I'm not a purist so.. Am I just getting old?

Penguin Picker

Gretschie
Apr 2, 2021
183
Canada
I read the other day about how Gretsch's limited lifetime warranty is now reduced to two years. Pardon my French but wtf?

I've had good luck with my gear, only one problem guitar (a Ric) in 30+ years but still, that's disappointing to me.
 

calebaaron666

Friend of Fred
Aug 15, 2018
6,647
Auburn, Maine
I’m not a rush to buy anything new from Gretsch, or anyone else.
I’m all set with my 17 year old Falcon and my 27 year old 6120. Both were less expensive than anything new, and both had what I wanted!
Or easy to make into what I wanted, like I did with my 6120. Even with the mods, still cheaper than a brand new one.
Edit… forgot to mention, including the price of a full stainless steel refret, my 6120 was still less expensive than a brand new one.
 
Last edited:

Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
I love Gretsch. We all do. It's why we're here.

But I'm wondering, only semi-rhetorically, if I'm getting old because, well, I'm just not a fan of the way things are going with their models lately. And of course, I always wonder how much of that is FMIC's influence.

Sure, swapping the stock rocking bar bridge for a Compton or Tru-Arc is the first thing a lot of us think of and/or do with a new Gretsch but now, it's almost a necessity (in my mind at least) since all of the PE models now come stock with Adjust-o-matic bridges.

Every time I look at a Jet, I'm immediately turned off by the sight of a tension bar Bigsby and they're on more and more models each day it seems.

Every time I take a peak at Gretsch's site lately, the only models I seem to have an interest in now are the Vintage Select models.

Yes generally agree.
I've got the 2 gretsch I want so it doesn't matter to me what they stuff up from now on.

Have no idea why they've returned to tension bar bigsbys and keep changing pups with no info on any of them. Gold hardware is mostly a mistake too imo.

Doesn't appear to be any logic in their choices either.
More like shooting themselves in both feet imo.

Why, for example, would you return to standard humbuckers in Electromatics (ie Blacktop Broadtrons) when the major problem they had with E's for over a decade were the dud Gretschbuckers everyone hated. The Broadtrons are better but these guitars still don't sound like a gretsch.

Now it appears they're phasing out the Blacktop Filtertrons which are the best pups they've ever put in the Electromatic series.

And whats with all the confusing pup names with zero info on any of em.
Same with tension bar bigsbys and the stubborn retention of mud switches.

I never had an issue with the adjust-o-matic bridge in my 5422 but it still got swapped for a Compton asap :)
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,248
Tucson
I love Gretsch. We all do. It's why we're here.

But I'm wondering, only semi-rhetorically, if I'm getting old because, well, I'm just not a fan of the way things are going with their models lately. And of course, I always wonder how much of that is FMIC's influence.

Sure, swapping the stock rocking bar bridge for a Compton or Tru-Arc is the first thing a lot of us think of and/or do with a new Gretsch but now, it's almost a necessity (in my mind at least) since all of the PE models now come stock with Adjust-o-matic bridges.

Every time I look at a Jet, I'm immediately turned off by the sight of a tension bar Bigsby and they're on more and more models each day it seems.

Every time I take a peak at Gretsch's site lately, the only models I seem to have an interest in now are the Vintage Select models.
I’m wit’ you, 100%. I have four Gretsch, all RIs of vintage models. The only Gretsch I would consider buying to add to my collection would be a ‘57 Duo Jet RI. I don’t want a tune-o-matic, I don’t want full sized humbuckers and I don’t want a tension bar Bigsby.
 

Stefan87

Country Gent
May 20, 2019
2,813
Brisbane, Australia
Yeah I'm with the VS camp, have played the players editions and yes they are great but for me, if I'm spending the money I want a traditional Gretsch.

I too am good with what I have, there are models I would like but honestly not enough to make a purchase, if anything I could even loose some and not be too upset, I do enjoy looking at the new models though and think that it's great Gretsch as a brand is offering something a bit different to bring more people over.
 

Runamok

Country Gent
I read the other day about how Gretsch's limited lifetime warranty is now reduced to two years. Pardon my French but wtf?

I've had good luck with my gear, only one problem guitar (a Ric) in 30+ years but still, that's disappointing to me.
Warranty purist, then?

It never was a lifetime warranty on all parts, from what I was told.
Delineating what is & what is not covered is a good idea.
 

Penguin Picker

Gretschie
Apr 2, 2021
183
Canada
Warranty purist, then?

It never was a lifetime warranty on all parts, from what I was told.
Delineating what is & what is not covered is a good idea.

Well, the term "limited lifetime" indicates it doesn't cover all things but still, I think it's pretty lousy that FMIC is dropping Gretsch's warranty down to two years.

If I can get a limited lifetime warranty on an Epiphone that costs a few hundred but not a Gretsch that costs a few thousand...

I think FMIC was happy to see Joe Carducci retire. The man cared about Gretsch and he cared about the players and was famous for going above and beyond. FMIC, not so much.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,248
Tucson
Yeah I'm with the VS camp, have played the players editions and yes they are great but for me, if I'm spending the money I want a traditional Gretsch.
That’s exactly how I see it. I’m attracted to Gretsch because of the features and the sound. I won’t argue that they can’t branch out; they own the name, but if I want a different feature set, I’ll probably buy a different brand.

I think FMIC was happy to see Joe Carducci retire. The man cared about Gretsch and he cared about the players and was famous for going above and beyond. FMIC, not so much.
I’m afraid that you may be right.
 

twangmanster

Gretschie
Dec 29, 2021
109
Long Island
Good convo here.
I'm not a lifetime owner/player of Gretsch guitars, but I always loved the 6120's from afar, never really wanted to stand up on stage holding one of those giant things and I couldn't find a new one that wasn't a Setzer sig. model. Always loved the tone though, and what so many players from Jim Heath, to Setzer to Poison Ivy did with them. Then when I noticed the VS Jet's are some seriously high quality geets, that totally won me over, most especially the Dynasonics. I'm a single coil fan. I'd still like to get a Nashville. But the VS, while excellent quality, are currently out of my price range. I tried the new PE Nashville with the Dyno's, didn't really like it. And the orange stain, maybe cause its new looked more brown than orange. But I also have a 2019 Jet which for the money is an excellent guitar, and a 2019 g5655t, again, an excellent guitar for the money. It's got some serious twang using both pups, rolling back the neck pup. Feels good in the hands and pretty light. The Jet is trade bait if I don't sell it by spring. I always want new amps. If at one time I had been told I'd be buying an American icon of a guitar made in another country I'd have laughed you off. The quality of the VS geets coming from Japan is to me incredible. Even the Chinese made ones, pretty dang good. They'd be a heck of a lot more if they were made here. I certainly respect others opinions about their choices. Unfortunately, as I've said on here before, nowadays, if you find a geet/amp you like nowadays, buy it. Gretsches o\parent company seems to be on the downside. I don't understand why everything has to be custom shop made, kinda dumb to me, but in a world of credit and buying things over the web, it is what it is.
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Mar 20, 2010
1,801
Michigan
I agree with most of the comments, I have modified most of the later Gretsch guitars with Compton, Tru Arc, and Rocking bar bridges. The angle of the B7 is not helping, so I have had to fix those as well. I don't know why they don't offer a check box when ordering that allows a customer to select the bridge that they want, and have the dealer install them. Since the guitars typically advertise that they come with set up, the intonation should be set anyway, and typically the bridge needs to be removed to assure fit to the body.

But the reality with Joe having his well-deserved retirement, there is a slight chance that this will happen. I clearly understand the frustration of having to spend that kind of money on a professional series and having to rework it. That is what made the Mom and Pop stores stand out from the rest.
 

Pine Apple Slim

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2011
1,857
North Alabama
Im with ya. Not a fan of the shadow neck angles, tune-o-matics, tension bar Bigsbys , and PAFish pickups on a lot of models.
I understand they are going after Epiphone with the Syncromatic and Electromatic lines, and trying to get some of Gibson's business with the Players Series Pro Line models.
If the purists dont complain though, newcomers to Gretsch wont learn about what made them unique. Im all for them doing as many models as they can to compete and grow the brand but I dont want them to totally abandon tradition. They worked too hard resurrecting that stuff to abandon it.
But its no great loss for me whatever they do.
I love my VS 59' White Falcon. The only other Gretsch I really want is a VS White Penguin to match it, lol.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,248
Tucson
Im with ya. Not a fan of the shadow neck angles, tune-o-matics, tension bar Bigsbys , and PAFish pickups on a lot of models.
I understand they are going after Epiphone with the Syncromatic and Electromatic lines, and trying to get some of Gibson's business with the Players Series Pro Line models.
If the purists dont complain though, newcomers to Gretsch wont learn about what made them unique. Im all for them doing as many models as they can to compete and grow the brand but I dont want them to totally abandon tradition. They worked too hard resurrecting that stuff to abandon it.
But its no great loss for me whatever they do.
I love my VS 59' White Falcon. The only other Gretsch I really want is a VS White Penguin to match it, lol.
I always wanted a D’Angelico or a D’Aquisto. These were the ultimate Jazz guitars and just a photo of one was enough to take my breath away. Nowadays, D’Angelico’s lineup includes models which bear little resemblance to the guitars that John D’Angelico built with his own hands. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

If you are trying to get rich selling old-school archtops … let’s just say, don’t hold your breath. Such guitars sell to a declining market and the old-school Jazz is no longer able to attract much of an audience. I’ve spent most of my life playing Jazz guitar, but my chances of getting to play Jazz has diminished severely in the last 20 years.

So I understand why D’Angelico has had to revise their line. They can stick to their guns and watch their business dissipate into nothing, or create products that have a chance in today’s world.

I would guess that the same is true for Gretsch. I have four Gretsch guitars, two of which are reissues of 1959 models, and the other two which are reissues of 1962 models. For my needs, they are perfect and I couldn’t dream of improving upon what they offer, other than the Supertron and DuoTron pickups I installed. But I’m not representative of the mainstream tastes. The changes in the Gretsch lineup are probably the result of market research and an attempt to appeal to a wider swath of the guitar market.

So the question becomes one of brand identity. My take on brand identity is a product of my earliest exposure to various guitar brands. If I base my brand perceptions on my earliest days as a guitar player, then I would come up with something like this.

Gibson: Quality, great warranty, the Cadillac of the guitar world.

Gretsch: Chet’s guitar of choice.

Fender: Less expensive, but good.

The same brands would appear differently to me, in today’s world.

Gibson: Past it’s prime. Trying to recover by selling a limited line.

Gretsch: A rejuvenated brand which is trying to cover every base.

Fender: Good instruments, but somewhat a prisoner of past glories.

The problem, for every guitar maker, is that there is only so much you can do with 6 strings and some pickups. People want guitars that look like the guitars they see on old album covers, but they want to be able to get newer sounds from these instruments.

In a sense, they are in much the same situation as Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson sells modern motorcycles which look like old designs. They are somewhat limited, because a 45 degree, air-cooled V-Twin is at the center of their image, but contemporary Harleys are developed far beyond their look alike ancestors. In fact, a current Harley would seem quite “foreign” to someone that stepped through a wormhole, from the ‘50s or ‘60s. IMHO, the new bikes have a great deal to offer, but I can fully understand the nostalgia for the simplicity of the older models.

I’m glad that the Vintage Select Gretsch remain in the lineup. I might could even be persuaded to buy a Caddy Green ‘57 Jet RI, but I’m not buying anything for at least another year. I have some home improvements to make, before I buy another guitar.
 

Duo Slinger

Country Gent
Sep 11, 2020
1,095
California, USA
I always wanted a D’Angelico or a D’Aquisto. These were the ultimate Jazz guitars and just a photo of one was enough to take my breath away. Nowadays, D’Angelico’s lineup includes models which bear little resemblance to the guitars that John D’Angelico built with his own hands. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

If you are trying to get rich selling old-school archtops … let’s just say, don’t hold your breath. Such guitars sell to a declining market and the old-school Jazz is no longer able to attract much of an audience. I’ve spent most of my life playing Jazz guitar, but my chances of getting to play Jazz has diminished severely in the last 20 years.

So I understand why D’Angelico has had to revise their line. They can stick to their guns and watch their business dissipate into nothing, or create products that have a chance in today’s world.

I would guess that the same is true for Gretsch. I have four Gretsch guitars, two of which are reissues of 1959 models, and the other two which are reissues of 1962 models. For my needs, they are perfect and I couldn’t dream of improving upon what they offer, other than the Supertron and DuoTron pickups I installed. But I’m not representative of the mainstream tastes. The changes in the Gretsch lineup are probably the result of market research and an attempt to appeal to a wider swath of the guitar market.

So the question becomes one of brand identity. My take on brand identity is a product of my earliest exposure to various guitar brands. If I base my brand perceptions on my earliest days as a guitar player, then I would come up with something like this.

Gibson: Quality, great warranty, the Cadillac of the guitar world.

Gretsch: Chet’s guitar of choice.

Fender: Less expensive, but good.

The same brands would appear differently to me, in today’s world.

Gibson: Past it’s prime. Trying to recover by selling a limited line.

Gretsch: A rejuvenated brand which is trying to cover every base.

Fender: Good instruments, but somewhat a prisoner of past glories.

The problem, for every guitar maker, is that there is only so much you can do with 6 strings and some pickups. People want guitars that look like the guitars they see on old album covers, but they want to be able to get newer sounds from these instruments.

In a sense, they are in much the same situation as Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson sells modern motorcycles which look like old designs. They are somewhat limited, because a 45 degree, air-cooled V-Twin is at the center of their image, but contemporary Harleys are developed far beyond their look alike ancestors. In fact, a current Harley would seem quite “foreign” to someone that stepped through a wormhole, from the ‘50s or ‘60s. IMHO, the new bikes have a great deal to offer, but I can fully understand the nostalgia for the simplicity of the older models.

I’m glad that the Vintage Select Gretsch remain in the lineup. I might could even be persuaded to buy a Caddy Green ‘57 Jet RI, but I’m not buying anything for at least another year. I have some home improvements to make, before I buy another guitar.
Those are all good points. That's why I'm glad that the VS line exists. Frankly, I think that the smartest move would be three professional lines: VS, "Classic" PE, and "Modern" PE. The VS will remain the same, the "Classic" PE would be like the PEs we know and love, at its core the classic model, but with modern updates, and then "Modern" PEs, which would be the new PEs we're getting now, much more modern instruments with modern sounds, and new models like the Broadkaster. I think adding more instruments like the Broadkaster, new instruments with classic Gretsch characteristics, and putting them in this hypothetical "Modern PE" line would really help the brand. The wider guitar-playing market gets a modern, brand spanking new instrument with modern sounds and a couple of classic appointments, and the fans don't worry about their favorites being bastardized.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,248
Tucson
Those are all good points. That's why I'm glad that the VS line exists. Frankly, I think that the smartest move would be three professional lines: VS, "Classic" PE, and "Modern" PE. The VS will remain the same, the "Classic" PE would be like the PEs we know and love, at its core the classic model, but with modern updates, and then "Modern" PEs, which would be the new PEs we're getting now, much more modern instruments with modern sounds, and new models like the Broadkaster. I think adding more instruments like the Broadkaster, new instruments with classic Gretsch characteristics, and putting them in this hypothetical "Modern PE" line would really help the brand. The wider guitar-playing market gets a modern, brand spanking new instrument with modern sounds and a couple of classic appointments, and the fans don't worry about their favorites being bastardized.
That makes lot of sense to me.

I definitely see room for improvement in some models. I would take a G6122TG Player’s Edition over a G6122T-62, any day of the week, f’rinstance. But at least that Player’s Edition remains well within the spirit of the original.
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
212
Los Angeles
Don’t buy them. This is the topic of so many threads now.
The market informs business practices. Everyone knows Gretsches have always been a bit quirky. The ones with changes that make them accessible to more people seem to be catching on. Nobody has to like that or go along with that if they don’t care for the updates, but man, are the complaints getting repetitive.

Honestly, the community is so small that the complaints can't even find deaf ears upon which to fall.

I only acquired a Gretsch at all within the last year or two and I had no clue about any of this. I've disliked/ignored Bigsbys for as long as I've been playing guitar, so "tension bar" wasn't something I'd have ever been concerned about in the first place. My first encounter with broadtrons came with the G5222 I bought last year, and I quickly tossed the bridge version for a TV Jones Classic Plus because I was looking for a specific sound. The 2420T I've had for the last six months has both broadtrons and a Bigsby, but I'm making do.
 


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