DiPinto’s penchant for pawnshop aesthetics rises to a new level with the Galaxie 4 Deluxe, which gives a nod to Juan Mirò with its asymmetrical shape, Sonic Blue/White finish, and ’60s-era “serape” plastic for the pickguard and headstock overlay. A quartet of playful looking rocker switches activates the four hum-cancelling single-coil pickups, and the Volume and Tone pots are topped with gold-reflector knobs that could be straight off an early-’60s Airline table radio.
The Galaxie 4’s mélange of eye-popping elements coalesce in a pro guitar that features a medium depth, bolt-on neck with a wide-ish profile that is topped with a 25 ½”-scale rosewood fingerboard carved to a 12” radius. It’s a comfy setup with low action and smoothly finished frets, and overall, the guitar gets good marks for playability. The strings are guided over a fully adjustable roller bridge to terminate in a Jaguar/Jazzmaster-style floating vibrato tailpiece with a plug-in arm. It’s handy for subtle pitch bends and definitely looks cool, but I had some trouble keeping the strings in tune if I got too rambunctious with the bar. Unfortunately you can’t lock the vibrato either, as is possible with a Fender unit.
The Galaxie 4’s chambered mahogany body gives a noticeably resonant acoustic sound, and that translated to plenty of shimmer and “air” when plugged into either a Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue or a Mesa/Boogie Mark Five: 25 (the latter driving a Mesa slant-front 1x12 cabinet). Messing around with the pickup switches made me appreciate just how many different sounds are available here, and with a bit of experimenting it was easy to find settings for crisp clean tones, funky rhythm textures, meaty crunch, and corpulent high-gain sounds. The pickups have a nice balance of warmth and definition, they’re very quiet, and they also have a fairly strong output. By mounting them in a staggered height configuration (lower toward the neck, higher toward the bridge) the output stays pretty consistent between them as well, which helps to mitigate potential volume differences when switching from, say, a neck-plus-bridge combo to the inside pair.
Anyone with a taste for adventure should give the Galaxie 4 a try. Its ability to go beyond standard 3-way and 5-way pickup switching to craft guitar sounds on the fly makes it an obvious choice for those who dig some of the sonic charms of vintage Teiscos and Ekos. However, DiPinto brings modern design and superior quality to the guitars it offers, and with final setup and inspection done at the company’s Fishtown, Philadelphia, facility, you’re assured of getting a great sounding and reliable instrument. Bottom line: There’s really nothing quite like the Galaxie 4, and that’s reason enough for an Editors’ Pick Award.
GALAXIE 4 DELUXE
PRICE $1,025 street (hardshell case $160 street)
NUT WIDTH 1 11/16" synthetic bone
NECK Maple, bolt-on
FRETBOARD Rosewood 25 ½” Radius: 12"
FRETS 22 medium jumbo
TUNERS Enclosed gear with pearloid buttons
BODY Mahogany, semi-hollow
BRIDGE Fully adjustable roller-style with “surf style” vibrato
PICKUPS Four DiPinto hum-cancelling single-coils
CONTROLS Volume, Tone, four on/off rocker switches for pickup selection
FACTORY STRINGS D’Addario, .010-.046
WEIGHT 7.9 lbs
KUDOS Awesome look. Plays well. Lots of sounds
CONCERNS Some tuning issues when using the vibrato.