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Friday, December 12, 2014

Gold Tone GM-6+ Guitar Madolin Hybrid,... Review

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $899.00 USD + tax & shipping with HSC

Gold Tone is a manufacturer of bluegrass and hybrid instruments.

This GM-6+ guitar mandolin hybrid features a solid arched spruce top and back with a maple neck that is dressed in an ebony radiused fingerbaord and is finished in a hand-rubbed oil finish.

Gold Tone floating bridge, Gold Tone Chrome covered tailpiece and Square-Covered style machine heads

Transducer mounted in bridge.


Amp used:
Fishman SA220
Fishman aura spectrum DI
LR Baggs DI

Pick used:
Gravity Sunrise mini (Jazz) 1.5

Reliability & Durability:
This guitar is well made -- it is solid through and through. There was no hum or crackles from the electronics and all knobs and hardware were installed snug and proper.

To say the least, this was different. Not in the way a buddy would describe having a quiet dinner with his childhood friend that has vulgar tourette syndrome -- but in a "wow, that is really cool" kind of way. I really didn't know what to expect going in to this review since most hybrid guitars I have played to date have been a total failure, so I was expecting something a little nicer than a child's toy -- but to my delight this GM-6+ guitar mandolin hybrid turned out to be a very playable stringed instrument.

The day she arrived I treated her the same as I would an acoustic guitar -- I opened the case, loosened the machine heads, put a dampit in her sound/F-hole and shut the case for 24 hours. I have learned the hard way that acoustic instruments do not travel well and that a little TLC can go a long way to insure proper intonation and tonal perfection for the life of the instrument. After a 24 hour nap, it was time to see what she could do.

Over the next few weeks I used this GM-6+ in a few different environments to see how she held up and performed in real world application of use.

14 St Station
Being such a small instrument, the first place that came to mind was the NYC subway system. I have found one of the best places to test out a new song is the 14 st subway station. It is loud and filled with people willing to listen -- and you can also ditch the cops in Union Square if you forgot to get your permits. The subway system offers some of the best acoustics you can find in the city making your music come to life -- just as long as the instrument's voice is loud enough to be heard over the controlled chaos. I had no problem being heard, this GM-6+ has a very loud but tame voice that resonated and filled the platform when empty, but was a mellow reminder to the strap-hangers of the stage their daily commute drops then at.

Recording / Rehearsal Studio
One of my pet peeves with acoustic instruments is their peizo pickups system. You can have the most amazing sounding instrument, but when it is electrified it sounds like someone squeezing a fart out of a wet duck. The system on the GM-6+ was surprisingly transparent and sounded true to soundboard -- yielding a rich full tone. Granted, I was using a notch filter with an EQ to dial out the unwanted frequencies and enhance the delicious ones -- but her voice was pleasant when amplified and completely usable at the professional level.

With a band /open mic
One of my favorite things to do is attend open mics in venues that I have never gone to before. It is a great way to meet new musicians and drink shitty beer (for the most part). I found myself (after a few too many) in a lounge somewhere on Flatbush Ave jamming out with some new friends. I think we were playing hillbilly metal, but I’m not really sure. Acoustic and un-mic’d in a damp basement with carpeted wall panels, this GM-6+ stood up to a Jumbo 12 string, a trumpet and a chick doing some drunk screamo crap -- but she was hot so it was OK.

So to sum it up -- overall this GM-6+ guitar mandolin hybrid is a fun addition to any guitar players arsenal.

My advice:
I truly enjoyed playing this GM-6+ guitar mandolin hybrid. It is a compact 6 string monster that combines a tradition octave guitar and mandolin. So my advice is -- if you are looking for a bluegrass sound with a twist or just want something fun and unique, try a Gold Tone GM-6+ guitar mandolin hybrid.

Gold Tone, Inc.
3656 S Hopkins Avenue
Titusville, FL 32780
P (321) 264-1970

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Posted 12/2014
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