"Backup" Gretsch, the ultimate first world problem!

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by WannaGretsch, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. WannaGretsch

    WannaGretsch Gretschie

    Age:
    54
    442
    Oct 23, 2012
    ALASKA
    So, I am back to Gretsch guitars. I previously owned 3: a 6120 (the one just before but similar to the orange players,) a 6121 roundup and a White Penguin 58VS. I owned them for a few years and then sold them. I liked them all but never quite loved them at the time. I learned from them though, like I am not a big fan of gold hardware or Dynas. Then a few weeks ago I got the bug and bought a Setzer “Smoke” model. What an amazing machine! It works so well for me live and really fits the aesthetic of the band. Audience loves it! However, I am pretty sure it has a high or loose fret so I am going to take it in for repair and they notoriously take their time but do exquisite work.

    So…that opens the door to a possible “backup” for these types of situations, as well as the 4 hour contracted gigs that I feel a bit exposed not having a backup guitar to play. I have other guitars but it sure is nice when you can grab the backup and not have to change settings on the amp or pedals and such. There are two that I am considering: Tennessee Rose or a 59VS Duo Jet. I am partial to the Duo as it is enough different than the Smoke but will still be a similar sound and playing experience. Its weakness is that the black, single cut aesthetic may not be quite right for the band but then again maybe it will. The Tennessee is a grab and go for a backup band guitar but not as diverse for a two-piece Gretsch collection at home. Additionally, some of the stages can get pretty small these days and having a smaller body guitar could be much easier to wield in those instances.

    Yep, first world problems all day long! I am curious as to what you use to back up your Gretsch hollow body on stage and opinions and reasoning as to which you would get in in my shoes: Tennessee Rose or a 59VS Duo Jet? (money is not really a consideration either is affordable to me)

    Fun times!
     
  2. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Age:
    50
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Back when i was gigging regularly i used a Strat Plus Deluxe as back up to my main 6120 ,but never really used it,except once i did a whole gig without taking my 6120 out of the case,poor thing.:oops:

    If you need something smaller how about a 6121 59,great colour too,if you don't fancy a black Jet.
    You would have to find one used though as it's discontinued .
    [​IMG]
     
  3. afire

    afire Country Gent

    WannaGretsch likes this.
  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    hands down ( for me that is )
     
    CBHScott and WannaGretsch like this.
  5. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well, it depends on what “backup” means to you.
    Right now, for me a backup it’s the guitar that never makes it out of the case during a gig unless I break a string or something similar. In this case, it may be any guitar with a similar setup to the main one. Before I started using thumbpick and heavy gauge I was breaking a lot of strings so my backup should be an almost equal guitar, quality wise more than tone wise. For years I’ve used a ‘72 Tele Deluxe to backup my ‘64 SG Special, and the Tele got a lot of playing time. They didn’t sound very similar but it allowed me to have a nice rocking tone all the time.
    After the thumbpick switch, as the broken string bleeding stopped, I had Epiphone Casino/The Loar/Gibson 135 to backup my ‘66 Gibson 330 that’s been my main for a few years, but they all hardly made it out of the case during a gig, so it didn’t really matter as long as the backup was p90s equipped. If that’s your idea, probably the Tennessee Rose would be the best bet as it would allow you to have more or less the same tone in case something went wrong with your Smoke Setzer.
    On the other side, if “backup” means a guitar with similar feeling but with a slightly different sound that would allow you to change your game during the very long gigs well, I’d sure would go with a Jet. Maybe I’d choose a Firebird Red over a classic Black Duo Jet, or even an orange Power Jet (I saw one on Reverb a while ago), but sure having a chambered solid body instead of a thin hollow it would give you another sound spectrum which it would be very useful for a change of pace.
    My 2 cents.
     
    WannaGretsch likes this.
  6. AllenK

    AllenK Gretschie

    My back up guitar used to be my main guitar. A 2nd gen 5622. The back up then was an 80's 335 copy made by Columbus. Only other electric guitar available. Now I've got an Annie, it's all shuffled down the line.

    That 'Smoke' is sure a fine main guitar.

    If you are drawn to the Jet style with Filtertrons but don't want black there's the 6129T-VS 59 Silver Jet or one of the 6134T Penguins in either Koa Natural or White. If you want a hollow body then you can't go too far wrong with a Tennessean. The Tennessean would need to be a Players Edition, the 6119T Rosewood or the new 6119T-ET if you wanted Filtertron pickups.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
    WannaGretsch likes this.
  7. WannaGretsch

    WannaGretsch Gretschie

    Age:
    54
    442
    Oct 23, 2012
    ALASKA
    Well, just took my "Smoke" into my tech and as I suspected one loose fret and a couple of high spots. It will be there for a few weeks waiting for that to be finished. I considered sending it back but shipping crap to and fro from Alaska does not make much sense. Besides, everything else is perfect. However, now I'm Gretschless again! :(

    I think when I take the "backup" rationalization out of the picture, its the Black Duo! Time to beat Sweetwater up over the high frets!!
     
    BuddyHollywood, T Bone and Henry like this.
  8. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Good luck. I wish luthiers had a waiting list so I could bring the instrument when they are actually ready for it, rather than have it sit in their shop idly waiting its turn.
     
    ZackyDog, WannaGretsch and Robbie like this.
  9. NJDevil

    NJDevil Synchromatic

    781
    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    I love that 6121 59 JC mentioned above. My first choice though and probably the winner for me would be the black Duo. Go after it and play well!!
     
    WannaGretsch likes this.
  10. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    I'm going to vote for a Jet. I just love them!
     
    dmunson, ZackyDog and WannaGretsch like this.
  11. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    These always snap my neck looking at them.

    Never had one, but it's got all the right stuff to make me smile.

    Just dreaming, but a pair of RB's in that would be perfect.
     
    JC higgy and WannaGretsch like this.
  12. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    Totally feel ya on the thing about 4 hour gigs and backups. I've had bandmates look at me sidelong for hauling five or six guitars to gigs, but when I break strings and don't have to fool with it until the end of the set, they start to understand.

    -m
     
    WannaGretsch likes this.
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I have two G6119 Tennies, and they are the backbone of my live performances. The 2” thick body is amazingly comfortable and the sound is pure Gretsch. Just make sure to buy one that has pickups which will fit your needs. The G6119-62T has HiloTrons, which are very jangly. I bought one, but ended up swapping in DuoTrons. There are also some Filtertron models, both with the closed Electrotone body and open F holes. I usually don’t use my Country Gentleman on gigs unless it’s indoors, likewise for my 6120 DC. IMO, a Tennie would be a perfect backup axe.
     
    WannaGretsch likes this.
  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    The real ultimate first world problem is for another billionaire beating you into outer space.
     
    MrWookiee, capnhiho, bhatta and 5 others like this.
  15. WannaGretsch

    WannaGretsch Gretschie

    Age:
    54
    442
    Oct 23, 2012
    ALASKA
    Yeah, I don't get that. I have no interest in space no matter how much wealth I could have. I am sure space is way more interesting on TV than the real thing! LOL! So yeah, no problem here.

    Rather than having a "went to space" legacy, I would rather be remembered as "the guy who ended hunger on planet earth for 6 months" or something. Maybe I should scrap the backup Gretsch and send a bit more money to the homeless shelter...dang it!! :)
     
  16. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    201
    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    I vote Duo Jet. It's my main guitar. However I have been also window shopping for a used 25.5" scale length Tennessee Rose. I may not ever get one but I like them. Really though, how is a Duo Jet ever the wrong aesthetic?
     
    WannaGretsch likes this.
  17. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    Better yet, spend some time around the homeless. I was homeless myself, and got to see up close. Trust me, you'll walk away disillusioned. Some want help and are willing to accept help and will work to improve their lot in life....but they are not the norm.

    -m
     
    WannaGretsch likes this.
  18. WannaGretsch

    WannaGretsch Gretschie

    Age:
    54
    442
    Oct 23, 2012
    ALASKA
    I want to thank everyone for their input, it was all considered and helpful. I have a new 59VS Duo Jet inbound as we speak. Should be here for the weekend!

    Oh, and Sweetwater is processing a discount on the 6120 "Smoke" which should offset the repairs, so all is well!!
     
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Amen!
     
  20. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019
    WA
    In case you break a string? Just have the horns take over for a bit, and get a new string from your roadie…

     
    MrWookiee, wabash slim and new6659 like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.