any gretsch luv?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by drjoel, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. drjoel

    drjoel Silver Supporting Member

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    looking to add a gretsch flavor to my strat, tele, lester group. any thoughts on the new gretches?- likes, dislikes, etc. i'm looking at things like 6122sp, 120th anniv., RHH, dynasonic duo jet, falcon. appreciate any thoughts, feedback, experiences re: pickups, body size, scale length, etc. my high school rig in the 60's was an orange double cutaway 6120, mosrite fuzzrite and fender bandmaster so i guess this is another futile attempt to relive my youth!
     
  2. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

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    yes, really like them even though I tend to prefer solidbody guitars.

    I played a friend's early Setzer model which was VERY nice. versatile, no , but awesome and very specific character.

    I really like the semi hollow ideas like the power jet and power jet firebird.
    I'm sure they're kinda cheap, but I've been looking at the electromatic
    pro jet. not sure where they're made, but the gold or black top semi- hollow with bigsby appeals to me :)

    the tv jones pickups are supposed to be great !
     
  3. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    Love bordering on fanaticism . . . and yet, I am poor.
     
  4. billybob77036

    billybob77036 Member

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    If I were to get one it would be either a White Falcon, or the Reverand Horton Heat model.

    They are great guitars.
     
  5. No Code 5

    No Code 5 Member

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    I like the new Grestchs quite a bit. I have had a Silver Falcon with bigsby, a Setzer 6120 SSL, and the best of both worlds (imo) the Black Phoenix.

    The Phoenix is Setzer stripped down Silver Falcon. So it has White Falcon dimensions, in black with silver sparkle. With the extra (trestle) bracing, TV Jones, pups, and a nitro finish. It is big and bad.

    http://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/index.php?product=G6136SLBP&cat1=&cat2=&q=&st=1

    the RHH and Setzer models also come with the nitro option, which really adds to the feel. The TV Jones pups are great too.

    All the new Gretschs have top notch build quality and are very solid.
     
  6. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    I've played quite a few older Gretschs and found the build quality to be lacking in a big way. Apparently, the factory used to stress "quantity over quality" and it really showed. Sloppy neck joints, bad frets, poor finish work and oversprays galore.

    Now assuming you are asking about current production; I have no experience.
     
  7. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    I have a 6118 (no Bigsby) and I really love the tone and feel of it. It may not be the most versatile guitar, but it is more versatile than what I expected and what it does it does really well. It looks awesome and I get a lot of comments on it. My only minor issue is that the tuning isn't quite as stable as my fixed bridge guitars, but I have not yet taken it in for a setup.
     
  8. No Code 5

    No Code 5 Member

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    I forgot... the RHH and Setzer models also have a pinned tunomatic bridge stock instead of the floating bridges on the other models... this is a big help with tuning stability.

    The BillyBo has the bridge pinned as well.
     
  9. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    Can you explain "pinned?" How do they fix it permanantly to the guitar top? Glue?
     
  10. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    Personally, they're not my style of guitar but I've always thought they looked and sounded WAY COOL.
     
  11. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

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    If you are talking of pickups my 6128tsp was bright thanks to the Dynasonics it had. I think they could cut through steel and the Bigsby I do not think helped it all that much either. Nice Rockabilly guitar, you could even get some great country sounds out of it. I always used it with an AC-15 non top boost because I knew I couldnt use it with a Fender amp of any kind. http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b79/gtr_addict/guitars6128tspfront.jpg

    I also have a pair of 6114's they have TV Jones in them. I think it is more of an all around guitar. Very warm sounding and open, not dark and harsh. You could go from LP tones to good Rockabilly tones depending on amp and pickup and tone controls. Even the volume is very interactive.
    http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b79/gtr_addict/guitarsg6114front.jpg
     
  12. No Code 5

    No Code 5 Member

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    they make two small holes in the top of the guitar and corresponding indentations in the base of the bridge... the bridge sits on top of this and is "pinned" in place. this way it doesn't move back and forth with bigsby use or bending. It is a common mod that Gretsch has incorporated into certain models now... other guitar come with the historically accurate floating bridge.
     
  13. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    Pinning means that there is a very tiny pin that goes through a small hole in the top of the guitar. The cosmetic 'damage' to the roof is negligible.

    I particularly love the RHH model (listening to him right now: a very impressive player!) I also like the Double Anniverseries, what a beautiful Two-Tone Green!!

    and then again I also stay up nights dreaming about a Double Cutaway, Orange 6120!!

    . . . oh to be wealthy . . .

    course, I'd feel guilty twer I to get wealthy . . . I'd give it all away . . . probably
    (except for a bit ;) )
     
  14. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Some thoughts:

    1) When Fender took over a couple years ago, Gretsch quality control went UP. Yes, evil music giant takes over cool small company ... and things get BETTER for the buyers. Fender put in the bucks to make many more models available - a total revival of the brand - and really helped customer service.

    Pre-FMIC Gretsches aren't at all bad (both of mine are pre-Fender) but they did cut corners on some models by using cheap switches and ceramic pickups in a lot of models. You had to know which models had alnico FilterTrons; now most or all of the high-end ones do, I'm pretty sure.

    The lower-end Electromatic line is made in Korea or China. Not bad stuff, but the high-end guitars are (and have been for years) made at the Terada factory in Japan - first-rate stuff, easily the equal of Merkin-made.

    2) Head for the Gretsch Pages, where the truly knowledgeable people live, and click on "Modern Gretsch Guitars." They'll be able to tell you all about types of pickups, where various models are built, and the intricacies of various bridge designs and other stuff. They have as members several online dealers who really, really know their stuff when it comes to Gretsches, give great service and have very good pricing. Spend a while with these folks:

    http://www.gretschpages.com/discus/

    3) Your basic choices are: Low-end or high-end models? Solid, or true hollowbody? I'd go high-end, of course, for the real snap, twang, and sweet kerrang.

    Be sure you get alnico pickups (should be simpler now). I have one solid (6114 New Jet, a sleeper) and one hollowbody (the benchmark Setzer 6120) but there are many more wonderful models out there.

    One other thing to check: Scale length. Many Gretsches have a 24.6" scale length. The Fender/Gretsch web site has the details for each.

    They are peculiar beasts, but we love them. Now is a good time to buy!

    Re a "pinned bridge" - you have to understand the floating bridges on the hollowbodies are held in place only by string pressure. It's an intonation nightmare if they ever move, like the first time you change strings and they fall off. (Duhh!)

    Pinning them means they are held in place by wire that goes into the bridge base and the top of the guitar, like very thin posts. Invisible anchors, and you still get bridge-to-top contact. I had my pre-FMIC 6120 pinned by a luthier; I cannot imagine why people think it hurts value.

    Floating bridges are all part of the charm of these old Gretsch designs ... along with Bigsbys, odd scale length, all the volume and tone knobs, and the infamous mud switch!

    Gotta love it all. They're Gretsches, and they don't sound or play like anything else. Some people love 'em, others don't.

    But they will never make you look lame.

    Kiwi
     
  15. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Yep, plenty Gretsch love in this corner.. Got one of their new Korean made Electromatic hollowbodies - the model's your basic poor man's 6120/Nashville that's been reworked 3 times in it's short lifespan in an effort to make it more 'vintage-style'. You could probably get a deal on the 1st iteration w/fixed T.O.M. bridge & tension-bar Bigsby - That's the one I ended up with.. great US made s/c pickups that are often referred to as "DynaSonic lites" by the players over at GretschDiscussionPages, where you'll get considerably more info if you're interested.

    Introduction of a 'budget' line was a brilliant marketing ploy by Fender, who've really injected some vitality into the company since they took it off Fred Gretsch III, who was running it into the ground.

    After a couple months, I HAD to have a pro model, so I went for one of the ones you mentioned; the 120th Annie. An edible shade of bamboo yellow w/metallic copper back & sides, this one's stripped-down (no binding or gold plate) but has some deluxe features like TV Jones pickups. Filter'Trons are my favorite humbuckers (recovering tele player), and the TV Classics are a step up from F'Trons.

    You CAN go back again - I say go for it!
     
  16. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    . . . ohhhh the pain!

    [​IMG]

    Make it STOP!

    [​IMG]

    Aargh!
     
  17. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

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    They are making the Western without Dyna's now?? Good:D :AOK
     
  18. billybob77036

    billybob77036 Member

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    One of the sweetest color combos ever, which I want to make into a tele one day...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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  20. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Member

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    I've got a brand new RHH, great guitar...sometimes I worry that I may have a little too much money tied up in this monster. BUT IT IS INCREDIBLE!!

    Mike
     

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