My Gordon-Smith Gypsy 2

JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
I am playing guitar for 2 or 3 hours, every day, at the moment and have been using my Shines. First the red one, and then, in case it felt left out, the black one.
Today I decided on a change, so I pulled out my Gordon-Smith Gypsy 2. I am sorry to say, I don't really like it !!!
It looks the biz, and it sounds great, but I don't really like playing it. I am going to give it a couple of weeks to see if I settle to it, but if not it will have to go. It is earmarked for my eldest grandson, so he may get it before my demise!
One of the things I don't like about it is the fact that the strap button is on the base of the heel and the guitar leans forward on the strap. Someone else obviously had the same problem, some time in its 33 years history, as there is a hole where a strap button has been mounted on the back of the top horn. I'll maybe try moving the strap there and see if it makes a difference. I am afraid, even playing sitting down, I hate a guitar without a strap. Maybe it is just my body shape!
Any advice welcome.


  • LesterLester Posts: 1,705Member, Moderator
    In the Stew-Mac article Where's the best spot for your strap button? I use position no. 5.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    That is what Larrivée recommended for my acoustic, and what the shop installed for me before I bought it. I have never seen a thin bodied electric guitar (and by default a thin neck heel) with a strap button there. I don't want to go drilling holes "on spec", until I find somewhere that suits.
    Looking at Gibson SGs, similar to the Gypsy 2, and the strap button is there as it comes from Gibson.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,705Member, Moderator
    Drilling wood will have the same rule as sawing wood: measure twice, cut once, so your checking all the possibilities before deciding is wise. All I would say is that if in the Gibson position it does not hang properly then surely that cannot be the ideal position for the strap button.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Sorry no solution, but I did once have a similar shaped guitar (an 80s Japanese Vantage model) - actually, the design was probably even worse for neck dive, since it had a 24 fret neck, plus the short horn, double-cutaway shape that your Gypsy 2 has. The Vantage had the strap button on the upper horn, and still did the neck dive thing.

    I think what you have to consider is, crucially with the guitar at playing angle, is how far horizontally towards the headstock you can get the strap attachment point. The trouble is that with the guitar at playing angle, the tip of the upper horn can end up being more or less vertically above the position at the back of the heel, and thus offers no improvement. Hope I'm being slightly clearer than mud here... I did think about making some sort of extender to fit to the upper horn on the Vantage, but what a faff, and it would look odd too. But if Lester's suggested strap location offers an improvement, maybe that's worth consideration - you could try taping the end of the strap in position to see what the balance is like before going ahead with the drilling.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    I don't have any problems with neck dive. It is just that the body of the guitar leans out a bit. I don't think I will drill any more holes in the thing. The poor auld thing has been drilled enough! I'll try taping the strap to the neck though. See if it improves things. I only ever play sitting down, so no fear I'll drop it.
    I just don't particularly enjoy playing it. I have hardly played it at all in the time I have owned it. As I said, I will play it over the next couple of weeks, at the exclusion of all else, and see if I grow to love it. If not I will pass it on to Liam.
    I think all I really need is one Shine and my Larrivée. The rest seldom see the light of day!
    (Mind you, a few months back none of them were getting an airing.)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    Ooops, it appears I didn't read the initial post properly, sorry Jocko. I seem more prone to such errors lately, I suspect age-related... Understand what you're talking about though, and glad to hear it doesn't suffer from neck dive. Do let us know what you're impressions are as the couple of weeks go by. I also always use a strap, even when sitting to play, which is often the case.

    If you're anything like me with guitars, you'll find reasons to like it, but I do know what you're on about with just having the guitars you need - I kind of wish I could do the same, there is something to be said for keeping things simple. If I did, I think I'd end up with a classical guitar, an acoustic, my JP20 archtop (which I could never sell, for sentimental reasons), one of the Shines, and a strat. Still too many, some might say. :)
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Been playing for about an hour this morning, and I am definitely getting a bit more comfortable with it. Biggest issue is the length of the neck (not actual, just perceived). The neck meets the body about the 21st fret and it gives the impression you are playing a banjo, after the compact Shine (and my Larrivée, where it joins at the 12th fret).
    I have been experimenting with the coil tapping though, for the first time really, and like the range of sounds I can get. From SG to Strat, with many in between.
    I'll suffer it a bit longer!
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Almost gave up on the Gypsy 2 this morning. It was digging into my leg something rotten. If it wasn't the strap lock it was the jack plug or the curve of the body. Eventually I hoiked the strap up a good bit, which cured the immediate problem, but it also cured the leaning out of the body - due in part to the leaning out of my belly!
    So I'll carry on a bit longer with it. Who knows, I may get to like it.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Well worth trying out different ways of making it more comfortable.

    The older I get the more important I find a guitars comfort is to me.
    Also the older I get the more difficult it seems to be to get it to that happy state. Humph!

    I reckon if a guitar is uncomfortable and has great sound it'll still end up not getting played enough to merit my having it.

    The "just having the guitars you need" scenario is an interesting one. Due to a move of house (a long and drawn out process) in the not too distant future my electric guitars and octave mandolin went into storage over 4 months ago as part of de-cluttering for people viewing the house. I haven't missed them at all for at least the last three months. Certainly don't feel inclined to sell them though.

    I have still have 4 acoustics "on display", so I haven't totally gone mad.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Well, after playing the Gypsy 2 for three weeks I have changed my opinion of it somewhat. Once I began getting used to the neck I started to like it. It is still not my favourite guitar but I do love the coil tapping in the two pickups. Being able to mix and match between humbucker and single coil sounds is a huge advantage. I think I will hold on to the Gordon-Smith for a bit longer!

  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 966Member
    As long as you keep playing something it's all good. For me sometimes using a different guitar inspires a change of playing style. Not all of my guitars are super easy to play, but the different feel and sound of say a Telecaster and a 335 or a strat out of polarity makes the music I play very different.
    It's good to fall in and out of love with certain guitars over time, quite normal. I do get what you say about coil taps and could recognise a use for that.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,206Member
    It's a nice-looking guitar I have always thought. I love the red-brown finished mahogany and the rosewood board seems to have a matching red-ish tinge to it. Getting guitars with nice woods like that is going to become harder and more expensive in the future I suspect.

    I struggle a bit with the comfort issue myself sometimes e.g. on my tele-partscaster, but it has it's own sounds, and I intend to keep it. I've sometimes thought of building a stratele type hybrid, but I think probably best not go there - I'll just keep the tele.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    This is the info Gordon-Smith Guitars (the originals) gave me when I enquired about it.
    Serial No. 01668 is a Gypsy 2 in Wine, built Mar 1985. Records that old are a bit sketchy, but looks like it was probably made from Brazilian Mahogany with a Rosewood fingerboard.
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