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Vintage Gordon Giltrap Signature Deluxe review

Veteran Brit picker gets another signature

  • £699
There's a beautifully aged-looking dark orange cedar top - and the back and sides are rosewood

MusicRadar Verdict

Hats off to Mr Giltrap and his team. A rather good guitar just got even better.

Pros

  • +

    Good value, spec and build quality.

Cons

  • -

    Rare Earth is a little susceptible to feedback.

Originally launched in 2010, the Gordon Giltrap signature series comprised both six- and 12-string formats, designed by Brit luthier Rob Armstrong.

The mini range has now expanded up and downwards in terms of price and spec. Slotting in below the original VE2000GG (£499) six-string model and the VE2000GG-12 (£529) is the mahogany-topped V2000MGG (£399), and now topping the heap is this VE2000DLX 'Deluxe' version at £699 - all include a Kinsman case, too.

"We get Fishman's Rare Earth Blend magnetic soundhole pickup with an internal goose-neck mic"

So, what's the difference? We get the same design with its distinctive pinched waist and broad 405mm mini jumbo-like lower bouts, a beautifully aged-looking dark orange cedar top, but here the back and sides are rosewood, not mahogany - the back is solid with laminate sides.

The 'board and bridge are ebony not rosewood, and instead of the Fishman under- saddle system we get Fishman's Rare Earth Blend magnetic soundhole pickup with an internal goose-neck mic.

Sounds

"The GG Deluxe is a very able player and impresses from the off"

The GG Deluxe is a very able player and impresses from the off: a full-bodied neck shape, generous string spacing, excellent fretting and a wide acoustic voice with thick lows and crisp highs. Amplified, the Rare Earth has had us as fans for years; in this Blend format, it adds a mic which you can position inside the guitar.

It adds realism, 'room' and crispness to the output. It's not that feedback-resistant, but you can dial in as little or as much as you like via the mix control.

Beautifully designed and made, this is a serious guitar for a decidedly semi-pro or amateur price. It loves drop tunings and seems just at home as a picker or strummer. That shape might be the only deal breaker. A good all-rounder; a lot of guitar for the money.

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.