When word got out that Ormsby was releasing a production instrument (instead of one-offs and exclusive runs like the Hypemachine series), a cry of joy rang out across the entire guitar kingdom. Here was a chance for more players to get their hands on an Ormsby sooner, and a Facebook group even allowed potential customers to help refine the specs. The first run included Hype GTR and SX GTR models; we’ve already looked at a Hype in these pages, so here’s the SX. And just you wait ‘til you see what the second run involved...
The SX is a rounder, a little more Strat-like shape compared to the Hype, although it’s still undeniably Ormsby, with an offset outline that feels visually consistent with the fanned-fret design. The scale length varies from string to string but the six-string is 25.5” to 27.5”, and the seven-string is 25.5” to 27.8”. This gives you a tighter feel on the lower strings and a more conventional one on the highest strings. It also gives you better intonation and is more ergonomic; the spread of the frets feels like it conforms to your hand rather than the other way around, and it really doesn’t take more than ten minutes or so to feel comfortable with it.
The body is made of alder with a laminated rock maple set neck, the dimensions of which are neck shape: 20.3mm at the first fret, 22mm at the 17th, and a D shape with round shoulders (otherwise known as a ‘Thin U’). The frets are stainless steel, and Perry Ormsby replaced the nuts on each of these guitars after they arrived, as part of the QC process. Perry’s paws are all over these guitars; each one was inspected, tweaked and set up to ensure it met his high quality standards before being sent out. The bridge is custom-made by Hipshot and it feels great and seems extremely hard-wearing. The pickups are a pair of Ormsby-designed humbuckers: a Nunchucker in the bridge and an Old School single coil in the neck position. I reviewed the Lambo Orange (and if you dig hard enough you’ll find video of me playing it on the Ormsby GTR Facebook group), but other colours include Snow White, Seafoam Green, Rally Blue, Interceptor Black and Corsa Red.
This is a really fun guitar to play; it’s very well balanced and it never feels like it’s in your way. The upper fret access is great and you’ll forget you’re playing a multiscale soon enough. Sonically it has a really distinct character; the pickups are clear and punchy and yet there’s also some smoothness there. The pickups aren’t super-hot, so you’ll get lots of detail, which is great for pushing the aggression in high-gain tones and maintaining character and personality in clean tones. It is also extremely well suited for mid-gain tones – the kind where you might want to use the guitar’s volume knob to vary the gain. The humbucker is splittable to a clear, sharp, Tele-like voice, and the neck pickup has a little bit of sweetness to it, which is great on its own or in combination with the bridge pickup.
One thing that really stood out to me: this isn’t just a guitar for shredders or metal players; the comfort, great intonation and excellent note separation make it a brilliant guitar for cleaner, more chordal styles. And it’s great for blues because the fretboard seems to invite you to really dig in. It’s pretty much a jack-of-all-trades guitar masquerading as one that on first glance might seem geared to a particular style.
For more details, head to ormsbyguitars.com.
Hits and Misses
Exceptional playability and intonation
Great note separation and clarity
Some players may prefer a noiseless single coil.