Farida Freddie Cowan GNA review

The Vaccines man's signature guitar

  • £399
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Our Verdict

If you fancy an affordable slice of unusual retro chic, you'd have to search far and wide to find a better option than this.


  • Custom shop vibe. Lots of pickup switching options. Great value for money. Tones are excellent.


  • Not the most playable neck.

The only solidbody in our round-up, this gorgeous guitar is part of Farida's Artist Designed range. The Vaccines' Freddie Cowan is the artist doing the designing in this case, and while just 25 examples of his GNA TV Pro model will be made (£899), this Deluxe model is available in larger numbers.

"Tonewoods include an alder body and mahogany neck, leading to a reassuringly weighty yet comfortable playing experience"

Tonewoods include an alder body and mahogany neck, leading to a reassuringly weighty yet comfortable playing experience, and up close the metallic Oyster White finish with cool blue stripe is very impressive.

Under the hood is an ingenuous switching system that allows you to combine the three Farida Jazz humbuckers in several different ways. Not only is there a traditional five-way blade selector, but also a rotary coil-tap that effortlessly splits all three pickups regardless of their selection.

As an example, you can set the neck and bridge 'buckers together, resulting in a full-ish tone with a little edge, then tap both to give an almost Fender-y twang.

There's the option to up the gain, too, with the bridge pickup providing the tonal tools with which to rock, or add some effects to the tapped middle pickup for some brittle, ethereal swirls.

For £399, you certainly wouldn't expect to get a guitar with a real custom shop ethos behind it, but that's what Farida has done here.

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Tech Specs

Fingerboard MaterialRosewood
Scale Length (mm)648
No. of Frets22
HardwareHardtail tune-o-matic bridge, Grover tuners
Available FinishOyster White w/ Metallic Hot Rod Blue
Scale Length (Inches)25.5
Guitar Body MaterialAlder
Pickup Type3x Farida Jazz humbuckers
Neck MaterialMahogany