NGD - Gordon Smith GS1000

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BigsbyBigsby Frets: 213

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!



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Comments

  • BluesyDaveBluesyDave Frets: 303
    Nice looking GS, shame about the damage but I'm sure it'll be sorted.  That Gold Top SG looks beautiful, is it heavy?
    No Darling....I've had that ages.
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  • TA22GTTA22GT Frets: 298
    That is a lovely looking guitar! Love the colour too.  I hope the replacement is just as nice.
    I'm pleased to read that the quality is back and that they listen to customers without charging a fortune for it!
    Love the P90 SG! I have that model with humbuckers. Enjoy!
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  • BigsbyBigsby Frets: 213
    Nice looking GS, shame about the damage but I'm sure it'll be sorted.  That Gold Top SG looks beautiful, is it heavy?
    Yes, it's pretty heavy, 4.5Kg - the heaviest guitar I have.
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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2893
    Love the purple that looks ace.  
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7123
    I was looking at the GS website the other day and the GS1000 is the one that makes you go wow. I'm presuming it's a new model under Auden? 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • BigsbyBigsby Frets: 213
    I was looking at the GS website the other day and the GS1000 is the one that makes you go wow. I'm presuming it's a new model under Auden? 
    I think so - I seem to remember it wasn't on their web site as a build-to-order option when I first looked, but was appearing on dealers websites. I like the way it's a little more upmarket looking, but still quite a basic, 'working' guitar without too much bling. And with them coming in under a grand at most dealers, they're pretty good value too.
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 7367
    Nice. Hope it gets resolved quickly for you.
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7576
    that looks awesome!!
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 700
    Looks great - and it's great to hear Gordon Smith guitars are on the up. I owned a double cut semi with a bigsby for a while but fell out of love with it.

    I always wished Gordon Smith were better than they were.
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  • professorbenprofessorben Frets: 4149
    DannyP said:
    Looks great - and it's great to hear Gordon Smith guitars are on the up. I owned a double cut semi with a bigsby for a while but fell out of love with it.

    I always wished Gordon Smith were better than they were.
    I think they had a period of questionable quality in the 2000’s but when I first had one ( a rather awesome long term loan from one of my dads mates) it was a great guitar (GS2-60btw) 
    ive recently picked up an early 80’s GS-1 and it’s bloody brilliant. 
    " Why does it smell of bum?" Mrs Professorben.
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  • SchnozzSchnozz Frets: 577
    I really like it - What's the body wood on this one?

    I used to have an SG1802 (exactly the same) and the fretless bass version of the guild, so we probably have the same tastes
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7123
    Schnozz said:
    I really like it - What's the body wood on this one?

    I used to have an SG1802 (exactly the same) and the fretless bass version of the guild, so we probably have the same tastes
    Bodies are some kind of Cedar IIRC? Neck mahogany. Reading a review some people don’t like the single/ wrap around bridge because the string ball ends stick up a bit but this custom order doesn’t have that. 
    Just a very cool guitar. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • BigsbyBigsby Frets: 213
    Schnozz said:
    I really like it - What's the body wood on this one?

    I used to have an SG1802 (exactly the same) and the fretless bass version of the guild, so we probably have the same tastes
    Sounds like we're got very similar tastes - have you got into Reverends yet? :)

    The body & neck are both Mahogany, and on this model they don't list an alternative option for either, unlike some of their models (though they may well offer a choice if you ask). Apparently they received their last supply of Cedar last year, and won't be getting any more as it's unsustainable.
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  • rawk100rawk100 Frets: 850
    Wow....that's looks the dogs danglers! I briefly played one of these recently and really liked it. I'd be interested to hear how the cedar compares sonically to mahogany. 
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2481
    That's very pretty indeed. I don't know why, but I could really go for a Bar of Chocolate at the moment ;)
    For Sale....My Soul...Will also trade for Guitars
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  • BigsbyBigsby Frets: 213
    Just a quick update: Gordon Smith have checked the guitar over throughly, and are going to change the neck - so a bit more work than I'd anticipated, but I had wondered if they'd need to replace the fretboard, rather than repair it. It seems they're concerned the heat damage may have affected the neck too - and no doubt it also explains the rough fret edges I noticed, so it probably did leave the factory with perfectly finished fret edges, but suffered from fret sprout in transit, due to the heat.

    So it'll be a few weeks before I'll be getting the guitar back, but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait, and all credit to Gordon Smith for going the extra mile in getting the repair completed.
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  • Creed_ClicksCreed_Clicks Frets: 48
    edited July 20
    Beautiful guitar. Would love one of their Jrs. When I can justify another one, maybe....!
    There's a demo online of a guy and his girlfriend demoing an amp, if I recall, and using one of the GS Juniors. Looked and sounded great.
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  • DrJazzTapDrJazzTap Frets: 870
    That purple one looks great congrats 
    I would love to change my username, but I fully understand the T&C's (it was an old band nickname). So please feel free to call me Dave.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4517
    Not sure about the scratchplate, I prefer their usual shape, but I love the magenta, cream and ebony combo.  The back looks nice too.
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  • BigsbyBigsby Frets: 213
    Another update - I had a surprise when the guitar came back to me today, as it seems to be a completely new guitar! Not just a new neck and fretboard as expected, but a new body too. And even the pickup seems new, with a plastic film over it...

    Can't say how impressed I am with the service I've had from Gordon Smith, (and Forsyths Music store up in Manchester). And this one is as stunning as the first, beautifully made, well set up, balances perfectly, lovely slim neck, sounds fantastic... in fact the biggest difference is a bit of extra weight, though it's still lighter than a strat, and amazingly comfortable to play. 

    Couldn't be happier - big thank you to all at Gordon Smith!  :+1: 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15483
    Bigsby said:
    Another update - I had a surprise when the guitar came back to me today, as it seems to be a completely new guitar! Not just a new neck and fretboard as expected, but a new body too. And even the pickup seems new, with a plastic film over it...

    Can't say how impressed I am with the service I've had from Gordon Smith, (and Forsyths Music store up in Manchester). And this one is as stunning as the first, beautifully made, well set up, balances perfectly, lovely slim neck, sounds fantastic... in fact the biggest difference is a bit of extra weight, though it's still lighter than a strat, and amazingly comfortable to play. 

    Couldn't be happier - big thank you to all at Gordon Smith!  :+1: 
    Great to hear about some excellent service!
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 684
    Not surprised by the standard of service from the Auden lads, I’ve met them a few times (informally) and they come across as being very genuine, top guys, who really care about creating quality guitars.

    That GS looks awesome and I’m for once rather jealous as I never usually like them, must be the purple.
    What was the financial damage for this, I could be tempted to splurge? 

    Happy new guitar day, enjoy!
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  • BigsbyBigsby Frets: 213

    That GS looks awesome and I’m for once rather jealous as I never usually like them, must be the purple.
    What was the financial damage for this, I could be tempted to splurge? 

    Happy new guitar day, enjoy!
    Thanks! Gordon Smith list the GS1000 at £1,149, but I've seen them as stock at dealers in the £849 to £999 range. Mine was a custom order, but I placed it through Forsyths, so I could get their design of pick guard. The other added spec features were a custom colour, ebony fretboard and locking tuners, but the price was only £1 over the standard built-to-order price - so I was pretty happy with that. I'd say that anything around £900 for these is amazingly good value.

    If you wanted the same colour, just ask for 'Triumph Magenta' - I'm sure they'll remember it! 
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