Gretsch ukeleles, banjos and other oddities


Gretsch made and sold a lot of instruments that wren’t guitars. In fact, in the early days of the company, guitars were barely a blip. Banjos made up most of their production, and the more ornate models were eventually the inspiration for the opulent outfitting on the White Falcon.

Gretsch also had a steady sideline as a musical wholesaler. Low-priced and mid-priced instruments —everything from ukeleles to band horns —would be made by other manufacturers and then resold with a Gretsch logo on them, or Gretsch would farm out models to be sold under other labels, much as Harmony, Kay and Danelectro later did for Sears’ Silvertone label.

Many of the instruments were made by well-known manufacturers in their own right. Conn, for example, made many of the band instruments and LaTosca was responsible for most Gretsch accordians. Valco made nearly all of the vintage Gretsch amps and lap steels.

Gretsch also had their own subsidiary line, Bacon, to round out their market range in the ‘50s. Bacon had made instruments prior to being bought by Gretsch that bore no resemblance to the Brooklyn products, but after the takeover, Bacons were usually thinly-disguised versions of popular Gretsch models.

Later, in the ‘70s, a line of low-priced Japanese-made instruments were imported and sold under the Dorado name in an effort to compete with the flood of imports inundating the market. Flattop acoustics and solidbody electrics alike were sold under the Dorado name. None held much in common with Gretsch’s own guitars.

about 2 yrs ago, I bought a 1920s era Gretsch banjo uke for $100 on craigslist, gave it to my grown uke playing daughter for christmas. It is in excellent condition. As a teenager I had an old gretsch banjo that I sold to a friend, he was lead guitar for a group called “a boy and his dog” which had future Heart founder Nancy Wilson as singer and guitar player.

when i was a teenager i had a Dorado acoustic, an adorable little OOO-sized thing with mahogany back/sides and a laminate top. bought it for $49 from the W.H. Alden catalog. it sounded really good for a $49 guitar. it was stolen out of the back seat of my gf’s car.

I have a Gretsch solid mahogany tenor G9120-SM that I love! A very well made ukulele with terrific looks and the sort of uber thin laminate that I always tell people to look for. A couple of minor niggles in the build, but it’s really not a lot of money to fork out. And whilst that sustain lacks a little for me, this is an instrument with a pleasant tone with which you will have very little trouble being heard. Recommended! Referred by: concrete work knoxville tn concrete driveway contractors little rock ar

I have a similar setup for my banjo and I’ve found that that’s the simplest way to cut down on the feedback. Te best way, I’ve found is to sit on top of the amplifier, but that has certain drawbacks, like lack of monitoring.


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My grandfather had an old Gretsch banjo, still sitting in my attic actually! I’ve always thought of taking it out and playing it but just haven’t got around to it.. on another note, we did a wedding last year that I played some old Mike Seeger tunes at, was a lot of fun! Luis |

My dad used to play with his G9126 Guitar-Ukulele. My grandpa gave it to him when he was still young. I wanted to learn and play that vintage Gretsch but I just dont have a talent on it. I just put it in display in my siding company to remind me both of them.

when i was a teenager i had a Dorado acoustic, an adorable little OOO-sized thing with mahogany back/sides and a laminate top.

Was sad that I lost it

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My first ukelele was Luna. Then I heard about Gretsch the first time because of a drum my friend had and he talked about it so much. Then we went out to buy some stuff for it and we found a ukelele. It was really superb!

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