“A vibrant Fender-y voice, lightweight feel and original style”: Ancoats Guitars New Islington review

Proudly made in Manchester, England, Ancoats’ guitars mix up retro themes that stand out in the market. We take this third-generation New Islington for a spin

Ancoats guitars New Islington
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

What the New Islington lacks on a couple of easily sorted fine details, it certainly makes up for with a vibrant Fender-y voice, lightweight feel and original style, not to mention a welcome shout-out for Manchester craft.


  • +

    Inspired retro design with plenty of custom options.

  • +

    Good voicing from single coils.

  • +

    Series mix broadens the voices.

  • +

    Good lightweight feel and playability.


  • -

    Fret ends and un-countersunk screws could be improved upon.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Ancoats’ guitars are made by David Roberts in a converted shipping container in Pollard Yard, Manchester. 

“It was an old parking lot or something, but it now has around 130 shipping containers – just a lined empty container with patio doors on the front – and everyone’s turned them into their own start-up businesses,” David tells us.

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.