Gretsch Brian Setzer vs. Horton Heat

Blauserk

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,534
Horton Heat is a little bit more acoustically "alive" because it has sound post bracing instead of trestle bracing, the radius is a bit flatter (9.75 or thereabouts for setzer, HH is 12"), the setzer has schaller straplocks instead of the traditional screw-off Gretsch ones, and the mud switch is connected differently (I forget, but I think the center position is "normal" or "bright" on the Setzer, and that position is down on the RHH). Both great guitars.
 

Prof.Fuzz

Member
Messages
3,634
Doh!

I thought you were comparing the actual guitarists and I was going to mention that I prefer Ivy Rorschach of the Cramps to either of the two rockabilly revivalists mentioned in the title.

My bad. Carry on with the Gretsch-talk.
 

dhdfoster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,181
Does she have a Sig. model? She should!

I think the two models, RHH and Setzer, are pretty similar except for the internal bracing, aren't they? I'd just play them and see which one you like better.

I had a pre-Fender Setzer, before all the updates, and it was less than stellar. The new Gretsches I've played have been pretty great.

I kind of find the whole idea of the RHH model funny. He played a stock, 89 Japanese-made 6120 RI for years. Ceramic pups, poly finish, thick construction, and lots of other "wrong" features for a Gretsch. That's the *real* RHH sound. Oddly, he doesn't sound any different to me with the new sig he's playing.
 

The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
Messages
3,646
I have a USA custom shop 6120 with trestle and the TV Jones works...I think its a fine guitar, but I can get along with just about any of the 6120s I've played as long as they have the AlNiCo pickups.

...no worries with either of those guitars.
 

openbar

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,270
Doh!

I thought you were comparing the actual guitarists and I was going to mention that I prefer Ivy Rorschach of the Cramps to either of the two rockabilly revivalists mentioned in the title.

My bad. Carry on with the Gretsch-talk.
Yes, Poison Ivy should have a signature too, she deserves it more than these two. But how many different late-50's 6120 reissues can they do?

And what about a Billy Zoom model?!?!
 

JimmyR

Member
Messages
3,788
Well I have had a pre-Fender Setzer in poly, a post Fender Setzer in laquer and now have a RHH. I've also played a few SSLVOs extensively and friend had a RHH also! Can you tell I like these guitars??

The RHH does sound a bit like a pre-Fender Setzer with better pickups. Of all the Gretsches I have had I like the sound of the RHH the best. IME the the Setzers have a slightly smaller soft V shaped neck. The RHH has a slightly bigger rounder neck. I really like the shape of the Setzer's neck and it reminds me a lot of the necks on early 60's 6120s, but all of the necks are cool.

The RHH has a bit more "honk" to the tone - a bit more midrange growl. The Setzer is more bassy and trebly but the differences are relatively subtle. They both sound like a 6120. If there was no RHH I would be very happy with a 6120SSL. But the RHH has just a bit more body to the sound which I personally prefer. It's a close thing though!

I do prefer the smaller headstock of the Setzer because I think it makes it easier to keep the guitar in tune. In fact my perfect Gretsch would be a RHH with the Setzer's neck. The straighter the string path over the nut the better they seem to stay in tune with Bigsby use.

BTW the mud switches work exactly the same way on both guitars. The RHH may have smaller caps because it seems to be a little more usable. I have a TV Jones Filter'tron classic (stock) in the bridge position of my RHH but put a Power'tron in the neck for a fatter jazzy tone. It's just a great guitar! Maybe one day I'll find another SSL or SSLVO which sounds as good as this, but for now the RHH is my number one.
 

Droptop

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,242
Well I have had a pre-Fender Setzer in poly, a post Fender Setzer in laquer and now have a RHH. I've also played a few SSLVOs extensively and friend had a RHH also! Can you tell I like these guitars??

The RHH does sound a bit like a pre-Fender Setzer with better pickups. Of all the Gretsches I have had I like the sound of the RHH the best. IME the the Setzers have a slightly smaller soft V shaped neck. The RHH has a slightly bigger rounder neck. I really like the shape of the Setzer's neck and it reminds me a lot of the necks on early 60's 6120s, but all of the necks are cool.

The RHH has a bit more "honk" to the tone - a bit more midrange growl. The Setzer is more bassy and trebly but the differences are relatively subtle. They both sound like a 6120. If there was no RHH I would be very happy with a 6120SSL. But the RHH has just a bit more body to the sound which I personally prefer. It's a close thing though!

I do prefer the smaller headstock of the Setzer because I think it makes it easier to keep the guitar in tune. In fact my perfect Gretsch would be a RHH with the Setzer's neck. The straighter the string path over the nut the better they seem to stay in tune with Bigsby use.

BTW the mud switches work exactly the same way on both guitars. The RHH may have smaller caps because it seems to be a little more usable. I have a TV Jones Filter'tron classic (stock) in the bridge position of my RHH but put a Power'tron in the neck for a fatter jazzy tone. It's just a great guitar! Maybe one day I'll find another SSL or SSLVO which sounds as good as this, but for now the RHH is my number one.

Thanks for that very good description! Any idea how much the RHH sell for new? Also how does the pre-Fender compare to the post Fender Setzer?
 




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