I bought the guitar new in 2003 at guitar center for about 450 dollars a year and a half ago.
The guitar was beautiful it had a mahognany body with a nice glossy overall finish with die cast tuners , rosewood fingerboard.It had an adjustable tune-o-matic bridge which was cool.The overall look of the guitar made me fall in love with it.
The sound quality wasn't as good as i expected it to be. I play punk and alternative rock and it's hard to get that dark overdrived sound with it. It's to happy and country sounding.
the look of the guitar was better rather the sound. First of all The humbuckers had a very muddy sound with the distortion and i use it on a marshall avt20.This guitar is basically for rhythm . I tryed playing solos on it but once you get past the 12th fret it buzzes .Also There was a short in the guitar a week after i bought it. One of the humbuckers didn't workhalf the time .The humbuckers sounded ok with it clean. The guitar was really heavy and had a bolt on neck that's 8 pounds . It was just cheaply assembled the strap nut became loose and everytime i tryed to play it with a strap the nut would just fall off .When i got one of the nuts fixed the other one started having problems. The screw was stripped .Also the rubber that held the suspension of tuning pegs came off and became so loose i couldn't tighten that tuning peg .With the bolt on neck i had some problems the neck. It had got bent from playing alot of punk shows .I had to get it synchronized and the bridge adjusted .It also gets out of tune very easily within 3 minutes of playing. It doesn't sound good at all with distortion.With All of the shows i played i had so many problems with it that i ended up playing my friends squier stratocaster and i liked it a lot better than the gretsch
It's definetly not worth the price . It's not a reliable guitar at all and there are a lot better cheaper guitars that are better than this one .It's like owning an old classic jaguar but having your'e breaks going out on you and getting the suspension fixed new muffler and all that other stuff. It just tiring to constantly maintain it. I'm not saying gretsch's are bad guitars, there one of the best manufacturesnext to fender and gibson . Just don't buy any under The electromatic series .
Why I bought it ??? Really, I don't know why! I have a Gibson Lucille and the varitone easily makes a very believable Gretch sound.
I bought it at a shop that was blowing them out. The selling price was less than a Mex-Tele, a no brainer.
The LAST thing I really needed was another guitar, but this one hooked me, and reeled me in.
It's... fun to play! With my Gibson I'm so
careful while moving about, it gets to be a chore. I won't say I'll go Townsend with
it and smash it into an amp grill, but it's
not an heirloom either, you can breathe easy with it.
It looks great, it's discontinued, not everyone can have one!
It stays in tune, and is easy to play anywhere on the neck.
The neck is a bit thin (.060" thinner than my
Gibsons), and the tone switch rolloff presets are, I think poorly selected. I'll have a tech
fix the tone.
The EXTERIOR construction is surprisingly good. I'm picky, and couldn't find more than a very, very slight run in the top coat over the binding.
That's not bad.
The body is a multi-part laminate of what looks like Luan mahogany. I'm not certain
WHY ANYONE would do that and not use solid mahogany.
That cheap soft wood is used for making PALLETS for Pete's sake!!!
What could solid cheap wood add to the cost?
Anyway, it seems as if the wood isn't so important as it sounds great... but I wonder
what it would sound like with a nice body.
Oh, I'm not a fan of glued together necks
in Gretsch fashion. They look VERY fragile.
If mine breaks I'll make a clock out of the body
If you find one and like the Gretsch (or even a classic Tele) sound, you won't do much better with a more expensive model or version.
Your problem??? Finding one. When they're off Ebay (I haven't seen one in a few days)
you know the dealers will either be out of stock, or raise the prices since they don't
have to compete with Ebay.
Purchased at Guitar Center for $270 on clearance. I was looking for a lower priced hollow body, but they didn't have the Ibanez artcore I wanted to try out. I couldn't believe the price on this guitar. It played ok, it looked like a million (love the vermillion red). The manager came down on the case so I took it, intending to try it out. I set up the action and intonation and can't bring myself to return it.
I never considered the Gretsch sound as they are so over-priced, but this Korean-made beauty plays and sounds like a dream. They're rare and I like that. I know I'll get compliments when I play out. The sound is 50s - early 60s rockabilly. Beatles, Memphis - it's got this gritty but mellow, warm sound - and very bassy like a Les Paul. The body is luan (plywood essentially) but it doesn't sound it. It does have a maple top and neck, with ebony stained finger board. The black finger board is very striking with the red body, white "Gretsch" emblazoned pickguard and crome "G" stamped hardware.) The guitar also works for jazz and certainly for blues, and because it's the same body style as Malcolm Young's 6120 (# right?) I had to play some Malcolm riffs. The intro to Sink the Pink is a dead ringer. Heavier than any guitar I've played, but weighted nicely. I love the sound I get through my Fender amps. Because it's so bassy, you can crank those springy, shimmery highs and it really sounds great. True vintage, very smooth and warm on top with nice gritty lows.
It came with a bad nut. The high and low e strings are cut too deeply and buzz and are a little dead in spots. I don't want to bow the neck with the truss rod as I like the action, so I'm getting a graphite nut put on. The nut did stick a bit on the d and g strings so that'll be remedied too. I had to do the toothpicks-and-superglue trick to keep the strap knobs in that soft luan. I don't like that the neck side strap points up a bit. I need to get a cheaper, thinner strap so it will stay put in the narrow space between strap knob and body.
Over-all fit and finish are very nice. Just a bit of extra finish on the neck near the joint and a tiny dab of glue around one of the frets. The neck needs some oil, but that's common on the most expensive guitars. The finish seems very tough and brilliantly shiney. Very nice body binding, neck and tuning board binding. It looks so much more expensive than it is.
I feel like I got a great deal and found a guitar I really love the sound and look of. I found the Ibanez artcore guitar at another shop and bought it as well. I really couldn't afford both guitars, so I'm selling my $900 American Strat to keep the $270 electromatic and $400 Ibanez. I think that sums it up.
I bought this guitar at guitar center. List was $750. They were asking $400 and I ended up paying $315 out the door. An excellent deal for such an amazing guitar! I intended on picking up an Ibanez for $200 more than the Gretsch but after I played it I opted not. Just didn't play like I thought it would for the cost. I messed around with a few other guitars for an hour or so and came across this Gretsch. It was up by the desk with all the other $2300 Gretsch guitars so I just over looked it thinking it was at least a grand. Turns out they were asking $400 so it was within my budget. I played it for about 15 minutes and the station I was playing at freaked out and lost power so I came back the next day, played the guitar for 30 minutes or so and had to have it!
I love everything about this guitar. It looks and plays like a much more expensive guitar. Actually it looks almost identical to Gretsch's 1962 duo jet re-issue for about $2000 or so. Minus the Bigsby Tremolo tail piece though. The knobs are the same and it's weighted about the same. It's not a light guitar by any means but very easy to play. The Gretsch dual Humbuckers sound great and it has that distinctive "Gretsch sound". I've been playing it pretty much all day for the past three days neglecting food and sleep, it's almost 3:00 am right now and I'll be getting back to it as soon as I'm done here. Don't plan on picking one of these baby's up unless you're unemployed, out of school, and don't have a girlfriend because you're not going to be able to put it down! Just line up the beers and crank up the amp!
There's really nothing that I don't like about this guitar. It's weighted a tad bit wierd if you're leaning back in a chair while your playing but if you sit up like you're suppose to it's fine. The standard strings are a little harsh but that's an easy fix and the bridge and pick-ups needed a little adjusting to get the sound exactly right. I think someone mentioned a loose pick-up on another Gretsch review. Mine did the same thing but all that needed to be done was to crank up the hieght screws for the neck side pick-up as they are spring loaded at it comes a little loose.
The quality of the guitar is excellent! All the parts are excellent quality or at least they look like they are. I guess in time I'll find out for sure. It feels like a much more expensive guitar. Most of the hardware is the same as seen on all the high end Gretsch guitars regardless of price. The details are excellent. The only thing that is plastic on the guitar is the pick guard. The elevated Gretsch style pick guard, by the way, has to be one of the coolest things in the world! The knobs and hardware are all chrome and the knobs have the Gretsch "G" etched on each one. Very very nicely done guitar. The top of the neck has "Electromatic" written in gold and looks very pricey. Overall an excellent guitar.
The bottom line...... if you find one of these guitars, buy it! It would seem that Gretsch's are not as popular as Ibanez's or Fender's nowadays but I think it's just a better guitar overall and worth every penny if not more.