Modern Gretsch Guitars

Buying my first Gretsch

1

I recently sold my 335 and am looking to buy my first Gretsch, but have a few questions.

First, what's the verdict on the Players Edition guitars? My Gretsch will go through 50-100 gigs per year of pop and alt.country. So I like the specs on these models, as I'm not (yet) a vintage Gretsch purist.

Second, if I'm looking at a used Gretsch, are certain years the "good" years?

As background, I'm looking into a 6620 Nashville TFM, 6119 Tenneesee Rose, and perhaps a Silver Falcon.

2

If you are buying used, go for 2004 and newer.

3

Won't be your last. . .

4

Welcome to the Club! Those are all good choices. My vote would be for the Tennessee Rose with HiloTrons. However, for more mainstream, FilterTrons will work with anything.

5

Welcome to all things Gretsch! I suggest you play those choices and see which one 'feels' the best for your left hand and hopefully it will give you the sound you're after as well. For me, assuming I like the looks of the guitar , it's all about the feel of the neck not bothering me....something I have to get past, as it were. I can't see you being disappointed with any of the choices you mentioned.

6

Virtually any Players Edition will respond more like your 335 than non-PE models - because the neck set, fixed-stud bridge setup, and (often) centerblock are all Gibsonesque features. Tone, of course, will be fully Gretsch.

And PE and/or centerblock models are good choices if you're looking for mid-70s-modern levels of gain and sustain.

Players' Editions are great guitars, they're just designed to appeal not only to all but the most vintage-traditionalist of Gretsch guys, but also to players like you coming from a more mainstream perspective. I was a 335 guy before going Gretsch, and the PE models do appeal to me. But there was no such thing when I fell into the Gretsch rabbit hole, and it took me no time to get accustomed to - and fully appreciate - traditional Gretsch features.

Thus, of those you mention, the 6620TFM will feel and respond in a way familiar to you.


Any T Rose is going to be "Gretschier," in that it has more traditional bridge mount and geometry - and a more or less completely hollow body (though with some sort of bracing and post to join top to back - so not as wide open as, say, a Casino). It will be a different ride.

The Falcon is even more traditionally Gretsch, with a deeper hollow body. It also has a 17" body (vs 16" for the other two), and 25.5" scale vs 24.6" for the others.

In these cases, "more traditionally Gretsch" means they'll have livelier more resonant bodies which don't mind feeding back at high gain/volume - but which bring in a whole different dimension at sane levels - and generally favor resonance and "ring" over pure mechanical classic-rocky sustain.

But talking about guitar sound and response is like dancing about architecture. There's no substitute for playing them and seeing what you think. (Unless you've been utterly smitten by a recorded tone you've heard from a particular Gretsch, and are committed to taking in hand whatever instrument created it.)

I suspect you'll be completely happy with the neck on any of them.

7

I didn't really know about the 6620 Nashville TFM, so I looked at it. You will buy one. I can't imagine why not.

8

Welcome, and if you are buying "used", it's a buyers market. Tons of great deals to be had on virtually all Gretsch models.

Best of luck deciding, and going on the hunt.

9

Virtually any Players Edition will respond more like your 335 than non-PE models - because the neck set, fixed-stud bridge setup, and (often) centerblock are all Gibsonesque features. Tone, of course, will be fully Gretsch.

And PE and/or centerblock models are good choices if you're looking for mid-70s-modern levels of gain and sustain.

Players' Editions are great guitars, they're just designed to appeal not only to all but the most vintage-traditionalist of Gretsch guys, but also to players like you coming from a more mainstream perspective. I was a 335 guy before going Gretsch, and the PE models do appeal to me. But there was no such thing when I fell into the Gretsch rabbit hole, and it took me no time to get accustomed to - and fully appreciate - traditional Gretsch features.

Thus, of those you mention, the 6620TFM will feel and respond in a way familiar to you.


Any T Rose is going to be "Gretschier," in that it has more traditional bridge mount and geometry - and a more or less completely hollow body (though with some sort of bracing and post to join top to back - so not as wide open as, say, a Casino). It will be a different ride.

The Falcon is even more traditionally Gretsch, with a deeper hollow body. It also has a 17" body (vs 16" for the other two), and 25.5" scale vs 24.6" for the others.

In these cases, "more traditionally Gretsch" means they'll have livelier more resonant bodies which don't mind feeding back at high gain/volume - but which bring in a whole different dimension at sane levels - and generally favor resonance and "ring" over pure mechanical classic-rocky sustain.

But talking about guitar sound and response is like dancing about architecture. There's no substitute for playing them and seeing what you think. (Unless you've been utterly smitten by a recorded tone you've heard from a particular Gretsch, and are committed to taking in hand whatever instrument created it.)

I suspect you'll be completely happy with the neck on any of them.

– Proteus

Not if he gets the 6636T... it’s a PE Falcon, 16” double-cut body with center block, 24.6” scale, chambered spruce body and all the PE goodies. Don’t know if there’s a Silver Falcon version though, I’ve only seen the Black Falcon version.

10

Welcome to our addiction. Lots of great advice, above.

11

Just got a PE Anni, It seems like you would like it. They have done many of the upgrades for you. The build is as solid as it gets, The sound amazing! Best of luck!

12

I think that G6220 would be a good choice for what you want to do with it. However, these PE's haven't been on the market for that long so there won't be many on the used market yet.

13

Well after thinking about it, I'm not sure I'm an "orange" kind of guy. But I will be trying out a few Gretsch's this weekend, including both the 6119-62 and 6119 PE. Excited to report back the results!

14

The 6119-62 is a great guitar but it can be a little underwhelming in a direct comparison to other guitars until you realize that you have to put more power behind it than other guitars due to the underwound, single coil Hi-Lo Trons. Comparing them to the Gibson pickups you are used to will require you to adjust the volume behind them quite a bit. But once adjusted, you are going to love them! They have their own sound.

The other thing is that the 6119-62 is in my opinion the most beautiful guitar that Gretsch makes. I love the deep wine/burgundy.

15

Personally, I'd recommend anything with Filter'Trons on it, as they're a great all-rounder pickup. They're a humbucker that can twang like a single coil - great for your country stuff. They can also do the crunchier stuff like your classic rock too.

As far as the guitar itself goes, you need to look at what feels and looks right for you. If you're not a fan of the orange, there is the Broadcaster range which have more understated finish options.

Another thing you could do would be to head to a Gretsch dealer and try a few different PE series models out. That way you can get an idea of how they will sound and feel, and help you to narrow things down when playing the secondhand market as far as choosing the right guitar for you goes.

Whatever you decide on, good luck with your search. Playing a Gretsch is not only rewarding, it is also highly addictive. You'll absolutely love it.


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