The Bass-ment

Who has played and or owned…

1

...a Gretsch G6073 Electrotone Bass? Can't find any sound clips of these online and have never seen one in a store. They have initially drawn my interest partly because the narrow nut/string spacing appears to resemble that of the Guild Starfire Bass, my weapon of choice.

So does anyone here have experience with this instrument? Looks to me as though, because the bridge is located pretty far "inland" from the back edge of the lower bout, that it would be one of those short-scales that tends to feel more like a 34-incher (than, say, a Fender Mustang, whose bridge is located closer to the back edge of the lower bout).

I would also guess that their general tone tends toward the bassier frequencies since even the bridge PUP is further away from the bridge than that of many other two-PUP basses. Likewise, I should think that the lack of open F-holes would largely minimize any of the feedback issues normally associated with hollow-body basses.

I would also assume that the build quality is great: I have an MIJ 6122-JR which is beautifully put together.

So what's to like/dislike about the Electrotone? Ergonomics? Tone? Anyone?

Thanks in advance.

2

Are you talking about the modern (FMIC) version? I own one.

Interestingly, all of your assumptions are pretty close to the mark (scale/feel) except the tone aspect. It can definitely get sparkly if you use the bridge pickup and no mud switch. My favorite tone position is with both pickups on, mud switch off (center position) and master volume rolled back very slightly, to give a tiny bit of top end roll-off. I generally play it through an Ampeg Portaflex (the new SS version) or a Genz-Benz Shuttle amp. I've owned it for about 2 years now, and have never been disappointed with the bottom end on this thing. The stock TVJ ThunderTrons are great. I haven't opened it up to inspect the cap values on the mud switch, but I suspect that they are exactly the same as what Gretsch currently uses in the regular guitars-- .0033 and .012. The reason I say this is that the mud switch has very little effect when engaged, particularly in the down (.0033) position. The upper position has a little more effect on the tone, but still not muddy at all. I've considered re-capping and going with the .012 as the half-mud (down position), and a standard .022 as the upper (more mud) position-- would probably make it a bit more usable.

Yes, it does indeed feel like a long-scale instrument in terms of playability-- that's comparing it to my longtime experience with a Fender P-Bass and a Peavey T-45... both of which have long scales. And yes, feedback is a total non-issue. You definitely need to string it with long-scale strings. I use D'Addario half-rounds.

The only minus I can think of is the bulkiness of the stock case... it's a bear to haul around-- not necessarily heavy, just bulky.

4

Is that a Tru-Arc bridge I'm lookin' at on there? If so, what metal did you choose and how do you like it? I have an aluminum one on my 6122-JR and have found it to be a marked improvement over the stock, TOM-type.

The need for long-scale length strings makes perfect sense, given the bridge positioning and the fact that they have to go all the way to that tailpiece. That hadn't occurred to me, but it would probably make for a much wider selection of string sets than for some other shorties.

And yes: I AM asking about the current-production, MIJ ones.

She's a beaut, BTW! Judging by your shirt, haircut and silver belt and strap buckles, I'd guess your band plays C&W more often than Death Metal...

5

Ah...clicked on the link to other PIC, which answers my bridge question.

6

Actually, I'm in two bands-- one plays proto-punk/rock & roll and the other plays a celtic/americana mix (the pic was taken at a gig of the latter), but I tend to dress like that most of the time anyway-- on or off the stage (well, except for the bolo tie-- I don't wear one of those every day). I don't play bass in the rock band, but our bassist has indeed used this bass on a gig or two with pleasant results.

If I could change ONE thing on the stock version of this bass, it would be to add at least one thumb/finger rest on the bass side (the original 60's version had them on both sides). I miss having a thumb rest, as I tend to play upright style with my right hand. The pickups and the neck edge work fine as thumb rests (you can see my thumb anchored in the pic above), just miss having a bona-fide rest.

7

I've played Tartan Phantom's Electrotone and Gary's as well(Roadjunkie).

Are they the same instrument?

They both felt great to hold, as weight is always a factor with me. This bass is way lighter than it appears to be. Thank God it's not a plank.

We(the many people that played it) put that through C&W, R&R, Jazz, Punk and probably a few other genres, and the Electrotone sounded great on everything that was played.

It's a really great bass. Are you looking to get one for a good price?

8

I've played Tartan Phantom's Electrotone and Gary's as well(Roadjunkie).

Are they the same instrument?

They both felt great to hold, as weight is always a factor with me. This bass is way lighter than it appears to be. Thank God it's not a plank.

We(the many people that played it) put that through C&W, R&R, Jazz, Punk and probably a few other genres, and the Electrotone sounded great on everything that was played.

It's a really great bass. Are you looking to get one for a good price?

– crowbone

It is indeed the same instrument. I bought it from Gary in 2015.

9

"It's a really great bass. Are you looking to get one for a good price?"

A "good price" is always a plus, of course, but I doubt I'm likely to run across one at a price that would make me take the leap just yet (based on the prices I've seen on eBay and Reverb). I'm mostly just trying to learn more about them at this stage of the game. Am also considering other options, all of which are hollow or semi-hollow short-scales, which is what I prefer.

As I said above, the nut width and string spacing caught my eye, so I thought I'd try to get more information about them here, since they certainly aren't a bass a person commonly runs into. You guys have been really helpful.

10

I didn't realize that Tim is making bass bridges. That's really good to know.

11

I didn't realize that Tim is making bass bridges. That's really good to know.

– Talent_Lever

Well, initially he didn't. but the former owner of my 6073 (known as Roadjunkie around here) asked Tim about it, and ended up with the #0001 Bass Tru-Arc prototype. That's what's currently on mine.

Tim generally makes them as a custom order, but he does make them.

12

I do, it's true. Several a year. No problem.

13

Good Lord it's been 2 years since it's been gone. It feels like yesterday!

That's a SS tru arc I had special ordered and would do so again if need be with the exception it would be a rock steady or I'd bug the hell out of Tim to do a Titanium Serpetude or however its spelled.

14

Good Lord it's been 2 years since it's been gone. It feels like yesterday!

That's a SS tru arc I had special ordered and would do so again if need be with the exception it would be a rock steady or I'd bug the hell out of Tim to do a Titanium Serpetude or however its spelled.

– roadjunkie

Nevertheless Gary, I assure you that it went to a good home, and is well loved and cared for!

15

Nevertheless Gary, I assure you that it went to a good home, and is well loved and cared for!

– Tartan Phantom

That I have absolutely no doubt of whatsoever. It's where it should be however according to my evil plan and the awesome deal I gave say I see knotty pine in my future someday!! BRUHAHAHA!


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