Why Doesn't Gretsch Offer Semi-Custom Options?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by drmilktruck, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I think this has been asked before. Why doesn't Gretsch offer an on-line configurator for semi-custom guitars like Fender does? Options for pickups, controls, colors, fretboard, etc ... on popular models? Not a true custom shop where you can. make changes, but a limited number of options. I'd pay a premium to be able to modify my new Gretsch from the start. Maybe a Jet or 6120 to start.

    Here's the Fender Mod Shop:


    Here's a Tele I put together, $1799. (Not for real though.)

    Waxhead likes this.
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Maybe they should start out by offering an Electromatic Bill Bo ..... just sayin'
    Trash Kidd, hcsterg, Robbie and 2 others like this.
  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    I agree - and here's my Fender Mod shop choice from the available options but........
    even this was no good for me.

    I don't want a Tele with single coils.
    I want one with humbuckers - preferably TV Jones Classics or a PAF style pup.
    But there's no pup options other than single coils

    drmilktruck likes this.
  4. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    I've always wanted a natural finished Strat, but I've never found one that checked all the boxes. This one would:

    Satin finish maple C shape neck w/ 9.5" radius.
    Elite bridge
    Noiseless pickups
    Locking tuners
    Aged pickup covers and knobs
    Ash body
    Stratocaster - Mod Shop.png
    drmilktruck and Waxhead like this.
  5. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    Cost of such an option vs demand I assume. As much as we all love Gretsch, its still one of the smaller of the manufacturers.
    Henry likes this.
  6. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Yes, I agree. Pulling a guitar of the line and treating it different from the other 500 guitars makes it much, much more expensive resetting machines, programs, etc. Completely different model from a custom builder where choosing one color or another makes almost difference in cost of manufacturing.

    Also Fender is just a couple steps up from being a Lego guitar, mixing and matching pieces (I love Lego by the way, more than Fender!). And I notice that their semi custom prices seem quite a bit higher too.

    And since Fender runs Gretsch production, I can assure you that if the thought semi custom Gretsches would make them more money, they'd do it.
    section2 likes this.
  7. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    Feb 3, 2014
    The way the guitar business is going they probably will very soon but get ready for the insane upgrade charges.
  8. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    That looks EXACTLY like my tele, when I got her. She’s very different now. It’s almost like looking ay a baby picture. Warms my weary heart.
    thunder58, DennisC and Waxhead like this.
  9. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Or you can just get @englishman to build you exactly what you want from the E-man Custom Shop.
  10. Parttime

    Parttime Gretschie

    Dec 6, 2018
    I wish they would do this color combination again in a 5420

  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Apart from expensive parts used, I reckon the price of a guitar is largely in the workmanship. So custom handling of a guitar would make it an relatively spendy endeavour, while not necessarily resulting in a big improvement in the quality or playability of the instrument. Small stakes with huge back firing potential.
    DennisC likes this.
  12. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Would be WAY cool. I'd love a Proline with a thick neck myself. I can deal with them as they sit, but they are too skinny for my ideal. I'm actually playing my Streamliner right this minute thinking how great it feels. Big neck.
    larryb likes this.
  13. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Agreed! With the exception of my old Clipper(great neck), the Streamliner I had owned, had the thickest-most comfortable neck of any of the prolines I had owned:(
  14. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Maybe they should make even more Electromatic Lefties with even more color options... ;)

    For example a G5620LH in Sparkle Red, a G5220LH in Jade Grey, a G5420LH Fairlane Blue, etc... And yes : an online color selector, and dexterity option, and ...


    Don't dream, Boy... :(

    Your wallet is safe ! ;)

    DennisC, Les Pedals and thunder58 like this.
  15. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    If i could get Gretsch to do a Duffy Falcon with dynas instead of filters i'd be thrilled.
    The silver/chrome is more appealing than gold
  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I’d love to see it happen, but I’m not holding my breath. The reason is simple, Fenders and Gretsch are built completely differently. With Fenders, the bodies and necks can be finished separately and then bolted together. It’s a mix or match situation which lends itself well to customization, pickup options, etc. With a Gretsch, you’d have to make any fretboard/inlay choices very early in the manufacturing process. Whereas the Fender uses universal routing, the Gretsch would require the top to be routed specifically for the types of pickups used. The finish would have to be applied, and then machine head, and other hardware options could be accommodated fairly easily, but overall, I don’t think that it would be possible to fit customization into the production of a set neck archtop the way you can with a Fender.

    Leo Fender truly sparked a revolution by designing his first guitar. He took a product which had required exceptional skill and made it possible to produce from interchangeable parts and to be assembled fairly easily. Customizing guitars built in this manner is a lot simpler.
    drmilktruck likes this.
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