Ok....so, why Gretsch?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by OzzPocket, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Bond007

    Bond007 Electromatic

    Mar 24, 2017
    Williamston Michigan
    You make some good points. I was always impressed with the style , appearance, hardware and the sound of Gretsch guitars. There are many great guitars out there but Gretsch was so easy on the eyes for me that I decided to look into it and got hooked.
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  2. Back in Black

    Back in Black Synchromatic

    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada

    Thank you wildman!

    Although, I do prefer this version...

    I've always preferred ''small bodies''...guitars/cars/girls...my wife's five foot nothing, wouldn't have her any other way.

    I have a few ''large body'' guitars, but only because of the artist, not the guitar, if Roger McGuinn got his jingle jangle from a 12 string ukulele, I'd probably have one.


    Malcolm the Great.jpg
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  3. delong1974

    delong1974 Electromatic

    Sep 17, 2019
    Denver, Colo.
    The Gretsch hollow bodies are legend for their tone. I have a 5230t chambered solid body in Airline Silver, which is an absolute steal for the price and is gorgeous. Seriously, Gretsch should be selling Electromatics for twice the price. It holds up in quality to a Gibson LP Standard, easy. And it growls so purty with gain.

    And hey - Bo knows Gretsch.

  4. standup

    standup Electromatic

    Aug 7, 2014
    Washington, DC
    My ex played a smoke green Double Anniversary. That was a great guitar. When we split I eventually found a replacement... for the guitar anyway.

    61 smoke green single anniversary cheap because it needed a neck reset and had a Mighty Mite Jazz humbucker instead of the original pickup.

    I had the work done, added a Bigsby and TV Jones Pickup. It’s the guitar I’ll never, ever, get rid of.
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  5. DasherF

    DasherF Gretschie

    Aug 28, 2020
    Minneapolis, Mn
    I have to be honest...when I first saw the question I thought "are you kidding me? Why?" Then I read on...
    You are very fortunate...after having seen Chet Atkins, the Beatles, the Monkees Buffalo Springfield, Manassas, the White Stripes and everyone else with a Gretsch...I knew the look and sound...you're ahead of me, tho...I still have yet to get one...
    They are wonderful guitars and that's why I showed up...
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  6. goodguy2k2k

    goodguy2k2k Electromatic

    Mar 16, 2016
    Being in Gibson, Fender and Gretsch forums and 54 years old, it is very interesting to see the different styles and personalities in each.
    I used to think it was primarily age related: Fender marketing to the younger players, Gibson's baby boomer niche with Gretsch a bit older.
    Of course, all brands attract players from all across the spectrum.
    But today, there are so many more great guitar options (Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, PRS, boutique, imports, etc). On some level you attract to who your guitar heroes were growing up but I think moreso is the style & image you have of yourself as a player.
    For example, loved Pete Townshend growing up but not a huge SG fan and I don't play hard rock. For me it more depends on the music and tone I enjoy and what fits my abilities. Not really into speed metal and probably couldn't play it so I'm not buying guitars with a Floyd & 16 radius. Gretsch checks alot of boxes for me: Vintage tone, style, class, priced right, quality even at the low end. It has the tone and look I can associate with my style and ability. No current artist I really dig plays a Gretsch & my #1 is probably a Strat (or PRS) but my Gretsch Silver Falcon is a work of art...People say "wow, that's a cool guitar" whereby most wouldn't comment on a ES-335... so Gretsch fits the tone of what I play with the appropriate image. Interestingly, I see tons of worship guitarists attracting to Gretsch for it's style & clean tone.
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  7. dodona

    dodona Electromatic

    Aug 13, 2020
    the great gretsch sound!

    IPLAYLOUD Electromatic

    Aug 2, 2011
    Long Island
    Truth is, the Gretsch guitars from Brooklyn were not the best ever made. This insides look like Grandma's dusty basement and the necks very often need a reset. Much of the work was done by Brooklyn housewives. I spoke to one, and she said many of them didn't pass QC the first time. She said that nobody worked there long enough to get really good at anything, and they were sent to do different jobs depending upon need. She might be wrapping Drums one day and then
    staining Fingerboards (yes, they did that!) the next.
    THAT SAID...they have always had a "vibe". A cool vibe. A "badass" vibe.
    The ones today are built beautifully, have the old sound and feel, and are very special.
    I sum it up like this:
    "He's got a nice Strat."
    "Oh look, it's a Les Paul."
  9. rocko

    rocko Electromatic

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  10. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates Gretschie

    Jun 15, 2011

    Perhaps you will enjoy this - BB King and Poison Ivy both signed my Falcon (pick guard) and she even kissed it. It's a faint impression but I had it sealed professionally ;]

    The sound of Ivy and the Rev and Malcom Young are what drew me in to eventually build my first parts-Gretsch in the 90's from a 1963 Double-Anniversary (that is the Flamejob below). It was pre-eBay so it was done the hard way. I bought the Falcon after a post-show conversation with Rick from SCOTS and Elvez about the iconic visual statement a Falcom made. I actually bought it off the bassist in Badfinger lol

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  11. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Love it!
    I’m a devout Ivy idolator.
    Could I see a close up of her signature and lipsmack?

    I lovingly transformed my 1995 6120-60 into my Poison Ivy tribute.
    I had Quickguards make me the plain 1958 style pickup rings, a beautiful pickguard with Ivy’s signature in place of chet’s, and a “Stay Sick” truss rod cover.
    I replaced the shoddy wiring with a brand new TV Jones wiring harness as well as Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity Filter’Trons for the vintage correct tone.
    And of course I added the defining B3 bigsby.
    It both looks and sounds the part.
    No, Ivy’s 6120 didn’t have a bar bridge, Sperzels, or a zero-fret, but hey, mine does!
  12. Frank2

    Frank2 Electromatic

    Oct 15, 2018
    Chesterfield MI.
    I owned a Music Store, had all the brands. Took every model out on my gigs and played them. Then I bought the whole Gretsch line up in 1971. I bought one Super Chet 50 years ago and never played another Fender, Gibson, Martin, Rickenbacher, Ovation, Taylor, and on and on. I STILL LOVE MY GRETSCH after 61 years of playing gigs out on the road. Jim Ayres
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  13. UlisesV

    UlisesV Electromatic

    Apr 27, 2019
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Chet Atkins... Need I say more?
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  14. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    I like how they sound
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  15. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    May 11, 2017
    Man, that's really some next level, @calebaaron666 , and proof that you've got goooooooooood taste.

    Anyway ... why Gretsch? I always thought that, one day in distant future, I'd buy a Gretsch, either a Falcon or a 6120, because thy're icons and many of the people I love play them (Ivy, Brian, Rev, George Harrison, ...). Some time prior to this, as it looked like it could take another bit of time until, I wanted to buy a semihollow (with a Bigsby, and two hum cancelling pickups, and doublecut, and 16", and a few more features) and a Gretsch, a Streamliner, simply was the best offer. I bought the 2622 without any brand preference or so. But she got a second job pretty fast - entry drug. If 450 € can get you that far, I thought, ... what will a thousand do?

    I then got that a Gretsch in the sense I always thought of them (big hollowbody, Filtertron pickups, ...) wasn't that far out of reach, because the current Electromatics are absolutely fine ... and bought one after I fell in love with the aid of pain and pain medication ... actually, the 2nd pill just got into full service the minute I saw her, and from then on, I was lost anyway and totally ... falling in love is a lot easier then..

    ... but this only explains how they got here, or what I expected.

    I'm not disappointed by any means! The red/gold, Magnatron-equipped 5420 is a dream of a guitar - and there still is a level up, if desired (and paid for). The 2622 isn't that much below either, but a different kind of guitar.

    Anyway, they look spectacularly cool (the huge soundholes, the body shape, the placement of things, ... ), they sound unique and cool, they play very well - and, at least Electromatic and Streamliner, they are a really good deal.

    A new guitar isn't due for me in the next months, but at my next appointment at the dentist's, I could again go to the music store nearby, do something about the pain and try out if it works with a Floyd-Rose-Shredder-Axe, too, haha.... No it won't, but it could kind of work temporarily.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  16. 22fretz

    22fretz Electromatic

    Sep 20, 2015
  17. 22fretz

    22fretz Electromatic

    Sep 20, 2015
    Definitely George Harrison and Brian Setzer lead me to Gretsch. I've got an orange 6120 with a great neck and it sounds different than my Tele or Les Paul Special. It got some hairline cracks in the ebony neck so it is in the shop for repair and getting medium wide frets. I always thought the factory frets were wimpy.
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  18. pdxjmw

    pdxjmw Electromatic

    Feb 26, 2019
    Portland, Oregon
    Three reasons:

    1. A YouTube video had a guy riffing on a Gretsch Duojet, and it just sounded beautiful. That got my attention.
    2. I've been a fan of the Bigsby Trems.
    3. Went to a local guitar shop and saw an Azure Sparkle G5655TG w/ Gold Hardware. That blue finish is gorgeous, and I'm a sucker for blue guitars. Gave it a spin through a Vox AC15 (what I use)... and immediately added it to my collection. Totally bought on a whim, I wasn't planning on buying another guitar, actually.

    So, basically, Gretsch because I sat down and played one, and fell in love with pretty much everything about it.
  19. Parttime

    Parttime Gretschie

    Dec 6, 2018
    Just in my opinion
    A hollow body guitar of any kind is what an electric guitar should look like. An acoustic guitar with knobs and pick ups.
    And of all the hollow bodies out there Gretsch seems to be the staple. With their curves, full size F holes and knob placements they are the perfect blend of beauty and functionality.
    Any thing other than a hollow body is a block of wood with a neck and strings.
    This is only my opinion of course and I would not debate anyone with the right to their personal opinions.
  20. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    Oct 21, 2012
    For me it's because when I started really getting into guitar George Harrison had just put out Cloud 9. On the cover he had a Duo Jet. I knew The Beatles, but Cloud 9 was a record kids my age were buying. Around the same time movies like La Bamba came out and I bought the soundtrack and got into people like Brian Setzer (who also was all over Rolling Stone with the Live Nude Guitars record at the same time). Reading what I could about Harrison and Setzer (this was in the 1980s and couple that with pre-internet) lead me to Eddie Cochran and Duane Eddy so I would send away for their records.

    If I could have one guitar it would probably be my Burst. If I could have two I would probably keep my Broadcaster. Three? I would probably keep my old 6120.

    The new Gretsch stuff doesn't really appeal to me at all, but the old ones that were the sound of the records I grew up listening to will always be special to me.

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