Modern Gretsch Guitars

Gretsch replacement for ES-335

51

I had thought that Panthers were no longer part of the Gretsch lineup BUT I was wrong. They are still there (black or white versions). The trick (as with so many Gretsch models) is to find one in a store that you can try. Wildwood is not showing any nor is Rocky.....

52

Yeah, I never wanted a 335... I have a 335 that I'm unhappy with - I want a Gretsch with some of the features of a 335 - thinner body, better upper fret access. I think the floating bridge is part of what I dig about the feel of the 6120, so... Panther makes a lot of sense.

– BobL

I would also recommend checking out a 5422 like Thomas said earlier in this thread. They sound and play great.

53

You know, if you came to a Round-Up you would have all sorts of Gretschy goodness to try. You could attend the one at Camp Lodestar in Wilseyville, California from September 14-16. You would probably want to fly into one of the nearby airports in the Bay area or Sacramento.

– Don Birchett

Well... for starters I have gigs that weekend, but... I think flying somewhere to try guitars is taking this too far. :)

54

I would also recommend checking out a 5422 like Thomas said earlier in this thread. They sound and play great.

– BuddyHollywood

Yeah... I'm not really looking for non 6xxx guitars.

55

Yeah... I'm not really looking for non 6xxx guitars.

– BobL

There is no Pro-line equivalent to the 5422. It's in my top 5 best sounding Gretsch guitars for sure.

56

Well... for starters I have gigs that weekend, but... I think flying somewhere to try guitars is taking this too far. :)

– BobL

I'd agree with you if that was the only reason to go to Round-ups.

57

Well all I can say is no matter what anyone says a 6120 and 335 are two completely different guitars. I own a TV Jones T-Armond equipped 6120 and it's a great guitar for what it does and I love it. The reality is that is does not do what a Gibson ES-335 can do and I love the Gibson 335 for what it does too! I have both guitars because they both have they're place in music and it's all good. But one replacing the other that's pretty hard sell. If you love the 6120 or the 335 that's great but one replacing the other...I don't know they are different sounds and different uses.

UD (Uncle Don)

58

I have sadly never got on with 335 style guitars even though I have tried and owned a few, but a DC Gretsch is another matter, I owned a 74 Viking as my first Gretsch and it was very heavy, had a centre block, then a 68 6120DC but it was 'made in a hurry' and it was ok but the binding was disintegrating.

By chance I saw a 72 6120DC which was good, but I missed that and managed to pick up an ex-demo 6120DC from 2003 made by Terada under licence and bought that. It is my mostly live guitar with a swing band as it looks good, sounds good and doesn't feed back.

I have seen people mention the players edition 6120 but I don't like that B7 styleBigsby it puts too much pressure on the bridge, I prefer the 6120 DC with the B6C Bigsby.

Mine has TV's which were a standard fitment for the year, so for my 50 cents worth, I would go with this one. Reliable and sounds great.

59

Well all I can say is no matter what anyone says a 6120 and 335 are two completely different guitars. I own a TV Jones T-Armond equipped 6120 and it's a great guitar for what it does and I love it. The reality is that is does not do what a Gibson ES-335 can do and I love the Gibson 335 for what it does too! I have both guitars because they both have they're place in music and it's all good. But one replacing the other that's pretty hard sell. If you love the 6120 or the 335 that's great but one replacing the other...I don't know they are different sounds and different uses.

UD (Uncle Don)

– UD

Yeah, not what I'm doing at all - keeping the 6120, getting a more 335 like Gretsch that is more like the 6120 than my 335.

60

For a 335 clone, you’ll want humbuckers and a centerblock. There are a few to choose from.

61

BobL,

I misunderstood what you were going for?

UD (Uncle Don)

62

BobL,

I misunderstood what you were going for?

UD (Uncle Don)

– UD

No worries! I have a 335, and I have a 6120 - I'm unhappy with the sound of the 335 compared to the 6120 in the rock band, but unhappy with the fret access and body size of the 6120 for the rock band (while loving it for the country band!), so looking for a Gretsch that is more down the line towards a 335, while sounding more like a Gretsch than the 335 sounds. Trying to split difference with some more 335 feel (fret access and body depth) in a Gretsch.

63

I know you said you're not even thinking about a 5422 but it sounds like it really is exactly what you're looking for. It's fully hollow with a soundpost. I would just upgrade the pickups if you need to. Here is a video where a guy installed TV Jones T'Armonds in his.

64

I know you said you're not even thinking about a 5422 but it sounds like it really is exactly what you're looking for. It's fully hollow with a soundpost. I would just upgrade the pickups if you need to. Here is a video where a guy installed TV Jones T'Armonds in his.

– BuddyHollywood

Yeah, it sounds great. I've consistently been impressed with those pickups. I'd really need to try one... not seeing anything nearby.

65

Conclusion:

I went down to Wildwood on Saturday and tried a bunch of stuff:

Wildwood Spec Gibson ES-330

Double Cut Center Block White Falcon

2018 Gibson Memphis ES-330

Player's Edition Double Cut Country Gentleman

'13 Stephen Stern Masterbuilt '59 Duo Jet

Listed above in ascending order of how much I liked them. Ended up buying the Duo Jet - it had 'it' in terms of sound, and was otherwise not just the nicest of the bunch, but nicer than any electric guitar I've owned (Gibson CS, Fender CS, small luthiers like Koll, Swope, K-Line, etc). Because I'm out of state they are shipping it to me tomorrow to save on sales tax, so it's not quite in hand yet.

Once again, Gretsch fit and finish (not just the Duo Jet, but the Japanese made ones as well) was miles beyond the Gibsons, which was a bummer. On both 330s I noticed binding scraping that looked rushed and missed the binding and went into the finish in a couple spots. There was a speed bump you could feel between binding and neck on the WW spec 330. The Gibsons both sounded pretty good, though I preferred the MHS P90s to the underwound Wildwood ones - they had more of a Gretsch/Tele sort of bite to them. The 330 is such a light guitar that they felt strange and a little cheap to me, but I might consider one in the future.

I didn't play the non-Bigsby Broadkaster they had, as the construction on the CB Falcon was the same, and I pretty quickly ruled that guitar out, though it was quite nice. The country gent was my second favorite playing/sounding of the bunch - but to me felt like it really covered the exact same ground as my 6120 (though I preferred the TV Jones pickups in my 6120), so there wasn't much point in going that direction. Also wasn't a huge fan of the walnut finish.

The Duo Jet has pickups that say 'Patent Applied For' on them - I'm not sure what the story is with those. A predecessor to the current version of the filtertron they make? Maybe someone can illuminate. They are VERY low output compared to the pickups in the other two, but sound really great - I just needed to goose the volume on the amp to get to the same place with them. Really musical. Has a Tru-Arc on it - would this be aftermarket, or would Gretsch CS have put that on? I will make a NGD thread w/ some pics - it's really something. Has a really wonderful broken-in feel, slightly larger, rounder neck... I've become a big fan of the tone switch on my 6120, and this was the only one of the bunch to have that.

Anyway, I've appreciated the input here.

66

Like you I went out & played most of the new Gretsch models. All are great!

I was surprised how great the Broadkasters sounded!

But, After hearing the Dyna Sonics on the George Harrison Duo Jet I was hooked. Nothing else like them! Amazing sound. Amazing looking Guitar too.

Chambered Body so not heavy. The Body is larger than an LP so it doesn't look too small on me.

The one I tried was Used & had nicks & scratches. For the price I decided on a new one.

Being limited Production I had to Custom Order it. Had to wait a while but I was blown away when it arrived.

The new Terada Gretsch's are Musical works of Art. It sounds amazing!

Congrats on your new Jet! Welcome to the Club!

Lucky


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