Brain Setzer Smoke

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by bopcat, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. knavel

    knavel Country Gent

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    That's great congratulations! Yes, non gloss. That's something else I liked about Smoke: The finish looks exactly like my brother's 1959, not too heavy on the depth of the orange and more of a matte finish. It's great that you got a used one. I got a used one that was called scratch and dent--someone had actually changed the tuners to sperzels and pock marked the headstock faceplate. But I just liked it so much I couldn't send it back.
     
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  2. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Age:
    51
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Congrats bopcat,beautiful geet !:cool:
     
  3. Gretschzilla

    Gretschzilla Gretschie

    105
    Apr 20, 2021
    Saint Paul, MN USA
    Hey bopcat! I hope you're enjoying your Smoke. Wondering if you had a chance to get it set up the way you want it and how you're liking it.
     
  4. bopcat

    bopcat Electromatic

    36
    Sep 9, 2010
    uk
    Hello folks !
    Well after a week or so I took my Smoke to my tame luthier Dave Winters. I explained that the guitar was about 5 months old, factory strings and untouched since unboxed. I asked him to give it a general look over and set up,sort out the noisy grinding Bigsby arm and replace the jack socket with a cats eye jack socket . Ive seen some horrendous damage on Gretsches and other semi acoustics where the woodpecker effect of a jack plug. wears through the body. I also spoke to him about the buzzing rattling adjustomatic bridge . We spoke of Tru Arc and Compton bridges but as the bridge is pinned he said there could be intonations issues. He said from a luthiers view the angle of the strings was wrong and creating tension. We agreed to fit graph tec saddles and I asked for 10 to 46 slinkys. A week later and I picked the guitar up. My luthier said that the original bridge did not work properly with the compound neck . it did not quite line up but this was rectified by adjusting the bridge and tweaking the Graph Tec saddles. He also said that some of the higher fretwork above the 12th fret required work. The Bigsby creaking noise was metal on metal so this was easily rectified with a washer . Just a lack of attention to small detail in the finished product by Gretsch.He said he was happy with the guitar in the end and often had high end guitars of all makes requiring quite a bit of set up work.. Once I was home I was nervous about playing it but wow!!!! it was fantastic. A totally different guitar , with a fast neck that played like butter. It sounded great and I feel I could play with confidence and reallly hear the sound of this guitar . I had been struggling before the set up . not much , the odd missed fret etc which I initially thought was the unique compound neck so I was sooo relieved when it was simply the lack of set up. The pick ups are great , as Ive said before ,ringing chime to gretsch bite without those piercing highs .. and lots of sound variation between the PU selectors . SO thats my initial view of this guitar, beautiful ,understated, great sound and wonderful playability and one Im very proud to own . It makes me smile .Gigs start in November so that should be interesting . Hope this helps folks .
     
  5. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Nov 26, 2019
    Greybull, WY
    Congrats, glad you bought it. It's definitely a good looker.
    Great that your luthier was able to get a proper setup on it.
    Now play and then play some more.
     
    Craig Encinitas likes this.
  6. WannaGretsch

    WannaGretsch Gretschie

    Age:
    55
    446
    Oct 23, 2012
    ALASKA
    My Smoke needed attention right away also. It had a couple loose frets at the dusty end and a high one. But Sweetwater refunded enough to cover the repair AND to have my unbleached bone nut installed by my guy as well! It is just amazing at this point! I have gigged it once and it worked really well. It will spend more time at home though and we will leave the gigging to the 59 Duo Jet reissue thing!

    Congrats man!!!
     
  7. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    759
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    Btw, the pinned bridge is actually slotted, so you can move it to tweak intonation.
     
    audept, G5422T and Craig Encinitas like this.
  8. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Yep. Surprised that the "luthier" didn't notice this adjustment feature.
     
    audept likes this.
  9. bopcat

    bopcat Electromatic

    36
    Sep 9, 2010
    uk
    thanks for that info re slotted bridge... maybe of use in the future for a tru arc or compton ???
     
  10. Gretschzilla

    Gretschzilla Gretschie

    105
    Apr 20, 2021
    Saint Paul, MN USA
    Thanks for the update, bopcat! Now I'm walking downstairs and gonna stare at my Smoke and see if any of the items noticed by your guy are lurking on mine...
     
  11. 58dutchie

    58dutchie Gretschie

    Exactly how did it compare - soundwise - to your brother’s ‘59 6120?
     
  12. knavel

    knavel Country Gent

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Unfortunately his 1959 is on a different continent so we couldn't A/B the two; we had to go by impression. The sentiment we had wasn't just in terms of sound but also how each of them plays. I felt that I could do things on the Smoke in terms of my technical playing that I've never been able to do on any other old Gretsch in the family. And we have a fair few of them.
     
    maloburro and T Bone like this.
  13. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Congratulations on an amazing guitar, may it serve you well for decades!
     
  14. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Electromatic

    33
    Sep 8, 2021
    Redding, CA
    Been looking at the Black Lacquer version at Sweetwater.
    Same specs, just semi gloss black lacquer.
    Not sure I will pull the trigger (couldn’t anyway until next month’$ pay), but between the pickups and the neck these sound very intriguing to me. I love Setzer’s sound.
    If god wants me to have two Gretsches then great: eight it is!
     
    G5422T likes this.
  15. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Nothing wrong with that thinking.

    A top line 6120 is special in every way.

    Good hunting
     
    Rusty Chops likes this.
  16. maloburro

    maloburro Electromatic

    24
    Feb 10, 2020
    sacramento ca
    Congrats. It looks so nice. I can only imagine how good it sounds.
     
  17. bopcat

    bopcat Electromatic

    36
    Sep 9, 2010
    uk
    Played The Smoke for the first time in anger at a full rehearsal .( all stage gear ) I played it through my Fender Blues Classic reissue , a touch of delay /hint of reverb, EQ which acts as a boost . I was surprised just how loud the guitar was so it was a learning curve (isnt it always ) sitching PUs switches and various amp settings as we rehearsed. The guitar played beautifully and the band commented on how the clean sound cut through the mix perfectly and one said that I actully played better than normal .. . I tried a touch of 'drive' and it didnt take much to get the guitar growling.The PUs are really sensitive and sound great , I use the Bigsby sparingly but made sure I gave it some time today .After a three hour plus almost non stop rehearsal , I packed it up drove home and once home checked the tuning..absoultely spot on which did surprise me It gives me much more confidence for live work. Well so far so very good, Ill send a catch up now and then to keep folk updated.
    Bop on
     
  18. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    One of Gretsch's finest machines!
     
  19. Gretschzilla

    Gretschzilla Gretschie

    105
    Apr 20, 2021
    Saint Paul, MN USA
    I had a blast smashing my Smoke through my Marshall for an hour of intense rhythm guitar and solo mixes tonight. I loaned my son my Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb so it was time to try for that big monster growl sound and the Smoke and Marshall did not disappoint. My favorite song was the Stones-inspired Chuck Berry classic Little Queenie. I have a lot of work to do on my vocals. But this guitar can do anything.
     
  20. cvr31

    cvr31 Gretschie

    How is the neck profile? I don't have a Smoke, but I do have a 2013 SSLVO. It has the V-neck that feels soo good.
     
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
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