Alligator Biscuit! (New Gretsch Day)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Tarnisher, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    My Gretsch Alligator resonator is here!

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    Unfortunately, when I gave it the first strum, it rattled like a soda can tied to a honeymooning couple's car.

    Some truss rod adjustment helped, but the then I realized that the problem was coming from the tailpiece. Instead of floating above, it was touching the top of the coverplate, turning it into a sounding board. A piece of construction paper solved the problem, but I'm hoping my tech can make a more permanent and elegant fix.

    [​IMG]

    Other than that, I'm thrilled. I've wanted a resonator since I first became obsessed with guitars as a teenager, but the good ones were always so expensive, and they weighed too much.

    This one sounds and looks fantastic, was in my budget, and is only 5lbs!

    I'm loving the clarity and volume of single notes, and the growl of chords. I can't wait to have my tech bring the action down a bit, since I don't play slide.

    I also have a Seymour Duncan P-Rail on the way to install and turn it into a rock monster! :twisted:
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  2. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    Sweetwater took much better pics than I could:

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  3. NastyMojo

    NastyMojo Tele-Afflicted

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    Congrads man!! It looks nice! I been wanting to get one of the new Jim Dandy Models, myself.
     
  4. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, those look pretty sweet too- I love a small guitar with a sunburst! If it was a solid top, and I didn't just buy this, and I didn't have 2 Sundown Serenades, and a lot of other reasons, I'd probably get one!
     
  5. Dave Hicks

    Dave Hicks Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got one of their Boxcar resonators. Pretty nice for the price.

    I play slide with it, and it really benefitted from heavier strings (they ship with 12s; I'm now using 16s and might go up a bit from there).

    D.H.
     
  6. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    :eek: 16s?!?

    You slide guys have all the fun!

    This guitar is going to get set up for "Spanish" style, as my slide skills are primitive at best. I usually play 12's on acoustics, and D'Addarios are my standard, but I might experiment. It seems logical to use different strings for a metal resonator than a wood soundboard. I wonder if there are any special resonator strings on the market (in normal gauges!)

    Dave, did you have any trouble with your Bobtail's tailpiece touching the coverplate and buzzing?
     
  7. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Best solution for the tailpiece vibration is a piece of felt glued to the underside of the tailpiece-my National tricone has that as standard issue (and yes, it's VERY common for the tailpiece to rattle!) You can trim the felt to the shape of the tailpiece pretty easily, though I think I'd cut it just a bit wider...

    I use 13s on the National, and have been bouncing around on brands-John Pearce sound best on the National, with D'Addarios not being far behind. I stuck a set of Martin SPs on there, and they sound really good too, with the benefit of lasting a lot longer. Since I do play fingerstyle as well as slide, 13s are a decent compromise-enough tension to drive the cone properly without sacrificing playability.

    YMMV, of course... :D

    Franc Robert
     
  8. Dave Hicks

    Dave Hicks Tele-Afflicted

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    I went trolling through Elderly's list of strings for resonators, and didn't find anything too different from other acoustic strings other than size (mostly 16's to 18's) - same metals, coated or not, etc.

    I didn't have the buzz problem, even with lighter strings.

    D.H.
     
  9. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    Franc, thanks for letting me know this isn't uncommon!

    The paper is working fine for now, but felt is a good idea. I'm going to take this thing to my tech for a setup and pickup installation next week, so I might ask him to do it while he's got it disassembled.

    Dave,

    I love the sound of 13s on my wood guitars, but even on shorter scales, they slow me down and fatigue my hand. I find that I don't notice the lack of tone from 12's except when I've just switched, but I continue to notice the limited playability form 13's, and it bothers me. Either way is a compromise, so I go with the one that I'm less aware of.

    I used to use DR Sunbeams because they're round core, which makes them feel lighter even when you go to a higher gauge, but they keep corroding in the package on me, so I'm done with them. Emailing DR and asking politely for replacement sets is on my to do list!

    I think I'll start with some John Pearce 12's on the Alligator, and see how that goes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  10. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    Man, I am just loving this thing! Only trouble is, when I pickup my archtop, it seems like it's got a pillow stuffed in it!
     
  11. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    Got it back from the luthiery yesterday afternoon and took it straight to band practice. This is my new favorite instrument!

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    Unfortunately, this was a quieter practice in an apartment, sans drums, but I got to try out the P-Rail pickup at lower volume through my board into a Peavey Bandit, and I found all four options very usable. The rail by itself is quiet, but has a nice acoustic quality. The P-90 is ballsy and bright. The series humbucker is dark and thick, and the parallel humbucker is almost chimey (or maybe I have them reversed?)

    Anyway, I'm pretty darn pleased, and I can't wait to rock this thing through a better amp at real volume!
     
  12. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    The resonator thread inspired me to post an update on my Alligator.

    I've had it over six months now, and it's been my number one the whole time. I've taken it on tour, played big stages, small stages, back yards, and living rooms, and it continues to be my favorite instrument.

    Here's a picture of it in action:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. wwit

    wwit Tele-Holic

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    Ive been reading up lots on this guitar after finding myself more recently captivated by Reso guitars. The electric guitar player in me of course wants an electric resonator so Ive been looking at the more at those. Then it struck me to maybe pick up the Alligator and stick a pickup in it. My first pick would be a P90, but it was in the back of my mind that the P-rail would offer more versatility, but not knowing the physical aspects of the Alligator, I didn't know if a full size humbucker would fit or run into any brace's inside.

    So thanks for posting this and the recent update. Now its making my resonator GAS really bad...but in a good way.
    :cool:
     
  14. go49ners

    go49ners Tele-Meister

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    Look into the Gretsch Bobtail model (G9220). I had the exact same line of thinking as you... The Bobtails look just like the Alligator but they come with a Fishman pickup system installed, and a spider cone instead of biscuit (more sustain, less grit). I really wanted the Bobtail model but ended up getting the stripped down Boxcar model because I found a crazy good price on it. I just ordered it yesterday and it should be arriving by Friday.

    I've always wanted a resonator so I'm very excited.
     
  15. go49ners

    go49ners Tele-Meister

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    To the OP, got any video clips? Id love to hear what it sounds like.
     
  16. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    I don't have any videos but I do have some audio recordings that I'll try to get up on Soundcloud. Just a matter of getting around to it.
     
  17. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

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    Looks really cool. Are you happy with that pickup in terms of capturing that reso sound?
     
  18. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks very much for the update. I do look forward to hearing sound clips!
     
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