Gretsch Custom Shop's new 2022 Masterbuilt collection

doc538

Gretschie
Sep 20, 2017
121
Massachusetts
Considering the inflation we have, the price for a custom built guitar is not super bad, not that I would buy one. Went into the supermarket to get a whole chicken... It was $28.00 so no 2 chickens in every pot anymore.
 

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 18, 2015
12,723
Germany
I went through Wildwood, sent my initial specs in. Took a while but got a quote back. I agreed to the price, put down 20%. Then MANY months later I hear the build has begun. I eventually heard from 2 different CS employees including Mr Stern, talked to him on the phone a few times. I wanted something I couldn't get off the shelf in both cases. Short scales 22.75". Custom logo art (I still can't believe they did that). Non typical pickups, the 6120jr is a 14" body in full size depth, etc. They knocked both out of the park, and honestly I haven't had much interest in a new purchase since. Also, I do gig with these regularly. Got a calton for the Jr and a hoffee on order for the Penguin. Just local gigs with the Penguin till the case arrives. The Jr. hopped the Atlantic with me a few times.
Absolutely -and I mean A B S O L U T E L Y- incredible guitars. Just spectacular. Never saw something like this.
 

G5422T

Country Gent
May 24, 2012
4,227
usa
I went through Wildwood, sent my initial specs in. Took a while but got a quote back. I agreed to the price, put down 20%. Then MANY months later I hear the build has begun. I eventually heard from 2 different CS employees including Mr Stern, talked to him on the phone a few times. I wanted something I couldn't get off the shelf in both cases. Short scales 22.75". Custom logo art (I still can't believe they did that). Non typical pickups, the 6120jr is a 14" body in full size depth, etc. They knocked both out of the park, and honestly I haven't had much interest in a new purchase since. Also, I do gig with these regularly. Got a calton for the Jr and a hoffee on order for the Penguin. Just local gigs with the Penguin till the case arrives. The Jr. hopped the Atlantic with me a few times.

Beautiful instruments.

If I were going with a Custom Shop, Wildwood would be my pick of dealers.

I purchased my 6120QM through them, and it was an outstanding experience in every way.

Great folks to deal with. They know what "customer service" means, and practice it.

A fun experience to boot.
 

gasmoney

Electromatic
Aug 6, 2014
66
usa

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,224
Petaluma
Considering the inflation we have, the price for a custom built guitar is not super bad, not that I would buy one. Went into the supermarket to get a whole chicken... It was $28.00 so no 2 chickens in every pot anymore.
Ok Looked it up and the quote was 1 chicken and 2 cars. When this was said by Hoover, the average chicken was only about 1/4 the weight (1/3 calories) of a typical grocery store chicken now.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,224
Petaluma
I went through Wildwood, sent my initial specs in. Took a while but got a quote back. I agreed to the price, put down 20%. Then MANY months later I hear the build has begun. I eventually heard from 2 different CS employees including Mr Stern, talked to him on the phone a few times. I wanted something I couldn't get off the shelf in both cases. Short scales 22.75". Custom logo art (I still can't believe they did that). Non typical pickups, the 6120jr is a 14" body in full size depth, etc. They knocked both out of the park, and honestly I haven't had much interest in a new purchase since. Also, I do gig with these regularly. Got a calton for the Jr and a hoffee on order for the Penguin. Just local gigs with the Penguin till the case arrives. The Jr. hopped the Atlantic with me a few times.
So THIS is what custom shop means to me. A specific vision. Probably no one else would ever request this exact guitar because you are the only you. just gorgeous.

Not trying to knock rhe CS or anyone else's desires or opinions- there should be room for them all at the CS.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,982
Where the action is!
Why did you pick Mr. Stern, he is only one of several according to this.
I didn't. And I'm not sure he'll end up building it. They just said that they had to run some of my requests by him before quoting me a price.
My perspective is that a custom shop is within reach as a once in a life time purchase for someone passionate about guitars.
...

A custom guitar is as much an expression of priorities and commitment as wealth.
Bingo. I do alright for myself, but a Custom Shop Gretsch is still splurging. One might argue that no matter how much money one has, it's splurging. But you never know, maybe it'll be a twice in a lifetime thing.
Make sure you specify the un-kerfed lining on the inside of the guitar. The two CS6120-55s I tried had this vintage feature and the acoustic response was almost identical to vintage, which I've not found in any of the new models. Even the Brian Setzer Custom Shop '59 replicas all have modern kerfed linings, for what it's worth.
Duly noted. I would not have thought of that.
 

ToneM1

Gretschie
Mar 10, 2009
278
Oxnard/Ventura County Calif.
I asked about a `59 era Country Gent but in that great Tennessean dark cherry colour and built with Hide Glue (like all the original Brooklyn guitars were all constructed with..) The word I got back was no way would they build one with Hide Glue ever.. but they quoted me $6k for the guitar.
So why bother getting one if they will not build it the way it was built in 1959. Sonically there's pretty good difference between a vinyl based glue and a a protein based glue. I passed on doing that and found a 1960 6122 Country Gent for $4,700.
I thought a Custom Shop would build something you want built the way you want. All of Gibson's Custom Shop guitar use Hide Glue construction. What's Gretsch's problem?
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,224
Petaluma
I don't think Gretsch haa problem - certainly the wait list is long enough, but it does sound like you have a problem with gretsch.
 

LesB3

Gretschie
Silver Member
Aug 17, 2021
371
Philadelphia, PA
I don't think Gretsch haa problem - certainly the wait list is long enough, but it does sound like you have a problem with gretsch.

As of last week, we're up to 3-4 years now.
When I started down this path a month ago, they were telling me 2-3 years.

I still don't have one on order, every change / spec confirmation seems to take at least a week. Sometimes, they don't fix the build sheet and I have to ask them to change it again (which results in another week lost).

At this point, there's no guarantee that I'll even be alive when its ready, so debating cancelling the whole thing.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,982
Where the action is!
I still don't have one on order, every change / spec confirmation seems to take at least a week. Sometimes, they don't fix the build sheet and I have to ask them to change it again (which results in another week lost).
It mystifies me how different the ordering process seems to be for different people. In another thread, ombudsman posted a Custom Shop "Options Menu" form where boxes could be checked but was told no other deviations were available. Then jscordoba was able to order a couple of wildly custom guitars with no problems. My experience was similar to his. While not remotely as imaginative as jscordoba's guitars, my order has a list of tweaks that weren't on the form ombudsman was given and my requests were accommodated. Neither of us were told to stick to a form. For him, and presumably me too, we gave them an outline of what we wanted and when it's time to build, they reach out to nail down the details. And now your experience seems to be somewhere in-between. It sounds like you're also free to spec it out as you like, but they want everything precisely nailed down up front before they'll even take your order. I cannot imagine that the Custom Shop itself is treating customers so disparately. It seems like this has to be individual dealers having different approaches.
 

LesB3

Gretschie
Silver Member
Aug 17, 2021
371
Philadelphia, PA
It mystifies me how different the ordering process seems to be for different people. In another thread, ombudsman posted a Custom Shop "Options Menu" form where boxes could be checked but was told no other deviations were available. Then jscordoba was able to order a couple of wildly custom guitars with no problems. My experience was similar to his. While not remotely as imaginative as jscordoba's guitars, my order has a list of tweaks that weren't on the form ombudsman was given and my requests were accommodated. Neither of us were told to stick to a form. For him, and presumably me too, we gave them an outline of what we wanted and when it's time to build, they reach out to nail down the details. And now your experience seems to be somewhere in-between. It sounds like you're also free to spec it out as you like, but they want everything precisely nailed down up front before they'll even take your order. I cannot imagine that the Custom Shop itself is treating customers so disparately. It seems like this has to be individual dealers having different approaches.

I think you're right... I try to keep my business local (and small) but think there might be other dealers that have this down better. I didn't go too crazy on anything, and some of the changes / tweaks I wanted did result in some unexpected changes (headstock shape, etc.) We didn't work from a pre-defined list, in fact we started with an "I want an XXX just like YYY but with ZZZ" email and went from there. But on the other hand, I don't know how many times I've told them I want a mud-switch and the build sheet comes back with the tone knob instead. Price has changed too, but not from the addition of anything in particular -sounds like it went up because my build moved from 2024/2025 to 2025/2026.

And to be fair, the Gretsch CS has pretty much accomodated me where they can. In fact, I'm surprised that I haven't seen more "WHY would you want that" responses to some of my requests... I think the thing that maddens me the most is how looooooooong it seems to take to make even a single (usually simple) change. I don't know if this is down to approvals, reduced staff @ Fender, dealer inexperience, or a confluence of all three.
 


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