Gretsch guitars...tell me about them

archtop_fjk

Tele-Holic
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Posts
956
Location
Lebanon, NH
Tell me about this. By PM if you prefer. The individual volume controls double as tone controls. I manage quite well with that. But I lose fullness and volume higher than the 7th fret.

Here’s an example via Stew-Mac. You could install this active preamp where you mud switch is currently. One issue would be where to locate the battery but that could be solved. There are other similar boost circuits you could consider as well (e.g. Clapton mid boost).


upload_2022-1-1_17-19-30.jpeg


https://www.stewmac.com/electronics/components-and-parts/preamps/emg-pa2-preamp-booster
 

KelvinS1965

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Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Posts
1,396
Location
Wokingham England
The best thing I did last year (guitar wise) was to remove the TV Jones I'd fitted to my Gretsch and put them in a self build Cabronita: A familar feeling body and the sound I was looking for all along...I just never felt comfortable playing the Gretsch (Electromatic G5622T so not the cheapest version, but not a USA made one either).

I think my problem was I rushed to buy it after I'd fallen for the looks on line and the prices seemed to go up suddenly, so I grabbed one while I could. Should have waited because the prices came back down again and if I'd taken my time I would probably have not bought one, or at least would certainly have tried some others.

I think it does look gorgeous though, but it's polished up ready to sell now. I got it out tonight to take a group photo of all my guitars before I sell some off this year. The Gretsch on the far left and the Cabronita on the far right:

Group 7.jpg


I bought the Rickenbacker last year, but only after I played it for about 90 minutes in the shop as I'd never played one before.
 

ndcaster

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Posts
11,074
Location
Indiana
The best thing I did last year (guitar wise) was to remove the TV Jones I'd fitted to my Gretsch and put them in a self build Cabronita: A familar feeling body and the sound I was looking for all along...I just never felt comfortable playing the Gretsch (Electromatic G5622T so not the cheapest version, but not a USA made one either).

I think my problem was I rushed to buy it after I'd fallen for the looks on line and the prices seemed to go up suddenly, so I grabbed one while I could. Should have waited because the prices came back down again and if I'd taken my time I would probably have not bought one, or at least would certainly have tried some others.

I think it does look gorgeous though, but it's polished up ready to sell now. I got it out tonight to take a group photo of all my guitars before I sell some off this year. The Gretsch on the far left and the Cabronita on the far right:

View attachment 935668

I bought the Rickenbacker last year, but only after I played it for about 90 minutes in the shop as I'd never played one before.
a beautiful collection!

Dynasonics definitely constitute a unique sound. Stephen Ulrich from Big Lazy plays them to good effect.

 

BFcaster

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Posts
371
Age
54
Location
Iowa City IA
If your band has both a Gretsch and a Tele, you are gonna get all the chicks. Period.
Any other questions about Gretsch guitars?
 

Vibroluxer

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Joined
Jan 27, 2007
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821
Location
Pittsburgh
I have a Bamboo Annie. I'm a Tele guy through and through but I really like this Gretsch.
 

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Wildeman

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Aug 17, 2020
Posts
918
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50
Location
Norcal
The best thing I did last year (guitar wise) was to remove the TV Jones I'd fitted to my Gretsch and put them in a self build Cabronita: A familar feeling body and the sound I was looking for all along...I just never felt comfortable playing the Gretsch (Electromatic G5622T so not the cheapest version, but not a USA made one either).

I think my problem was I rushed to buy it after I'd fallen for the looks on line and the prices seemed to go up suddenly, so I grabbed one while I could. Should have waited because the prices came back down again and if I'd taken my time I would probably have not bought one, or at least would certainly have tried some others.

I think it does look gorgeous though, but it's polished up ready to sell now. I got it out tonight to take a group photo of all my guitars before I sell some off this year. The Gretsch on the far left and the Cabronita on the far right:

View attachment 935668

I bought the Rickenbacker last year, but only after I played it for about 90 minutes in the shop as I'd never played one before.
Damn fine collection there.
 

Dacious

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
10,450
Location
Godzone
Right then you lot, The Man playing The Gretsch. RIP Mal, you truly were the best ever.

View attachment 935547

Harry Vanda - other guitarist in the Easybeats with George Young, Malcolm's older brother - gave Mal the Firebird. Vanda and Young were hitmakers in Australia working for Albert's Music. ACDC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels and John Paul Young (Love Is In The Air).

He said 'it was the guitar I used least - if I'd known how much money they were going to make us I'd have given him ten more!'
 

teleplayr

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Posts
2,027
Location
Nicoma Park, Oklahoma
There are a lot of luthiers that have a different opinion. General consensus (from players who need and expect them to be functional on a gig, not hobbyists) is the new crop is better built, sturdier, all around better.

My luthier friend said that the acoustic style electrics weren't built all that well. He normally wouldn't buy or take one in trade until they started fetching high prices.
 

0ct0Pr0n

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Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Posts
108
Age
36
Location
South Carolina
I've had some experience with Gretsch guitars. My father and one of my band mates both have Tennessee Roses, with HiLo Trons and Filtertrons respectively.

A fantastic lead guitarist I used to work with had an MIJ Duo Jet in rotation.

I have a MIK Electromatic G5420T that is an ongoing project. Maybe I'll give it its own post.

People buy these guitars for the pickups and the aesthetic. The MIJ models I've played are all fine pieces of work, commensurate with the highest standard of Japanese guitar production. The mud switch is surprisingly usable, though unlike a tele I find very little need to roll off the tone with a Gretsch.

The control circuit and layout is . . . not to my tastes, lets say. My colleague with the Duo Jet introduced a buffered volume pedal into his rig specifically so that he would have a reliable volume control for that guitar. So, I went with my own control layout on my Electromatic. More on that below.

The MIK stuff is well-built, wood-wise, but they really cut corners on the hardware and electronics. I'm hoping it's gotten better in recent years.
The pots are hot garbage - the taper is so unusable you might as well have 3-way switches.

I ripped the factory wiring harness out of mine in favor of a 2-knob setup (just like a tele lol) with CTS pots, and orange drop tone cap and switchcraft toggle and output jack. It's also gotten a compton bridge, bone nut, and swapped out the Bigsby-licensed tailpiece for a real Bigsby.

There's a lot of debate over the Blacktop Broad'Trons they outfit the MIK guitars with. I think most of the folks on this forum, who pay careful attention to such things, would find them to be inferior, both in comparison with standard Gretsch and pickups, and high quality single coil and PAF-style pups (the Broad'Tron is meant to be the Gretsch take on a PAF - I think this is a stupid idea and beside the point of a Gretsch) I have a set of Mojo Trons on order, which will be the last piece of the puzzle. Maybe I'll post pics and a write-up when it's all done.

It may sound like I hate the guitar, but I don't! I think if you want a Bigsby, a Gretsch is about the best pairing you can imagine. I also find the neck and string feel to be distinctive compared with Gibsons. It's very nice to roll the volume off a bit and strum it like an acoustic.
 

BCblues55

Tele-Meister
Gold Supporter
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Posts
182
Location
Charlottesville, Virginia
I've had some experience with Gretsch guitars. My father and one of my band mates both have Tennessee Roses, with HiLo Trons and Filtertrons respectively.

A fantastic lead guitarist I used to work with had an MIJ Duo Jet in rotation.

I have a MIK Electromatic G5420T that is an ongoing project. Maybe I'll give it its own post.

People buy these guitars for the pickups and the aesthetic. The MIJ models I've played are all fine pieces of work, commensurate with the highest standard of Japanese guitar production. The mud switch is surprisingly usable, though unlike a tele I find very little need to roll off the tone with a Gretsch.

The control circuit and layout is . . . not to my tastes, lets say. My colleague with the Duo Jet introduced a buffered volume pedal into his rig specifically so that he would have a reliable volume control for that guitar. So, I went with my own control layout on my Electromatic. More on that below.

The MIK stuff is well-built, wood-wise, but they really cut corners on the hardware and electronics. I'm hoping it's gotten better in recent years.
The pots are hot garbage - the taper is so unusable you might as well have 3-way switches.

I ripped the factory wiring harness out of mine in favor of a 2-knob setup (just like a tele lol) with CTS pots, and orange drop tone cap and switchcraft toggle and output jack. It's also gotten a compton bridge, bone nut, and swapped out the Bigsby-licensed tailpiece for a real Bigsby.

There's a lot of debate over the Blacktop Broad'Trons they outfit the MIK guitars with. I think most of the folks on this forum, who pay careful attention to such things, would find them to be inferior, both in comparison with standard Gretsch and pickups, and high quality single coil and PAF-style pups (the Broad'Tron is meant to be the Gretsch take on a PAF - I think this is a stupid idea and beside the point of a Gretsch) I have a set of Mojo Trons on order, which will be the last piece of the puzzle. Maybe I'll post pics and a write-up when it's all done.

It may sound like I hate the guitar, but I don't! I think if you want a Bigsby, a Gretsch is about the best pairing you can imagine. I also find the neck and string feel to be distinctive compared with Gibsons. It's very nice to roll the volume off a bit and strum it like an acoustic.

Similar experience. I have a 5120 (the 5420’s predecessor) and couldn’t get rid of the Broadtrons fast enough. Picked up a set of Blacktop Filter trons and am very happy with them. I also rewired the guitar and converted the Master Volume on the lower bout to a Bass Contour Control.

Great guitar now!
 

yegbert

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Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Posts
7,313
Location
Maryland
Had this for 55+ years .... It got a lot of use and still sounds good. It is a shame they don't build them like the used to, because they are all I would play probably. T%his guy has had a lot of road time.
I love Gretsches, HiLoTrons, and especially the Chet Atkins Tennessean with them that my brother in law had, and now is my son’s; and Gretsch Talk!

I just put a new Gretsch Hilotron in the neck of my partscaster.

I’d love to try out a G9555 New Yorker.
 

0ct0Pr0n

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Posts
108
Age
36
Location
South Carolina
Similar experience. I have a 5120 (the 5420’s predecessor) and couldn’t get rid of the Broadtrons fast enough. Picked up a set of Blacktop Filter trons and am very happy with them. I also rewired the guitar and converted the Master Volume on the lower bout to a Bass Contour Control.

Great guitar now!
I done a big think on the low-end contour knob, too, but as it stands at the moment, I have two places to roll off bass in my signal chain before I hit the amp, so I went with simplicity.
I’d love to try out a G9555 New Yorker.
Pretty!
 




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