Let's talk GVCG!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ToneRanger, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    Hello all!

    I've seen these GVCG guitars popping up here every once in a while and they've always looked superb, just totally beautiful. Never seen such authentic relic jobs, they look nearly more convincing than the real relics ;)

    Anyway, I was a little bummed to find out that the guy who builds these is located in California. As the name is Greenwich Village Custom Guitars I somehow thought I'd find them in New York, where I'm making a trip this fall.. So what's up with the name? Too much acid done back in the day? ;)

    So everybody who has a GVCG or has tried one, please chime in, let's talk about them! How do they compare to for instance Fender CS Nocasters and other high end Telecasters (if I understood correctly GVCG only does Teles from now on)?

    And pics, post your pics!

    Ok, thanks! Let's start the drooling! :dude
     
  2. al carmichael

    al carmichael Member

    Messages:
    134
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    I've only played one, which was a 60's style Tele, Mary Kay lacquer and a rosewood/maple neck. This particular guitar fooled me into believing I was playing a vintage 60 Tele that had been used for decades. The neck was really broken in--down to the wood, it seemed and the body was authentically worn, as was the hardware. The guitar was relatively light in weight and had a pleasing roundness to the tone--not a trace of harshness.

    In comparison to a Fender Relic, this guitar was aged much more, especially on the neck. All parts looked as if they'd weathered the years. All in all, it was a delightful experience to play one of Jonathan's creations. He definitely went the whole nine yards to allow me to experience that worn vintage vibe.
     
  3. EBGB

    EBGB Member

    Messages:
    725
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    I own 2 GVCG strats, a 57 Mary K and a 55 sunburst. I am quite glad to have these as, no, he doesn't make strats anymore.

    I like these way more than any Fender CS I've tried, although the 54 Masterbuilt limited edition is a contender. The relicing is excellent and GVCGs tend to be very light weight.

    He used to be in Greenwich Village. He moved to LA within the past year I believe.

    I don't have pics but the Mary K used to be on his website. I'd be glad to answer any specific questions.
     
  4. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks for the input Al! Wonder if one can have a say on how much the guitar is reliced if you order one from him? I'd like a light relic, maybe 15-20 years old looking, that has seen some life on the road, and I'd like to do the rest myself :)

    How did the guitar sound? How'd you compare it to Fender relics playability and sound wise? I guess it felt pretty good if you thought it was a vintage Fender..
     
  5. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    EBGB, thanks for the input! And nice to know about why he's called GVCG.. Shame he doesnt live in NYC anymore, I'd loved to pay a visit to him.

    So tell me, how do these sound, why you like them more than Fender relics? What about the pickups, does he use Lollars or some own design?

    And if you have pics, go ahead :)
     
  6. EBGB

    EBGB Member

    Messages:
    725
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    The sound is fat and resonant. I personally have a low opinion of the regular CS strats. The 60s ones I've played sound thin and the fingerboard looks bleached. The relicing looks fake. Maybe it's just my bad luck-- I'm sure some are nice and as I said I like the 54 masterbuilt.

    He uses Lollars mainly, sometimes other high-end stuff.
     
  7. martie6621

    martie6621 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    311
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Jonathan Wilson does the best relic job I have ever seen, rivaled only by Cunetto-era Fenders. Looks though will only take you so far. More importantly GVCG makes exceptional sounding guitars. Making a guitar look old means nothing if it is not a player- and GVCGs are that . I have 2 Teles and they are incredible. With the prices of Fender Custom MasterBaiters going for like $7K list now, the private builders like GVCG and Nash are good values because they sound better. A GVCG will sound better (IMO) than a CS Fender, and I have never seen anyone who did a side by side go with the Fender. I care not a hoot about the Fender label on GVCG headstocks. I am not trying to fool anyone into thinking it is a real 60s Slab Tele. I would not care if he put GVCG on the neck. I own them for the playability and tone. The relic part is way cool but not the main juju for me at least. YMMV.
    Expensive? Yes - Worth it? Yes.

    my .02 and worth every penny you paid for it. :eek:
     
  8. AshlandBump

    AshlandBump Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,077
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    The country I come from is called the Midwest.
    He uses a custom set of pickups developed with Jason Lollar, from what I understand. I just put a set in my MW Tele and they are outstanding. The pickups that were in that guitar are pretty good to begin with but these are another step beyond in terms of spank; the middle position is a huge improvement over the stock pickups.
     
  9. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

    Messages:
    11,334
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2002
    Location:
    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    +1, and exactly the way I feel about them.

    Evaluated on tone and playability, they stand up to (and in some respects, exceed) the vintage guitars they emulate. I searched for about 10 years for a 50's vintage Tele, but could never find one in my budget when I had the money.

    Getting my GVCG 55 Ultimate Tele ended my vintage Tele search, and I can't think of any reason to go vintage now. I buy guitars to play, not as an investment. I can play/abuse/enjoy my GVCG with no thought of what the consequence will be, and I couldn't do that with a $20K+ vintage Tele.


    As martie6621 mentions, for me they exceed any CS Fender I've tried (and I mean no disrespect to any of the great CS Fenders out there). To me, the differences were in the details, and I preferred every detail of the GVCG over the CS guitars: body and neck finishes, neck profiles, fret work, pickups, comfort/playability, and most of all tone.


    I can think of only one downside to owning a GVCG:
    You will be haunted by wondering how you can get another one.
    :D

    My only regret is not buying Jonathon's creations when I talked to him several years ago (and prices were way cheaper). But I don't regret a single penny I paid for buying mine at the current price, and I hope to get another (in a different configuration) someday.
     
  10. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks for the input, guys! Seems like the GVCG really is something! Yes, I was very interested in how these things play and sound, 'cause the look depertment is the only thing one can check out beforehand via Internet, and I must tell you that the GVCG's that I've seen really have done it for me..:BOUNCE

    How long is the wait time right now? I heard the list is like 100 names long.

    Anyway, the GVCG guitars have some kind of superior air around them. I'd really like to see pics of yours, please!

    What about Nash, how do the GVCG guitars compare to the Nash timewarp guitars, which seem really cool as well? Has anyone both? Nash's offerings are way cheaper and a bit readier available, even here in Europe. But someday, I'll get a dream Tele, or two, or three, and a Strat, or two...you know the drill. It just seems like Nash might be the first move for me right now, 1/3 of the price and easier to get. Man, do we live in a beautiful world, guitar wise that is! :dude
     
  11. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    I got in "on the ground floor" before the prices rose and owned one a couple years before selling it a couple months ago (a '59 slab-board replica). It was a very comfortable, played-in-feeling guitar. The relicking on the body and bridge was quite authentic looking; I brought it in to a respected tech to have some work done and he immediately thought the body was an original 59 or 60. Neck wear is harder to mimic, but mine looked authentic from a small distance (like 2-3 feet). The finishing work is great, and mine sounded FANTASTIC with its Hamel pickups. I cannot enough how good and smoky that guitar sounded. I understand that the Lollars that Jonathan uses now are similarly wonderful. Fretwork was also quite good--as good as Grosh, which is saying something.

    The weak point on mine and on at least one other guitar I know of (both of them fairly early--these were both 2003 or earlier guitars) was setup-type issues. My nut was not very well cut and the neck had to be re-shimmed to get the action to respectable medium height (it had been a bit higher to keep buzzes at bay). Once it was re-shimmed and the nut issues addressed, it was also a great-playing guitar. I haven't heard many complaints in this regard, so he probably has these issues addressed.

    Also, if you're looking at a late 50s, early 60s guitars, be advised that convincing knobs of that type just aren't made nowadays. No fault of Jonathan's--they simply aren't being manufactured, period. I wound up buying a set of real '58 Tele knobs on the Weber Telecaster page and installing them, which made the body of mine truly the next best thing to a real '59.
     
  12. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

    Messages:
    3,082
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
  13. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Gents,

    I just wanted to add a question. What difference do you think there is between GVCG and Nash -guitars other than the price? Both are really beautiful instruments, good pickups etc. One is over double the price of the other...
     
  14. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    Blauserk, nice to know about some of the not-so-great stuff too! As much as I like the relicing on these, if I ever get one, I'll order one with lighter relic job anyway.

    Rusty, I also noticed the body on ebay, what the h*** is the dude doing this thinking? :confused:
     
  15. prsflame

    prsflame Member

    Messages:
    2,964
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    [​IMG]I'm not much for photography, and my camera is outdated, but this is a shot of my 63 Oly white replica. I just played 2 gigs with her this weekend, and it is an exceptional sounding/playing guitar. I used to own a LPB 60's GVCG Tele that I sold In Oct to a TGPer' as I was just not a Tele gal.:)
    I was lucky to get in on the ground floor, before Jonathan's popularity skyrocketed. This guitar cost me less than the price of a Fender Custom Shop Relic Strat when I bought it last May.
    I've got a Nash on order that should be here in a few weeks. I'm interested to see how the two compare.
    I have not owned/played many Fender Custom Shop Strats, so I don't know how they compare to the GVCG. All I know is that if Jonathan was still building S style guitars for the $ I paid for this one, I'd order again in a heartbeat
     
  16. Ogre

    Ogre Member

    Messages:
    4,299
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Just for the record, Nash guitars are parts that are assembled.(he does do the relicing) It's not the same thing as GVCG. No comparison.
     
  17. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    GVCG makes his own parts?
     
  18. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    prsflame, that is beautiful!! Living in the perfect world, I'd like a GVCG Strat as well, but I guess the prices for those will be over 10k anytime soon...

    As soon as you get the Nash, I'd be very interested in hearing a comparison between the two. Nash is so much cheaper and they're also available in Europe, so if I don't win in the lottery I guess I'll have to go with a Nash first, but we'll see :)

    I noticed you own many boutique guitars, how does the GVCG compare to the other quality wise?
     
  19. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    Yep, I know Nash uses bodies and neck from sources one can get themselves. But how does this make them automatically inferior guitars?
     
  20. prsflame

    prsflame Member

    Messages:
    2,964
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    As far as quality goes, it is every bit as good as my Suhr's, the Chapin, and the Warren. It's just a different animal in the tone dept. It stays in tune remarkably well, and the neck has been very stable. :)
     

Share This Page