Grestch Players ...whats the deal ??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by thintele, Feb 11, 2006.


  1. thintele

    thintele Member

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    I am looking to add "that great Grestch sound" to my stable and have had the opportunity to test drive a few.
    SOOooo a few questions for any Grestch players lurking :

    What tricks, set ups , pointers do you have for maintaining tuning on Bigsby models?
    What amps do the Grestchs seem to favor?
    What OD pedals are Grestch friendly?

    any info you can give is appreciated....
     
  2. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    I recently put locking tuners and Graph-Tech saddles on my Nashville Jr. and my tuning stability problem went away.
     
  3. gitman

    gitman Member

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    locking tuners, graphite in the nut grooves : no de-tuning with moderate bigsby tremming. my 2004 Tennessee Rose with TV-Jones pu's sounds great through my DEluxe Reverb, also with a Fulltone OCD and/or a Fulltone Fatboost. very versatile axe, clean and with overdrive !
     
  4. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Silver Supporting Member

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    My 6120RHH came from the factory needing a good set up. Brian Meader at Washington Music took care of that and now I have a Gretsch that stays in absolute perfect tune. I absolutely love the guitar. The main thing is too make sure that it's set up properly.

    Mike

    [​IMG]
     
  5. thintele

    thintele Member

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    I also favored the TV Jones Pickups...they've got alot more umph...really punchy. The Setzers also come with Sperzel locking tunes and the 59 tresel bracing which seems to really cut down on feedback.
     
  6. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Member

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    First thing I'd do is put in Tv's pups. They are outstanding.

    Second, locking tuners are a great add if you've got a Bigsby.

    Other changes I made: I repaced the tailpiece with a TonePros and also immediately re-did all the guts - harness, pots, and jack. Switchcraft worked real well. Since you're already inside doing the pups, it's all fairly easy.

    These steps will make your Gretsch SING!

    Now, as far as amps - really any amp with a good clean and decent headroom will do it.

    Good luck!

    Jet
     
  7. andyg

    andyg Guest

    TV Jones Pick Ups are a must...(they're big and warm but still retain amazing clarity for both chords and single string work...to my ears stock filtertrons are too brittle)

    The Setzer model has all the right mods right out of the case...tuneamatic style bridge, delrin nut (helps with the bigsby), tressle bracing, thinner top (seems to help the tone, makes it sound more lively than thicker tops), TV Jones pus, the right capacitor on the tone switch making it much more useable than the stock one which sounds like mud....

    If you dont dive bomb on the bigsby, it seems to work great with no tuning problems...just give it a subtle shake or shimmy and it's twang heaven.... one trick I find helpful is to gently bring the arm of the unit back up to it's "neutral" position after depressing the wammy bar...again helps you stay in tune

    Heavier strings are also better for tone and tuning....12's with a plain "G" (@24 gauge) work great if you primarily play chords but is a little tough for lead work....i prefer 11's or even 10's on my Setzer for all around playing

    Amp wise Fender or Vox are great matches for Gretsch guitars....I get killer tones with an AC15, AC30, 59 Bassman, Deluxe, Vibro-King...even a Champ....just put a TS808 in front and I find there's no tone/vibe out of reach (except Metal, but who cares about that)....

    Welcome to the club...there's nothing like a Gretsch!!!!!!
     
  8. telebuck

    telebuck Supporting Member

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    The Setzer and Horton Heat's look fantastic and come with all the mods suggested, but they also come at a best price of $2500+ which is a little steep. I'd love to get one of the Tennesee Rose guitars but worry about all of the mods that seem to be necessary if you look on various forums (e.g., www.gretschpages.com)... tv jones, sperzel locking tuners, pinned bridges, tuneomatic bridges, graphite in the nut, and so on.

    On the other hand... if Joel could pin the bridge on a Tennessee Rose, maybe that would be enough to deal with the tuning issues? Can any other users of more stock (and recent) gretschs chime in to offset this worry? I have read a couple of places that the newer stock filtertrons are a vast improvement over the pre-Fender pickups... And maybe I am also irrationally worried about the mods?
     
  9. studio8000

    studio8000 Member

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    i think it depends on the Gretsch. i have a Setzer (pre Fender) as well, and it stayed in tune pretty well with the .010's it came with. but i set it up for .011's and now it stays in tune much better.

    but i also have a White Falcon and Country Classic from '05 and i must say, i'm very impressed with what the Fender/Gretsch builders in Japan are doing. both these guitars have Grover Imperial tuners (non locking), the Falcon has the Space/roller bridge, and the CC has the Bar bridge, and both guitars stay in tune as well, if not better than the Setzer. those tuners work real well, and the bridges have smooth contact with the strings, so no catching. i dunno.. they work great.

    that said, i dont believe locking tuners are the end all answer, if you have a good set of tuners on there locking or not, it should work fine. you can use Nut Sauce to keep your nut well lubbed. (gosh that last sentence just doesnt sound right).

    pickupwise, i love TV jones, but the newer filtertrons are good sounding too. only problem i've had with the stock filtertrons, is they're too far from the strings. i like the TV jones cuz they come a little taller, you can get it closer to the strings for more output, or lower it for crisper/sweeter sound. but you have that option.

    i love Gretsches through vox style and fender style amps as someone stated above.

    hope that helps.
     
  10. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Yes, there's never been a better time to get into that great Gretsch sound. Even the budget Korean made Electromatics come loaded w/really good US made DeArmond 2000 p-ups. Almost as good as their upscale counterparts, the DynaSonics.

    And the new Filter'Trons are very good, too - and I was a die-hard single coil guy for years & years. The TV Jones classics are ever better - best humbucking p-ups I've used - and they're stock on many models now. No need for retrofitting or upgrading.

    The Bigsby's become my favorite vibrato system, and it's no more difficult to set up & maintain than a vintage style strat trem.

    Both the single-coil & humbucker Gretsches sound fabulous w/black or brownface Fenders and Voxes.. Soaked w/spring-pan reverb & doused in plenty of tube driven tremolo.. The primordial sound of rock & roll.

    Very interesting approach to EQ, as well. With big flatwound strings and the *mud* switch engaged, you CAN play jazz on a hollowbody Gretsch..

    ..But not death metal. Because of the 'unusual' voicing of Gretsch p-ups, they're not the most pedal-friendly guitars I've played. I tend to keep it simple. A good compressor and some slap-back echo's about all I ever need, but I do use boost/eQ type pedals (Timmy, for example) when some dirt's required.

    One last thing- In spite of the fact that they all appear to be very similar, there's a bewildering number of choices once you start really looking around. Many models come with both Gibson & Fender scale length, with or without Bigsby, hum or s.c. p-ups, etc.. So get out there and start playing. You will eventually find one that's perfect for you. Shortly after that, you'll find another..
     
  11. Roe

    Roe Member

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    super reverbs, and superbass amps, sounds good with gretsch guitars.
    With hollowbodies I prefer 10" speakers with big magnets for a good attack without a muddy bass
     
  12. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex Member

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    I think they sound good with a 65 delux reverb.
     
  13. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Anybody ever test drive a Billy bo? Those look as cool as heck...........
     
  14. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I want one baaaad, but my problem is that the few I've actually gotten to play have been at GC, and they're inevitably in terrible shape, so it's hard to feel confident in getting such a pricey guitar. I've almost pulled the trigger on one of the Electromatics with DeArmonds, but I'd really like some good Filtertron action. And a Bigsby. Can anyone suggest a model or three?
     
  15. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Daves Guitar has a beauty I'd love to snag.........But I'll wait to see one on the used market. The Hit on those should make it more pratical for me..........:JAM
     
  16. bobgoblin

    bobgoblin Supporting Member

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    for my pre-fender annie, i swapped the pos ceramic filter'trons for tv jones' classics, w/a custom wiring harness (master vol, master tone w/toggle & 2 different caps, pup switch), added a b6 & a bar bridge (later a tom), and shaved the neck (i hate sticky poly). as far as staying in tune, i just set the guitar up, set the nut up (graphite works nice), put some fine sandpaper facing up underneath the bridge base, & used heavy gauge flatwounds. no tuning problems. later, right before i sold 'er, i added grover locking tuners, which f'd up the sound (i think its because the posts of the tuners weren't staggered & the decreased break angle over the nut screwed up the tone). newer gretschs still need some attention to the nut/bridge, but are vastly better instruments right out of the box. oh, yeah, i also removed the soundpost, i don't play at very high volumes & liked the more 'open' sound w/o it.

    ahh, i forgot, as far as amps...it loved my '59/'60 ampeg, my '68 bassman, my '02 carvin, my '63 harmony, just about anything w/tubes
    pedals, the bad bob, my old boss sd-1, ds-1, and anything w/the gain turned down & the volume up!

    ah, forgot again, the only reason i put those grover lockers on the guitar was to speed up string changes @ gigs, sadly, as i mentioned, all was not well afterwards...
     
  17. thintele

    thintele Member

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    Yes that is one I played breifly ...played good , had the TV Jones higher output pickups so you know it sounded good ...but alas my heart is set on a hollow body
     
  18. thintele

    thintele Member

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    Just an update...I picked up a Setzter 6120sslvo and I'm loving it.
    SCHWEET GUITAR!!:dude

    Its offered a whole new sound and source of inspiration . Thanks to all that offered info and opinions.
     
  19. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I just got a sweet deal on a Duojet reissue-Japanese Fender style and it's a killer guitar. Set up beautifully right out of the box (I don't know if the store worked on it or just sold it the way they got it). It could use just a hair more neck relief but I play hard. The sound is very different from anything else I've owned (some 300+ guitars including a vintage Gretsch Corvette single pickup). Apparently this particular one has TV Jones single coils? v/v/t, master volume and 3 way so very comfortable switching options. Bigsby and bar bridge-with a little waggle on the tremelo for emphasis it stays in tune just fine. Since that's all Bigsby's seem useful for to me, that's good enough. It has the open back tuners which seem very stable and the intonation is as good as most guitars with tuneamatics. I was planning to play it for a little while then sell it (I've got a couple of ES335s, Fender Thinlines and some other semi-hollows so I didn't expect to fall in love) but it may be a keeper.

    Ampwise, I played in church with the AC30 there and it sounded great, also a Trainwreck clone and a couple of Fender style amps-all useful sounds. I used some slapback, a Barber Burn Unit and a Zim pedal with a pair of TS9 style cards-sounded great. The only thing is that it sounds unlike anything else and needs EQ accordingly-a little less treble, a little more mids. It REALLY cuts thru well, though! Try a few, you'll be glad you did.
     

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