Modern Gretsch Guitars

So tell me… any missteps with Gretsch’s line?

1

Hey all,

My first post in quite a long time will be a bit controversial...

I left about the time that the sound-post guitars showed up--and it actually kind of made me worry. Those of you who know me will know that i think the Rev HH guitar and the White Falcon (actually the one he used to play) were kind of "it" for me. I'm not real big on innovations that will take the Gretschiness out of Gretch (but I'm also not somewhere where I can try out new guitars).

So what do you think? Everything going the right way? The wrong way? (And are RHH guitars still alive and unchanged an well?)

I just kind of need to know that to feel that everything is right in the world.

:)

K

2

RHH model is unchanged.

The stuff I like is still there, but now there's more for different types of players in different budget ranges. It's all good.

My only criticism is the lack of stainless steel frets, but I'm sure that's just me.

3

I'm not sure why the center blocks made you worry.

It was a feature designed so it would reduce the amount of feedback when played at boomingly loud levels.

Still sounds Gretsch-y to me, though some models now offer pickup that's purposely gives a more humbuckery, and less twangy, sound. Does it change the tone? I'm sure any changes have some effect on what the sound will be. Does it change the tone that drastically? Quick answer, I don't think so. I haven't spent enough time with them to give a definitive answer, but considering where they can go now without feeding back, I'm thinking you might see Gretsch pop up in genres that you normally wouldn't have thought them to be a part of.

On the plus side, I'd say it's a good thing to diversify. I'm seeing a whole lot more Gretsch players out there, playing all types of music on their guitars.

On the minus side, and these really aren't negative, just a matter of preference:

  1. The center block guitars I've played have been heavy, and that's always a factor with me, no matter how well it plays or sounds.

  2. There are a bunch of flavors within models, so you'll need to be more informed when making a decision on what your next purchase will be.

5

I like what Gretsch has done with the Pro-line, splitting it between Vintage Select and Players Edition models. The Players Edition specs make the guitars very gig friendly. I like that Gretsch has upgraded the Electromatic line and has introduced the Streamliner line which allows Gretsch to build good quality guitars for beginners or players on a budget. Center block models are just another option and haven't seemed to take over the limelight. Overall I would say Gretsch is moving in the right direction.

6

Errmmm... we lefties didn't get diversification. We got fücked by the bean counters: Pro Series model offerings were cut in half--from 14 to seven. And two of those seven are slow sellers (Eddie Cochran and 130th Anniversary) that I'll bet are only on the catalog until they run out of them in the warehouse.

But whatever.

Paul/FF909

7

I think they have done very well with the new line ups. There's nothing NOT to like. IMO.

8

Well...

Since I'm a righty...

All is right in the world.

:)

but I do feel for you, Frequent.

K

9

Well...

Since I'm a righty...

All is right in the world.

:)

but I do feel for you, Frequent.

K

– Konrad

I appreciate ya, Konrad.

The cutback doesn't hurt me personally: I have every Pro Series Gretsch that I want. But, as a devotee of the brand, the now-slim pickings for southpaws makes it difficult for me to promote Gretsch to my fellow portsiders, and that diminishes the community, in my estimation.

And needless to say, decisions like these become self-fulfilling prophesies.

Maybe the coming year will see some rehabilitation.

Paul/FF909

10

They're still using audio taper pots instead of linear.

11

Like the "two tone" Setzer Hot Rods but could have done without the washed-out looking flame.

12

Hi Konrad, longtime no see. I can only speak from my point of view, but the Vintage Select '59 (Reissue) Country Club I have is a great guitar, and since it has the trestle bracing (which was only available for a few years in Country Clubs, in the late 50s & early 60s), it is much more feedback resistant than my old 'Clubs were. It also doesn't hurt, that the guitar came stock with TV Classics for pickups.

13

Nothing wrong with the current lineup, except that it furthers the Fenderization of the company - offer 400 versions of the same guitar in any variation that anyone might want, historical faithfulness be damned. Hit all the price points and attempt to be more things to more guitarists. That strategy can sell a lot of guitars and make a lot of money, so the choice is clear: be like Rickenbacker (successful highly respected niche company) or Fender (highly successful respected mass market company.) Thankfully Gretsch appears to have escaped the fate of Guild: neglected unsuccessful legacy brand cast aside by Fender, facing an uncertain future under new ownership.

Nice to hear from you again, Konrad.

14

In response to drmilktruck's post: at least Gretsch is alive and well. Guild seems to have potential with new owners Cordoba but movement toward a full USA line of acoustics has been slow but apparently Cordoba is trying to get it right with a new factory, etc. I don't know if we will ever see made in USA Guild electrics again but Cordoba has stated they intend to build some Guild electrics in the USA at some point. My guess is when that happens it will be a limited amount of "Custom Shop" level models. In the meantime, Cordoba continues to expand the excellent MIK Newark St line of electrics. Unfortunately, unlike Guild which lives on, Hamer does not. Getting back to Gretsch, I really what they have done with the Pro-Lines with the "Golden Era" and "Player's Edition" versions of the guitars....but it is very Fender-like, who produce there own "American Vintage" and "American Professional Series" guitars.

15

Well they got rid of the Natural 6120 and they have no Bamboo and Copper Mist in any model, but I can live.

16

I'm lucky in that as long as the guitar I want LOOKS right I don't care about historical accuracy particularly. I'd rather play an SSLVO than a 6120 1959LTV. I don't need the historically accurate zero fret and tiny frets.

17

The new Lotus Ivory and Metallic Charcoal Annie is a real looker and a new twist on an older color scheme. And more Duane Eddy models is a good thing. Maybe a Duane Eddy Natural 6120 with tortoise binding should be the next natural 6120. Hint, hint. And all natural Gretsches should have stingers, just as they did in the "Golden Years."


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