Modern Gretsch Guitars

Gretsch Custom Shop

1

Hi Everyone,

I am in the market for a CS model and was wondering who is the best dealer for the CS line and what kind of savings could I expect since MSRP is a bad word in my mind.

Thanks

Mark

2

See our sponsors on the right. Shanghai, Dave's, Street Sounds, or Black Rider.

I don't know if there are actual MSRP's on CS models and then discount from that price. It's more like you tell them what you want and they tell you what it will cost, I'd imagine.

Best of luck and be sure to share with us once you've pulled the trigger.

3

See our sponsors on the right. Shanghai, Dave's, Street Sounds, or Black Rider.

I don't know if there are actual MSRP's on CS models and then discount from that price. It's more like you tell them what you want and they tell you what it will cost, I'd imagine.

Best of luck and be sure to share with us once you've pulled the trigger.

– Suprdave

Thank you!

4

I bought a CS guitar from Streetsounds. Pretty sure I got the lowest price possible, there, although Shanghai has also been a "lowest-price-possible dealer" on Gretsch items, too.

Rocky (the owner/operator at Streetsounds) places CS orders regularly, very often his own "designs," so he knows the CS routine very well and is a significant customer of the Custom Shop.

Paul/FF909

5

TrueTone just got in a couple of CS models, a doublecut Firebird Red Jet and a Champagne Sparkle Duo Jet, both with Bigsbys, I played them, their the usual Custom Shop fabulousness. They've got a couple others, too, if that's what you're in the market for. But if you want to order your own, Rocky is the man, though other GDP sponsors to a fine job, too.

6

Champagne Sparkle Duo Jet

FilterTron or Dyna?

7

Filtertron, TVJs, I believe, and a Tru Arc bridge. The doublecut has a Space Control.

8

I ordered a CS jet, built to my specifications, through Wildwood Guitars. There was an issue with the guitar and Wildwood did not make much of an effort to resolve it and basically said sorry but you are SOL. I will use someone else next time.

9

That doesn't sound right, Craig. Did you get stuck with the guitar? if so, what's the issue? Gretsch is usually great about making things like this right.

10

I have been looking at the Gretsch USA G6128CS Custom '57 Cadillac Green Duo Jet Guitar that Streetsounds has. Not sure if the price is workable since it seems discounted already for a CS piece.

I love the Cadillac green color but it seems there are a few variations of it. I am not sure what is the accurate color, the CS color or the Vintage Spec color (which seems darker and a little blue-er)

11

Not sure I am going to go with a CS (looking hard at a Penguin) but I am calling Streetsounds today so wish me luck!

12

That doesn't sound right, Craig. Did you get stuck with the guitar? if so, what's the issue? Gretsch is usually great about making things like this right.

– Suprdave

Suprdave, the guitar was supposed to be based on a ‘56 Jet and was spec’d with “vintage frets”. I have a CS Billy Zoom tribute, also based on a ‘56, so I expected frets similar to that. However the frets don’t extend out over the binding as most do. Rather they stop squarely at the binding and the binding has nibs that extend up where you would expect the frets normally to end (it is hard to describe this). Basically the ends of the frets are binding rather than fret wire. It is a real playability issue for me, because if I’m doing rockabilly type pull offs on the high E string and I pull just a bit too much, the string can make contact with the binding nib fret end and kill the note instantly. On a normal fret end this isn’t an issue at all.

I brought this to the attention of my rep at Wildwood and was told I should change my playing style. When I said that’s not a reasonable solution, I was abruptly told, well they’re(the custom shop) not going to fix that, you must have ordered that way and you got what you ordered. I said, well my order specified “vintage frets” and I’ve never seen vintage guitars with these frets. I pleaded with him to please check with the custom shop, because I’m sure they’d want to work with me to resolve this. He half heartedly said he would. I checked back with him a couple of days later and he said sorry, they won’t do anything.

So, that’s where things stand. I will likely just get the guitar re-fretted myself. Discouraging to say the least.

13

Well that would be discouraging. I don't know how definitive "vintage frets" is to the CS when it comes to how they're dressed so I can't comment on that but being the CS I am surprised that they didn't contact you personally with confirmation of things like that.

I've never ordered a CS but there are several members on here that have and from what I've read, most of them had been in contact with Stephen and his team upon the details of their project. I can't attest to how detailed those conversations went but I would think if that were a specific item, it would have been addressed.

With the customer service I've seen from Gretsch themselves, I'm surprised.

14

Well that would be discouraging. I don't know how definitive "vintage frets" is to the CS when it comes to how they're dressed so I can't comment on that but being the CS I am surprised that they didn't contact you personally with confirmation of things like that.

I've never ordered a CS but there are several members on here that have and from what I've read, most of them had been in contact with Stephen and his team upon the details of their project. I can't attest to how detailed those conversations went but I would think if that were a specific item, it would have been addressed.

With the customer service I've seen from Gretsch themselves, I'm surprised.

– Suprdave

I expected they would want to work with me to resolve it, and was surprised no effort was made. I have suspected that perhaps my rep at Wildwood wasn’t communicating any this with the custom shop, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

15

Wildwood isn’t mentioned much around here as a source for Gretsch CS guitars. Usually guys use one of GDP sponsors, and those will go to bat for you in most cases. Maybe you should seek a way to circumvent the Wildwood middle-man and get your concerns to Joe or Stephen directly.

16

Hi Craig. Having pleasantly dealt with Wildwood a number of times over the years, I'm very surprised they're not taking action to help resolve your situation. Before contacting Joe C., I would ask to speak with Steve (Mespie?), the owner of Wildwood, and a very nice man, in my experience. I doubt he would wish to alienate a customer in this way.

If that doesn't work, by all means contact Joe Carducci, who may put you directly in touch with Stephen Stern. Though he is crazy busy, he is a fantastic person and I'd be astonished if he doesn't help you.

I truly hope you do not have to re-fret the CS guitar yourself. That just wouldn't be right!

17

Wow Rocky is hard to reach. I called a few times and he was on calls each time. The person (man) who was answering the phone asked if I wanted to wait each time but I declined. Does Rocky have an alternative way of being contacted outside Reverb and Ebay such as an email address?

If not I will try again next week.

18

Hi Craig. Having pleasantly dealt with Wildwood a number of times over the years, I'm very surprised they're not taking action to help resolve your situation. Before contacting Joe C., I would ask to speak with Steve (Mespie?), the owner of Wildwood, and a very nice man, in my experience. I doubt he would wish to alienate a customer in this way.

If that doesn't work, by all means contact Joe Carducci, who may put you directly in touch with Stephen Stern. Though he is crazy busy, he is a fantastic person and I'd be astonished if he doesn't help you.

I truly hope you do not have to re-fret the CS guitar yourself. That just wouldn't be right!

– Mac2020

Have to agree. I've had nothing but outstanding service and a great experience dealing with Wildwood.

Unexpected follow up after the sale too, just to make sure that everything was "as expected." And, this is on a Proline!

I too would talk with the owner and see what he has to say about this, and what the resolve would be.

Give them a chance before going directly to Gretsch. This just doesn't sound like Wildwood and how it operates.

FWIW, while shopping for this particular Gretsch, I called another highly touted dealer and caught nothing but an attitude.

That issue was easy to resolve. Hung up the phone, and talked with Wildwood.

Best of luck.

19

...the guitar was supposed to be based on a ‘56 Jet and was spec’d with “vintage frets”. I have a CS Billy Zoom tribute, also based on a ‘56, so I expected frets similar to that. However the frets don’t extend out over the binding as most do. Rather they stop squarely at the binding and the binding has nibs that extend up where you would expect the frets normally to end...my order specified “vintage frets” and I’ve never seen vintage guitars with these frets.

It seems like an issue that could be remedied by the Custom Shop, and maybe should, but what you are describing are indeed vintage-correct frets. That's how they were done in the Brooklyn and Booneville eras and are still done by a lot of companies, such as Gibson. I'm guessing that the BZ tribute is done with frets going over the binding because that's how that specific guitar has been refretted.

20

That's unfortunately the way the factory installed frets back in the day. If I understand correctly, the original intention of specifying "vintage frets" was regarding the type of frets - low and wide, and not how they were to be installed. I've harped on this idiotic style of installation on many threads. The fret went on first and the binding was hammered/tapped whatever on after, into the sharp end of the fret, leading to the binding cracking as it aged and hardened. You see this effect on vintage Gretches. The fret never had the tang cut away so the fret end could overhand the binding as it should!! and be installed after the binding!! Just because some clueless builders do it still today doesn't make it right. The binding is part of the fretboard so the fret end should continue across it and be rounded, not chamfered at all, on the end. This allows a slightly wider spacing of the strings without any worry of pushing both E strings off the fingerboard, which was the case with two Gretsches of mine.

21

No CS guitar for me. However I will post a NGD when my new Bird arrives.

22

Hi Craig. Having pleasantly dealt with Wildwood a number of times over the years, I'm very surprised they're not taking action to help resolve your situation. Before contacting Joe C., I would ask to speak with Steve (Mespie?), the owner of Wildwood, and a very nice man, in my experience. I doubt he would wish to alienate a customer in this way.

If that doesn't work, by all means contact Joe Carducci, who may put you directly in touch with Stephen Stern. Though he is crazy busy, he is a fantastic person and I'd be astonished if he doesn't help you.

I truly hope you do not have to re-fret the CS guitar yourself. That just wouldn't be right!

– Mac2020

Thanks Mac2020. Good suggestion.

23

...the guitar was supposed to be based on a ‘56 Jet and was spec’d with “vintage frets”. I have a CS Billy Zoom tribute, also based on a ‘56, so I expected frets similar to that. However the frets don’t extend out over the binding as most do. Rather they stop squarely at the binding and the binding has nibs that extend up where you would expect the frets normally to end...my order specified “vintage frets” and I’ve never seen vintage guitars with these frets.

It seems like an issue that could be remedied by the Custom Shop, and maybe should, but what you are describing are indeed vintage-correct frets. That's how they were done in the Brooklyn and Booneville eras and are still done by a lot of companies, such as Gibson. I'm guessing that the BZ tribute is done with frets going over the binding because that's how that specific guitar has been refretted.

– Afire

Well I was unaware of that technique was used in the past. Forgive my ignorance. I suppose I did get what I ordered then. Nevertheless, it would be nice if they would work with me to find a resolution. I’ll need to push for that.

24

That's unfortunately the way the factory installed frets back in the day. If I understand correctly, the original intention of specifying "vintage frets" was regarding the type of frets - low and wide, and not how they were to be installed. I've harped on this idiotic style of installation on many threads. The fret went on first and the binding was hammered/tapped whatever on after, into the sharp end of the fret, leading to the binding cracking as it aged and hardened. You see this effect on vintage Gretches. The fret never had the tang cut away so the fret end could overhand the binding as it should!! and be installed after the binding!! Just because some clueless builders do it still today doesn't make it right. The binding is part of the fretboard so the fret end should continue across it and be rounded, not chamfered at all, on the end. This allows a slightly wider spacing of the strings without any worry of pushing both E strings off the fingerboard, which was the case with two Gretsches of mine.

– Windsordave

Windsordave, couldn’t agree with you more. I had never heard of this technique and now having experienced first hand, I can’t imagine why anyone would build a new guitar with these frets. They should be left in the past. There are no benefits and nothing but issues from a playability and maintenance standpoint.

25

I don't know the Wildwood people, but I do know it isn't a slam against them to contact Joe or Stephen yourself to address a problem. One or both of them would be dealing with your issue eventually anyway, and they aren't going to let a fret installation detail befoul your experience with a Custom Shop guitar. Neither of them are wired that way. And they are great gentlemen to deal with.

Paul/FF909


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