Gretsch Amps

Return of the Executive…??

1

Probably just wishful thinking..... In the video promoting the Vintage Select Edition models on the Gretsch website, there are several views of an amp that looks like an Executive. Makes me wonder if this is a teaser for "(new) things to come"....

http://www.gretschguitars.c...

2

Nice to see all those guitars playing through 'my' amp but it was probably just a good choice to show off the guitars. Haven't heard anything about the Exec being reissued. Would be nice though, poor choice of 15" speaker amps out there.

3

Your executive amp is a Victoria amp commissioned by Gretsch who no longer contracts w Victoria for this production, and yet.... Marc still makes them/ will make them sans gretsch facia. Support american amp builders!..have Paul Setzer make you a gretsch logo for it, if you need to:)

dontkillthemessenger

4

is there not a vintage select duo jet? net jet was in that video which was kinda some cheesy cognac man-cave nonsense. I still think gretsch needs to work on its contemporary image.

5

Your executive amp is a Victoria amp commissioned by Gretsch who no longer contracts w Victoria for this production, and yet.... Marc still makes them/ will make them sans gretsch facia. Support american amp builders!..have Paul Setzer make you a gretsch logo for it, if you need to:)

dontkillthemessenger

– TheNocturneBrain

Really? They'll still make them? That's kinda neat!

6

The Executive is not scheduled for a return. Gretsch does intend to make/sell amps again, but it is not imminent. They want to create a brand new product from the ground up with its own voice rather than taking a Fender amp and dressing it up with steer heads, leather and brads, and calling it a Gretsch. Also, they have a lot of other projects that are higher on the To Do list than developing the amp, but it definitely is on their radar. Letting Joe and other members of the team know that this is something that you want to see might help move it along faster. They need to know that there is a strong market for these amps.

7

How about rebadging the new Supro amps like they did in the old days? They're pretty cool amps. 6973 tubes like my 6161 on this one, plus killer tremolo and reverb, the Supro 1622RT Tremo-Verb:

8

drmilktruck, it is my understanding that Gretsch is interested in creating its own amp rather than badging another (not to be confused with having someone else build an amp for them per their specs, as was done with Victoria Amplifiers, but I have no particular information about that). They want to create an amplifier that they think will voice the Gretsch guitars the best rather than it serving as a compromise for Gibson's humbuckers, Fender single coils, etc. Having met all of the members of the Gretsch leadership team, I am confident that they will create something special. We know that, as long as Joe Carducci is involved, any product which Gretsch creates will have been very carefully designed and evaluated before it is released.

9

thought of new supro line as well..not for re-badging..but as an alternative...(in the interim)

supro thunderbolt..1x15...2-5881 or 6L6's..made in long island ny

sw info- http://www.sweetwater.com/s...

cheers

10

drmilktruck, it is my understanding that Gretsch is interested in creating its own amp rather than badging another (not to be confused with having someone else build an amp for them per their specs, as was done with Victoria Amplifiers, but I have no particular information about that). They want to create an amplifier that they think will voice the Gretsch guitars the best rather than it serving as a compromise for Gibson's humbuckers, Fender single coils, etc. Having met all of the members of the Gretsch leadership team, I am confident that they will create something special. We know that, as long as Joe Carducci is involved, any product which Gretsch creates will have been very carefully designed and evaluated before it is released.

– Ric12string

I should have put a tongue in cheek emoticon on my post. However Valco made amps are the vintage Gretsch amp sound, so emulating it makes some sense. I'm glad they rejected the Fender route.

11

thought of new supro line as well..not for re-badging..but as an alternative...(in the interim)

supro thunderbolt..1x15...2-5881 or 6L6's..made in long island ny

sw info- http://www.sweetwater.com/s...

cheers

– neatone

Goodsell makes a nice Valco style amp in the Valpreaux 21 (Frenchified amalgam of Valco and Supro.)

12

This in from Mark B. at Victoria regarding this discuss. "The Victorilux and Victoriette are the two amps that share the design elements with the Gretsch amp you're asking about. V-lux is 40w 6L6, V-ette is 6V6, 20W. "

..so, Gretsch isnt doing these amps anymore, that Mark built for them but you can still have this amp in two wattages and power tube configurations built by Mark. buy American (or national, to be PC) guys, give Mark a call. I obviously have no dog in this hunt. I sell my own theNocturnebrain.com amps. I just want you to be able to find yourself an Executive amp, from the O.G.

13

The Victoria-era amps lacked a vital product: a moderately-priced workhorse––a not-boutique contender in the Deluxe Reverb class.

I hope that Gretsch will take some of the design lessons learned in the creation of the Vics and apply them to the next generation, because those amps sound bloody great.

Paul/FF909

14

The Victoria-era amps lacked a vital product: a moderately-priced workhorse––a not-boutique contender in the Deluxe Reverb class.

I hope that Gretsch will take some of the design lessons learned in the creation of the Vics and apply them to the next generation, because those amps sound bloody great.

Paul/FF909

– Frequent Flyer 909

a moderately priced workhorse on a $3000 guitar? Silly in my book. A squire guitar can sound amazing through a high quality amp, but it does not work the other way around. Gretsch wanted an amp made by a top notch builder to represent the voice and superiority of the instrument.

in anycase, Mark B. from Victoria shared this w me too:

You're free to share this.

When Victoria was initially contacted by Gretsch, we agreed to design three "new from the ground up" models, which we did. Upon submitting the designs, with #1 built as a production prototype and #2 & #3 existing as schematics, we were told that they actually wanted us to rework existing Fender amp platforms. We scrapped the first three amps and designed the product they required. To be fair, I think they realized how expensive the regulatory approval would be on 3 brand new designs and by using existing designs, the CE and NEMKO approval process was expedited. This approval process required us to use parts and designs already approved, thus the use of Fender transformers and power supply and output section components and designs. The preamps and internal elements like tremolo were redesigned around the Fender power platforms. We had free reign there. Pro Jr. (Playboy), Deluxe Reverb (Executive) and Super Reverb (Variety). each amp was optimized for GRETSCH guitars, not Fender. We prototyped using a Setzer 6120 and Duo Jets ('trons and Dyna sonics).

The initial amp we designed which was abandoned was reincarnated as the Victoria Regal. Early Regals featured a single tube, as the amp was originally designed, it later evolved into the wonderful dual tube version we currently sell (and it's my go to gig amp BTW). This design was definitely Gretsch specific--it was intended to be an homage to Valco--it's definitely not a straight Fender design, tho it is a classic 1950s type circuit design, e.g. loads and loads of bandwidth--very rich and full. Still in production.

When the project ended in '08 (thanks to the banking "crisis" and subsequent monetary collapse, which is still plaguing the country IMO, not because they weren't selling) we reworked the Executive slightly and it became the new design Victorilux. At this time the Victoriette became a 6V6 amp (used to be EL84's) but it's basic design was unchanged; tho it's similar in concept to the Executive. The Variety was also reworked a bit and became the Victoria Golden Melody. The Silver Sonic is the same Variety-ish circuit with a single 12 and 6V6's.

the most obvious upgrade for these Gretsch amps would be the output trans on the Playboy..use a 28W two leg or a 14 DR trans for mucho tonal upgrade over stock. The Exec and Variety are good to go, the trannys are fine.

While these Victoria made Gretsch amps do not share the same components as a Victoria branded product, they do represent the best we could've done for a behemoth like Fender. I'm very proud of the job we did and confident the history will judge these amps very favorably. At the end of the day, it wasn't substandard components or designs that plagued this project, it was poor communication and corporate lethargy which made the project frustrating. If anyone is interested in recreating any of the three Gretsch designs, please contact us a 630-820-6400 and we talk discuss what's available.

Thanks! turn it up!

Mark Baier President VAC

15

great stuff t..always dug mark b..as nuts about builds and gear as you are..perfect that you two communicate..hah

very difficult for a proud and knowledgeable indie builder to have to contend with huge multinational corp..zinky had similar problems with his tone king amp..and bz had problems with his amp proposal

cheers

16

Mark always writes "Turn it up!" LOL

17

Just to (once again) demonstrate my ignorance on the technical sides of guitar life, I never heard of the "regulatory approval" process in amp design work (per Mark's information). What is it, and why is it?

18

I have a Playboy, and I would upgrade the output transformer if I knew what "28W two leg" and "14 DR" meant. Tavo, can you explain please? Thanks, Gerry.

19

Just to (once again) demonstrate my ignorance on the technical sides of guitar life, I never heard of the "regulatory approval" process in amp design work (per Mark's information). What is it, and why is it?

– senojnad

Gauge of wiring to meet CE regulation most likely? Mark needs to chime in, its his thing. I'd rather sell you a Nocturne Blondeshell combo as my amps are built for gretsch guitars from the start, not revised to accomodate. FWIW, I did send Mark this forum's link and invited him to join in here. Lets see if he pops in.

20

If you CAN play quite well, an amp makes all the difference.

I happen to own a Regal II plus an Executive. I shouldn't because I suck at guitar but I just had to have them.

Every now and then some pros use those amps for gigs I attend. I can tell you the Executive is the best clean and bell like sounding amp I know of. When a good player uses it, the sound is like a studio pimped signal ready for CD pressing. Almost surreal in quality. The Regal is totally the opposite in sound. Woody, gnarly, muttering and lazy. Like an old blues genius that swore never to play again but who came out for that one last concert.

Which one would you need? The Executive is instant love if you are a clean fan. Quite loud but somewhat tameable for home use. No learning curve. The Regal is weird and takes a different mindset. You got to learn to like it. If you play only so-so you can't make it shine. It's very well suited for jazz and blues but it can give you some kind of 30ties clean sound. It sounds a lot like grandma's tube radio on AM setting.

21

I also love my Executive's clean tones. It sounds so good. The first time that I heard the amp was at a NAMM Show and I was smitten by it. Its sound waves seem to envelope you rather than strike you perpendicularly.

22

I also love my Executive's clean tones. It sounds so good. The first time that I heard the amp was at a NAMM Show and I was smitten by it. Its sound waves seem to envelope you rather than strike you perpendicularly.

– Ric12string

I believe Proteus described the Executive as a room full of sound rather than sound coming from a box in the corner.

23

I believe Proteus described the Executive as a room full of sound rather than sound coming from a box in the corner.

– senojnad

That is a very apt description. Why am I not surprised that it came from our pal, Proteus?

24

That is a very apt description. Why am I not surprised that it came from our pal, Proteus?

– Ric12string

Because it was one sentence. Proteus would normally wax poetic for three paragraphs and make you glad that he did.

25

That is a very apt description. Why am I not surprised that it came from our pal, Proteus?

– Ric12string

Hmmmmmm Proteus? That name rings a bell....


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