Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Gaskell Guitars located?

Sydney, Australia.

What guitars do you make?

We make left handed electric guitars and left handed basses including all models and shapes that are not made left handed by original manufacturers.

What guitars don’t you make?

We do not make left handed acoustic guitars. We do not make right handed guitars.

Where are Gaskell guitars made?

Gaskell guitars and basses are 100% made in Australia. They are made under a partnership with Australia’s top luthier, Charles Cilia of Cilia Custom Guitars.

Why should I buy a Custom guitar instead of one from a music store or shop?

This is a good question and there are very sound reasons why, if you are a serious guitarist you would benefit greatly to own and play a custom guitar over an ordinary, run-of-the mill shop guitar. Apart from the fact that most music shops have little to no left handed guitars anyway, here are five fundamental reasons why you should buy a custom guitar: click here.

Is there warranty on Gaskell custom guitars and basses?

Of course. CLICK HERE to read our Warranty documentation and CLICK HERE for our Term & Conditions and Returns policy.

What is the turnaround time for a Custom Shop guitar?

Usually 6 months, without delays. Changes to Custom Shop orders mid production will extend production time. Sometimes delays can occur due to having to wait for a manufacturer/supplier to deliver to us. To be honest, I have been having problems with this, as my builder has other work and sometimes we do get behind. We will always keep in touch with you mid-build if this happens. Sometimes this is a real test of patience. We ask you be prepared to be patient in a worst case scenario. The result is always worth it.

What is the cost to buy a Gaskell guitar or bass?

Prices vary depending on options. There are base prices for different types of instruments and each base price means a full completed build with hardware and pickups. Figured tops and caps, hardware upgrades, custom paint, etc are optional extras. Gaskell instruments are built to your specifications. Therefore you are in charge of the price you pay. Our Price list is on the RESOURCES page of this website or CLICK HERE to go straight to the Price List.

How easy is it to import a Gaskell from Australia to my country and what are the costs?

If you live in the UK here is the link to an excellent article as found on www.leftyfretz.com outlining costs and procedures to import musical instruments into the UK. CLICK HERE to go straight to the article. We have been sending guitars and basses to UK, Europe, USA and Canada for many years successfully and we are able to minimize some of those costs. At the time of sending your guitar we will discuss options with you. Here is a generic DUTY COST CALCULATOR you can use to get an idea of figures. Remember, we can minimize these costs considerably in some cases.

Can I get a guitar made in other colours than those on your Colour Chart?

Yes. Our chart shows the most popular colours but certainly not all. We can paint any guitar in any colour.

What are some of the common options for hardware and electronics?

We use only top of the line hardware and electronics in all our builds. Many people prefer EMG, DiMarzio, Bareknuckle, or Seymour Duncan pickups. TonePros, Gotoh, Hipshot, Kluson, Sperzel and Schaller products are popular hardware choices. The choice is yours. If you are not sure we are happy to advise you. Our NEWS page often doubles as a product info page as well, when information changes in the market. You can read about different products in some of the posts listed there. We will discuss options thoroughly before we finalize your custom order.

Is Gaskell Guitars breaking any Laws by making guitars that appear to look similar to some other well-known right handed guitars?

Can you copyright a car? If you could, there would be only one car manufacturer in the world that could make motor vehicles. The simple answer is: no. Fender® and Gibson® do have patents on their headstock designs and no Gaskell guitar has a headstock that violates any patent or copyright. Patents only last for 25 years. Eastwood Guitars and Italia Guitars are two examples of present-day guitar manufacturers whose products are reproductions of 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s vintage guitars that are no longer available today and for which any patent has long expired. The very famous Les Paul shape, a Gibson original, is also made by many other renowned guitar brands, such as ESP, Jackson, Tokai, Dean, Schecter, etc. I cannot however copy headstocks with current patents. What would be the point anyway?

Why should I buy a Gaskell and not some other brand?

This is a very simple question with many a good answer. CLICK HERE to find out why you should buy a Gaskell left handed guitar or bass.

Where do you get your tone woods from?

Many traditional timbers used in making guitars have either become commercially extinct or are on the verge of becoming banned due to corruption which has caused these beautiful woods to become scarce, especially mahogany.

All tone woods used in Gaskell instruments are from renewable sources in accordance with current international laws. For example our genuine American mahogany comes from Fiji, which is where the majority of the world’s American mahogany comes from today. To  help you make an informed decision about what tone woods to use for your guitar build we recommend you read the following informative articles about tone woods: TONE WOODS USED FOR ELECTRIC GUITARS and the three-particle article WHAT IS MAHOGANY? on this website.

What options do I have for guitar cases?

Over the years I have amassed considerable knowledge about what cases and gig bags will and won’t fit left handed guitars and basses. Remember, I have been doing this a long time now. It is best to read the post I did on this very subject. CLICK HERE. Prices are mentioned in this article and some are on our Price list.

Do you have a grudge against guitar companies that don’t make or have stopped making left handed guitars?

Of course I do. And it’s good. Every guitar brand that abandons lefties brings business to us. But aside from that, it tells you where those companies are at as far as their conviction goes. Who wants to deal with a company that “bites the hand that feeds?” Better to know who they are so you don’t put your faith into those companies and instead get let down. At Gaskell Guitars we are keeping the torch burning for all left handed guitarists! Those guitar brands that no longer make left handed guitars have kicked you in the teeth. Why do you want to support that anyway? We are 100% dedicated to left handed guitars and left handed guitarists. Support those who support you. If you have bonded with your captors (organizing petitions, begging for companies to make left handed guitars, etc) then you’ve got Stockholm Syndrome. Get over it. Do not support companies that don’t make left handed guitars.  

My guitar has had the Gaskell Platinum Setup Service and the action is very low. I get a bit of rattle when I play. Is there something wrong with the setup?

No. For many lefty guitarists, it will be the first time they’ve played a perfectly set up guitar after their guitar has had the Gaskell Platinum Setup Service. Music stores do set up guitars before they put them on display but they set them up for all round playability and anything more serious that the guitar needs (like fretwork) is offered as an up charge and then outsourced to a guitar repairer or builder to do. And who does the setup normally? A right handed player. That’s no good for lefties!

People usually compensate for badly or wrongly set up guitars by playing hard. That’s sometimes one of the things you have to “un learn.” If your guitar is set up properly you don’t have to fight or wrestle with it to play it. That defeats the purpose! A properly set up guitar makes you play better with less effort, and less force. If a player treats a perfectly set up guitar like a badly set up guitar he will get plenty of string rattle because he hasn’t made the transition yet. You are now riding a horse, not a bucking bronco anymore! So, if you are getting rattle, stop playing it like a badly setup guitar! Ease off. That’s all.

Note: In order to get a very low action for lead guitar playing there is a trade-off. It is normal to have some “acoustic rattle” with a low action. Acoustic rattle is NOT “string buzz.” String buzz happens when the nut is cut wrong and/or the frets are uneven. Nut adjustment and full fret dress is standard in every Gaskell set up. You might hear some acoustic rattle with the guitar unplugged, but acoustic rattle is not audible through the amp. To check, listen to what’s coming out of the amp. That’s what your audience hears. An electric guitar is not an acoustic guitar. If you are truly uncomfortable with the low action we can adjust the action for you.

How do you send guitars internationally?

We regularly send guitars internationally from Australia and have been doing this successfully for nearly 10 years. There are a few ways to send things internationally and we have tried every way. How we do it in the present is the best and safest way possible. We only use this method to send guitars internationally now.

FACT: Before any goods of any kind depart Australia they may be inspected by people at the departure depot for the usual (drugs, bombs, contraband, etc) and this is all done out of sight of the sender. During this there are possibilities of repacking blunders or mishandling of products resulting in damage happening before the goods have even started their journey! The same thing of course can happen upon arrival at the destination country by Customs staff.

I have learned that you cannot trust people to pay proper attention to packaging labels such as “Fragile”, “Handle With Care” or “Top Load Only”, even though they are supposed to. Today, we send all our guitars internationally through Pack & Send Australia, an official agent who also does the final inspection and with whom we are always physically present when that it is done. We even handle the guitars ourselves during the inspection rather than have someone else touch or handle them. Every single guitar goes through this personalized process. It means a Gaskell staff member has to be there physically each time for the send-off. You’ve paid good money for an instrument of perfection. It is important to us that you receive your Gaskell guitar in perfect condition. We do not charge for the extra steps we take to ensure you delivery will be as risk free as possible. Every single instrument we send from Australia is sent in this way.

International shipping is never cheap. We want you to be fully aware of what it is you get when you pay for shipping. It is a time consuming process. When we say we are “looking after the left handed guitarist” we mean that in many ways.

Who is Kevin Gaskell?

Born in New Zealand in 1968, Kevin moved to Australia in 1992. In the last 20 years Kevin has also lived and worked in South Africa and the United States. He has seen much of Asia and Europe too. He is particularly fond of the UK and Germany. Kevin is a left handed guitarist and the designer of all Gaskell guitars and basses. He built his first left handed electric guitar in 1992. To get an insight into the mind of Kevin Gaskell and the world of dedicated left handed guitar manufacturing, we encourage you read our article WHY BUY A GASKELL?

©2016 Gaskell Guitars Australia

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