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Gordy Guitars

Article from In Tune, December 1984

You may already be familiar with the well-known Manchester-based Gordon Smith guitar making firm - but have you come across Gordy guitars yet? These are handmade by Gordon Whittam, a founder member of the Gordon Smith team, and now working on his own, producing both guitars and basses under the 'Gordy' name.

Gordon's new range takes a diametrically opposite approach to that of Gordon Smith. Whilst their instruments are more Gibson-like, Gordon follows Fender concepts, with bolt-on necked guitars and basses, single coil pickups and so on.

At present the Gordy range includes two very simply-styled machines - the Redshift guitars (passive 'Standard' and active-powered 'DeLuxe') plus Blueshift basses, both of which are passive, with either one or two pickups.

Priced quite a bit below most current British custom-made guitars, we sampled two Gordys recently, both the basic, 'Standard' versions.

Gordy Redshift Standard Guitar

(RRP £325.00 inc. VAT)

Looking much like a custom Strat, our Gordy sample featured a beautiful matt-finished red-stained ash body, with twin cut-outs at the base (making it harder to knock over!) a slightly squared-off pair of horns, a bolt-on one-piece maple neck/fingerboard, 5-way pickup selector and three 'MGC' (Manchester Guitar Co.) single coil pickups, with the typical Strat two-tones-and-one-volume control arrangement.

Mechanically, the Gordy is the height of simplicity. The neck fastens with four bolts, the machines are Schaller M-6s (which need no commendation from us). There's a brass nut, medium/fat frets, and a Japanese-made (we suspect) Strat-copy bridge and tremolo arrangement. This latter may sound off-putting, but see our comments later on.

Playability of the Gordy was remarkably good. The action on our sample was low, but devoid of any Strat-like buzzes (even on the E-string) despite having light gauge strings. The neck profile was remarkably good. Apparently each Gordy neck is hand-carved and this may make for individual differences from sample to sample - either way ours was very slim in depth, very slightly contoured and perfectly Strat-like across the width of the fingerboard - it was very fast. No complaints here, at all - even wildly bent notes didn't choke off against the frets, despite the board's contouring.

The Jap-made tremolo worked a treat, which makes us wonder (once again) whether it's really necessary to indulge in nut locks, fancy bridge units and so on, providing a basic Strat-like system is well set-up: and this one was; working very well indeed.

Sound from our Gordy sample was as impressive as the guitar's looks - like a slightly more powerful Strat with a great range of effects from the 5-way selector, complete with all the 'in between' tones ringing out loud and clear. Sustain was satisfyingly long, too, and the weight and balance fine. The Gordy seemed like a hell of a guitar to us - ideal for the Strat lover who wants just a shade more in virtually every respect, from sound to feel.

Selling for an RRP of just £395, the Gordy redshift Standard looks like very good value to us. It's a hand-made guitar with fairly individual looks and fine performance, at about the same price as a U.S.-made Fender Strat, and ideal for the Strat-lover who's looking for something a bit different.

Gordy Blueshift Bass

(RRP £295.00 inc. VAT).

If the Gordy Redshift standard is an alternative to a basic Strat, the Blueshift bass is almost equally close to a Precision in its style. Featuring a nicely grained solid ash body, bolt-on maple (one-piece) neck, the Gordy bass has a brass nut, large open machines, and a single (sealed) pickup, with single volume and tone controls. The bridge unit on the Gordy is either a fine copy of the Schaller bass bridge or the real thing (hard to tell which). It's a finely wrought unit, offering significantly greater stability than the old-fashioned Precision design, complete with adjustments for string length (intonation) and string height, individually.

Comfortable to hold, with a good balance and excellent quality materials, the Gordy felt very much like a Precision, with a neck which is fairly slim in depth but quite wide across. Precision-lovers will be very happy with it; others may feel that it's a bit wide for their tastes - try it for yourselves would be our advice.

Sustain from the Gordy is good (no dead spots were found) and the tone (as with the Redshift guitar) was very much 'Fender original and a bit'.

With the adjustment potential of its more advanced bridge, and a sound quality which improves a degree on that of a typical Precision, the Gordy looks like a good buy for those who like extremely simple basses, especially if they favour something unusual. The Gordy is by no standards the typical modern British custom-made bass, being a much more basic bolt-on necked instrument, designed to appeal to the bassist who insists on keeping things simple. If that sounds like your sort of thing, then check it out!

Both the Gordy guitar and bass seem to us like pretty good value for money for craftsman-made instruments. They may not be the most adventurously designed guitars around, but many players value simplicity, and both of these models certainly offered that - coupled with good sounds, excellent playability, handsome looks and very fair prices.

More details from distributors Formula 1 Music Ltd., (Contact Details).

Also featuring gear in this article

Gordy Redshift
(12T Dec 84)

Browse category: Guitar > Gordy

Browse category: Bass > Gordy

Previous Article in this issue

Cort Space Arrow Bass

Next article in this issue

Washburn D-24 Acoustic

Publisher: In Tune - Moving Music Ltd.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
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In Tune - Dec 1984

Donated by: Gordon Reid

Gear in this article:

Guitar > Gordy > Redshift

Bass > Gordy > Blueshift

Gear Tags:

Electric Guitar


Previous article in this issue:

> Cort Space Arrow Bass

Next article in this issue:

> Washburn D-24 Acoustic

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