Which Gretsch for around $1,500?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lv, Jan 4, 2008.


  1. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    I recently played one and immediately fell in love....

    Any recommendations if I want to spend around $1,500?

    I definitely want the Bigsby style trem.

    Thanks
     
  2. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Answering the question "How much, and how hard will you be using the Bigsby?" will narrow your options down significantly. Don't want the top flexing too much if you're a wiggle sticker!:crazyguy
     
  3. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    Look at an Electromatic. Unreal guitar for the frog skins!!!
     
  4. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Supporting Member

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    I'd buy used and get more Gretsch for my dollar... ;)
     
  5. willamps

    willamps Member

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    I've owned/played many Gretsches, Setzer 6120, Country Gent, Tenn Rose, etc. I think the best Gretsch to own is the pro Elliot Easton signature model. Discontinued model now but you see them used occasionally. All the Gretsch sound with none of the Gretsch problems.
     
  6. Janglin_Jack

    Janglin_Jack Member

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    Get a DuoJet. If you want the filter tron sound, look at the new Power Jet. Otherwise, get one with Dynasonics.

    Jack
     
  7. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    What is the filtertron sound?

    The one I played was an electromatic with humbuckers.
     
  8. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    That was definitely part of the charm, so I think I would use the trem a lot.
     
  9. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Then get one with the reinforced "trestle" or "lattice" tops or whatever they call them at Gretsch. Like the Setzer models. I had a cool tennesse rose but the top would flex with even moderate bigsby use...
     
  10. Blauserk

    Blauserk Silver Supporting Member

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    Depends what you're looking for. Personally, if I were going to get a Filtertron-loaded guitar, for $1500 I'd either look long an hard for a used Setzer (nitro finished 6120, but with 9.45 radius; they normally go for more around $1800) or a 120th Anniversary (urethane finished, but with TV Jones filtertrons, which best cop the vintage sound, and the rocking bar bridge, which is preferred by many Gretsch purists), which you can buy new on eBay from Street Sounds in Brooklyn for less than $1500. Townshend used a Filtertron-loaded 6120 for much of Who's Next; Steve Stills also used filtertrons. I'd get a big hollowbody instead of a DuoJet or a PowerJet (which has a modified filtertron-style pickup that sounds a bit both like filtertrons and Gibson humbuckers). D'Armond/DynaSonic single-coil pickups are heard on earlier 1950s recordings such as Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps.

    I bought a DuoJet with Dynasonics because I thought it was better for blues. But if I wanted to play powerchord rock, I'd get a hollowbody with filtertrons and never look back.

    Gretsches rock.
     
  11. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the tips guys. I guess I should have been clearer in what I am looking for.

    I'd use the guitar mostly for semi-twangy clean tones, with lots of reverb, lots of bigsby trem. I'm not really familiar with the different guitars or pickups, but I would like it to be hollowbody as I don't have that with my current guitars.

    I'm open to going used.

    Are all the necks pretty thin? Can I assume the Japanese made models are reasonably high quality?
     
  12. Drew816

    Drew816 Supporting Member

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    Some good suggestions and comments to the above, I'd disagree with the point on needing trestle bracing for Bigsby use but I'm not arguing that you're seeing some top flex but these things are durable as hell so unless you're REALLY slamming the Bigsby this should never be an issue.

    Clean, Semi-Twangy tones, lots of 'verb; you should check out Dynasonic pickups (big ole' single coils) and Filltertrons side by side. I'd say go for a regular 6120 style (there are tons of models and variations to choose from) so settle on the pickups first and then isolate the model and yes, buy used if you can. $1500 will get you a lot of used Gretsch for sure, good luck and post back if you have got specific questions and you might want to join and post over at the Gretsch Discussion Pages as well.

    Enjoy!
     
  13. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    Drew,

    Can you tell me what the general tonal differences are between dynas and filtertrons?

    Thanks
     
  14. FritzCat

    FritzCat Member

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    Seconding the Gretsch Discussion Pages http://gretschpages.com/ forums for any questions about the various pickups and models available. Check with some of the sponsors of that site for better deals than you'd find at one of the big online retailers.
     
  15. Joe Robinson

    Joe Robinson Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a 6120 and an Elliot Easton Duo Jet. I'd say that the first Gretsch you own should be a 6120. Great guitars and nothing sounds like 'em. The necks tend to run thin. I love fat necks, but the thin neck is just a Gretsch thing. The Japanese reissues are very high quality, albeit there can be some electronic issues. Nothing that can't be solved. I think a Setzer Sig is a really really good variant on the 6120. I don't know what the prices are these days, but used Gretsch guitars are a better value than a similar aged Gibson (in the context of guitars made from the early ninties and forward)

    A 6120 with filtertrons is the fastball of Gretsch guitars. That's the way that I would go.
     
  16. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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    Impossible to pick just one...each of the Gretsch known-for pickups combinations are must haves to me:

    [​IMG]

    Duo-trons, Flitertrons, Hi-Lo trons, Super-trons...what to do?

    Duo-tron...very early rockabilly and can cover surf too.

    Filtertrons...rockabilly in spades plus a little Who's Next.

    Hi-Lo trons...early Animals and Beatles covers.

    Supertrons...Filtertrons Plus.
     
  17. The Captain

    The Captain Member

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    That's a great wall of Gretsch's above me there, and I can't add to the experience of the man who owns that, but my Setzer Hot Rod, which is basically a stripped down 6120 with the trestle's and TV Jones Filtertrons is a phenomenal guitar, outstanding quality which beats everything else I own, and plays everytihing from chimey, twangy Tele clean to full-on metal. She might squeal a bit at really high gain too close to the amp, but otherwise can handle anything yuou throw at her.
    The necks are slim and fast wiht superb fretwork, but very comfortable, and the locking tuners mean solid tuning stability.
     
  18. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    FWIW, the "dumbuckers" in the Electromatics don't sound too much like any of the other 'real' Gretsch pickups. (That's the term that they get called over on the GDP -- tho' that doesn't mean they're necessarily held in complete disregard. They're just different from Filters/Dynas.)

    The very best suggestion I can give is also to hit the GDP. There's a post by member Proteus (great guy!) with six different Gretsches with a variety of pickups/body styles which is an excellent way to compare the sounds. I'm trying to find a link to it now, but the GDP forum software is in a semi-permanent state of extreme constipation. :p

    edit: And here it is. I love the forum, I just hate using it. Damn shame, really.
     
  19. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Great wall of guitars!
     
  20. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    You want a Japanese 6120 with TV Jones filtertrons. Outstanding guitar.
     

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