Modern Gretsch Guitars

Looking for the right size guitar

1

I've been looking into buying a hollow body guitar and was wondering which models would be better suited to a smaller player. I'm really not trying to spend more than $500

2

16” is pretty standard, so most of the Gretsch catalog. There are smaller out there both from Gretsch and other companies (6118jr, Gibson ES-140, Guild Freshman, etc). The examples would all be over $500 but there might be something else that would fit.

How small are you looking to go?

3

epiphone es-339 pelham blue (looks coolest) $499 at musicians friend

4

I really like my Guild Aristocrat!

You might be able to find a used one for around $500

5

I had a Gibson 339 .. sometimes seen for $1250 as low as that. Great gutiar

6

epiphone es-339 pelham blue (looks coolest) $499 at musicians friend

– jps1965

Excellent guitar, well under $500 on Reverb or eBay.

7

Yeah well...are we distinguishing between truly hollow (Aristocrat) and centerblock thinlines (the Epis)?

Gretsch Streamliners are 15.5", the Juniors are 14" (I think). Both centerblock - both available under 500.00.

8

I'm going to say your doing yourself an injustice if you don't at least go to a music store and see what size feels right on you first. Heck, who knows, the bigger sizes may work for you as well.

9

G3967. Small, light and nice neck. Just a neck pickup, though. Good acoustically, too.

Only available used, as they were made 20 years ago.

10

The only Epiphone true hollow body with a smaller size is the Casino Coupe --- same body size as the 339, but fully hollow and with P-90 pickups. A lot of players seem to really like these.

11

Yeah well...are we distinguishing between truly hollow (Aristocrat) and centerblock thinlines (the Epis)?

Gretsch Streamliners are 15.5", the Juniors are 14" (I think). Both centerblock - both available under 500.00.

– Proteus

Either hollow or centerblock would be fine. I've been looking at the streamliners, I'm a pretty small guy and I don't want a guitar I'm gonna have to reach over to play. I would try some out at a music store but there's not a lot of music stores around where I live.

12

The new Epiphone Uptown Kat would be worth a look, it just needs a B3.

13

Brian Setzer is a small guy and plays a thicker guitar but they're 17", right? If you meant a thinner guitar, Gretsch does offer those too.

14

One glaring deficiency of this conversation so far, which renders it so vague as not to be particularly helpful, is that we haven't defined pretty much any of the terms. I think we all know what guitars are, but beyond that we're raking the air.

Does "hollowbody" mean conventional true hollow construction, with separate back, top, and sides, f-holes, and minimal bracing inside? Or do fully enclosed hollow guitars - or guitars that started as a slab and had their guts routed out before a top was put on - qualify? Are guitars with centerblocks in the running? Is there a threshold beyond which stiff bracing and/or centerblock get so massive the guitar behaves more like a solidbody than hollow?

Either way, are there specific parameters for body size and/or depth?

Also, are we looking for shorter scale lengths? What about neck widths and profiles?

All our suggestions so far have been for guitars of "normal" scale length (mostly 24.x"), and with "normal" necks (ie, not especially narrow at the nut, or thin in profile). But beyond that, the guitars suggested have ranged in build type and body size and depth.

If you're looking specifically for a Gretsch suitable for a smaller guy - thus presumed to be smaller than the common Gretsch 16" body width - under 500.00, it's either the solidbody (but extensively chambered) Electromatic Jet or the Streamliner center-blocks.

At 5-7 I'm not a big guy, and my longest finger is 3.25" from the web of my hand. While I don't shy away from full deep 17" hollowbodies, I can definitely feel the difference when I pick up a guitar smaller or shallower in body. For various reasons, I spend more time playing the smaller ones (Jets, thinlines, LesPaul-sized enclosed hollowbodies like the Guild Aristocrat and Eastwood Airline Tuxedo.) So, while I don't know exactly what is meant by a "smaller guitar," I do understand the quest for something comfortable.

Among lower-priced Gretschs, I find that the Streamliner G2226, at 15.5" body width and 1.75" depth, feels noticeably smaller than the 16" Electromatic G5422 at more like 2". I can't imagine anyone finding it hard to get around - but the Streamliner centerblock Juniors are smaller yet.

That's keeping it Gretsch, and under 500.00. If the budget was bigger - like 1,000.00 more - I'd be raving about any of the hollowbody Juniors - all 14" true hollowbodies, and 2 - 2.25" deep. I have the Anniversary Junior, and it's extra-double super-sweet all the way around. Size, true hollowbody sound, neck, etc. Probably even worth saving for. At various times in the past there have been Falcon, Country Gent, and maybe even 6120 Juniors, all out there in the used market - but not under 500.00. Occasionally maybe under 1,000.00.

There's a significant difference in tone and response between centerblock guitars and more fully hollow creatures. I like junior-body centerblocks - stuff like the Epi 339 - and would probably have one of those if I didn't already have that build covered with a Jay Turser and Michael Kelly, both about 15 years old.

But they don't sound or feel as hollowbody as the Aristocrat, the Tuxedo (both really sweet guitars, unique in tone and feel, both enclosed hollows without f-hole), which I enjoy more. The Epiphone Casino itself, in its normal 16" double-cut full-hollow P-90 form, sits so close to the body and is so light that it feels like a small guitar - and has a great voice. The Casino Coupe would have to feel smaller yet.

As this is a Gretsch site, of course I want to find you a small hollowbody Gretsch in your price range. But the truth is that Gretsch doesn't have a true hollowbody in that range right now. The Streamliner centerblockers and CB Juniors are amazing guitars (especially for the money), and I like my 2622 (P90 version) a lot. Other than economy hardware and less dressy trim, it's no lesser guitar than the pro-lines.

BUT. It's not a true hollowbody - it's a thinline, a semi, a centerblocker, and sounds like one. If that's what you're looking for, you can't go wrong with the Streamliners. (Though if you go with the BroadTrons, you might want to change the pickups out someday.) They look a little like hollerbodies, what with the f-holes...but...centerblocks.

If a fully hollow body is of primary importance to you, along with a small body size - at your price point - the Epi Coupe is probably where it's at.

15

I don't really see what body size has to do with one's stature. Seems to me scale length is a bigger factor than the body size.

16

I agree with Superdave. Go to GC and play everything on the wall. Larger guitars can be unruly if you mostly play sitting down. Ya gotta feel the guitar.

Having said that, the Streaminer Jr double cuts are sure cool.

17

Semi hollow and very manageable size.

18

That'ere looks tahny, don't it?

19

One glaring deficiency of this conversation so far, which renders it so vague as not to be particularly helpful, is that we haven't defined pretty much any of the terms. I think we all know what guitars are, but beyond that we're raking the air.

Does "hollowbody" mean conventional true hollow construction, with separate back, top, and sides, f-holes, and minimal bracing inside? Or do fully enclosed hollow guitars - or guitars that started as a slab and had their guts routed out before a top was put on - qualify? Are guitars with centerblocks in the running? Is there a threshold beyond which stiff bracing and/or centerblock get so massive the guitar behaves more like a solidbody than hollow?

Either way, are there specific parameters for body size and/or depth?

Also, are we looking for shorter scale lengths? What about neck widths and profiles?

All our suggestions so far have been for guitars of "normal" scale length (mostly 24.x"), and with "normal" necks (ie, not especially narrow at the nut, or thin in profile). But beyond that, the guitars suggested have ranged in build type and body size and depth.

If you're looking specifically for a Gretsch suitable for a smaller guy - thus presumed to be smaller than the common Gretsch 16" body width - under 500.00, it's either the solidbody (but extensively chambered) Electromatic Jet or the Streamliner center-blocks.

At 5-7 I'm not a big guy, and my longest finger is 3.25" from the web of my hand. While I don't shy away from full deep 17" hollowbodies, I can definitely feel the difference when I pick up a guitar smaller or shallower in body. For various reasons, I spend more time playing the smaller ones (Jets, thinlines, LesPaul-sized enclosed hollowbodies like the Guild Aristocrat and Eastwood Airline Tuxedo.) So, while I don't know exactly what is meant by a "smaller guitar," I do understand the quest for something comfortable.

Among lower-priced Gretschs, I find that the Streamliner G2226, at 15.5" body width and 1.75" depth, feels noticeably smaller than the 16" Electromatic G5422 at more like 2". I can't imagine anyone finding it hard to get around - but the Streamliner centerblock Juniors are smaller yet.

That's keeping it Gretsch, and under 500.00. If the budget was bigger - like 1,000.00 more - I'd be raving about any of the hollowbody Juniors - all 14" true hollowbodies, and 2 - 2.25" deep. I have the Anniversary Junior, and it's extra-double super-sweet all the way around. Size, true hollowbody sound, neck, etc. Probably even worth saving for. At various times in the past there have been Falcon, Country Gent, and maybe even 6120 Juniors, all out there in the used market - but not under 500.00. Occasionally maybe under 1,000.00.

There's a significant difference in tone and response between centerblock guitars and more fully hollow creatures. I like junior-body centerblocks - stuff like the Epi 339 - and would probably have one of those if I didn't already have that build covered with a Jay Turser and Michael Kelly, both about 15 years old.

But they don't sound or feel as hollowbody as the Aristocrat, the Tuxedo (both really sweet guitars, unique in tone and feel, both enclosed hollows without f-hole), which I enjoy more. The Epiphone Casino itself, in its normal 16" double-cut full-hollow P-90 form, sits so close to the body and is so light that it feels like a small guitar - and has a great voice. The Casino Coupe would have to feel smaller yet.

As this is a Gretsch site, of course I want to find you a small hollowbody Gretsch in your price range. But the truth is that Gretsch doesn't have a true hollowbody in that range right now. The Streamliner centerblockers and CB Juniors are amazing guitars (especially for the money), and I like my 2622 (P90 version) a lot. Other than economy hardware and less dressy trim, it's no lesser guitar than the pro-lines.

BUT. It's not a true hollowbody - it's a thinline, a semi, a centerblocker, and sounds like one. If that's what you're looking for, you can't go wrong with the Streamliners. (Though if you go with the BroadTrons, you might want to change the pickups out someday.) They look a little like hollerbodies, what with the f-holes...but...centerblocks.

If a fully hollow body is of primary importance to you, along with a small body size - at your price point - the Epi Coupe is probably where it's at.

– Proteus

I apologize for making the question so vague, but I am really open to a lot of different options right now. You're comment is incredibly helpful and I appreciate it so much, thank you!

20

I'm not looking for a smaller scale length, just wanting a guitar that doesn't have a huge bulky body. Thank you all for the replies, you've been very helpful so far.

21

That'ere looks tahny, don't it?

– Proteus

Smaller, yea. But so freakin cool.

22

This might be considered heresy 'round here, but you're going to want to look at the Ibanez AG series of hollowbodies.

24

Well... since Lacking Talent brought it up, I agree... the Ibanez AG guitars are kinda fun. They are a true hollow-body, which is only 14.5" wide. They sound surprisingly good, and play great. And... they come in blue! I got mine (barely) used for $399 shipped.

25

These are also almost 3" deep... so they play/sound decent acoustically. I rarely plug mine in. The irony in that is that I just paid to have the harness/pots replaced with CTS, just on general principle.


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