit, with a lengthy crack developing in the ebony fretboard, so it needs to go back for a repair, and should be collected today.
I got interested in owning another single pup guitar early this year, when looking at the Reverend Dirtbike – I’ve owned a Guild S-60 for 40 years, and always liked the simplicity of a single pup guitar. But before long I was thinking about Gordon Smith (for the first time since the 80s), discovered they’d been taken over by Auden, heard that their build quality had improved (I didn’t know it had gone down), and noticed that post-Brexit their prices were very competitive.
I really liked the new GS1000 model – the satin neck with a gloss top and side mounted jack were big plusses for me. I also discovered Forsyths in Manchester had done a series of GS1 models themed on Morris Minor cars, with Morris colours and what I considered to be a really cool looking pick guard. That’s when I had the idea of getting one made to order – through Forsyth – using their pick guard on the GS1000, and keeping with the car theme by having it finished in a custom colour – Triumph Magenta, as I once had a Triumph sports car in that colour, and have loved the colour ever since.
I asked for a quote, with custom colour, pick guard, ebony fret board, locking tuners and ToM bridge. When it came in just £1 more than the retail on the regular spec, there was no turning back… This is the kind of money Gibson USA are asking for a mass-produced SG Junior, (and an off the shelf GS1000 can be had for even less).
First impressions are very good indeed – I chose the thin neck, and the profile is very comfortable, feeling slightly flatter than my Guild (which is very thin). That combined with the satin finish makes it one of the nicest necks I’ve played, certainly for rhythm playing, where I find the thin neck feels most comfortable. The guitar is very light, lighter than my SGs, but also very resonant, and it balances perfectly (unlike the SGs). In fact, it’s incredibly comfortable to play – with the exception of the fret ends, some of which are a bit rough; slightly disappointing on a hand-made guitar, but that’s the only disappointment (well, yes, the transit damage aside…). I went with the GS pickup, and I’ve had too little time to really determine it’s capabilities, but it stacked up well against anything I played back-to-back, so I doubt I’ll be in any hurry to change it. Unfortunately, it’s now back in it’s case, packaged up and ready to go.
And I had to take a shot with the Gold Top – the colours looked so good together. I definitely have a thing about symmetrical double cuts!