Modern Gretsch Guitars

A Gretsch nylon string- why not?

1

I was chatting to Joe and he mentioned there was a guitar in the offing but that went south after Paul Yandell died. I noticed Sam Kennedy who made the Prismatone copies was a possible source of pickups which would be fantastic. Why have Gretsch not thought of a nylon electric utilising Sams great work? He said He's open to it. I know exactly what this should be having played my own and many nylons.

2

It would probably sound as awful as a Fender nylon string. Nobody there gets it.

3

Taffy, any other details as to what Paul was proposing/planning? I think there would be a segment of customers (including me) that would be excited about this guitar.

4

I recall that Gibson (during its Chet years) produced the Chet Atkins CE model which was an "amplified nylon string guitar".

https://reverb.com/item/209...

I never had an opportunity to play one by found the idea intriguing. I could become VERY interested if Gretsch developed a similar guitar.....

5

It would probably sound as awful as a Fender nylon string. Nobody there gets it.

– Billy Zoom

Billy’s right. FMIC has never been known for acoustics and nylon strings are a tough guitar to make cheap and sound good

6

Wasn’t there a 460 with nylon strings? They’re probably one of the rarest Gretsches of modern times, and nylon strings would be even rarer. I’d be interested in a Gretsch nylon string slimline. It’d be perfect for some Chet, Jerry Reed or Willie tunes.

7

I own the steel-string version of the Godin Multiac (connected to the Roland VG-99 & FC-300 midi foot controller pedalboard - knockout sound!) but I aspire as well to possess the nylon-string model demonstrated here. See what you think of it.

8

I liked those early Fender acoustics with the pole through the middle.

9

Billy’s right. FMIC has never been known for acoustics and nylon strings are a tough guitar to make cheap and sound good

– paul pigat

Exactly this.

Taffy, you aren't looking for anything other than a top-drawer nylon string amplified guitar, right? Well, Gretsch doesn't aspire to make such a guitar. With the introduction of the G9511, G9521, and G9531 parlor-style guitars, Gretsch has certainly upped its game in terms of its acoustic guitar building. But, it has not sounded to me, from my discussions with Joe, Jason, and David, that they are looking to try to compete with Martin, Gibson, Taylor, et al. I would not look to Gretsch to build a more expensive and more complicated model acoustic guitar. They don't have a market for them. They are content making a very solid model of acoustic guitar as with the parlor-style models, for which they have a market at that price point.

10

I was chatting to Joe and he mentioned there was a guitar in the offing but that went south after Paul Yandell died. I noticed Sam Kennedy who made the Prismatone copies was a possible source of pickups which would be fantastic. Why have Gretsch not thought of a nylon electric utilising Sams great work? He said He's open to it. I know exactly what this should be having played my own and many nylons.

– Taffy

Taffy, you and the Godin Multiac nylon-string guitar are a match made in Heaven. If there were a way I could help the two of you get together, I would do what I could to facilitate it. Your sensitivity, touch and gift for composing guitar instrumentals just beg to find even better expression in such a fine instrument.

(P.S. - Not affiliated with Darrell Braun Guitars or Godin, I'm just a music lover.)

11

Billy’s right. FMIC has never been known for acoustics and nylon strings are a tough guitar to make cheap and sound good

– paul pigat

You guys may have a point there.

12

I had a MultiAd nylon for a short period, a trans blue twin to my LGX-sa.

Its amplified nylonitudinousness was as expected: Godin does an excellent job of coaxing a morless acostic(ky) sound from a solid or semi-solid guitar. IE, it won't remind you of Julian Bream mic'ed up in the studio, but it kills for gigging, and lends itself nicely to judicious effects. (Which in my world, for nylon strings, means rich and perhaps interesting reverb...compression as necessary...and nothing else.)

The synth tracking and access were, as I recall, as good the LGX as well - meaning perfectly usable with the Roland GR-33 I was using at the time, and I looked forward to lush semi-orchestral patches lending substance and gravity to my simplistic melody-and-counterpoint arrangements.

What killed it for me was an accountably narrow neck. Yes, we often expect nylon-strings to be wider at the nut than even a standard steel-string acoustic. The LGX-sa is a comfortable 1-5/8"; the nylon Multiac was narrower than that. That made it tres difficile to fret cleanly, particularly on moving counter-parts.

Completely ruined what I was trying to get out of it, and it had to go.

(I kept it longer than I kept the 11-string fretless Glissentar, though. I don't know what they were thinking - or what I was thinking.)

14

That is indeed sufficiently wide. Ideal, in fact.

That's not what mine was. Mine was narrower, as I say, than the LGX-sa. Either I had an odd one-off or special order, or the spec hath changed. The spec needed to change.

I'm out of the mood now, though.

Or shoot. Maybe I'll get back in the mood. The musical application is still valid.

15

If I take your non-response to indicate I've alienated you somehow in the past, Taffy, I regret that. It's clear you are wary of me and generally want to fly under the radar. Good luck in your pursuit of the nylon-string Gretsch. I was only trying to help.

16

I wish I would have visited more with Paul Yandell about the NS project. I was hoping it would come to fruition. I’m sure Joe C has all of the info. I have just been out of the loop for a while. Knowing Paul the way I did, I believe the Gretsch product would have been something that most of us that like electric nylon strings would want to own. Without Paul the G6122-1959 never would have been. My dream guitar. So, I wish Paul and Joe could have seen it through. I believe it would have been a good one.

17

Yes, on the original topic: I'm sure any electric nylon-string Gretsch would undertake using the Prismatone connection, Paul Yandell's input, and the Chet Atkins heritage would be done very right - or not at all.

That project would be whole different world from the current (or any previous) line of Gretsch acoustics. (First off, it wouldn't be al that acoustic.)

The primary market would almost certainly be the Chet guys - or, more broadly, the international community of players influenced by the Chet Atkins/Lenny Breau/Tommy Emmanuel heritage. Those are picky pickers, and there'd be no point doing the guitar if it wasn't intended to please them.

18

From what I hear, the Prismatone is quite expensive to make. There are other systems available that would not be so expensive. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Joe probably needs someone to help him complete the project, if it is viable. We all know how busy our man Joe is, and there are only so many hours in the day. Still, we can’t help but wonder.

19

In theory, I agree with Paul (Taffy). However, despite the huge growth in the appeal of electric nylon string guitars for performing/recording, I just don't see Gretsch being interested in going down that road anytime soon. I'm not sure if Paul is alluding to an acoustic version as his first nylon string was or a solidbody.

Gretsch, when under Baldwin ownership, had no interest in Chet's desire to have and electric, solidbody nylon string guitar produced. I realize ownership is back with the Gretsch family, but not hearing so much as a sniff of interest from their marketing dept, I don't think they're prepared to do the research and tool up for what may be in their opinion, too small a market to chase. With that in mind and if I were in Gretsch's shoes, I'd do my research and pick my targets/fights carefully. Godin took the idea and ran with it and is enjoying success.

With that in mind, it must be realized that a good number of the top Chet-style pickers already have the premier electric nylon string guitar and it's made by Kirk Sand. No need to go into history but he developed his guitar first and through Chet then starting with Gibson, helped them build their fine line of electric nylon string guitars. Kirk's are indeed beautiful and to the point, they're all handmade by himself and really not IMO, in need of improvement. Richard Smith has played one for years now, and has his own model designation. BTW, as an aside, if you look at Kirk's guitar, you'll see it has the cool Super Chet/Super Axe style of cutaway.

I also realize that his guitars are priced beyond what a lot of non-professional players can afford, but more to the point, Gretsch doesn't now or has the possibility of finding, today's equivalent of Chet Atkins to endorse and promote a newly designed [expensive] nylon string......all the good players are already taken as it were. Again, if it were me in charge, if I couldn't get Richard Smith - and I couldn't - I'd pass on the whole idea. Godin didn't need to find a Chet Atkins simply because the price point for their offerings is affordable.

Back when Paul Yandel was discussing things with Joe, there was a window of opportunity that since then has IMO, closed for Gretsch.

20

Gretsch did have two models in the '60's: the Hauser and the Hauser Silver models and Dan Duffy raved about them. I'm unsure if they were imported first then made here or if they were always made here. I tried one at a show and it was good sounding and well made. You can find them for fairly cheap on the secondary market.

21

not really seeing it. the thinline/ electric market is largely locked up, the lower end import market (where the rest of the acoustics are) is flooded and they certainly aren't going to start making high end ones. so what's left? who's clamoring to pay for a nylon string that says gretsch on it, aside from us?

only thing I could think of is maybe something along the lines of a Jim dandy. a cheap funsies beater type thing. their ukes aren't a world apart.

22

Shhh... Don't tell anyone but the wheel has already been re-invented:

24

The Donald would probably declare it un-American.


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