Gretsch quality issues

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by parker_knoll, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. parker_knoll

    parker_knoll Member

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    I got my new Spectra Sonic through the post today. No chance of picking it up in a shop so I got through an eBay trader based in Ireland in the end. Jesus, the thing came with a Bigsby that flops and rattles like crazy, and when I opened it up it appears to missing the washer inside. Not only that but it's (the bigsby) covered in scratches.

    there's also a nice little gob of glue on the fingerboard that I'll have to scrape off with a razor blade, some really rough frets at the top end and a big bit of missing finish on the headstock next to the nut.

    I've seen better workmanship on Chinese guitars. Thank God I didn't pay the full price for it. Great TV Jones pickups but the rest is a real let down.

    Is this standard for Gretschs these days?
     
  2. corgiears

    corgiears Member

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    Had it been in the shop for a while? Much of that sounds like "shop wear" or even problems caused by changes in climate (rough frets). I ask because I've had a few post-Fender Gretsches and the build quality was very good on all of them.
     
  3. parker_knoll

    parker_knoll Member

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    well, the glue on the fingerboard has got to be factory, and it looks like the Bigsby's been bashed with a spanner or dropped.

    The issue with the frets is that they've been stoned almost completely down at the top of the fingerboard. So basically the frets elsewhere are all nicely rounded and the top three or four are stoned nearly completely flat and are nice and buzzy. It looks like they were put in too high or something. I got it from and "e-bay trader" so it could be that this is a second, but it was advertised as new.
     
  4. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    Was it sold as new? Some of that stuff makes it sound like that guitar has been hacked on. Sometimes you can chip some finish off if you're not careful when removing a nut. Does the location of the missing finish on the headstock indicate that that's maybe what happened?
     
  5. bobgoblin

    bobgoblin Member

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    that sounds par for the course for pre-2003 gretsches, & if i'm not mistaken, didn't spectra-sonics debut before 2003?
     
  6. parker_knoll

    parker_knoll Member

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    yes, sold as new. It definitely looks like just crap workmanship. The gap in the finish is under the varnish. E.g. the guitar is black but there's a weird patch of yellow just next to the nut.

    None of these things are major, but my recently bought Chinese-made Burns had none of these kind of issues.

    I just checked and it's post-Fender MIJ Nov 04
     
  7. pfflam

    pfflam Member

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    Before Fender bought Gretsch the quality was very un-even. Perhaps this is older stock? They might have been trying to get rid of it since pre-Fender.
     
  8. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    what a drag, I have seen much Gretsch variability over the years, old ones especially, but the workmanship on my '02 Elliott Easton (DuoJet) is just superb.
     
  9. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    I had two pre-Fender Gretsches that pretty much sucked. I owned a post-Fender Firebird that was perfect. Even my cheapo Electromatic hollowbody is very nice. Thanks Fender!
     
  10. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

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    Was it a Japan or USA Spectra Sonic? The early ones were made in the Hamer custom shop.
     
  11. mbruffey

    mbruffey Member

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    My experience has been:
    Gretsch made in Korea? Total Junk.
    Gretsch made in Japan? Totally Cool.
    Mark
     
  12. 57special

    57special Member

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    I think all the Gretsches since the late 80's have been well made, though lacking vibe. The 50's Gretsches were all vibe, and pretty bad glue.
     
  13. parker_knoll

    parker_knoll Member

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    The dealer has generously offered me a full refund, or some money back. Very good of him
     
  14. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Wow! I've not tried to sell mine, but I do think it's a great guitar - One of the few that come from the factory w/TV Jones Classics. What didn't you like about your bamboo Annie?

    To the OP; I've found the quality of Gretsch guitars to be greatly improved since being taken over by FMIC.

    Haven't played any Chinese-made Gretsches, but the Korean-made models I've tried have all been quite good. The Electromatic archtops are made in three different Korean factories - Cort, Peerless & Samick. If you shop around, you'll find a great one. I did, anyway.

    And the Japanese have been making fine guitars for a long time now. Love my MIJ Gretsch!
     
  15. lbw

    lbw Member

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    Quality on my MIJ 2004 6120JR is excellent. No humps, perfect binding, good fretwork, nice bigsby, etc.

    Isn't the Spectrasonic a Korean model?
     
  16. elguicho

    elguicho Member

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    Sorry about your Gretsch! I just recently bought a Fender era 6122SP that I love. Great quality and super versatile. I had never had a foreign guitar before but this Japanese one is outstanding.
     

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