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Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by EssEll, Sep 21, 2020.
real gretsch guitars or not real gretsch guitars?
The Somali Strats may be cheaper.
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.
Unfortunately, big brands making shoddy products does happen. Just look at the U.S. car companies in the '80s.
Handcrafted by Somali pirates no less...
My jumbo Rancher acoustic was made in Indonesia. The thing is flawless, and plays as easy as my Martin.
Good point. I should have specified that I was referring to current-model Gretsches.
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.
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.
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
Seriously -- can you really hear the difference? I doubt I could, but I've never A/B'd two of them side by side.
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.
I thought that they were made in a hollow tree by elves.
Oh! Wait! That's cookies.
As I understand it different countries = different woods
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.
Hi dodona, I missed your first post so I'm a little late saying: welcome to the forum!
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...
Welcome to GT!
Terada started making Gretschs in the late 80’s.
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.
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.