Gretsch-6119-Tennessee-Rose

The Tennessee Rose features a 16″ laminated maple body, rock maple neck, ebony Neoclassical fingerboard, twin “High-Sensitive” Filtertron™ pickups, “tone-pot” circuitry, Gretsch by Bigsby® vibrato tailpiece, and is finished in a stunning deep cherry stain.

The body of the Tenessee Rose is laminated maple, it has a single cut-away design featuring f-holes. The neck of the guitar features a Rosewood ebony-stained bound fingerboard, a 25-1/2″ scale length with a pearl inlaid headstock. This Gretsch has two Filtertron pickups a tone control, pickup selector switch and a volume control for each pickup.

The guitar has been beautifully manufactured featuring Chrome parts, Deluxe machine heads, an adjustable bridge and authentic Bigsby Tremolo unit.

For those new to a Gretsch, well Don’t expect Strat or Les Paul sounds from the Tennessee Rose : however it simply produces that well known Gretsch sound beautifully. Mellow, smooth and rich – perfect for Jazz, great for country

The Filtertrons pickups produce a warm clear sound. The guitar is fairly quiet and the tone has just enough twang and jangle to emote a country sound, but enough mellowness to delve into Chet-land when desired.

The Tennessee Rose has a medium neck and fairly comfortable to play – Gretsch now build their guitars in Japan and over the years there have been some minor quality issues for example strap locks working loose, noisy pickup selector switches. Bigsby tremolo’s as ever are also not for dive bombing whammy enthusiasts – better suited to gentle waggling. However all these are minor complaints and don’t alter the impression of great instrument.

Gretsch have been played by a number of musicians over the years from George Harrison to Chet Atkins and this with their unique history add to the cost, Gretsch guitars do have some cheaper competition (Ibanez hollowbodies) however for a slice of classic tone they’re worth it – so why not give on a go!

Solid-Bodied Gretsch Corvette Guitar

By Allen Chiles

 

The Solid-bodied Corvette (not to be confused with the Corvette hollow-body arch-top electric, produced from 1955-1959) was Gretsch’s answer to the Les Paul Jr. by Gibson. Introduced in 1961, the Corvette Solid-body was a small, light-weight, comfortable electric guitar that was just right for the budding musician.

This killer guitar, with a solid mahogany body, solid mahogany set neck, and a rosewood fret board with pearl dots, originally came with a single HI-Lo ‘Tron pickup. The earliest examples had a trapeze tailpiece. By 1963, the Corvette was sporting a Burns’ flat-arm vibrato tailpiece. (Yes! That Burns! Good old Jim Burns from England), and came with a choice of either one or two of those Hi-Lo ‘Tron pickups. By mid-1963 to 1964, Gretsch changed the standard 3/3 headstock (3 tuners on each side) to a scooby-rific 4/2 headstock design (4 tuning keys on one side, two on the other). Most Corvettes were finished in “cherry” red mahogany and had black pick guards. Some came with red and white striped pick guards and a more opaque red finish to the body. This version is known as the “Twist” model. Early Corvettes were also available in platinum gray finish with black pick guards, but this color was officially discontinued in 1963. Also in 1963, Gretsch started beveling the edges of the guitar’s body and sharpened the cutaway points.

Variations of the Gretsch Corvette were the Silver Duke (1964-66) which was sparkle silver, the Gold Duke (1964-66) – you got it – in sparkle gold, and lest we forget, the Princess (1963-64 – made for the ladies) which was available in many color combinations such as white with purple sparkles, blue with white sparkles, pink with white sparkles, and white with gold sparkles – phew! The Princess also differed from the others in that it had a Palm vibrato tailpiece rather than the Burns’, gold-plated hardware in lieu of the standard nickel/chrome hardware, and a shiny belly-pad on the back.

By 1968, you could no longer get single pickups on the Corvettes, the Burn’s vibrato was replaced with a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, and the HI-Lo ‘Tron pickups were replaced with Super ‘Tron pickups. Production of the Gretsch Corvette wound down in the early 70′s. (The Corvette did make a brief reappearance from 1976 to 1978 with different specs – humbuckers, etc. It was not the same.)

The Gretsch Corvette (1961-early 70′s) can still give you some bang for your buck in today’s vintage market. You get the vintage sound and vibe, with great playability for less than you’d pay for a Paul, Jr.

Allen has 25 years of experience working with guitars and is the Vintage Guitar Pro in residence at http://www.VintageGuitarPro.com – a website for the vintage guitar enthusiast specializing in online vintage guitar appraisal. Find out more about Allen and Vintage Guitars at http://www.VintageGuitarPro.com

Gretsch Guitars – Tbe Gretsch Duo Jet

gretsch-6119-tennessee-roseThe Tennessee Rose features a 16″ laminated maple body, rock maple neck, ebony Neoclassical fingerboard, twin “High-Sensitive” Filtertron™ pickups, “tone-pot” circuitry, Gretsch by Bigsby® vibrato tailpiece, and is finished in a stunning deep cherry stain.

The body of the Tenessee Rose is laminated maple, it has a single cut-away design featuring f-holes. The neck of the guitar features a Rosewood ebony-stained bound fingerboard, a 25-1/2″ scale length with a pearl inlaid headstock. This Gretsch has two Filtertron pickups a tone control, pickup selector switch and a volume control for each pickup.

The guitar has been beautifully manufactured featuring Chrome parts, Deluxe machine heads, an adjustable bridge and authentic Bigsby Tremolo unit.

For those new to a Gretsch, well Don’t expect Strat or Les Paul sounds from the Tennessee Rose : however it simply produces that well known Gretsch sound beautifully. Mellow, smooth and rich – perfect for Jazz, great for country

The Filtertrons pickups produce a warm clear sound. The guitar is fairly quiet and the tone has just enough twang and jangle to emote a country sound, but enough mellowness to delve into Chet-land when desired.

The Tennessee Rose has a medium neck and fairly comfortable to play – Gretsch now build their guitars in Japan and over the years there have been some minor quality issues for example strap locks working loose, noisy pickup selector switches. Bigsby tremolo’s as ever are also not for dive bombing whammy enthusiasts – better suited to gentle waggling. However all these are minor complaints and don’t alter the impression of great instrument.

Gretsch have been played by a number of musicians over the years from George Harrison to Chet Atkins and this with their unique history add to the cost, Gretsch guitars do have some cheaper competition (Ibanez hollowbodies) however for a slice of classic tone they’re worth it – so why not give it a go!

Gretsch Bono Irish Falcon

irishfalconThe Gretsch Bono Irish Falcon (G6136I) is the result of a collaboration between Bono and The Gretsch Guitar company. Gretsch contributes a portion of the proceeds to Bono’s chartity DATA (www.data.org).

The Gretsch Irish Falcon incorporates classic Gretsch Falcon specs with an all-new lustrous “Green” finish.

The guitar features a Arched laminated Maple body,two piece Maple neck with a ebony finger board. The fingerboard features Mother of Pearl hunch back inlays with Bono’s signature on the 12th fret. The neck is slim and features nice big frets making it a dream to play. The pickguard features the slogan “The Goal is Soul” – reminiscent of U2’s Elevation tour where this guitar got it’s first outing.

The Irish Falcon is one of the most visually appealing Guitars on the market today with the green body and gold hardware producing a really eye catching instrument.

Electronics wise the Irish Falcon is fitted with two FilterTron pickups tone and volume control two pickup selector switches.

Sound wise the guitar delivers on that classic Gretsch tone – full fat and sparkly, whilst there isn’t much sustain to write home about if you want that classic 60’s tone the Irish Falcon delivers it in spades. The FilterTron pickups seem to produce a sound that’s halfway between a traditional humbucker and a single coil – the result is that traditional Gretsch bark.

Under the hood there that much difference between the Irish Falcon and the White Falcon other than the custom paint job, price wise the Irish is a little more expensive than it’s sibling but as a portion of the proceeds go to Bono’s Aids awareness charity it’s a moot point – for the U2 enthusiast, they’ll probably already have one, for the regular guitarist – classic Gretsch Tone – killer looks – interesting heritage – certainly worth a look

G6192 Gretsch Country Club

clubThe Gretsch G6192 Country Club is one of the Professional collection guitars released by Gretsch. The Country Club has a long history with Gretsch who first introduced the guitar back in the 1950’s and then over the years it was refined and tinkered with different woods and component – although not as popular as Gretsch’s Falcon series the Country Club remains admired as one of their prestige instruments. 

After a few years in the wilderness the Country Club was re-introduced in the late 1990’s. The current incarnation of the country club still features the single cutaway design, the modern version utilizes a laminate maple top – maple body and three piece maple neck. The 21 Fret fingerboard is rosewood with a 12” radius. Tuners are supplied by Grover and are Gold plated Die-Cast Grover Imperial tuners. Electronics are covered by 2 DynaSonic single coil Pickups, a volume control for each together with a master volume and master tone control.

Looks wise well it’s a Gretsch and as with most Gretsch it looks really beautiful up close and personal – The G6193 is available in Sunburst (and Amber Natural for the G6193 version). Gretsch finish this Country Club Guitar with a Gloss Urethane finish – hardware is Gold – the tailpiece is the traditional Gretsch G-Cutout tailpiece. The G6192 comes with some pretty features – mainly around the looks – the guitar has aged finishing including the Position markers, f-holes and body bindings – these all add up to a really nice looking instrument.

When you pick up the guitar as with all hollowbodies it’s light and comfortable to play – size wise the guitar is 17” wide and 2.75” Deep – with a single cutaway design it’s nice to play sitting down without a strap – the single cutaway gives good access to the higher points on the neck and the action is nice and smooth.

The DynaSonic’s (long a mainstay of Gretsch guitars) seem to fit somewhere between a Fender single Coil and a P90 and sound wise the single coils have a vibrant clean tone with some top end oomph – this will please the Jazzers amongst us and give a pure clean tone and with a touch of reverb give that classic semi tone. The pickups have enough about them to offer some versatility too they provide enough dynamics and clarity that suit country sound to a tee whilst with a little encouragement can offer just enough growl to keep blues enthusiasts content.

Gretsch – TVP Powerjet Firebird

tvpWith the release of the Gretsch G6131T-TVP Power Jet Firebird, which comes under the professional range, Gretsch have modified a homespun classic with the result being a rockier guitar that still has that classic single-cutaway design but now with a semi-hollow lightweight mahogany body, one-piece mahogany neck with pretty unique looking thumbnail inlays and updated pickups and arched maple top. 

The Gretsch TVP Power Jet Firebird has a one-piece mahogany neck that has a custom, medium sized, profile , the ebony fingerboard is a nice change from the usual rosewood found on Fender’s et al – and feels nice and pacy – The Bigsby offers little new – but has that distinctive feel and design that just wants to be touched – I’ve never been too hot on vibrato unit’s but give me a Bigsby and I can’t put them down – great for use on Chords – really a unique and instantly recognizable tone.

Pickup wise the TVP power jet firebird has TV Jones¨ Power’TronTM Pickups. Originally firebirds, came with FilterTron pickups which as anyone who’s serious about their guitars will know have their own distinctive voice – lacking bite perhaps – but you know a Gretsch when you hear one. The TVP Power Jet Firebird changes these pickups to specially-voiced TV Jones PowerTron pickups. These take the classic FilterTron sound and then push it some – Gretsch calls it that classic Gretsch sound – with a snarl – what your left with can support crunchy rhythm to steaming lead tones and just about everything in the middle. Gretsch continue with the modern spin by adding a Pinned Rosewood-Based Adjusto-Matic Bridge, locking tuners.

With the single cut-away design you could be forgiven if on first glance you say “not another LP clone” but this Power Jet Firebird is so much more that that – the Professional collection are made in either Gretsch’s Japan or USA production centers and there is a distinct show of quality here – from the moment you pick it up you can see that it’s been well thought out – and put together with a deal of care – with a retail of around $2,000 Gretsch lovers take note!

Reverend Horton Heat signature Gretsch

g6120rhhModern Rockabilly is a real strange mix, while we know it’s got country influences and more than a nod to the 1950′s somewhere along the line it got all punky and started to gain an attitude all of it’s own – these day’s it’s epitomized by break neck riffing and lead lines whose speed wouldn’t be too far out of place with rock. (anyone for a Vai vs Setzer speed contest?)

Bands such as Reverend Horton Heat take rockabilly (or psycobilly – after all everything’s got have it’s niche) onto a rather surreal plane with their own mix of frentic rock and roll and playfull lyrics

Reverend Horton Heat , Guitar Player Jim Heath shares many similarities with Brian Setzer in his playing style (although Heath’s lines are a little dirtier). Lightning fast leads that meld Jazz and country with modern sensibilities whilst a raw energetic rhythm style combines to produce a wall of sound amidst the frantic beats of the bands rhythm section. No doubt influenced by the likes of Scotty Moore, Eddie Cochran et al, Jim Heath plays that 50′s rock and roll thing while managing to give the sound a modern spin.

Like Setzer Gretsch have a signature guitar for “Reverend Heat”. Undoubtedly Gretsch produce some of the most beautiful Guitars around and the G6120RHH is the epitomy of 50′s cool. Based on a Nashville the Single cut design, Laminated Maple body, two piece maple neck. Gretsch have gone someway to producing a piece of retro cool with aged bindings, Vintage inlays and the ubiquitous Bigsby trem unit. In addition to the retro stylings, there’s plenty of unique features to make this model stand out including a rather cute routed “G” Brand on the body and oversized “f” holes.

There are two TV Jones Classic pickups and the sound is that Classic Gretsch – bright with bite – capable of sounding retro but one can also imagine producing something that is versatile enough for rockers as well – with a bit of drive the guitar produces a slice of aggression and above all else Gretsch have character with more than enough twang to please.

Nothing new on the controls front and similar to Gretch’s traditional Nashville’s this one has 2 Volume controls (one for each pickup) a master volume control together with a three position toggle tone switch and a three way pickup switch

Whilst the guitar offers little that’s new to the Gretsch lineup – what’s here is well produced – looks cool and has the sounds to match – Reverend Heat have a fairly underground following – so we’re not sure how succesfull the line will be so get in there quick and try it out.

More at Gretsch Guitars Official site

Gretsch Nashville G6120 – 1959

1959The G6120 Nashville 1959 is a new model from Gretsch and harks back to the classic era where rock and roll was born and a generation of guitarists wanted to mimic the likes of Eddie Cochran to Gene Vincent and Elvis. The 6120 is a Nashville style guitar and Gretsch have gone back to the archives to produce a faithfully retro version of one of their classics. When you first set eyes on the G6120 you can’t help admire it – Gretsch have a real knack of getting the aesthetics of a guitar spot on and the G6120 follows in this tradition looking stunning from the off – from the aged binding to the Orange “stained” urethane finish to the glimmer of the hardware – this one looks almost too perfect to pick up.
With a gentle single cutaway design the Nashville is a hollowbody guitar that harks back to when times were simpler – Gretsch have made painstaking attempts to ensure that this release looks authentic from the horseshoe headstock logo to the fingerboard inlays. For Gretsch it’s a bit of a fine balance – their guitars traditionally look fairly retro – so for a retro Gretsch we’re not quite sure what to look for but here it’s the subtle things that Gretsch have done that bring back memories of the 50’s – for example the aged binding – these changes are not in your face – subtle – and that emphasizes the quality on show here.

The body is laminated maple – with tradition “f” holes – the Body measures in at 16” X 2.75” the neck is a two piece maple affair (24.6” scale) with an ebony fingerboard (featuring lovingly authentic thumbnail inlays). Gretsch have opted for their traditional rocking bar bridge on a rosewood platform together with Grover V98G Sta-Tite™ Machine Heads.

The original Nashville 6120 was first introduced in 1954 and is often cited as the classic Gretsch. Initially these guitars featured DeArmond pickups but these were discontinued in the late ‘50’s in favor of Gretsches own Filtertron pickups – with Chet Atkins stating difficulty in getting great tone from the DeArmond on this model – the 6120 1959 picks up this change and features the now classic Gretsch ‘humbucker’ in the Filtertron.

The layout is nothing new – the two classic high sensitive FilterTron pickups (LTV Jones pickups are available on the aptly named 6120-1959LTV model) the Gretsch #2 control arrangement featuring – a three way pickup selector switch, a tone selector switch – which takes a little getting used to for those who are used to a roll on/off tone knob. This switch has three positions one that emphasizes bass – the second neutral position and the third that offers a high frequency roll off.

Finishing the setup is the classic Bigsby BC6 Vibrato Tailpeice – for me these things always look the business – there’s something about a Gretsch with a Bigsby – it just provides that archytipal rock and roll look – visceral and beautiful at the same time – by now if you know anything about Bigsby tremolos’ you’ll know that they’re not for dive bombing fanatics – if your looking for a gentle wobble then they’re for you – just don’t expect too much.

As for the sound – well Nashville’s are renowned for producing authentic rock and roll – the Filtertron pickups, Gretsch’s humbuckers, produce a distinctive nasal tone – bright and responsive – but perhaps similar to Rickenbacker’s, have a tone that’s uniquely Gretsch – flick the tone and pickup selector switches to their middle position and you have a full thick sound – the neck position produces some nice jazzy tones whilst the bridge pickup is bright and lively

Versatile? Well we think so – the 1959 can be taken from rock and roll through to Jazz without too much a problem – add a little drive and your into light rock territory – it’s arguable that adding to much fizz takes away the instrument’s character and let’s face the Nashville’s were not built for metal – this is a guitar that demands a little respect for it’s heritage – treat it the right way and it’ll deliver classic authentic tones with just the right amount of bite.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the market for the 6120 1959 Nashville would be quite niche – sure it’s not as versatile as a Strat and those looking to reproduce the sound of modern day guitar hero’s may struggle and at around $3,500 this is not a cheap instrument – but that would be missing the point – Over the years Gretsch have been renowned for producing quality Electric guitars that produce a distinctive tone unlike no other – given that and some classic styling and retro touches – if you want that sound then it’s an easy choice – the only question is whether you opt for the 6120-1959LTV which has the bonus of being fitted with TV Jones classic pickups which are offer a little more output.