Grez guitars?

robyogi

Ampaholic
Gold Supporting Member
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665
Search yielded only two threads about Grez guitars. Neither had a ton of info. Anyone have any experience with them? Thoughts, good or otherwise are welcome. Feel free to PM me if you’d rather share that way. I like the demo vids and content on his site, just looking for more firsthand info from everyday players. Thanks!
 

straightblues

Member
Messages
9,486
Played them and saw them being played at events during the NAMM show last month. High quality guitars for sure. I have a couple of friends that have them and really like them.
 

Black Squirrel

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,083
They are really really good. I had a Mendocino and have played a few other models. My local shop is a dealer. They are a lot like a workingman's Yanuziello same kind of vibe with a more simple aesthetic ( I played them back to back)
 
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shawnerie

Member
Messages
721
I liked his video on the archtop and tap tone of guitars, and how the resonant frequencies of archtops were much lower, those of es335s much higher, and how his guitars brought back the low resonant frequencies of the old archtops but being in a much smaller enclosure. That piqued my interest actually and if I had some spare funds and space in the house then I may actually contact Barry for a build. It’s been on my mind so I am waiting to sell one or two that I don’t play. The archtops and the semi hollow spread resonance models sound v good. I know he made a Tim Lerch signature model as well. Barry if you’re listening in could you elucidate more on the differences between your archtop and semi-hollow models in terms of sound?

cheers
Shawn
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,439
I noodled about with one for a short time, unplugged. I really liked the feel of it. Definitely had what was described above- reminded me of a more resonant Gretsch Jet, or like a Guild Aristocrat. It had a nice fat neck on it that reminded me of my 60s Gretsch Corvette.
 

Okra

Member
Messages
5,662
I bought a quilted Redwood Mendicino with Lollar low wind Imperial humbuckers from The Music Emporium a few weeks back. Really fun guitar and different than other guitars that I've played. The Yanuziello comparison above is spot on.
Congratulations!
I was drooling over a quilted redwood with goldfoils for the longest time. Thankfully, someone bought it :)

They are pretty guitars; I’m sure the weight is a bonus. Does the top respond and resonate?
 

pattste

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,698
I've never played one but just checked out his web site. I'm astonished that he's able to handbuild a 17" archtop with top quality components for $3150, in California no less. I certainly hope I get to try one some day.
 

Dave Weir

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,276
Lots of posts on the “luthiers-What’s on your workbench.” Thread. Check it out. He’s always got something cool to show. One of my favorites.
 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,883
At least one is in my future. Players I greatly admire play them and they sound great. I almost bought one last year but a Koll arch top got in the way.
 

Grez

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
220
Barry if you’re listening in could you elucidate more on the differences between your archtop and semi-hollow models in terms of sound?

cheers
Shawn
Thanks everyone. Shawn, my archtops are somewhat traditional although everyone has their own formula. For laminated instruments, I tend to use slightly less body depth and a slight looser top and back. The body depth reduction diminished low energy, but the looser top and back restores it. The end result is a slightly different voice than Gibson, etc. Not better or worse, just different and to my liking. Generally it's a little more low mid energy. Not enough to make it a feedback machine, but enough to give it a distinct voice.

The semi-hollow guitars are different in that they are made from all solid acoustic guitar grade wood. The idea is that as the guitars get small and thinner, they inherently don't want to resonate as much. By using highly resonant materials, not laminated wood, some life if put back into the little bodies. The center blocks, internal bracing and plate thickness are all adjusted to compensate for the smaller size of the instrument like you would when building a smaller acoustic guitar. Sonically you get a little more open complex detial on the top end and the low and low mid is enhanced so when you play lower notes, acoustically, there is some fundamental heard, not just harmonics of the fundimtal.
 

shawnerie

Member
Messages
721
Thanks everyone. Shawn, my archtops are somewhat traditional although everyone has their own formula. For laminated instruments, I tend to use slightly less body depth and a slight looser top and back. The body depth reduction diminished low energy, but the looser top and back restores it. The end result is a slightly different voice than Gibson, etc. Not better or worse, just different and to my liking. Generally it's a little more low mid energy. Not enough to make it a feedback machine, but enough to give it a distinct voice.

The semi-hollow guitars are different in that they are made from all solid acoustic guitar grade wood. The idea is that as the guitars get small and thinner, they inherently don't want to resonate as much. By using highly resonant materials, not laminated wood, some life if put back into the little bodies. The center blocks, internal bracing and plate thickness are all adjusted to compensate for the smaller size of the instrument like you would when building a smaller acoustic guitar. Sonically you get a little more open complex detial on the top end and the low and low mid is enhanced so when you play lower notes, acoustically, there is some fundamental heard, not just harmonics of the fundimtal.
Thanks Barry. Your guitars intrigue me and I hope to have one in the future. I like your approach to resonant frequencies and wood and it seems like you’d be able to obtain what I’d like to hear in terms of sound. Right now I’m trying to move a guitar that can’t be moved so we’ll see. Thanks!
 

Glast

Member
Messages
1
I’m excited to get my custom Mendocino with a smaller neck profile and Tyson tone deacon pick ups currently awaiting build. I’ll be looking to get a baritone in the near future.

Barry is great to work with.
Buy American. Especially small custom shops and not the big corporations. Might cost a tad more but the reward is worth much more. Btw. Grez custom guitars are less expensive than a fender custom shop. And you get to talk to the luthier who builds it for you.
Your buying a heirloom guitar.

Sell some crap and splurge on real instruments
 

Recess

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
118
Congratulations!
I was drooling over a quilted redwood with goldfoils for the longest time. Thankfully, someone bought it :)

They are pretty guitars; I’m sure the weight is a bonus. Does the top respond and resonate?
I've got that one arriving on Friday or Monday!
 
Messages
4
A few years ago, Barry graciously invited me over to see his workshop and play the guitars. I have nothing but good things to say about Grez guitars. Barry clearly cares about what he’s doing and is a fine craftsman in the best tradition. I think the Mendocino is a simple, but great design. The ones I played felt solid, resonant like semi-hollowbodies of a much larger size. He pays a lot of attention to the fretboard. He’s also doing something interesting and different by using redwood. Not sure I can attribute any specific tonal differences to the redwood, but the Mendocino is very light.
 

mikesch

Double Platinum Member
Messages
612
A shop near me has a Grez baritone and I almost pull the trigger every time I walk in there. It's a great guitar.
 

nasonm

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,811
I always admired Barry's work. I first "discovered" him when searching for Chet Atkins guitars and came across his gorgeous Chet Atkins tribute guitar. Although the Mendocino looks great, it's his Folsom design that speaks to me the most. It's like someone took all the things I love in guitar design (Leo Fender, Paul Bigsby) and put them in a blender.

 




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