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View Full Version : Suhr classic or Don Grosh Retro strat?


strattitude
01-23-2008, 06:03 AM
I gonna get an upmarket strat within the near future. First I was totally set on an alder/Rosewood Suhr Classic w. FL standard pickups and vintage 6 screw bridge, 10-14 radius, not quite sure about frets just not SS, Vintage medium C or even C med. neck.

Then I stumbled upon the Don Grosh Retro strats which also seem to get a lot of praise. They seem to mostly have Fralin pickups, either Blues Specials or Vintage hot and a SP43 in bridge pos. I dont think I would like the SP43 as it seems to be fairly high output, and might be hard to balance w. the 2 middle pups. I don't like high output pups.
I really like the Tele Blues Specials in my Tokai tele though.

I have read that Suhr and Grosh both make really resonant guitars.
Can anyone compare these guitars and thepickups in them?

I dont like totally high gain tones but classic fat strat tones, just nut icepicky.

Thanks!

1radicalron
01-23-2008, 06:42 AM
I own both Grosh and Suhr Guitars. They are both great Strat style Guitars.
* I find the Suhr has a more modern sound and vibe to it. It would be an all around Great fusion style Guitar.
* The Grosh Retro has a very vintage sound and vibe to it. Very easy to get Hendrix/SRV style sounds.
I personally play the Grosh way more. I guess I am a sucker for the Vintage Tone!!!
BTW - I am using the Dimarzio Area 58/61 Pups with stunning results. Also like the Fralin Vintage Hots (they are not too overwound) But do have that famous 60 cycle hum.

onemind
01-23-2008, 06:53 AM
I own both, have had several of each and have nothing bad to say, The Suhr is a bit more resonant, but my current Grosh has mroe of a vintage Vibe (this might be due to the Dimarzio Area 61 pups in middle and neck)

The Suhr's pickups are very strat like, but almost a high-fi version, lots of clarity and sparkle

You cannot go wrong with either one.

dkaplowitz
01-23-2008, 06:55 AM
Pretty different guitars IMO and IME. Best to try a couple of each (I know, that's not always easy to do).

jamison162
01-23-2008, 08:32 AM
Swamp Ash Grosh with Fralins! Stu at FatSound will hook you up with the best prices....tell him Eric sent you. If you custom order expect about a 4 month wait. Check my other thread I posted on the Grosh I have coming; I'll have photos up by this weekend so check back!!!!!

Sorry but I have to say after playing a bunch of Suhrs, they were great and better than any off-the-shelf Fender, but they were no Grosh. I little hyped in my opinion; and Grosh's are sort of under the radar at this time. Stu carries nothing but the best of the best. He's a Grosh dealer and not a Suhr, although I'm sure he could sell a many of them. That's got to say something in itself.

Glowing Tubes
01-23-2008, 09:38 AM
I own both Grosh and Suhr Guitars. They are both great Strat style Guitars.
* I find the Suhr has a more modern sound and vibe to it. It would be an all around Great fusion style Guitar.
* The Grosh Retro has a very vintage sound and vibe to it. Very easy to get Hendrix/SRV style sounds.


Bingo! Would have to agree with this assessment.

Dave
01-23-2008, 09:55 AM
* I find the Suhr has a more modern sound and vibe to it. It would be an all around Great fusion style Guitar.
* The Grosh Retro has a very vintage sound and vibe to it. Very easy to get Hendrix/SRV style sounds.
You guys do know that John was the Master Luthier at Fender's Custom Shop, right? He knows as much about building classic guitars as anyone on the planet. If you want a vintage style instrument John can build it for you.

I'm not trying to take anything away from Grosh, he builds beautiful guitars too, but you can't say all Suhr guitars sound or feel a certain way, it's simply not true.

jiml
01-23-2008, 09:58 AM
Played a Grosh a long time ago, very impressed, but wasn't into the strat thing then. My buddy here at work has a Suhr Classic that sounded great too, very "acoustic" unplugged.

I would go for the Grosh if I had to choose. Specs just fit me better. The Suhr had a great fit and finish, but the poly felt "plasticy" compared to the more organic nitro on the Grosh.

Troubleman
01-23-2008, 10:04 AM
Both.
I have a Suhr Custom Classic that just plain ROCKS!
Jeff Bober over at Budda Amplification has a forest-green Grosh that's sweet. I told Jeff I may have to wait for him one night with a tire iron - I want a Grosh like that one. I have a preference (slight) for Suhrs, but that's a personal thing. Both companies make great instruments

jb

dookie
01-23-2008, 10:05 AM
Have played Grosh and am a Suhr owner...

Both guitar brands have their place... Can't say one is better than the other because it really depends on your own taste... But I choose Suhr because the feel of the guitars match me better... Grosh builds killer stuff though... I'm really into the Electrojet...

rhollyday
01-23-2008, 04:26 PM
I have a Grosh Retro Classic that originally had Fralin Blue Specials in the guitar. I much prefer the lollars, so I swapped them for a set of lollar blackface, and now I'm real happy with the tone. Thats just me. There are also plenty of folks on the forum who like the Fralins.

As other's have said , very retro sounding strat like guitar.

I have also owned a Sure Pro Series Guitar. Its a very competatively proced guitar. Based upon owning both Surhs and Groshes, I would say you can't go wrong either way. They are both dextremely well build and competatively priced guitars.

My suggestion would be to play

jamison162
01-23-2008, 10:07 PM
I much prefer the lollars, so I swapped them for a set of lollar blackface, and now I'm real happy with the tone. Thats just me. There are also plenty of folks on the forum who like the Fralins.


Some folks like A2's, some like A5's. I like A2's in my humbucker's and A5's for single coil punch and glass.

lv
01-23-2008, 10:46 PM
Differences are likely due to pickups - both make great guitars that can be spec'd modern or vintage, both features and tone. imo can't go wrong with either, comes down to which headstock and body shape you like.

I prefer Don's headstock and Suhr's body.....

jackaroo
01-23-2008, 10:53 PM
Grosh if I had to pick. I too prefer the Suhr body and Grosh HS.

JMG
01-24-2008, 01:17 AM
I sold my Grosh RC when I got my first Suhr. And I eventually wound up with a total of three Suhrs. YMMV.

Paul Conway
01-24-2008, 05:26 AM
I have a thinskin alder/African rosewood Suhr without the Feiten system, and it's a very vibrant, even, clear-sounding guitar. just about all you could want from a strat.

I'm just sorting out the pickups on it, as although the FL's are really good, they are a hair too bright for this particular guitar. Other than that minor issue, it's a great piece.

I'm sure you'll be impressed with either the Suhr or Grosh you go for.

FFTT
01-24-2008, 06:03 AM
My friend and I were looking at the Suhr, Grosh and Anderson sites just yesterday.

He's thinking about a lightweight Strat design and I was looking for
ES-335 style or ES-339 style semi-hollowbodies.

I was under the impression that Grosh offered a semi-hollowbody
but did not see anything with f holes at all or anything close
to a 335.

Am I looking at the wrong page?

Also as far as build quality, how do the Suhr and Grosh stand up to Anderson's

Like I said, my friend is more interested in Strat body styles
and I'm interested more in semi-hollowbodies.

Suggestions?

dkaplowitz
01-24-2008, 06:16 AM
I was under the impression that Grosh offered a semi-hollowbody
but did not see anything with f holes at all or anything close
to a 335.

Am I looking at the wrong page?

I have this (http://www02.homepage.villanova.edu/david.kaplowitz/images/guits/Grosh2/), so you might want to keep looking! It's closer in body size to the CS-336, but it's a great guitar (much better than the 336 I had, note the use of the term "had").

lgehrig4
01-24-2008, 06:21 AM
Both are great and well made. The sound will depend mainly on the pickups so I won't go there. The feel is what is different, but then again unless you are comparing one of each with the exact same specs it's an apples vs oranges situation.

I have a Suhr Classic and I just sold my Grosh retro classic. I would be lying if I said the Suhr played better. I prefer it because of the specs and color. Grosh used nitro, a very thin layer, so it nicks up easy, but supposedly it allows the wood to breathe. The Grosh was also smaller, lighter and strayed more from a traditional strat design. If you go with a Grosh I will recommend the blender pickup wiring which allows you to use the bottom tone control to blend the bridge and neck pickups. Very useful.

I like the weight and balance of my Suhr. It feels a little more substantial to me than the Grosh and I also love Suhr's pickups. I couldn't think of a better strat for me

BarneyFife
01-24-2008, 06:36 AM
My friend and I were looking at the Suhr, Grosh and Anderson sites just yesterday.

He's thinking about a lightweight Strat design and I was looking for
ES-335 style or ES-339 style semi-hollowbodies.

I was under the impression that Grosh offered a semi-hollowbody
but did not see anything with f holes at all or anything close
to a 335.

Am I looking at the wrong page?

Suggestions?

Look at the "Set Neck" page. He builds these in solid, semi-hollow and fully hollow bodies. Great guitars.

FFTT
01-24-2008, 08:57 AM
Thanks,
I was looking for them, but only saw the solid bodies.

Would be great if anyone has a photo side by side with a Les Paul
and/or an ES-335 just to get an idea of comparitive scale.

Those Collings models are georgeous too.

The Collings 290 fully bound would be very cool!

Not sure about the build quality difference between the Grosh and Collings,
both look very well made.

With a guitar like this, custom options would be key, like the neck shape and width configurations, binding options for body and neck etc.

Still paying off my new Les Paul, but these sure have my respect.

strattitude
01-24-2008, 09:23 AM
I have a thinskin alder/African rosewood Suhr without the Feiten system, and it's a very vibrant, even, clear-sounding guitar. just about all you could want from a strat.

I'm just sorting out the pickups on it, as although the FL's are really good, they are a hair too bright for this particular guitar. Other than that minor issue, it's a great piece.

I'm sure you'll be impressed with either the Suhr or Grosh you go for.

Maybe it's the african Rosewood that makes it bright. On the the Suhr site it says that african rosewood is brighter than Indian.


Thanks for all the great comments guys! I'm leaning slightly towards a Suhr Classic. It's got BF tuning system and has the classic strat shape.
A Grosh would probably also be great, but almost all the ones I have seen has the SP43 at the bridge. I won't be able to try a Grosh around here, but there is a Suhr dealer, where I did try a couple.

It also depends whether there will be any good deals around.

Aardvark
01-24-2008, 10:59 AM
The build quality of Suhr and Grosh are both equal to Anderson. I have owned a few of each and like them both. Most of the differences have already been covered by others. I would add that pickup offerings are varied by both builders, and of course you can change these later if you see fit. I have found over time that I favor Suhr for a maple board guitar and Grosh for a rosewood board. The Suhrs with rosewood board always end up sounding slightly edgy, the Grosh more mellow and vintage. On the other hand, the Suhr maple board guitars always have a certain snap and resonance that is really appealing. YMMV. Here are a couple of mine:
Suhr: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg207/joeschmoe242/IMG_0059.jpg
Grosh:
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg207/joeschmoe242/IMG_0041.jpg

Docgab
01-24-2008, 11:08 AM
I have owned both a Suhr and Grosh S-style guitars. I prefered the Grosh. Not saying that there was anything wrong with the Suhr, beautiful guitar. But, from the first time that I played the Grosh it felt like an old friend.

cg
01-24-2008, 12:44 PM
I have owned several from both Grosh and Suhr. They are both fantastic builders. You can't go wrong with either one.

An ideal ption for me would be the Grosh neck/headstock on a Suhr body. That would be the best of both worlds.

With that said,my current Strat is a Hot Rod 62.

:)

Paul Conway
01-24-2008, 02:46 PM
Maybe it's the african Rosewood that makes it bright. On the the Suhr site it says that african rosewood is brighter than Indian.


Thanks for all the great comments guys! I'm leaning slightly towards a Suhr Classic. It's got BF tuning system and has the classic strat shape.
A Grosh would probably also be great, but almost all the ones I have seen has the SP43 at the bridge. I won't be able to try a Grosh around here, but there is a Suhr dealer, where I did try a couple.

It also depends whether there will be any good deals around.

Yes - the African rosewood appears to be considerably brighter than what I'm used to in a rosewood neck. However, as the guitar is very even and balanced across all six strings and very 'alive', I think it can be addressed electronically.

5150gtrmonkey
01-24-2008, 06:49 PM
I've got two Grosh RC and have played the Suhr Classics at my friend's shop. I agree with everyone that they are both excellent guitars and you can't go wrong with either one. When all things are equal, I usually go for the aesthetics and ergonomic design of the instrument. As some mentioned before, I definitely prefer the Grosh headstock. However, I also love the contours of the Grosh over the Suhr and even Anderson, which I also tried out before deciding on the RC. I'm on the short side so the classic size and contours of a Fender and the Suhr classic felt quite large for me. The Grosh RC is much more comfortable for me to play, both sitting and standing.

In regards to pickups, I originally had a set of Lindy Fralins on them. While I loved the way the Fralin bridge sounded, I still wanted a humbucker in the bridge. I ordered a new pickguard from Grosh and everything worked out fine. One great thing about Grosh is he can build your guitar to very customized spec. I wanted a really sharp med/large V contour on my neck and I got it with no problem. I know with Anderson there are certain things they just will not do. I've heard that even if you wanted a top mount input jack, they won't build an Anderson Classic with if for you, nor can you get a guitar without the two strap buttons on the bottom. I could be wrong about this, but those were some of the things I considered when deciding which one to get.

In regards to the Buzz Feiten tuning system, Grosh actually has an interesting reply to why he doesn't use it on his guitars. It's a similar rationale that I've heard other builders mention.

Whichever one you get, you can't lose!

lv
01-24-2008, 09:53 PM
I have this (http://www02.homepage.villanova.edu/david.kaplowitz/images/guits/Grosh2/), so you might want to keep looking! It's closer in body size to the CS-336, but it's a great guitar (much better than the 336 I had, note the use of the term "had").

Absolutely stunning guitar.

FFTT
01-24-2008, 10:11 PM
I finally found the Grosh semi-hollowbody set necks.

Just Wow!

http://www.groshguitars.com/images/koa-set_feature1.jpg

The Anderson 3X P-90 Cobra Special is damn cool too.
http://www.andersonguitars.com/images/guitarImages/03,03,2000_12-21-24.jpg
Strat switching and wammy with P-90's kewel!

FFTT
01-25-2008, 12:35 AM
Sick guitar... Specs?

Looks like Pick-Ups are to order, most seem to have Fralins.

From the Grosh set neck gallery
http://www.groshguitars.com/setpix.htm

http://www.groshguitars.com/feature072304.htm

Built for A Sharp Music in Renton, WA

Specs:

Mahogany/Brazilian Rosewood neck
1 11/16" nut, 12" radius, med/lrg. roundback shape, 6150 frets
Limited Abalonie inlays on fingerboard
Flame Koa binding on neck
Abalonie truss rod cover
Mahogany/Koa top body
Semi Hollow body w/two F holes
Natural finish top, Trans brown back
DiMarzio Virtual PAF HH, gold covers
Gold hardware

Looks like they come with 3 contols or 4
Solid body, Single F Hole, Double F Hole
With HB's or P-90's

This one is purdy too!
http://www.groshguitars.com/images/faded-amber_set1.jpg

Too bad Gibson isn't putting out ES-339's with this kind of detail.

http://www.groshguitars.com/images/faded-amber_set3.jpg
http://www.groshguitars.com/images/055setneckside.jpg
http://www.groshguitars.com/images/FFsetneck_feat.3.jpg

dkaplowitz
01-25-2008, 08:41 AM
Too bad Gibson isn't putting out ES-339's with this kind of detail.
If they did (questionable whether they can) they would cost $6000-$7000 minimum.

Those are some knockouts you posted. The flamey ones look ridiculously good.

FFTT
01-25-2008, 08:55 AM
That's really the big headache in a nutshell.

A better build, better tone and playability vs. the investment
in a collectible grade Gibson or Fender.

strattitude
01-27-2008, 03:22 PM
Any advantages on the BF tuning system? If you read on the Grosh website, it says that BFTS isn't good when you are playing doubled leadlines with other instruments. It sort of makes me feel that BFTS is not the way to go, but I just can't believe this. So many great players use it...