Ormsby Guitars is a small company out of Perth, Australia, headed up by Perry Ormsby, an accomplished luthier and visionary guitar designer. They specialize in multiscale and extended-range guitars, and they have a slew of exciting and sleek designs. Although they were purely a custom shop for the first several years, they now offer a line of guitars called the GTR Series which are imports from Korea based on their other models.
There are a few designs in the GTR series, but the one that caught my eye the hardest was the TX model. Not just because it has my initials on it, although that doesn’t hurt. This thing is an insane futuristic telecaster that looks like a blaster a Storm Trooper would carry. My love for tele shapes is always a tad bit diminished when I pick up the genuine article, because Leo Fender’s design was essentially to say “fuck the human body” and although I adore the looks and sound, they are really uncomfortable to play. So whenever I can get my hands on one that’s got some contours and the like, I jump on it.
The TX does not disappoint. Although the guitar initially arrived with a kind of poor setup (very high action), this was merely the result of a very long cross-ocean trip from Australia to LA and with some quick and minor tweaks, suddenly the guitar became a low and fast shred machine. There’s a vast difference between a guitar that is well made and needs a tweak and a badly made guitar that has no hope of ever playing well no matter the fret leveling, truss rod adjustments, and bridge tweaks – this guitar is clearly the former.
This guitar is from their Run #2, which is how they do models for their GTR series – they spec them out, put pictures up, take user feedback, and then you can pre-order them with a deposit. A certain number are made, and then you’re S.O.L. until the next run, which will be something different. These are the specs for this particular guitar:
Body: Alder 42mm thick with black binding
Neck: 3 piece maple
Fretboard: Ebony with 16″ radius
Inlays: Mother of Pearl
Six string: 25.5″ – 27.5″ Multiscale
Seven string: 25.5″ – 27.8″ Multiscale
Neck shape: 20.3mm @ 1st, 22 @ 17th, D shape with round shoulders. AKA “thin U”
Hardware: Custom Hipshot USA multiscale bridge and Hipshot USA locking tuners Black (Ye Olde Model – Chrome)
Fret wire: Jumbo Stainless Steel
Pickups: 500k pots, 3 way & push/pull tone pot for coil splitting
Bridge – PVH A5 humbucker
Neck – Old School single coil
TX GTR YE OLDE
6’s: $1599 AUD + Shipping & Taxes
7’s: $1666 AUD + Shipping & Taxes
TX GTR CARBON
6’s: $1649 AUD + Shipping & Taxes
7’s: $1699 AUD + Shipping & Taxes <— this is the one I got
Chameleon Paint + $50
TX GTR EATON SPECIAL
6’s: $1749 AUD + Shipping & Taxes
7’s: $1799 AUD + Shipping & Taxes
The neck shape on the guitar is one of my favorite parts – really thin with a massive flat spot in the middle. It’s certainly not for everyone, as some people love a round neck, but it feels comfy as hell to me. On the other side of the neck, however, lies the most challenging part of the guitar – the multiscale. I’m pretty sure I’ve done more multiscale/fan fret guitar reviews than anyone alive (you’re welcome to fact check me on this, I haven’t actually counted) so at the very least I’ve played many different kinds – this is the largest spread I’ve personally played. 27.8 – 25.5″ is an enormous spread. It makes for some really excellent string tension, and that low A sang like a choir, but sweet Christmas candy do those frets fan. This is not for the entry-level multiscale player. Everything is basically fine until you reach the very high frets (of which there are no fewer than 29), and then it’s easy to get lost without some practice. Clearly I got around fine as you can see from the demo, but don’t expect to be flying around right away. I think the most practical way to help with this would be to add small dots to the treble side above the 12th fret for navigation purposes.
The carbon fiber pickguard is a nice touch, adding to the futuristic appeal, and the binding enhances the look of the axe and – all the lines are tight. It’s a perfect blend of classic and modern with some nice contours for ergonomic support, and the pickups are great. Overall I really liked the TX, and I think you will too.