Something special, Sir?
This is a truly spectacular guitar, one of a batch of models made for an overseas distributor but the lads at Higham Ferrers usually keep a few pieces back for their favourite dealers! The top is a gorgeous piece of redwood of the sort of figure that would come with a price tag that looked like a telephone number were it to come from one of the big US brands. It's unbound which is perhaps an unusual choice for such a flash looking guitar but has the advantage of a soft roundover for the edges, making it a pleasant feeling guitar if you're a Fender player looking to put a toe in the Les Paul water. There's also a thin black stained veneer sheet between the top and the main part of the body which gives an attractive and classy pinstripe effect around the join line.
Also in the unusual choices category is the neck P90 paired with a humbucker at the bridge - this is apparently one of the most requested customisations when people order Gordon Smiths from scratch, and it's an intriguing combo. We like Gordon Smith's P90, which is a good 'all-rounder' take on the format: it's not overwound like many modern P90s, neither does it go the other way and try to be overly vintage sounding. The humbucker has the usual coil tap option and is meaty without being so hot you won't have decent dynamics on cleaner sounds.
Rounding off the deluxe package is the Gotoh hardware, with high ratio tuners for sumptuous tuning feel and modern styled adjustable bridge and locking tailpiece.
Whilst Gordon Smith built their reputation on simple, workmanlike guitars that were exceptional value for money it's nice to see the company spreading its wings and pushing into the more upmarket end of the pool - they have the woodworking chops for sure and a great eye for aesthetics. It's also, although not a cheap guitar, a very low price for a hand made English instrument of this spec. We don't know quite how they do it but we're certainly not complaining!