Review : Gaskell Guitars All Rounder

Neal Beedie October 28, 2011 9

Gaskell Guitars are an Australian based business who specialise in making left handed guitars exclusively.  I recently picked up one of their newly released ‘All Rounder’ models, which is their offering for fans of T-style guitars.

The All Rounder is currently the most affordable guitar available from Gaskell and is their vision of an improved ‘Telecaster’ design. The contoured body provides a more comfortable and ergonomic feel, and the option to choose your favorite fingerboard wood and body finish gives this new model a slight edge over alternative choices.  Read on to discover what I thought about it…

Gaskell All Rounder Left Handed Guitar Review

The guitar can be ordered in a variety of different finishes and in the end I settled on Lemon Yellow, for that extra wow factor!  Kevin (Gaskell, owner) informed me that I was the first ever customer to order a guitar in this color, so it’s truly a unique specimen.  If you ever see this guitar in the flesh you’ll probably agree with me when I suggest that Kevin should change the name of it to Nuclear Yellow – this finish is loud!

Gaskell All Rounder Left Handed Guitar Review Lemon Yellow Lefty

To make it in the fickle world of music today you absolutely have to stand out from the crowd and have something unique to offer.  What’s more memorable than a southpaw player whose guitar has the power to burn out your retinas?  I LOVE this finish, it never fails to raise a few eyebrows.

Body

The guitar features a Japanese Ash body which has a good bit of weight behind it.  It was almost a shame to have to cover it up with paint because Ash is one of the more beautiful woods to select for a natural finish.  Perhaps someday if I tire of the yellow I’ll sand it back down.  When playing, the body resonates extremely well, a sure sign of a quality guitar.

The All Rounder body differs from your typical T-style guitar in that it has borrowed a few design elements from the Stratocaster shape.  So rather than having a completely flat body with sharpish edges, the All Rounder has a smooth radiused bevel applied around the edges, an ergonomic forearm carve at the rear and a tummy cut on the back.  This results in a slightly more comfortable feeling body, especially during longer periods of playing.

Gaskell All Rounder Contours LEft Handed Guitar

Neck

The All Rounder neck is maple and comes with a choice of either maple or rosewood fingerboards.  In order to keep the guitar looking nice and bright I opted for the maple board.  The back of the neck as well as the fingerboard is coated in a beautiful, smooth glossy finish.  The fingerboard is a gorgeous looking piece of maple with plenty of attractive figuring.  The edge of the fretboard has also been rolled for added comfort, a nice touch!  The frets themselves are very cleanly done with no sharp edges or protrusions anywhere in sight.

It was a surprise for me to open the box and find that the guitar had an ebony nut.  This is the first time I’ve ever experienced a wooden nut, and as of yet I have no complaints at all – works well and looks fantastic!  Kevin tells me that this ebony nut is a one-off and that future models will come with a more traditionally designed option.

The headstock is an interesting design which instantly alerts you to the fact that this isn’t your average T-style guitar.  A simple trapezoid truss rod cover and traditional six in-line tuners give a very straightforward appearance.  The tuners did their job, but they were a little cheap feeling and I much prefer locking options, so these were quickly swapped out for some Planet Waves Auto-Trim Locking Tuners.

Platinum Setup

Gaskell offers a service they call their ‘Platinum Setup Service’ which they claim will get the guitar into a no less than perfect state for playing.  It’s basically a luxury that is usually only justifiable to professional recording artists who need their guitars to be absolutely flawless.  Kevin was kind enough to let me try out this service and I can definitely see and feel the benefits of it.  This guitar came all the way from Australia and arrived here in sunny Scotland perfectly in tune.  Most of my own guitars don’t even stay in tune for a single night, never mind a week in transit.  The All Rounder has immaculate frets, perfect action and zero buzz anywhere on the fretboard – I haven’t had to touch a thing!

If you can afford it, this is an optional extra which is well worth the money!

Hardware

The guitar comes with chrome hardware and Wilkinson pickups – although mine is an earlier model and comes with whichever pickups Gaskell was using before the switch.  I’m assuming they are some generic pickups made by the factory.

As a result, it wouldn’t really be fair to comment on the sound.  From owning guitars with Wilkinson pickups I know that they are excellent, so I will most likely be throwing a set into this guitar later on.  Unplugged it’s one of the better sounding guitars I’ve ever played, and it sustains for days. Keep an eye out on our YouTube channel for some video clips of this guitar coming soon.

Gaskell All Rounder Bridge Pickups Photo

My only minor niggle here is that the strap-pegs are extremely petite, much smaller than on any of my other guitars.  I’d probably replace them before heading onto a stage and jumping around like a drunk grasshopper.

The Skinny

I’m glad to say that my first foray into the Gaskell family has been a pleasant one!  The All Rounder feels great, plays perfectly and I love the bright and in-your-face finish.

The platinum setup service seems to have made all the difference in the world, as I can leave this guitar for a week and it will still be perfectly in tune when I pick it back up again.  This is certainly one of the most stable guitars I have ever had the pleasure of owning.  We’ll see how it fares during a harsh Scottish winter though!

For me personally I do wish that the neck was a little slimmer, as it’s quite a lot chunkier than any of my other guitars.  But with more wood comes more tone right? ;)  The finish also has a few areas which are slightly less than perfect, but this isn’t something you’ll notice unless you’re inspecting it very closely.

Gaskell are one of the very few companies out there who are specifically trying to make things easier for the left handed guitarists of the world.  This is a business that I really want to get behind and I can definitely see myself being a repeat customer further down the line.  It’s also a nice feeling to own a guitar that righties can’t get their grubby paws on for a change! ;)

Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see this guitar in action after I get around to recording some video. If you have any questions or would like some more detailed photos, leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

For more information:
Gaskell Guitars Website

9 Comments »

  1. Rafa October 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Nice one. I love tellys…

    • Neal October 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      This is actually my very first T-style guitar believe it or not. They’re super popular right now for sure :)

  2. Matt October 29, 2011 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Nice, I’ll look forward to a video. I would like to know how it sounds.

    • Neal October 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Hopefully I’ll do something soon, but my fret hand is buggered at the moment and I can barely use my middle finger. Gives me time to source some new pickups though ;)

  3. dkong99 October 29, 2011 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Great color choice! Also looking forward to the video.

    • Neal October 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      I tried it with a black pickguard a month ago, looked great as well. Hard to decide between the two.

  4. Mark February 14, 2012 at 1:15 am - Reply

    I must admit I’ve never been a fan of telecasters in the past…never warmed to the design….but this guitar looks fantastic and totally changed my opinion of them. It really is the nicest telecaster I’ve seen!! I LOVE the colour and also the unique headstock. You definitely went with the right coloured pickguard as the white really complements the yellow finish. I look forward to seeing the video clips and what it sounds like.

  5. richard February 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    How did you order one of these? The website just shows pics.

    • Neal February 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      You’ll find who you need to contact on the dealers page. The price lists and other information can be found on the downloads page

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