Modern Gretsch Guitars

Body shape

1

Hi all! I'm thinking of buying a 2002 Hot Rod, the guitar is in great condition but the body shape does not look correct, are there any known issues with body shape or is it just my poor old eyes??

2

Some of the pre-Fender models look totally off to me, like too wide between the upper and lower bouts, almost like a mini jumbo acoustic. The 2002 Hot Rod I can't visualize right off hand, but my '93 Setzer looks right to me. Do you have photos of guitar in question?

3

Yep, depending on the preFMIC model, the shapes are not to "vintage" specs. Lower bouts are a little "thin", top bouts are more toward Baldwin era specs, however, they are some darn nice guitars.

4

I've seen quite a variety of body shapes from pre-fender gretsches.

5

Thanks for the feedback. I dont have a picture of the guitar, i'm still thinking about it. the upper bout where the pick up selector switch is looked too square to my eyes,and too wide, whereas my 5120 looks to be the correct shape? If I am spending money and trading my '86 Hank marvin Strat in, the guitar has to be correct. :(

6

pat walsh wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. I dont have a picture of the guitar, i'm still thinking about it. the upper bout where the pick up selector switch is looked too square to my eyes,and too wide, whereas my 5120 looks to be the correct shape? If I am spending money and trading my '86 Hank marvin Strat in, the guitar has to be correct. :(

The squarish upper bout- I've noticed that too, and seems once I did, now I always notice it on guitars that have it. I'm with ya- the thing's gotta look "right" to the eyes to want to own it.

7

I can't say I've ever noticed what anybody means by "the body shape does not look correct." - I really do not know what you're talking about. - It seems a little like someone's asking if I've noticed the pink and green polka dots in the midday blue sky (and I haven't seen those either). Now I'm not trying to imply you guys are seeing things that aren't there, I'm just letting you know where I'm coming from.

With the myriad of photos of diverse GreTscHes in the GDP Registry, and zillions of others available through the Internet, can someone please post some examples of GreTscHes of which "the body shape does not look correct"?

It's like that saying that's on Missouri license plates: You gotta "SHOW ME"!

Thank you,

Tom - Stingker

8

the 5120's look identical to my untrained eye to the 6120's. Color shape, evrything. but i really can't say for certain.

9

Stingker wrote:

I can't say I've ever noticed what anybody means by "the body shape does not look correct." - I really do not know what you're talking about. - It seems a little like someone's asking if I've noticed the pink and green polka dots in the midday blue sky (and I haven't seen those either). Now I'm not trying to imply you guys are seeing things that aren't there, I'm just letting you know where I'm coming from.

With the myriad of photos of diverse GreTscHes in the GDP Registry, and zillions of others available through the Internet, can someone please post some examples of GreTscHes of which "the body shape does not look correct"?

It's like that saying that's on Missouri license plates: You gotta "SHOW ME"!

Thank you,

Tom - Stingker

Google images of a 1989 Gretsch Nashville, and in another window google images of a 2011 Gretsch Nashville. Find similar shots, then compare the photos side by side and you should be able to see what we're talking about.

10

Agreed, if after looking them over you can't tell the difference, then it doesn't matter.

Once your eyes "see it" you'll see it instantly.

11

Here's an example of a modern GreTscH Chet Atkins 6120.

12

And here's an example of a 1989 6120W.

Without being able to actually trace the two body shapes for accurate comparison, I'd say it looks as though there's a difference, somewhat slight though it may be. I'd say it looks as though the lower bout of the '89 seems bulgier, - perhaps that's mostly due to a slightly smaller upper bout. Maybe it has a slightly bulgier lower bout and a slightly narrower upper bout. It's hard to tell.

It would be interesting to print out adequately sized straight-on pictures of the two and do a detailed comparison.

But what I wonder is:

What is specifically "not correct" about the 1989 shape? - Is it ONLY that it does not exactly match a particular 'Golden Era' model, or models? - Or is there actually something inherently defective in its shape which causes it to perform less than Ideally?

What specifically is "not correct" about the 1989 shape?

Thank you,

Tom - Stingker

13

I find it interesting that I was perfectly ready to "see" an "improvement" (albeit purely aesthetic and subjective) in the 2011 shape, but I find myself subjectively 'liking' the 1989 shape, at least as much, - perhaps more.

But I don't care about that particularly.

What I want to know is: what is "not correct"?

Thanks,

Tom - Stingker

14

Here you go... The blue is the Baldwin-era/Pre-Fender style body, overlaid on the current style. You can clearly see the current style (and vintage style) body is more pinched in the waist, has a much more rounded upper bout, and a less pronounced lower.

As far as "Correct" or not-correct, the current style is closer to vintage specs, and for most people the more aesthetically pleasing. At least, among the people who notice the difference. For some folks, it's really a case of "can you see the sailboat."

Personally, I don't see the difference until I see them side by side.

15

Thank you Baxter! - That's very interesting and Very Clear!

But I find my primary question still unanswered. So far it seems that there is really nothing ACTUALLY wrong, - or "not correct" with the Baldwin and pre-Fender Eras of GreTscH guitar shapes. It apparently is ONLY that they do not match the shape of the 'Vintage' and Current shapes. It seems there has never been any study or actual comparison of the shapes to determine if one SHAPE performs better than the other. It seems that the use of the word "correct" only refers to if it matches the original Vintage shape, NOT whether there is something more adequate in its shape that enhancs its performance as a Musical Instrument, as a GreTscH Guitar, over the others, that some deem "not correct".

Right?

Tom - Stingker

16

On closer examination of the multiple images of the 6120 above, I see a photograph of a 6120, and a red guitar shape, and a blue guitar shape, making a total of three images super-imposed over each other.

But the photograph of the 6120 matches neither the red, nor the blue shape perfectly. I guess it's got to be a photo of a current 6120.

So, the main difference in the shapes, it seems to me, is that the Baldwin and pre-Fender shapes provide more surface area for enhancing tonal vibrations. It seems to me that's likely an improvement(?).

But still, from the point of view of my main question, that doesn't matter much.

Thanks,

Tom - Stingker

17

Your eyes are playing tricks on you. There is only the orange 2011 6120, and the blue overlay 89.

As for correct, as I said above, the 2011 style is generally considered the "vintage correct" style, and it's generally considered the more attractive, at least among those who see a difference.

As for a difference in sound, any difference there might be is more than wiped out by construction differences (different tops, different bracing, different pickups, etc)

18

Baxter wrote:

Your eyes are playing tricks on you. There is only the orange 2011 6120, and the blue overlay 89.

As for correct, as I said above, the 2011 style is generally considered the "vintage correct" style, and it's generally considered the more attractive, at least among those who see a difference.

As for a difference in sound, any difference there might be is more than wiped out by construction differences (different tops, different bracing, different pickups, etc)

Yes, Baxter, you're Right! - I was too hasty in my 'closer examination'!

And Yes, the pickups, wiring, construction, bracing, etc., are of vast significance!

But as for purely 'shape,' the alleged 'correctness,' refers only to 'Vintage correct,' not of more or less Quality 'shape.' I cant' say I've seen any better shapes than plenty of pre-Fenders that I've seen (and own).

Thank you very much!

Tom - Stingker

20

Here's an April of 2009 GreTscH G6120SSUGR:

21

Compared to a January of 1992 6120TM:

I cannot find anything 'not correct' in the pre-Fender's 'shape'! ...nor Sound!

Tom - Stingker

p.s., Aesthetically, it's clear to me that the '92 TM SHAPE is more visually pleasing than the 2009 SSUGR. Obviously, whoever designed it felt the same way. They were apparently more concerned with Beauty and making refinements than being 'Vintage correct.'

22

I appreciate the overlay illustration that Baxter provided, but it seems it's not as accurate as would be very useful for this comparison. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but doesn't it show the 'blue overlay 89' with the neck joining the body much too close to the 15th fret? - Surely that cannot be accurate.

It's really a good idea to have an overlay comparison like this, but I think it needs to be more accurate.

OR - Perhaps it IS accurate, except that the 'blue overlay 89' should come up higher to match it to the 14th fret. ??

Thanks,

Tom - Stingker

23

Look at the two pictures you just posted and see how much deeper the cutaway is on the vintage-style body.

I just overlaid 'em in Photoshop, setting the 89 to 70% opacity with a blue overlay. It was about 2 minutes work.

24

Thanks a lot, Baxter! :D

That's Way Cool! 8-)

And Quite Useful!

Tom

25

This is my favorite body shape!


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