GS 1.60 review by Gordon Smith

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.2 Good
  • Users' score: 9.1 (7 votes)
Gordon Smith: GS 1.60

Price paid: $ 686.25

Purchased from: privately

Sound — 6
I use the guitar with a Fender 112 amp, and to be honest - I was a little dissapointed. You really have to work with the guitar to get a decent sound, as it seems that the low frequencies just can not punch through. The single humbucker means that the guitar is not hugely versatile, although there is a distinctly bright and crunchy sound. This is very much a lead guitarists axe, because its piercing sound can suit distorted solos pretty well. This is my backup guitar on stage, other-wise I use an Epiphone G-400 korina due to its fuller sound.

Overall Impression — 6
I play a lot of blues and rock, and this guitar doesn't seem to fit the requirements. It's just too trebley. The Fender amp tries to rectify the problem, but dont expect a lot. I chose the guitar mainly of its looks, which was foolish looking back. If it were stolen, I will probably look at the other Gordon Smith range and look for something with more grunt. As I said earlier, this is a lead guitarists guitar more than rhythm. The single pickup is brilliant for solos, but not much else. I use several effects such as wah, flanger and phasing as well as the standard distortion. The guitar compliments these pretty well, but on straight distortion or clean, it begins to struggle. I advise looking at other Gordon Smith guitars for versatility, although they are a british company so players in america or around the world may have difficulty in finding them. Check their website.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar will certainly last on stage, although the sound is dissapointing. The finish is good enough, provided you take very good care of it. The strap buttons are pretty good and the guitar is dependable. My only real concern is the neck. If it were dropped, it is very likely the neck will snap. The screws seem a little too small, but it should last a while.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As for the looks of the machine, it was hand crafted here in england, and it looks very nice. The action was a little high, and the saddle was a bit loose but it was professionally set up soon after. The natural finish is great, although the dot inlays seem a bit standard. The hardware was well set-up and this should last for a good while.

Features — 8
This guitar features a slim, single cutaway body and mahogony neck, with a rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays with 22 frets. It has a natural, satin finish. The electrics are 1 GSG standard humbucker, with a single tone and volume control. You can choose a variety of added extras for extra dosh, such as a tune-o-matic bridge, and a twelve string version.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have both a GS1.60 and a GS2.60, and I agree the GS1 is a little limited in terms of tone having no neck pickup - whereby the GS2 is really sweet and much more flexible. I was never happy with the GS1 however on getting the GS2 I noticed an incorrect mounting ring was used for the GS1 humbucker (lower neck instead of higher bridge in bridge position) - replacing it made a lot of difference. Personally I think the GS2 addresses most of the critisms of the GS1.
    I have had a GSG Graduate "60" and a Graduate Slimline and currently have a completely new custom design on order and I have to say I have loved playing both my GSG's. No problem with tone and having two coil tapped humbuckers means the adjustments are endless to the sound. I having met The folks who lovingly built my guitars to my exact spec feel its a bit strange to buy a guitar with a single humbucker and then to complain about tonal limitations. In future you should decide what you really want from a guitar then give the people at GSG a call and let them guide you to a better guitar for your style. They are a pleasure to deal with, hugely experienced and make a good cup of tea while stopping any unwanted drool on near finished guitars from over excited customers (me!!). Great guitars, Supreme build quality, personalised friendly and experienced service, excellent tone and budget prices compared to similar spec gibsons.. I am glad to hear you will go back to GSG and I hope your next guitar is chosen for sound rather than appearance but give them a call and they will deliver both tone and looks for a few quid more than the off the shelf models. Bloo