Gretsch Amps

Return of the Executive…??

51

Thanks Dave. So if things are messed up in Canada compared to the States, does that mean one could buy gold coins there for a better price? Or do when then get hit w a tax for bringing that over here? Random question but its been on my mind, and you are Canadian :)

– Rockahippy

Well, you could buy anything here really, but I'm not sure on the laws about taking currency either out of Canada by a non-resident or into the states by a resident.

The exchange rate is simply prohibitive for us buying anything in the US and then we get hit with import duty to the tune of the local sales tax which is 12%. There's an additional broker fee to process the transaction for couriers. I prefer to use the post office so I can just go at my leisure, pay the duty and come home. Last thing I bought was the Gretsch Fleetwood archtop but I didn't pay a lot for it as it was a basket case....perfect for me as my restoration costs are in Cdn funds.

Now the odd thing is, sometimes you get lucky. A couple of years ago I had two guitars heading my way at the same time. The first one arrived and was valued the lesser of the two and I had to pay the duty which I did. A week later the second arrived and I signed for it and just left.....no duty asked for!

52

After stumbling over this topic while researching Gretsch amps, I'm looking forward to the possibility of getting one of the new amps.

I see the last entry was 7 months ago. Has anything changed?

I have a lot of amplifiers, and I'd say my Deluxe Reverb is my favorite by a nose. Could a new Gretsch designed amp take its place?

Fill me in please...I'm also about to research a bit more myself.

Addendum: One of my other favorite amps is my first amp ever, bought back in '84, the little known KMD GV60 tube amp. It's up there with the Reverb.

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53

I am not as well-educated about the numerous variety of Fender amp models and the circuitry that appeared in them over the years. But, I have heard it said that the Executive has a design that is similar to the Deluxe Reverb. Not sure if that is the case or not. Someone like Powdog or Tavo could certainly speak to that.

The Executive will provide you with very lush clean tones that reminds me of a Fender amp. If you like to play with tones from an overdriven tube amp, you will really have to crank up the volume on an Executive pretty high to get it to overdrive the tubes. But, you can solve that by putting an OD pedal in front of it.

I am extremely pleased with my Executive and think that, if you do acquire one, you will like it as well.

By the way, I have not heard of a planned return of the Executive amplifier. There has been talk in recent years of Gretsch developing a new series of amplifier from the ground up. But, that is still years away as there are lots of other fish that need to be fried first.

54

Thanks for the quick response. What I was referring to was some reading I did about Gretsch, and some designers, who have decided to create a new line, or a single amp, that is designed specifically for Gretsches, and not done by revamping a Victoria or a Valco amp.

Someone at Gretsch wants a brand new design that is all Gretsch. I was wondering what the status was, or are the amps still years away?

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55

Those are the amps that I was referring to. I have asked Joe C. on multiple occasions in the past couple of years about a new amp line for Gretsch and he has assured me that something is being considered, but that it is not imminent. And what you have described is exactly correct -- Gretsch does not want to simply rebrand a Fender amp with some cowboy doo-dads and call it a Gretsch amp. Rather, it is intended to be a brand new amp design that is intended to pair well with Gretsch guitars. But, I wouldn't expect to see anything for at least three to five years on this.

56

Thanks, and when it finally does come out, I hope it's at "working-man" prices, and not boutique.

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57

I hope BZ is involved. THAT would be a great amp!

58

I know that there have been some previous discussions with BZ, but I think that Billy told me that they did not result in an end product.

I think that what has been mentioned to me is something that would be developed pretty much in-house with FMIC engineers, but something completely new and different than anything in the past, or anything that is being offered by Fender. It would be a new Gretsch flavor designed for Gretsch guitars specifically.

As for the price, I am sure that, if they are high-quality amplifiers, they are not going to be cheap. The Executive had a street price north of $2,000, if I remember correctly.

Check THIS out: A NOS Executive offered by Cream City for $1,995. Someone should jump on this one. These are great amplifiers. This one is being sold for more than what I believe that I paid for my Executive, but they aren't offered any more and so they are hard to find.

59

Well that didn't last long.

60

Man, I honestly think the amp market is saturated right now. You can find Fender, Vox, and Marshall amps everywhere. There are dozens upon dozens of boutique guys out there, and there are several niche or 'tweener amps out there (Mesa, Orange, Blackstar, Supro, more I'm forgetting). I don't know how well Gretsch would succeed in that atmosphere. If Gretsch did it, it would either be on the boutique end and compete against guys like Tavo, Zinky, Mark @ Victoria, and Jer at De Lisle. These guys already make a good product. If they went the mass production route, there is a mass of other brands out there. I just don't see them doing this as a winnable strategy, but I also work for a trucking company, which tells you all I know about the instrument biz.

62

That amp has the shape and layout of the discontinued Gretsch Variety, not the Executive, despite what it says on the control panel. Output is the same as the Exec at 22 watts with the Variety at 40 watts.

Big difference is the Exec has the nice 15" speaker and this amp [and the Variety] has 3x10".

63

There's GOT to be a good market though for a Gretsch amp closely based on the 50s and 60s Valco models. They had by far the best styling and they were cool little amps. Something as close as poss to the originals would sell, I'm sure. Why let Supro steal all the limelight? There's obviously difficulties but what about 'can' instead of 'can't'. I'm sure lots of folks will be keen to explain why..China...too expensive...won't be good...won't be point to point...and whatever else. There's a big missing link here in the legend that is Gretsch

64

Vince, I suppose that the question has to be first asked as to whether, perhaps for nostalgic reasons, the objective for Gretsch is to build an amp that harkens back to the days of when Supro built Gretsch amps, or whether the objective now is for Gretsch to build a fine amp that accentuates the tonal characteristics of a Gretsch guitar.

For my way of thinking, I think that the series of Victoria-built amplifiers was an attempt to do the latter and I think that, in substantial measure, they were successful at that. I don't really see a need to have Gretsch build a low watt small amplifier and compete with Supro and the like. But, I do see a market for an amplifier that does display the best characteristics of the Gretsch guitar's tone.

66

Vince, I suppose that the question has to be first asked as to whether, perhaps for nostalgic reasons, the objective for Gretsch is to build an amp that harkens back to the days of when Supro built Gretsch amps, or whether the objective now is for Gretsch to build a fine amp that accentuates the tonal characteristics of a Gretsch guitar.

For my way of thinking, I think that the series of Victoria-built amplifiers was an attempt to do the latter and I think that, in substantial measure, they were successful at that. I don't really see a need to have Gretsch build a low watt small amplifier and compete with Supro and the like. But, I do see a market for an amplifier that does display the best characteristics of the Gretsch guitar's tone.

– Ric12string

And would the current Gretsch/Fender management want to (or be allowed to) market something that would be in direct competition (due to similarity) with a corresponding Fender amp?

Why would current Fender management want to dilute their market share. That was one of the beautiful things about the Gretsch/Victoria amps, from Fender's viewpoint. They didn't compete directly with any Fender models. They expanded the amp market.

67

But the trend seems to be in favour of tweaking old designs and concepts...so many pedals and amps are designed that way now. Even when an amp is given a modern design ethic, the manufacturer still promote the product based on its ability to represent vintage tones. Fender, vox, Supro, they all do it. Looking to find some new twist on an old design for the current market.

68

So yeah, I am happy with a modern take on the old amps. Cosmetically, I'd love to see the old styling again. Supro have been criticised for their printed circuit boards and tubes attached and for their lack of authenticity but in many ways they've got it right for the market. Maybe the Victoria amps would have floated my boat more in a styling that was closer to the old valco Gretsch amps. The liver leather thing felt a bit weird. Very classy in their own right with phenomenal build quality.

69

Beautiful amp..................but my back is starting to hurt just looking at it! LOL

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

This 3x10 is 60 lbs. The 1x15 Executive I have is 50 lbs. For further comparison, a 1x12 Deluxe Reverb is 42 lbs & a Twin Reverb 62 lbs. Pick your poison!

70

This 3x10 is 60 lbs. The 1x15 Executive I have is 50 lbs. For further comparison, a 1x12 Deluxe Reverb is 42 lbs & a Twin Reverb 62 lbs. Pick your poison!

– Windsordave

My back says that Quilters are looking better all the time!

71

My back says that Quilters are looking better all the time!

– Don Birchett

I have a quilter, it doesnt sound anywhere near as good as my two Gretsch amps did but ya those freakin things are big and heavy.

72

If Gretsch amps should be coming back, I strongly suggest to revamp the 1958-1961 Valco era. First because these amps sound great whilst not trying to copy anybody and second, because they have an unbeatable design. I own a lot of Gretsch amps from the 1950ies up to the 1970ies. All of them have certain benefits, that I treasure, but not all of them are versatile. If I was Gretsch, I would try to build two lines - one that resurrects the Valco line from 58-61 in sound, design, detail and quality as top of the line, and an affordable line, a modern version using the same typical designs, but with up-to-date modeling amp features. For the modeling samples I would try to offer settings for acoustic guitars and ukulele, and maybe would offer more settings for sounds that go with Gretsch guitars. Vox has a good example with settings, that match their historic heritage, like AC15 and AC30. With Gretsch it could be Valco "Lancer, Dual Twin, Newport, Playboy, Executive" and so on. If Gretsch will go this way, I think many players would support it.

73

I think that's a good idea, but I'd like to see it with the best 15" speaker in it.


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