This week we’re looking at the rather exceptional guitar brand Gaskell Guitars which is based in Sydney, Australia. Gaskell Guitars is the only company in the world that specializes in building left handed guitars exclusively!
As a frustrated lefty player, owner Kevin Gaskell saw an opportunity to provide the fine left handed people of the world with guitars and basses that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Gaskell Guitars is the end result of his vision and since officially opening in 2006 the company has steadily been gaining a reputation for itself through the high quality of its product.
It’s a refreshingly pleasant sensation browsing through a guitar website and not having to look for the small print to distinguish if certain models are available left handed! As all of their guitars are left handed this article will be fairly lengthy, so strap in and let’s give these guys the kudos they so rightly deserve.
All Gaskell guitars will come to you having been professionally setup to a level that any player would be absolutely satisfied with. However, for the ultimate in playing perfection Gaskell also offer their ‘Platinum Setup Service’ which will attend to every detail of your guitar at an almost microscopic level to ensure that it is as flawless as humanly possible. This service is an absolute steal at only $250 when you consider the amount of extra labour that goes into this pro-level setup.
Let’s take a look at the current line-up…
I’ve included a brief description of each guitar below but head over to the Gaskell Guitars model page to get the full skinny on each design.
Gaskell Classic & Classic II Left Handed Guitars
The Classic and Classic II guitars are essentially the same model with the exception being that the Classic II does not have a pickguard. These ‘Explorer’ style guitars have a slightly smaller body shape than their inspirations and also have a corrected center of gravity to give them enhanced balance and playability. The thin 60’s style neck allows you to scale the fretboard with ease and precision.
Gaskell are currently the only guitar manufacturer in the world that build left handed explorer style guitars.
These are available in five different finishes and come complete with hardcase.
Gaskell Classic PRO Left Handed Guitar
The Gaskell Classic Pro is a fully customisable version of the Classic body style. You can personally pick and choose your own preferential options such as colors, woods, bindings, fingerboard wood, hardware, inlays and more.
These are available in any color from Gaskell’s finish chart and come complete with hardcase.
Gaskell Huntsman Left Handed Guitar
The Huntsman is one of Gaskell’s higher-end models which is aimed primarily at pro and semi-pro players. It is designed around the Explorer that James Hetfield used on the Black Album Tour, and as it is meant to rock hard it comes with your choice of active EMG pickups. Unlike the Classic models the Huntsman comes with a set neck just like Hetfield’s.
Included in the price of the Huntsman is Gaskell’s Platimum Setup to ensure flawless playability!
Gaskell Brumby Left Handed Guitar
The Brumby is modelled after the popular ‘Kelly’ style Explorer guitars which are a common choice with metal players the world over. As with the Classic models the body size is a little smaller than its inspiration for increased comfort and playability. It comes with high-output humbuckers and the obligatory Floyd Rose tremolo – ready to rock!
The Brumby is not a stock guitar and as such needs to be pre-ordered. Comes with hardcase.
Gaskell Firestarter Left Handed Guitar
The Firestarter has a 3-piece mahogany body and maple set-neck coupled with a reversed headstock. Rather than the mini-humbuckers found on the original inspiration the Firestarter uses full sized humbuckers in order to make the guitar suitable for a wider variety of musical styles. According to the website this model is also perfect for slide guitar!
Comes with hardcase or gig bag.
Gaskell Retro Left Handed Guitar
The Gaskell Retro takes 1960’s vintage styling and combines it with 21st century technology to produce the ultimate retro styled lefty guitar. Gaskell likens the guitar’s tone to the sound of a Telecaster but with standout looks. The 23.5” scale length should make this guitar a cinch to play. If you want that warm, clean, poppy, retro look and sound then the Retro could be the guitar for you!
These are available in 5 different colors and comes complete with soft case.
Gaskell Jazz Left Handed Guitar
The Gaskell Jazz is modelled after the hugely popular and super versatile ‘ES 335’ style. Gaskell recommends this guitar to players who want an ‘all-in-one’ guitar that can encompass a wide variety of musical genres. Due to its semi-hollowbody design it will also sound fantastic unplugged.
The Jazz is available in a choice of 5 colors and comes complete with soft case.
Gaskell Millennium V Left Handed Guitar
The Millennium V is a ‘V’ style guitar which brings this retro design into the 21st century. It features a shorter than normal headstock design with chrome rather than plastic tuners. The controls have been simplified to a single volume and tone and the incredible ‘in-your-face’ sound is supplied by a pair of high output Wilkinson humbuckers.
The Millennium V is available in a range of 5 colors and comes complete with soft case.
Gaskell Koru Left Handed Guitar
The Koru is instantly recognisable due to its Randy Rhoads V style design. The guitar comes with a pinstripe finish as standard but can be ordered without if preferred. The Fender style tremolo-enabled bridge, Gibson style C-neck and all gold hardware help to make this guitar a real looker. A solid choice for all you shredders!
This little beauty is available in 4 different colors with or without pin-striping and comes complete with soft case.
Gaskell Hybrid Left Handed Guitar
Due for release at Christmas 2010 the Hybrid is a double cutaway guitar which, staying true to its name can traverse a wide variety of musical styles and tones. Extra tones can be eeked from this guitar due to its coil-split feature which allows you to ‘split’ the pickups.
As this guitar has not been released yet there isn’t a lot of information to fill you in on. Personally i’m excited to see the finished product – should look killer judging from the finish options available!
Gaskell Equalizer Left Handed Guitar
Newly re-released in 2010 the Equalizer is Gaskell’s ‘extreme’ offering which will hopefully fill the void left by BC Rich when they ceased producing lefty guitars earlier this year. It comes with a Floyd Rose tremolo, high output humbuckers and a fast neck for ease of playing.
Available through pre-order only, the Equalizer is available in 5 different colors and comes complete with gig bag. Personally I’ve never been a fan of extreme guitar designs but something about this one just works really well.
Gaskell Ice-Axe Left Handed Guitar
Modelled after the famous ‘Iceman’ design the Ice-Axe is a guitar shape which has never before been available left handed – step in Gaskell! It has two high-output humbuckers, tune-o-matic bridge, body binding and dot inlays.
The Ice-Axe comes in black as standard but other finishes are available as pre-order. Comes complete with softcase.
Gaskell V-Bass Left Handed Bass Guitar
Until now left handed players were devoid of V-style basses so here is another first for Gaskell Guitars. The V-Bass uses the same body as the Millennium V and has a slightly shorter 32” scale length for improved balance.
Available in a choice of 5 different finishes and comes complete with gig bag.
Gaskell X-Bass Left Handed Bass Guitar
Lefty bass players are really getting spoiled here as this explorer style bass is another world first from Gaskell! As with the V-Bass this model uses the same body as its 6-string counterpart and also features a slightly shorter 32” scale length. You will really stand out from the crowd with this one!
The X-Bass is available in 5 different colors and comes complete with soft case.
Gaskell Viking Left Handed Bass Guitar
Released in 2009 the Viking is modelled after the style of Rickenbacker guitars, another small minded brand who are happy to discriminate against lefties. As with the other Gaskell basses this one features a 32” scale length and is designed to have that sleek, minimalistic appearance.
The Viking is available in a range of 5 different finishes and comes complete with soft case.
Phew! I think you’ll agree that’s quite a list!
In the current economic climate if a business really wants to flourish it needs to find its niche and completely dominate it, and this seems to be exactly what Gaskell Guitars is doing. At present there is no other southpaw exclusive company, and as long as the lefty community throws themselves behind Gaskell this should be a match made in heaven. Whenever the pound manages to recover I will be first in line to order a Gaskell!