Modern Gretsch Guitars

Modern gretsch? There arent any…

76

I would like a yacht. And a sea to sail her in... :)

77

which reminds me of one of my very favorite music-business anecdotes...back in the salad days of Van Halen's career, David Lee Roth was expounding on the amount of money they were making and producer Ted Templeman told him "Dave, money doesn't buy happiness." David replied "maybe not, Ted, but i'll tell you what: it'll buy me a boat big enough to sail right the fckrubl up next to it."

78

My point is that Gretsch needs to expand outside of its current niche, which is folks mostly 50 years old and up, if they want to stay commercially viable. There's nothing wrong with keeping the traditional stuff in it's zillion variations, but the day is rapidly approaching where many of Gretsch's current customers no longer want to buy yet another 6120 variant, or arthritis has limited their ability to play, etc.

Look what happened to Cadillac. If they hadn't made the Escalade, I doubt GM would have kept them on life support. Do they even make other Cadillacs anymore?

79

Yes, but the question is, "What can Gretsch make that the customer will identify with"? If the customer wants a Fender Jaguar or a Gibson LP junior or an ESP Viper, chances are they aren't looking on the Gretsch website to find it.

I don't know how viable the Escalade argument is. There was a trend towards that specific type of vehicle at the time. All GM had to do was send the CAD drawings of the SUB over to the Cadillac dept & say "Pimp" this out. They knew there was a market for it. The question is, what is the trend & can Gretsch fit into it?
How does Gretsch, a Big orange guitar company with a Cowboy vibe successfully make a Metal guitar, a Hipster guitar, a Punk Guitar etc to compete with an already established niche'? It may possibly be that they feel quite proficient in their "niche'". As far as future sales go? Well, I don't think you can predict that any more than they could have predicted it in the 50's. The fact that Gretsch guitars have websites devoted & a loyal following some 60yrs years later is a pretty good indicator that business may continue on for the foreseeable future. But who knows?

80

I think the Sailboat/Rowboat comparison is good one. Converting people from one to the other may be easier said than done. I think a lot of that is artist & personality driven. IE, 13yr old Tommy want a Gretsch because his favorite band is the Stray Cats & 30yr old Mike wants a Gretsch because that big orange guitar matches his favorite belt buckle. ;-)

81

How about one in the shape of the Roy Clark Prototype that was on the cover of Guitar Player?

82

Personally, I'm happy rooting for tweaks on existing designs. I love GreTscH because I love the sounds, the venetian cutaway hollowbodies, and the over-sized (I think actually, the just big enough) f-holes, though my Rose has the squinty ones. I think what GreTscH is doing with the Electromatic line is great. If they could get the price down just a smidgen more, they'd really be giving Epi and Squier a run for their moneys (though there's certainly room for all three in the market and I'd love to own a Casino and a CV 50s Tele).

What I'd like to see is a bit more flexibility with what they offer. In other words, an a la carte option that is in between pro-line and masterbuilt. For a surcharge or $500 and 3-6 months wait, to be able to tweak specs from existing models. So, for instance, I'd order a Club in T-Rose red with TArmonds, an ebony board with thumbnails, and a brass nut from Terada. All the ingredients are right there. So to use a sartorial analogy, if a pro-line is a designer suit and a custom shop masterbuilt is full bespoke, this would be made to measure.

83

I wouldn't say the electric guitar is a particularly modern instrument @ this point...

84

I wouldn't say the disturbingly naked Tom Sellek's moustache in your avatar is particularly modern either.

It's not that naked men make me uncomfortable (as they seem to for some around here), it's that in the box of the avatar he looks like a creepy peeper.

85

I think most Gretsch owners know what they want out of a Gretsch and that's what we get. Is there wiggle room? Sure, but I'm glad it aint up to me to design em.

86

I don't know. IMO, the "Gretsch Brand" is better than ever with FMIC getting things "right" that weren't on preFMIC guitars.

Looking at the past, Baldwin tried some goofy stuff, and so did all the other "makers". Nothing really "big" happened, and most didn't pan out.

I don't want a Gretsch that's like a Gibson, or vice versa.

Some neck width and shape options would be nice, and I would rather see that happen than some new fangled model.....................that just doesn't seem like a Gretsch.

87

Love the Roy Clark! Super Jazzy looking though, might be a cool addition to get the Jazz crowd a little more interested.

The Ala Carte idea is pretty cool. I don't know anything about their overseas production & the companies they deal with. My experience is that it's tough enough to get things correct in the first place when dealing with some companies overseas. It would be really cool to have a lineup of models to chose from where you could choose from a list of hardware & colors. It may be that they like this all to go through the custom shop so they can eliminate any issues. I'm sure the last thing they want is to do a special & have it returned for problem that is out of their hands. Custom shop would all but eliminate this with stringent QC. This is purely my speculation only.

88

I wouldn't say the disturbingly naked Tom Sellek's moustache in your avatar is particularly modern either.

It's not that naked men make me uncomfortable (as they seem to for some around here), it's that in the box of the avatar he looks like a creepy peeper.

– Strummerson

Creeper, peeper, pe... eanut-eater?

To clarify, Tom is naked. not his mustache.

89

I help people define and launch products and when thinking about launching new products you have to ask yourself, "What problem will product X solve for the market?" So, from a musician's point of view, what problems does Gretsch solve for? And what problems are not being addressed by the rest of the market? To me, the guitar market is supersaturated and Gretsch, and most other manufacturers, will struggle with trying to expand out of their respective markets because of the saturation. So, should Gretcsh launch a shredder-friendly hollow-body that's more pointy and less round-y? Only if they think that they can solve a problem for the shredders that the shredders don't already have solved... They continue to sell orange hollow guitars because people buy them and they fit a certain need - twang, woody, open, clean, thump, etc. Just coming up with a different shape, size, color, whatever isn't necessarily going to be successful just because of the name of the brand...

90

Personally, I'm happy rooting for tweaks on existing designs. I love GreTscH because I love the sounds, the venetian cutaway hollowbodies, and the over-sized (I think actually, the just big enough) f-holes, though my Rose has the squinty ones. I think what GreTscH is doing with the Electromatic line is great. If they could get the price down just a smidgen more, they'd really be giving Epi and Squier a run for their moneys (though there's certainly room for all three in the market and I'd love to own a Casino and a CV 50s Tele).

What I'd like to see is a bit more flexibility with what they offer. In other words, an a la carte option that is in between pro-line and masterbuilt. For a surcharge or $500 and 3-6 months wait, to be able to tweak specs from existing models. So, for instance, I'd order a Club in T-Rose red with TArmonds, an ebony board with thumbnails, and a brass nut from Terada. All the ingredients are right there. So to use a sartorial analogy, if a pro-line is a designer suit and a custom shop masterbuilt is full bespoke, this would be made to measure.

– Strummerson

Personally, I'm happy rooting for tweaks on existing designs. I love GreTscH because I love the sounds, the venetian cutaway hollowbodies, and the over-sized (I think actually, the just big enough) f-holes, though my Rose has the squinty ones. I think what GreTscH is doing with the Electromatic line is great. If they could get the price down just a smidgen more, they'd really be giving Epi and Squier a run for their moneys (though there's certainly room for all three in the market and I'd love to own a Casino and a CV 50s Tele).

What I'd like to see is a bit more flexibility with what they offer. In other words, an a la carte option that is in between pro-line and masterbuilt. For a surcharge or $500 and 3-6 months wait, to be able to tweak specs from existing models. So, for instance, I'd order a Club in T-Rose red with TArmonds, an ebony board with thumbnails, and a brass nut from Terada. All the ingredients are right there. So to use a sartorial analogy, if a pro-line is a designer suit and a custom shop masterbuilt is full bespoke, this would be made to measure.

– Strummerson

a lot of responses on this thread for greater flexibility, myself included. They could rework the numbering system while theyre at it, too -- doing those in a coordinated approach could make many folks happy!

Strummerson, i owe you an email -- forgive me, i will get to it!

91

I've always heard everyone say "My music is different", but then they play a guitar just like their grandpa. And i'm not talking about Gretsch. Fender and Gibson mainly sells recreations of their past.

If someone actually IS playing a modern instrument. It's generally something I DON'T want to hear. !#$@%

92

I think quality sells. Be it guitars or potato mashers. One of the most discouraging things to me in the overall state of affairs in the world is that there seems to be much more emphasis on price than quality. The quality of Gretsch guitars has improved dramatically over the last several years. There is still some room to go there. An eye should always be kept out for the future, but to me I would continue to try to improve the overall quality of an already high quality product. The Gretsch pro line is probably the best value in electric guitar as it is, so why not make it even better?

93

I think quality sells. Be it guitars or potato mashers. One of the most discouraging things to me in the overall state of affairs in the world is that there seems to be much more emphasis on price than quality. The quality of Gretsch guitars has improved dramatically over the last several years. There is still some room to go there. An eye should always be kept out for the future, but to me I would continue to try to improve the overall quality of an already high quality product. The Gretsch pro line is probably the best value in electric guitar as it is, so why not make it even better?

– Richard Hudson

I think quality sells. Be it guitars or potato mashers. One of the most discouraging things to me in the overall state of affairs in the world is that there seems to be much more emphasis on price than quality. The quality of Gretsch guitars has improved dramatically over the last several years. There is still some room to go there. An eye should always be kept out for the future, but to me I would continue to try to improve the overall quality of an already high quality product. The Gretsch pro line is probably the best value in electric guitar as it is, so why not make it even better?

– Richard Hudson

You and I might buy quality, but have ever heard of this place called Walmart. They don't believe in this, and apparently the people that shop there think so too. CRAP crap crap. cheap crap sells whether we like it or not.

94

Retro style guitars have a market of their own...You can see a lot of people here and elsewhere interested in say Eastwood, Italia, Reverend, Hofner etc... And I think these other brands do not offer Gretsch's value. I do think there's a market for MORE. Think of other brands trying to copy Gretsch (Epiphones, Cort and many others who want a slice of the hollowbody market)... Some come close and bite some. Can Gretsch take a big enough bite off of Reverend, Eastwood, etc...? Bottomline is that if Gretsch comes up with any design that is true to it's philosophy and is a quality and fair priced product it will eventually open a market of it's own. Squier is doing things right with their Classic Vibe series. Gretsch can also come with an interesting concept that sells.

95

Learning the numbering system isn't that big of a hassle. For the life of me, I don't know why that keeps popping up. It would be like trying to re-invent the Dewey decimal system for libraries, and I can't see that happening.

As I stated, a couple of pages back, give me a "V" neck option, an inlay option, pickup selection (not just the same old TVJ over & over), color-stain option, dimensions & specie of wood, and that'd do me.

The changes electronically to the 5122 represents pretty much the perfect harness system, to my mind for any guitar, not just the fact it originated with Gretsch pro lines.

Unfortunately we're not all Proteus, and able to have Gretsch make our dream guitar for us (for free....much less for a fee we'd be willing to pay). Nor are we loaded with Steve Jobs' type money to afford a custom shop baby.

Maybe in another 5-10 years these may be offered to the average player. As for now...........

96

More colors BABY!!! Something psychedelic maybe. A tie dye Gretsch would be cool. Someone photoshop a 6120 Psych please. 8-) :D

97

I think quality sells. Be it guitars or potato mashers. One of the most discouraging things to me in the overall state of affairs in the world is that there seems to be much more emphasis on price than quality. The quality of Gretsch guitars has improved dramatically over the last several years. There is still some room to go there. An eye should always be kept out for the future, but to me I would continue to try to improve the overall quality of an already high quality product. The Gretsch pro line is probably the best value in electric guitar as it is, so why not make it even better?

– Richard Hudson

You and I might buy quality, but have ever heard of this place called Walmart. They don't believe in this, and apparently the people that shop there think so too. CRAP crap crap. cheap crap sells whether we like it or not.

– Johnny_Atomic

I think quality sells. Be it guitars or potato mashers. One of the most discouraging things to me in the overall state of affairs in the world is that there seems to be much more emphasis on price than quality. The quality of Gretsch guitars has improved dramatically over the last several years. There is still some room to go there. An eye should always be kept out for the future, but to me I would continue to try to improve the overall quality of an already high quality product. The Gretsch pro line is probably the best value in electric guitar as it is, so why not make it even better?

– Richard Hudson

You and I might buy quality, but have ever heard of this place called Walmart. They don't believe in this, and apparently the people that shop there think so too. CRAP crap crap. cheap crap sells whether we like it or not.

– Johnny_Atomic

I'm not a big fan of Walmart, believe me.

98

Keith the flipside to your story is that Victoria was only commissioned to build to what FMIC wanted spec wise. When Mark designed those amps FMIC refused to let him build to Victoria specs. He will now rebuild your amp to how he felt the amp should have been built in his eyes for a small fee. $100 to $150. There's been some resistance to that price but the way I see it I have had amps rebuilt in that price range. That and a lot of the folks here think nothing of plunking down $150 for a pedal.

We like to think of ourselves as forward thinking being guitarists and all but for the most part we are traditionalists. If it's a good design it never really out dates itself. More progressive designs tends to have a shorter shelf life then the tried and true.

99

Joe Hi-LoTron, the numbering system is a hassle, sorry. The fact that it keeps coming up may indicate there are others who see its flaws. If you're familiar with it, great, but for newcomers as i was last year, it is confusing and inconsistent (as i outlined in an earlier post here) and a big barrier to entry if youre trying to attract new people to the brand. You want to make it easy for people to get to know your product, not difficult.

Just because a system is in place and established doesn't mean it's good or can't be improved.

I dont think it has to be reinvented, just cleaned up a little -- and it would make a modular /options approach a lot more feasible.

100

The only (to my sense…) model that is missing in the Gretsch line is something already done by Duesenberg : the Starplayer TV ! One kind of a match between a 6120 and a Les Paul, great idea and great success… :) Otherwise, nobody is expecting something "modern" from Gretsch, we are not there for that reason ,ain't it ? !#$@%


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