Modern Gretsch Guitars

Bad necks still?


Look guys, I really hate raising this topic yet once again.

But a few months ago, I ordered a Duane Eddy model. I just turned down the fourth one Gretsch sent owing to its not having a level neck (the first one was described by the Guitar Center guy as "twisted").

I've reached the point of not even going down there to check out the latest arrival unless their tech "Wes" tells me that the neck is perfect.

I really don't understand why Gretsch hasn't solved this problem yet. Yes, I have seen Gretsches with perfect necks, in fact I own several.

But the failure rate is abysmal.

During the blowout of Tenneseans a few years back, I had to wait until the third guitar arrived to get a perfect example.

But now I am still counting.

I should mention that my '60 Guild X-500 and my '01 Guild Rockabilly both arrived with neck humps. In the first instance, Guild took it back to their factory and fixed it. In the second, Fender paid my luthier to plane and refret the neck.

I just wish that Gretsch would do that.


It's like déjà vu all over again.


It's like déjà vu all over again.

– Deed Eddy

That's right, even after ten plus years (I've lost count).

Frustrating thing is, I've never seen an Electromatic with a bad neck (although there must exist some somewhere).

It's all the "Professional" line guitars.

Hey Deed, is Duane coming to perform in AZ anytime soon?


Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I don't remember anyone else (at least on the forums I've read) having this trouble with pro line Gretschs. How bizarrely coincidental that it would happen to you (and your dealer) four (or five) times with the same model.

I bought a Hamer back in 1984 with a tiny thin neck and it was twisted. The dealer said he had only rarely seen this in his many years, each time from different companies.


Right well I've never seen a Pro series Gretsch WITHOUT a perfect neck.

I've looked at & played 100's - all great with my eyes :)


Maybe its the same guitar and the shop is trying to fool you and push it off on you?


Good old Jack Black and his mantra!

In all fairness, and I've hinted at that too on here, I've seen quite a few Terada necks with twists, warps, humps, and shoddy fretwork.
Also, a slight neck hump (a little bump in the fingerboard where the neck meets the body) is the most seen hollowbody, or even set neck guitar problem. Most people don't have their action low enough to notice it, and you can even a lot of them out with a fret level. Bad trussrod adjustments can cause neck humps too.


What I don't understand is it doesn't matter what the wood is doing, only the relationship with the top of the fret and the bottom of the string matters. I'm thinking the wood might not have an ideal moisture content and is seasoning during transit.


Rule #1 - Buy your new Pro-line Gretsch guitar from a Gretsch dealer like Street Sounds and Shanghai who are sponsors listed over on the right. Guitar Center may carry some Gretsch guitars but I wouldn't call them a Gretsch dealer.


I played about six a couple of weeks ago in the local L&M. Only one had what I would call neck troubles, and it was an Electromatic with a three-figure price tag. All it needed was a decent setup, though. The pro-line ones were spot on, though I would lower the action from where L&M has set it. But that's just personal preference, not a problem.

Seems your dealer may have some problems... not sure how come that many are coming up poorly. Odd.


I've got three Pro Lines, one Electromatic baritone.

Each has a perfect neck. No twists, no humps, no funny frets. Super low action.

Maybe I'm lucky. Maybe I just dismiss the bad ones out of hand.....just like I dismiss poorly playing guitars from any other brand.

But it seems like I'm batting 1.000


Four DE's in a row with bad necks? Just delivered one after the other for your inspection. Knowing that supply had been quite low at the end of the year, I find this surprising.

You're in Arizona. I'll be checking with Guitar Center, because this is quite a serious issue.


In probably a dozen Gretsches I have owned in the past few years I have NEVER had a neck hump issue. Weird. The earlier (1999-2003) Gretsches did indeed suffer from slightly lifting fretwork. But the last few 6120s and Jets I have bought have been outstanding.

Since Gretsch started building the archtop necks one piece I though the fretboard dip over the body issue had disappeared? It never happened to my guitars but I can understand it happening because it's quite common on archtop guitars.


I have a 2008 WF-LTV that has a perfect neck! Even the 6120-1959LTV is perfect(and For Sale and loaded with Vintage, original Sixties parts)


Never have had one problem, and have seen quite a large number of these guitars in the last few years. The quality is, as we know, excellent, and this is just trollish behavior. I'm done.


Wups- guilty of feeding... apologies.


That's right, even after ten plus years (I've lost count).

Frustrating thing is, I've never seen an Electromatic with a bad neck (although there must exist some somewhere).

It's all the "Professional" line guitars.

Hey Deed, is Duane coming to perform in AZ anytime soon?

– Lionel

"Hey Deed, is Duane coming to perform in AZ anytime soon?"

Haven't you heard? Yes he is. The new tour is "Duane Eddy and the Twisted Necks Band", and his new release will be featured, "I Don't Fret Around"

I just couldn't help myself Deed


Considering that truss rods only go so far, is it not somewhat to be expected that around the 14th fret or so there may be some change in response if you're picky enough?


Won't say how many Gretsches I've owned, but it's significant against the number of neck issues I've seen - exactly two. Both were neck humps in 6120SSUs. On one (pre-FMIC), the mild hump was present on arrival and was correctable with a good fret leveling. The other (an SSUGR from 2009) developed a serious hump a year or so after acquisition (three years after build) and required a fretboard level and re-fret. Both were purchased used, and both are still in my possession.

Personally, I've never seen a twist on a Gretsch neck before. Luck?


If I ever get a good one, I'll be sure and let you guys know.

Like I said, it took only three with the Tennessean.

(Damned right I'm fussy (if a $300 guitar can have a good neck, why can't a $3,000 one (I know, the problem is endemic to hollowbodies)?).

I do run very low action, by the way, and I hate buzzing. So it has to be Perfect.

Thanks for the response.



My original Duojet had a bad neck that had to be replaced. Three weeks of unhappy customer right there. My current has it's small issues but I see that as unique in our relationship. We learn each other's quirks and flaws.

At this price point there shouldn't be issues. This should all be examined and sorted before it leaves for the store.


I too use a very low action, 1.5mm at the twelfth on the low "E" and 1.0mm on the high "E" with 10 gauge T-I flatwounds and on all of my post 2003 Gretsches, I've had no neck issues whatsoever and I'm also very fussy about buzzes and rattles.

My current 5422 has the best neck (for me anyway) of all of them including my two Pro-Lines. The quality of build on my 5422 is exceptional throughout.

I'm sorry to hear you're having so much difficulty, Jack.


I'm sorry to hear you're having so much difficulty, Jack. -- Bear

I agree, 100%. That would be enough to make one switch manufacturers.

Personally, I have never had neck problems with any Gretsch guitars. I got my first Gretsch almost 60 years ago and have owned & played MANY during those six decades.


Would you please tell me where your particular Guitar Center is located, Jack? I'd very much like to speak with Wes, as he seems to have spotted a big problem for the company.

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