Gretsch Brian Setzer Hot Rods tonal differences during the years?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by samdevos, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. samdevos

    samdevos Gretschie

    Jun 26, 2009
    Hey , I'm a gretsch hot rod fan ! I personally have a 1999 ' Hot Rod CAD.

    But i was wondering if a new 2005 era ( lemon ,tangerine ) or 2015 era ( blue harbor ,roman red ) or the new 2019 versions are worth the upgrade? Is there a big leap in sound ? or feel or quality ? or is it worse ? lol .

    I had several ago a gretsch brian seter nashville and found this guita super bright . so bright a had to turn that bright switch always on.

    anyway it would be cool if someone could compare like the 99' vs .. hot rod in a clip or so .:) . but offcourse tell me your personal experiences aswell :)
  2. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Waxhead, T Bone and nasonm like this.
  3. Rob_Brindley

    Rob_Brindley Gretschie

    Jul 22, 2019
    Stoke-On-Trent, England
    My Dad has a purple Hotrode built in September 2001 - It's a KILLER looking guitar but, for some unknown reason, I just don't get on with it. We've tried Setups, fret dresses, new nuts, new pickups / wiring, different bridges and I just can't get comfortable with it - I think we just got a bad one. We have a few other Gretschs from that period and I've played other Hotrods that have all been great - I just can't get on with this one. The difference with the new Hotrods is the compound radius fretboard - it's a great addition and allows for a lovely low action if that's your thing. Other bits and pieces like the strap locks and locking tuners do make them more practical too. Originally the Purple 2001 Hotrod had standard Gretsch Filtertrons in it and the newer models have the Setzer sigs. I find the Sigs a much more aggressive pickup.
  4. nasonm

    nasonm Gretschie

    Nov 3, 2010
    New England, USA
    I second that emotion
    audept likes this.
  5. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Locking tuners have come on them for awhile (my 2017 Antifreeze Green Sparkle model has them anyway). There are some cosmetic changes also. Early and the latest versions have the headstock badge, mine does not. Some early versions also came with pick guards (with Hot Rod logo), later ones have no pick guard. Mine has the Gretsch strap barrels, and I love them. Not a fan of strap locks.

    I remember someone, I think it was Tavo (@TV the Wired Turtle ) posting about the bracing. There was a particular year that had a sound post(?) that was particularly resonant if I recall correctly.
  6. Merc

    Merc Friend of Fred

    May 6, 2017
    I’ve only played a 99 Hot Rod out of the model line. It was very loud and resonant with the sound post. Being all made in Japan, I’m not sure I’d consider one Hot Rod an upgrade over another. It likely comes down to individual taste and preference for slight changes throughout the years. My main complaint of my 99 was it had a super thin shredder neck but I still played it for 10 years. In the early 2000’s I recall reading somewhere that Setzer didn’t care for the initial feel of the HR necks and had them changed. But I’m not sure how far along the production. Mine was a Regal Blue and the 44th made if I remember the serial number right. I also did swapped the pickups for TV Jones SuperTrons for a bit more clarity.

    The above may not have helped but that’s my experience with the HR line. Btw, that CAR one you have looks sweet.
  7. slickfaster

    slickfaster Country Gent

    Dec 29, 2009
    …a loaded question that begs an In-depth and thorough response or nothing at all… but will he take the bait.
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