Where are Gretschs made?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by EssEll, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    real gretsch guitars or not real gretsch guitars? :) :)
  2. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    The Somali Strats may be cheaper.
    DannyB, EssEll and tartanphantom like this.
  3. 1960duo-jet

    1960duo-jet Electromatic

    May 10, 2010
    I know it wasn't specifically asked as to what year of Gretsch, but my 1960 Duo-Jet, which I still have, was made in Brooklyn, NY. My latest Gretsch, a Tennessee Rose, about 5 years old, was made in Japan.
    EssEll likes this.
  4. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey Electromatic

    Aug 28, 2020
    Unfortunately, big brands making shoddy products does happen. Just look at the U.S. car companies in the '80s.

    Tadhg likes this.
  5. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Handcrafted by Somali pirates no less...
  6. Tomcat

    Tomcat Electromatic

    Jun 20, 2020
    My jumbo Rancher acoustic was made in Indonesia. The thing is flawless, and plays as easy as my Martin.
  7. EssEll

    EssEll Gretschie

    Oct 11, 2019
    Seattle area
    Good point. I should have specified that I was referring to current-model Gretsches.
  8. EssEll

    EssEll Gretschie

    Oct 11, 2019
    Seattle area
    Well, replace the word loyalties with contempt, and the phrase when buying foreign to when buying Chinese, and you'd be more in-line with my particular approach to this topic. My wallet has nothing to do with this. Attitudes toward China might be different in the UK than in the US, though.
    tartanphantom likes this.
  9. ColoCoug

    ColoCoug Electromatic

    Dec 9, 2011
    Fort Collins CO
    It's clear that the concerns of the OP are political and relate to country of origin, not quality control related.

    My orange 5123 bass is Indonesian-made and the fit and finish are flawless. My experience is that instruments made in Asian countries are generally well made.
    new6659, EssEll and petem1966 like this.
  10. ToneM1

    ToneM1 Gretschie

    Mar 10, 2009
    Northern L.A. County
    I've had a number of new ones, but they just don't have the "It Factor" that the original ones have.. Now if Gretsch used "Hide Glue" building the new Proline guitars, it would be a different story. But the use of the Vinyl based glues doesn't let the wood connect and resonate like the old ones did! Hide Glue, as it dries actually pulls the wood together and the glue crystalizes basically letting the wood become one piece vs. 2 pieces(etc) that vinyl based glues dry at. The Hide Glue transfers the string vibrations much better. I've owned probably 35-40 Gretsch guitars over the last 50 years.
    My current group of Gretsches is:
    1959/60 Country Gentleman #6122
    1962 Country Club (sunburst) #6192
    1964 Country Club (sunburst) #6192
  11. EssEll

    EssEll Gretschie

    Oct 11, 2019
    Seattle area
    Seriously -- can you really hear the difference? I doubt I could, but I've never A/B'd two of them side by side.
    Tadhg likes this.
  12. mjm0

    mjm0 Newbie

    Jun 24, 2018
    SF Bay Area
    Yeah. And i think the making of Gretsches at Terada started with the Fender relationship, right? So Gretsch, Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, and others all have guitars made there, with somewhat varying levels of QC (though the differences are often more subtle than they are for the cheaper-line instruments made at other factories like in Indonesia, Korea, China -- in general, Terada makes great stuff.)

    Word. My Epiphone ES339 from China (used) was almost as nice, in build quality, as my Gretsch from Japan (6118 Anniversary Jr -- that's considered "Pro line", right?), except for a few very small details (rough f-hole binding, paint overspray, etc.). I was honestly shocked at both when i first opened the cases. But yes, the Gretsch Annie is way better.

    Cheers! My first Gretsch, a 1959 6115 Rambler, was also made in Brooklyn (like me!), and my latest (and only other one), the 6118 Annie Jr, was made in Japan.

    You mean stolen by Somali pirates and re-sold. :)
  13. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I thought that they were made in a hollow tree by elves.

    Oh! Wait! That's cookies.
    mjm0, section2 and tartanphantom like this.
  14. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates Electromatic

    Jun 15, 2011
    As I understand it different countries = different woods
  15. dodona

    dodona Newbie

    Aug 13, 2020
    my G5438 is made in China.- Its a very good guitar, very fast action. I replaced the black tops by TV Jones Classics and it sound beautiful.
  16. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi dodona, I missed your first post so I'm a little late saying: welcome to the forum!
    German welcome mat.jpg
  17. rockinstephen

    rockinstephen Electromatic

    Not all Chinese guitars are junk any more. In fact, I think that's been true for some time now. I own the following Chinese built guitars and all are of good quality:
    2 Blue Ridge acoustics, a BR-180 and a BR-140-12
    Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster
    Fender Modern Player Telecaster
    There was a time when MIC did mean junk but my personal experience says that has mostly passed. Remember when MIJ meant junk? My Gretsch 6196 Country Club was made there and the overall quality is unbeatable...
    new6659 and Rmccamey like this.
  18. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Welcome to GT!
    Terada started making Gretschs in the late 80’s.
    mjm0 likes this.
  19. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey Electromatic

    Aug 28, 2020
    Japan embraced 6--Sigma Quality Management just after WWII and it took several decades to get to top quality products. I'm not sure China has done so yet. While a rise in quality globally has forced China to stay up to date, I suspect it is more about the companies themselves holding the manufacturing facilities accountable for quality and if one company or the other (Epiphone, Gretsch, Gibson, etc) is lax in that oversight, I could see where there might be periods of higher or lower quality products coming out of the same factory.

  20. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Gretschie

    Aug 16, 2019
    United States
    If the objection is to the nation of origin, the only real way to make even a tiny dent is to not buy from a brand at all if they do a great deal of manufacturing in a place to which you object - and then tell them so (a letter is best for that part).

    The only message sent to them by buying a Gretsch, but one made in a location of which you approve, is that Gretsch branding matters most to you, and the other consideration, if they notice at all (and how would they?), is secondary at best. Gretsch may even take the data point as meaning you simply like an MIK or MIJ model better. Or that you just prefer a "higher end" product.

    It's a profit-driven business decision. If you want to discourage manufacture in a given place (or manner), refuse to buy not just things made in that place (or in that manner), but all products from companies that choose to have their products built there. Yes, in some contexts, that's not realistic or even possible at this time. In others, it's pretty easy.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
    mjm0 and Rmccamey like this.
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