Price paid: £ 699
Purchased from: Gordon Smith
Sound — 10
To be honest this guitar can achieve any style. I play psychedelic blues rock and folk finger picking styles most of the time, but dabble with many other genres including funk, country and jazz. I use the Gypsy with a PODxt straight into the desk and it sounds fantastic! The Gypsy is very quiet on humbuckers and only a little noise on single coils. The fact is this guitar can emulate most of the classics due to the coil taps on both pick up. It does great Les Pauls, ES335 other semis, but you can also get a fantastic Tele Deluxe with single coils even the more bassy Strat sounds. It's the most versatile guitar I've played in 30 odd years.
Overall Impression — 10
For 34 years I've played psychedelic blues rock and folk finger picking styles most of the time, but have dabbled with many other genres including funk, punk, metal, country and jazz. I use the Gypsy with through a PODxt into a Mackie Onyx desk, recorded with Cubase 4 on a Mac G5. I have a 1978 Stratocaster, 1985 Yamaha FG410 Acoustic, Line6 Variax 700, Paul Reed Smith SE Soapbar Special Mapletop & Ibanez Artcore Bass. I wanted a guitar with a fat jazzy semi sound without spending over 1500 for an ES 335. My initial purchase was an Epiphone Dot, which I liked for about six months and then didn't. I felt that in sound and playability, the Epiphone wasn't delivering what I'd hoped for. Well they are cheap. So I doubled the budget did some research and got the Gypsy, which I would definitely replace if it were lost or stolen. I love the fantastic playability, light weight, the small body styling and the incredible versatility of the Gypsy 2, it's my favorite guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I feel the Gypsy could stand up to gigging only given extra consideration. For example, a quality hard case, don't leave it on stage for the roadies, check it goes in suitable place in the van. After all it is a semi & a very light one too. My Strat withstood open warfare on the road, but I doubt the Gypsy could. The hardware is generally high quality and will looks as though it will last, although I had to replace a faulty jack socket after about a year, which is not good.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything was set up perfectly for light gauge strings, but I use 46-10's, so a little adjustment to the action was necessary. The build quality & the finish is flawless. What I will say about the Gypsy is it is very light, the body is extremely light and some Who've played it say it's neck heavy. After playing a hefty '78 Strat for many years the feather weight of the Gypsy was a blessed relief, it tucks into your contours standing or sitting and you forget there's the weight of a guitar on you shoulder or knee. Ace!
Features — 10
Made in 2006. Thick 1 " double or single cut-away semi solid body. Mahogany neck with 22 fret Rosewood fingerboard with Dot inlays. 2 x GSG coil tapped humbucker. GSG Precision machine heads and fully adjustable GSG bridge. Finished in high gloss to body and headstock front. Other surfaces in silk smooth satin. Tune-O-Matic bridge. Brass nut. Passive electronics. 2 volumes / 2 tone controls. Tone controls have a click indent on 10 for a treble boost & the tone pots also have a pull Switch for coil tap.