Meet & Greet

Howdy!

1

Just want to say hello to all the fine Gentlemen here - and the Ladies!

I am mostly based in Germany now, but travel a lot. Played a bit of guitar in my younger years, but mostly played sax and now bass clarinet. About to get back into picking a few fine tunes again. I am into folk, blues and country, with a sprinkling of eastern European music....gipsy, klezmer, Greek and Russian folk...

Now looking for my first Gretsch, the only electric guitar that ever interested me. I have a lovely Alembic MK Deluxe 4 string and a Dingwall fanned fret 5 string bass and a wonderful masterclass 70ies classical guitar. So it's time to get a proper guitar, right?

2

Yessir, it is.

Welcome to the GDP, an online community of enablers.

You have some serious basses, and an interesting musical bailiwick. Love to hear how you'll incorporate some Gretsch goodness into that mix.

Any particular questions as you shop for a first (but not last) Gretsch? We'll all be happy to mislead you.

3

welcome to the Gretsch Discussion Pages or GDP.

6

Don't do it. You buy one and before you know it you have more than you know what to do with.

Which one were you thinking of starting with?

9

Howdy. Here’s hoping you have a sizable bank account or good credit. You’ll get plenty of enabling here.

10

Welcome to our addiction and the best forum on the webs.

11

Welcome to all things Gretsch. You mentioned spending a lot of time in Germany, so I take it you're back in the US from time to time and that's where you'll buy your Gretsch? Cost and selection is wide open there as opposed to overseas. We're all interested in what style Gretsch has caught your fancy.

12

Welcome to the best guitar forum on the planet!

13

Welcome Doublefrench, yes sir, you can't go wrong with a Gretsch guitar! The guys and gals here all share an addiction, and it's catching. Gretsch makes some of the best guitars available, whichever one you choose, it will be a great guitar!

14

Ah guys, your warm and heartfelt welcomes just gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling you can't get any other way!

BUT! I am on to your tricks! I know exactly how you operate - vicariously you wanna act out your deepest GAS urges, by goading a poor and clueless rookie into shopping whatever your secret desires are about - and your (better?) half probably would not allow anyway! Mind you, I have been a member of the best BASS and SAX forums....they are pretty similar in THAT regard! Ha!

As for which model REALLY tickles (well it's MUCH more interns than just a fancy tickle...) my fancy?

Help me with your hive mind to choose between a Chet Atkins and a Country Gentleman. I seem to tend to the latter.... Pros/Cons? Years to look for and avoid? I am thinking of vintage 50/60 boards, up to roughly four grand? Preferably less, but a good instrument in good shape is better value in the long run, right?

15

I assume by "a Chet Atkins" you're referring to a 6120 model, as the Country Gent is as 'Chet Atkins' as it gets!! If you're looking for a trouble free 'Chet' guitar, and at excellent prices for mint used guitars, look no further than the current/recent 6122-59. It's based very accurately on Chet's personal '59 and comes in the dark/walnut stain finish. If you want an orange guitar, look for the HOF version of this Gent. These guitars are the flagship models and according to all reviews, can't be improved upon.

Going with a vintage model won't get you a better guitar and certainly not one completely free of issues, if that's a concern you may have. A good early Gent or 6120 is going to be well outside your budget but the newer ones I mentioned won't be.

16

Dave's right on this. The current '59 Gent is a guitar than which there are none better, with a wide (but completely Gretsch) tonal range, and the deluxe sound of pure luxury - if you go for that smooth, rich Gent thing. You might note that it has the widest nut width in the Gretsch line, which is a boon to clean chording (but sometimes a problem to small hands).

It's also notable for its 25.5" scale (and is the only Gent so specified, the others being 24.6"), which lends just a bit more focus and authority to its articulation. This also might be a factor if you have scale-length issues.

Along with unique bracing, it has a deeper body than the doublecut Gents that made such an impression on the Beatle-besotted world from 1964 onward - but not as deep as the 50s 6120, Falcon, Country Club, or the first-year Gent.

So if you have a hanker for the fullest-body Gent you can get, that would be the now-discontinued (but not too hard-to-find) 6122-1958. With more open bracing and 24.6" scale, it's arguably a more resonant and warm-bodied guitar.

Both the 6122-1958 and the 6122-1959 are single-cutaway. If your mental image of a Gent is a Harrisonian doublecut...there have been a number of versions of that sort in the line over the past 15 years which are worthy of your attention. They all have the shallow "Electrotone" body they got in 1962 and kept ever after, most have fully-enclosed fake-f-hole bodies and 24.6" scale. Some have the goofy flip-up mutes; most have the traditional-but-pointless round backpad (which doesn't hurt a thing).

And they're fine guitars. They're just surprisingly different from either the -58 or the -59. They feel different, and they sound different - so much so that the truly afflicted who want to cover every gradation of Gretsch tone might own both a 60s'-style doublecut Gent AND one of the singlecut luxury cruisers which preceded it.

The '58 and the '59 are both Chettian fingerpickers' dreams which sound their best with full, rich, clean amplification. The 60s variety works for that as well - but is also at home in more rockin' applications, even with gain and overdrive.

So you figure out your direction, and take the appropriate road.


As to new or vintage...far be it from me to steer you away from vintage, but it's undeniable that vintage wood is more of a gamble in the price range you mention. You'd have to be diligent and lucky to get a stellar example of either a 6120 or Gent which is presentable and has no issues.

Anything from the Japanese-built Professional Series during the FMIC era, however (2003 to the present) is virtually certain to be built to the highest standards, and trouble-free in every area from fit and finish to sound to playability. They're also remarkably consistent: you don't have to get lucky to get a "good" one, bad ones are almost unheard of, and you can buy confidently online.

And if you want to spend your whole 4K, you might well get both a Gent AND a 6120 without feeling you've compromised.

17

Wow. Thanks for that! Honrstly, I never wanna xpecyed such an endorsemnt of th new builds. Wasn’t sure the new ones would be up to the standard of th3 yrue vintage models. But in that case actually might now go for a new one! So thanks for this terrific clear and detailed explanation. While I generally prefer old, used instruments with patina and history, reliability, quality and layability are important. All my woodwinds happen to be old, from 1924-75, but I am not by principl3 opposed to a new instrument. So I’ll check the market for new or almost new models as suggested. I’ll be in Alaska in March, but new ones I should get here just as well, I ll cmpate prices.... so thanks!

18

@ Proteus - would that be the one you've been referring to?

..." Gretsch 2011 G6122-1958 Re-Issue Country Gentleman, Walnut Stain, Pre-Owned £1,999.00 This is a pre-owned 2011 G5122 '58 re-issue single cut hollow body guitar finished in Walnut Stain. Though the combination of gold hardware and a nickel Bigsby vibrato bridge may seem unusual, this is how they were produced in 1958 and this is a period-accurate model from Gretsch Japan. This guitar is in excellent condition, with little sign of wear & tear to note. This guitar comes with its original case and certificate of authenticity.

The single-cutaway closed hollow body has simulated f holes, trestle bracing, arched top and vintage walnut stain finish. The three-piece maple neck has an ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl Neo Classic thumbnail inlays and polished brass nut. Other features include dual High Sensitive Filter'Tron pickups, three-position pickup switch, three-position master tone switch, gold plexi pick-guard with "Chet Atkins" signpost, aged binding (body, fingerboard and headstock), "rocking bar" bridge, gold-plated Grover® Imperial tuners, gold headstock nameplate and Bigsby® B6CB vibrato tailpiece. ..."

19

...and are you referring to this or another model of a 59 reissue?

"G6122-1959 Nashville Classic w/Bigsby"

I really am looking now for 58-59 new ones. Tending more to 59, but would take either, I guess. Slightly larger scale and nut a plus for my big hands...

20

Welcome, Double French! And always remember-there is no such thing as too many guitars! (Especially Gretsch guitars!)

21

G6122-1959 Nashville Classic w/Bigsby

Yes, that’s the ‘59 we refer to.

Gretsch 2011 G6122-1958 Re-Issue Country Gentleman, Walnut Stain

Likewise, that SHOULD be the ‘58 - but I’m not sure the rest of the description is completely correct. I don’t remember it as having a completely enclosed faux-f-hole body. It MAY, though, and I’ve forgotten. At least one of our members owns one; he may chime in and confirm.

JD?

22

Welcome, Double French! And always remember-there is no such thing as too many guitars! (Especially Gretsch guitars!)

– Synchroslim

LoL! I hear ya! Already got four and don't even play - so far! Got like 14 or saxes - in the end only really use three? But it's fun and always so exciting when you come across another iconic instrument. And since I have no one chiding me....I can often not resist getting"Just one more" because....well, that argument I actually never finish! Definitely an advantage after my separation! Hehe....


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