Modern Gretsch Guitars

Country Club: Spruce top vs Curly Maple top

1

I would love to hear someones experience with this.. thanks, mike

2

I have limited experience with Country Clubs, but the little I have is consistent with the differences between spruce and (laminated) maple tops on Gibson and Epiphone guitars. (We're talking hollow bodies here.)

Examples: The ES-175 has a laminated maple top; the L-4 is essentially the same design with a solid spruce top. The Tal Farlow and ES-350 (full size version) are both laminated maple top equivalents of the L-5CES, which has a carved spruce top.

Spruce is a softer wood than maple, so is typically more resonant. The spruce-topped guitars I've played have all been slightly louder acoustically than their maple-topped counterparts, with a warmer and richer tone. Amplified, the maple-topped guitars tend to have slightly more definition of attack and a brighter tone, while the spruce ones have more complexity. Maple also seems to be more feedback-resistant, although this may also be related to the fact that maple hollow bodies usually have laminated construction while spruce is more typically solid.

Hope this is helpful.

4

Pretty good for a keyboard player!

– Rhythmisking

He is learning something from guitar players, of all people.

5

If you live somewhere with extremes in temperature, just be aware that like an acoustic, a spruce top Gretsch needs extra care.

I had a G6040 with cat's eyes and it had two long cracks from the end of the cat's eyes to the bottom bout due to improper storage. I have seen several G6040s with this type of problem and have heard about at least one CC that cracked like this as well.

So just be aware that you may need to store the guitar in the case with a humidifier when you're not playing it.

6

ive had both... and miss them dearly -- and posted on the differences back before the crash.

its about what you'd expect -- the maple is brighter, the spruce a little warmer and more acoustic -ish. They both had Dynas -- i think the maple had TVJones Tarmonds and the spruce had Seymour duncan custom shops.

in retrospect i think the maple was too bright for my taste -- almost brittle -- would probably be better suited with some flavor of filtertron. The spruce one was magic... very versatile, warm and acoustic as i said, but neutral in a way that the maple one wasnt.

because the spruce is so neutral and acoustic, little tweaks go a long a way in dialing in your tone -- for instance, differences in tru arcs were much more noticeable on the Spruce than on other Gretsches. Spruce was best served with a stainless TruArc... a copper tru arc emphasized the warmth to the point of mud and a very uneven balance .

7

No experience with spruce, but agree with the comment on the maple. I now own MSD's Maple Club. Yes, it has T'Armonds and is bright. Love it. No complaints.

The comment about bridges is right on as well. I put a stainless Tru-Arc on it and later switched to a brass one. As a general rule, I think people prefer stainless with Dynas. The brass Tru-Arc produced more of the brittle tone Mustafa mentioned. (Maybe try flatwounds?) I initially preferred the stainless, but am now appreciating the brass for the contrast to my other Gretsches.

Would love to try a spruce top. I thought the Spruce Clubs have a maple laminate but could be wrong. Hard to beat any Country Club in my opinion. Good luck with whatever you get.


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