Other Guitars

New Almost Gretsch


As far as I can tell, this is a '55 Rex; distributed by Gretsch and probably made by Kay. It has the most impossibly fat neck on earth. 1 7/16 at the 11th fret. It's a gas and sounds killer.


And there's THIS. One of my heroes in a nerdy schoolboy-like way.


Nice looking. I never heard of this model.


Very cool; who's the player?


Very cool; who's the player?

– lx

Elmore James. Wrote the first book on electric slide guitar...so to speak.


I can yell into the pickup and it comes out the amp. Can't wait to gig it this weekend!


That is too cool Charlie. Would love to grab one of these old dogs for slide. MD


They're getting expensive! Had my eye on a Supro Ozark before this. Those big Supro single coils that look like a humbucker are magic.


I had a supro 60, with lap steel p/u. Wild sound with a slide. Trading that was one of the stupider things I've done. MD


I gigged it. It's bizarre how amazing it is. How often does the drummer comment on a guitar?


Describe nature, characterstics, dimension of "amazing."

In what way, for what purpose, with what gear, what tone, what application?

(Enquiring minds and all.)


Well....I know why Jr. Watson loves his Stratotones. This one has the fat mid-rangey honk. The pickup is very powerful so it gets nice overdrive even with the amp down low. That big honk with a little hair on it is THE sound I like. Of course, everything sounds good with a tweed Bassman, but this one really shines. I kept the tone and presence up high, so great bite was on tap with the guitar tone control cranked. Tone turned down, there is great lo-fi tones like on old Howlin' Wolf/Chicago stuff. Cranked up, it's VERY rock and roll. Plenty of Billy Gibbons, Alvin Lee, Leslie West available. Must resist the guitar slinger Big Blooze tonez! This one really makes me aware of the range of tones available from picking in different places along the string. The REAL money is the open D or E tuned slide sound for Elmore James type stuff. I attribute the amazing sustain to the neck-through construction. It even stays in tune, which is often not the case with the old student-model bolt-ons. Comfort-wise, it's a bit challenging. Very small frets and absurdly huge neck. I may refret it to make bends easier. Scale is 25.5 and nut width is....1 13/16. Big fun!


Excellent report. I can hear it in my head. Given the construction and pickup placement/type, I guess the tone is almost inevitable. Sorta like a lap steel you can fret, with the tone backed off a little.

I guess with those neck dimensions, you know why guys would play slide on one! Where did you find such a thing?


It was on the Tele board and Reverb. The buyer was motivated and I think I got a great deal. Great low-fi ghetto tones through a '47 Rex Royal with 8" speaker, btw.


Great low-fi ghetto tones through a '47 Rex Royal with 8" speaker

I bet!

I succumbed to an Eastwood Guyatone LG-50 sortalike last year - similar size, form factor, and - I hoped - funk. Alas, not so. It has a pair of pickups in the usual positions rather than the one in the middle, and they're sized something between a Tele neck and a P-90. Not terribly compelling in tone. At best it's a competent sorta-Tele.

Of course, it has a modern playable neck, and the build quality is really very good. But it didn't scratch that cheap dawn-of-solidbody cheapo itch.


Time for a foil or something funky in the neck position. I've heard the new pickups on those don't bring home the groceries. Funky original pickups are getting crazy expensive though I've got a buddy who wants me to buy his pair of p13s, but they ain't cheap. I've heard some of these have weird pots that contribute to their tone. 50meg or something. Maybe pots or caps would get yours closer. I've been meaning to check the values on mine out of curiosity. I wonder who would have bought this guitar in '55. An early rocker? Bluesman? When I got it, it had a very old set list taped to the back. All Beatles tunes.


Elmore James...my all time blues hero! I'd love to hear how this guitar sounds Charlie. Any chance you can post a video or audio clip?


I'll see if I can get a recording...I don't have a great place to get this done, but I'll do what I can. Somebody in the band usually takes 1 video per gig to put on FB. Some more interesting numbers... .1mfd tone cap, pots 85k, pickup 5.8 ohm.

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