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Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by claypainter, Aug 9, 2019.
All Day Long.
I have bought two new Japanese Pro Line guitars in the last four months, the second one was a result of how good the first was.
I played the purple and gold anniversary, and a couple other Electromatics last year at Guitar Center and overlooking the non existent setup and dirty strings, I found the finish to be thick and somewhat cheap.
I found my Korean Guild to have a thinner somewhat better quality feel to it.
I think it a good thing that there are multiple price point levels available to all budgets.
This discussion is about value of the the higher dollar model, absolutely worth it,consider that after you invest in the upgrades for the lower price point models to get closer to the Pro Line models, you will not be able to recoup those costs, if you look to sell.
I'm at a place in my life where the Pro Lines are within my budget for me worth every penny.
Yea, I think it's worth it. Better overall playability, durability.
Korean Gretschs and Japanese Gretschs are both fantastic, I have owned both. The build quality is excellent in both, the Japanese Gretsch does take the top place here but is it enough to warrant double and triple in costs? That’s just an individual decision.
I have two Korean made ones at the moment and I’m very happy with them. If I were to buy another Gretsch it would be a Japanese Pro Line because there is no Electromatic that meets the requirements I after in my next guitar.
Another factor that adds to the cost is with Gretsch the Korean models are 5 ply maple. Thats a stock item that’s easy to come by and common with most hollowbodies. The pro lines are made with 3 ply maple. It helps them resonate and adds sustain. That isn’t stock and has to be hand made. A process that adds to the build time. A Korean Gretsch start to finish including paint takes 7 days whereas the pro lines take 5 weeks.
Again - I agree that the "worth it" question is completely personal. Just trying to arrive at the differences beyond bridge, pickups and electronics.
Thanks everyone for the input.
So far it seems:
Bigsby (a true bigsby)
3 ply instead of 5 ply
One piece solid neck
That's a fairly solid list.
Having owned or played several of the different models from the various points of origin, and not just Gretsch, I'm finding that quality build and components can be found in all of them. It's seems like a great time to find exactly what you are looking for at any price range.
I currently own over 30 guitars, from all over the world. The reason that I bought each one was because of their inherrent playabilty, build quality, and tonal versatility. And I have to mention, my two Electromatics are among the nicest of the bunch.
I can't speak to the differences between the Korean and Japanese Gretsches. I have no doubt that there is a quality difference, but as to how much that difference translates to differences in tone & playability... hopefully others can elaborate on that aspect.
I do have a D'Angelico Excel SS which is made by the same South Korean company (SPG) that makes Gretsches from that country, and have to say that I'm very impressed with the quality of the D'Angelico I have. List price is about $1700 for my Excel SS. I paid about $1500 for it a couple of years ago. The hardware, pots, and pickups (Kent Armstrong) on it are excellent quality, including Grover Super Rotomatic tuners, which are fantastic!
Judging from my D'Angelico, I would expect the Gretsch Guitars coming out of the SPG factory to be impressive.
D’Angelico, Guild, & Gretsch contract guitars to be built by SPG Musical Instruments, a spin-off of the Samick company, in South Korea. When Samick decided to move all production to Indonesia, for cheaper labor rates, some of the Samick employees bought the existing facilities in South Korea, and continued making instruments there. D'Angelico, Gretsch, & Guild decided to keep their production with those remaining employees in South Korea, rather than follow Samick to Indonesia.
https://samick.fandom.com/wiki/Gretsch. SPG apparently makes the higher-end Electromatic line for Gretsch.
World Musical Instrument Corp of South Korea (possibly affiliated with SPG?) also makes some guitars for Gretsch (Streamline?), PRS, and a number of other major guitar brands.
D’Angelico, Gretsch, & Guild offer guitars which were made for them by SPG Musical Instruments.