Modern Gretsch Guitars

Streamliner 2622 Before & After

3

Since the 2622P90 Streamliner was announced in late 2019, I’ve been a fan. The double-cut shape, the understated f-holes, the P90s!, the gorgeous satin gunmetal finish. Since I nabbed mine a year ago, I've even come to terms with the black knobs.

(It's a centerblocker, which ... is what it is. I like it. I would also have liked it if it was hollow, or trestle-braced. But that's another discussion, one we've had elsewhere...)

And the Indonesian build quality is just superlative: fit, finish, action, playability. (As has been true for every Streamliner I've picked up.) These guitars are a great bargain, and I've played this one a lot over the last year.

There's been plenty of time to figure out what annoys me about the guitar functionally - ie, the tuners and the nut.

Visually, I've never liked the gold hardware - which seems to have no place on gunmetal - and the big honkin' block fret markers. I've also been seriously ambivalent about the tort pickguard: it doesn't seem right, but it's been hard to decide what would be better.

Anyhow...one likes to bring guitars one likes to the fullest of their potential; it was time to do something with this one.

4

Before.

Mission One: de-gild this sucker and bring out the obviously appropriate silver palette.

Generic Grover-looking bargain Asian tuners, gold plated. You know how tuning problems are almost never the tuners? I thought in this case they were - but they had to go anyway.

(Yeah, the picture is blurry. I couldn't be bothered. We've all seen bargain gold kindagrovers.)

5

After.

Duesenberg! Hate the guitars, like their hardware. I'd forgotten I had these till I checked the tuner tub, then remembered buying them from "Jay Steele" (Gretschman36)'s widow Jen when she was Reverbing off his gear, after he left us three years ago come February. (Moment of silence for another absent brother, sorely missed.) I'll think of him everytime I tune up.

I also found a set of faux Imperials. Wife said these look better on the guitar because they're rounded, like the body. Good enough.

Pro tip for anyone replacing Streamliner tuners: No muss, no fuss. Both the faux Imperials and these Duesies fit right in the existing holes, no reaming required. Even the screwholes on the back lined up. Easy!

7

Before.

The other primary organ in this hardware sex-change was the big honkin' Bigsby B70, standing out like a run of gold teeth on an otherwise good-lookin' dame.

I so knew from the git-go that it had to go that I never even took off the plastic pertecter over the body, or the rubber prophylactic from the tip of the handle.

8

After.

Ah! Just lookit that, wouldyahuh? Thanks to an anonymous benefactor who responded to my cry last week for a proper polished aluminum B70, the Moonliner now sports the clean, lean lines of this purposeful, unostentatious hardware. I had the straight arm in my Bigsby Box; the aesthetically fastidious among us will note that the graduated concentric rings at the end of the handle rhyme subtly with the grooved graduations on the Dues tuner buttons.

All the holes lined up, easy install. (Slight catch was that the screws for the top which came with the silvery B70 were smaller than the gold originals. I metal-polished the gold off the old screws, and Paul's your uncle.)

Note (and Pro Tip): this Bigsby floats dreamily on the Reverend soft-spring I put in as soon as I got the guitar. With the stock spring, a B70 is essentially unusable.

9

Have you tried stringing the tuners the way Doozy recommend, where the string goes through the top. You cut to length as usual but poke the string end into the hole, no sharp ends. The gold and torty look didn't work for me but the chrome and blue/grey actually looks streamlined. Nice job.

10

A close-up of the bridge, you ask? I thought you'd never ask.

That's the Tru-Arc™ AL-120/SP-pg/74x6, aluminum SerpenTune with compensation profile for a plain G, holes for 6mm posts set 74mm on center - a variation that had to be developed for the Streamliner series. (The 6mm posts are unusual on Gretsch guitars.)

I loves me some aluminum with P90s. Just the right twang spank and sparkle.

This graphic closeup reveals that I left the bridge posts and adjusting wheels gold. I could say I did that so something on the body of the guitar coordinates with the gold logo on the headstock. Or I could say we don't complain when a good-lookin' dame mixes gold and silver jewelry. Or I could say it was going to be too much trouble to toothbrush-and-metal-polish the gold away. Or that I don't care.

Let's say all of the above!

11

Have you tried stringing the tuners the way Doozy recommend, where the string goes through the top.

Hah! I didn't notice the hole through to the bottom (and out the bottom) till I was trying to blindly (the only way I do stuff now) thread the G string through, and the end of it poked me in the hand underneath the headstock. "Duh," I said. Next time I'll try that.

12

I'm all for the Moonliner! Looks great!

13

Before.

And that left those big honkin' eat-the-whole-fret faux pearloid block markers. I don't hate block markers; if I did, my guitar collection would be much smaller. Sometimes that's just what you get. But I rarely like them - so unimaginative, sometimes combining ostentation and gracelessness in a really obnoxious way. In this case, they just screamed SEE? I'M NOT A 500.00 GUITAR! If I have a choice, I'd never choose blocks.

They had to go. But how?

14

After.

Would you believe I came up with a phases-of-the-moon concept, replaced the fingerboard with a a fine deep blue-grey composite substrate, then inlaid obsessively selected and graded bits of abalone and other shell to simulate the night sky, with the moon passing through its phases in harmonic accord with the conventionally-marked frets?

15

That I slaved over it in intense flow for all of 20 minutes?

16

Note the exquisite attention to detail.

Those of you with immediate access to a night sky program and planetarium will immediately see that the background stars are in exactly the right positions for each phase of the moon on important dates in my life.

17

All in all, much improved, I think. Less gaudy, sleeker, more tasteful. Downright elegant even!

Still don't know what to do about a pickguard. I think it needs one. Maybe smoked grey (as we've discussed before). For the moment, it's ever so sinuous without one.

Alas, there are still tuning anomalies...mostly B and G strings. At this point, it's gotta be the nut. As soon as I find a nice chunk of obsidian moonstone, I'll pry off the cheesy plastic piece and send them both to a Nut Artist and have him replicate the string spacing and depth in the moonstone, but cut the grooves at the proper angles and inclinations- and whatever other voodoo he do.

I remain undecided about the knobs. I could turn them cream to match the pickups, leave them black to match the painted insert in the Bigsby - or try to paint the bottoms with cream and black in various moon-phase configurations.

I know what I'm going to try.

Otherwise, the Moonliner she is ready to travel.

And it sounds (and plays) great!

18

I’ve always thought you were a kind of lunatic. This looks great, very elegant.

My mind is blown by the fretboard.

19

Wait ...you put a new fingerboard on it?!?

20

Awesome work of love. The guitar looks superb, although I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the Duesenberg arm (or anything that Duesenberg make, btw). The fretboard work is unbelievable, original without being too much. My 2 cents: it’s not a Gretsch without the G knobs and the chrome switch

21

The luna cycle inlays are just brilliant! I really can't think of a better concept for inlays.

22

Didn't PRS do moon inlays?

23

Didn't PRS do moon inlays?

– Mr Tubs

Yes, they did. Like some other makers. I'm almost certain this here was Tim's inspiration. I mean... the two guitars virtually look the same.

24

Now you'll have to play Werewolves Of London in C#. Exclusively.

25

This one followed me home, while I was just looking for some new Picks.


Register Sign in to join the conversation