My new GG signature acoustic guitar

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VikingBlues
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 pm

My new GG signature acoustic guitar

Post by VikingBlues » Mon May 23, 2016 8:29 pm

Much to my surprise given my preference for parlour size guitars (and smaller) I've ended up with one of these.

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Based closely on a guitar designed for Gordon Giltrap by Rob Armstrong, who worked with Vintage to come up with an affordable equivalent. Hats off the them all for going for a signature guitars that is more than just a slightly tweaked standard model at an inflated price.

I tried one of these a few years back in a guitar shop in Edinburgh, but the strings were so awful I could not judge the guitars quality. You know that lovely state strings get into where they feel rough under the fingers and a bit tacky, and the sound is pretty well dead. I did at least find what it felt like physically to play as it's an unusual design of body.

I had hoped that a shop would end up getting one in with decent strings that I could try, but it didn't happen. So I risked online buying with the distance selling safety net of a return option. I havered between the standard GG signature and the deluxe version, but the often mentioned chunkier neck of the Deluxe (and higher price) made me opt for the standard version.

Solid Red Cedar Top, Mahogany Back and Sides. Yes - laminate, but so was the original Rob Armstrong guitar - to give extra strength to allow a thinner more responsive top. Clear Satin finish. A Fishman Presys preamp with blended mic and Sonitone pickup. Plus a good hard case. £339!! (About 435 euros or $490).

An interesting body shape - the waist at 20.5cm is near parlour size, the lower bout at 40.5cm is more grand auditorium/jumbo, and the upper bout at 28.2cm is more OOO size. What saves it for me is that sitting with it on my right leg it doesn't feel too far removed from a parlour size guitar as the lower bout doesn't get in the way. That very curved waist also means it sits very securely.

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The guitar is pretty well done in terms of finish. Intonation is excellent. There is a slight edge to two or three fret ends but that isn't really an issue for me. For a guitar at the price level with the features it has it's difficult to quibble about it being anything other than very good value for money. I've briefly tried the plugged in route through the Loudbox Mini amp and have found the blend facility in the Presys to bring in some of the microphone sound makes the sound a much more pleasant option to me than the usual just under saddle piezo sound. The just piezo sound on this system is not at all bad though. But my preference as always is for acoustic sound and recording by microphone.

I received it direct from the distributors and was pleased (and pleasantly surprised) that it was nicely set up. The shop did include a free set up in it's on-line price and it appears that the distributors did what the shop would have done - or I was maybe lucky.

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The neck on the GG is maybe a chunky C section or perhaps a generous D shape - I've never been too clear on neck shapes. The fretboard has a 46mm (1.81") nut.

At the end is a typical Armstrong elongated headstock and wooden truss rod cover with the "A" Rob Armstrong signature.

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I have read that Rob Armstrong is known for distinctive clarity and range in his guitars. The VE2000GG does pretty well in this regard. There is a balance to the sound, and there is a clarity plus there is a feeling of control to the notes. Somehow this guitar seems to help me as a player to play a bit better - there's something reassuring about it if that doesn't sound too fanciful.

The treble is pretty sweet and mellow and there is no real harshness that cheaper guitars often exhibit. The bass is strong but very controlled - so the notes don't overpower everything else. Generally speaking there is a warmth to the tone of the guitar which I like. Mids are also strong enough that they sit well with the bass and treble.

It's not a loud guitar but the lack of a harsh edge and clout is made up for me by the tonal character.

I have seen Gordon Giltrap say that one thing he likes about Rob Armstrongs guitars is that the treble is not a searing kind - it's just there. A treble that is quite rich and also manages to compete with the sounds from the bass strings is a noteworthy plus.

There's a piece played on it linked in the Blues Room in a thread "Vov Gadl GG".

Here's another couple of soundclips.

"SUS Scrofa" - Simple composition in DADGAD (with a focal suspended chord) inspired by noodling.
:music1: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13383144

"Souldier on" - in an unusual tuning of CGCDAD. Very slow - trying to see how the notes sound and fade.
:music1: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13383148
Last edited by VikingBlues on Tue May 24, 2016 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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Blindboy
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:34 pm

Re: My new GG signature acoustic guitar

Post by Blindboy » Tue May 24, 2016 12:16 am

Wow! That looks quit nice!
I, too am a fan of parlour and concert (000) sized guitars. I quite like the wasp waisted look of that one. Seems like you might get the best qualities of a parlour and a concert sized guitar.
Congratulations on the new addition to your stable! :thumbsup:
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

MichaelRobinson
Posts: 2172
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:20 pm

Re: My new GG signature acoustic guitar

Post by MichaelRobinson » Tue May 24, 2016 7:51 am

Nice played on nice guitars. What can I say ? superb..................... :pray:

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12bar
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:05 pm

Re: My new GG signature acoustic guitar

Post by 12bar » Tue May 24, 2016 4:43 pm

Listened through your examples - congrats - seems to be great for folk stuff! :thumbsup:
Excellent clean tone and "made" for your special tunings.

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VikingBlues
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: My new GG signature acoustic guitar

Post by VikingBlues » Fri May 27, 2016 7:24 am

Thanks guys. :thumbsup:

I hadn't been intending to get another guitar but when it came to my birthday I was stuck for any ideas at all. I had forgotten about this guitar and my previous interest in it and got reminded by seeing something about in on line when researching a 12 string Vintage Paul Brett guitar for a friend.

Nearly a month gone and I'm still spending 95%+ of my playing time on it, so I'm hopeful it's been a good choice and that it might be a keeper. :fingerscrossed:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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