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Gretsch Poll


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I have a 1977 Country Club built at the height of the Baldwin era (in Booneville Arkansas).




Flawless fit and finish.

Easiest action of any fat box I have ever owned (all Gibsons included....sorry!)



No resonance. Despite 17" full body it has the acoustic volume of a 335.

Pickups are lackluster. I changed magnets from ceramic to Alnico with minor improvement.

Weighs a ton. Maybe more than a Les Paul (I haven't weighed it).


In the 80s I owned a 1962 Tennessean that was okay but I was surprised at how crude and basic it was (finish,fit). I also owned a '68 Country Gentleman that was Cadillac all the way but bored me to tears. It was dead.


I dunno. Either you 'get' Gretsch or you don't, and I guess I don't. I can get the Duane Eddy sound very easily with the front pickup of my Tele by picking close to the saddles. It's scary to get the Rebel Rouser tone from a skinny California skank and not get it from the 'real thing'.


I used to frequent the Gretsch forum but it's clear unless you either own a New York Gretsch or a Japanese one, you're a pariah.


My CC:




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Hi brundaddy,


Nice topic I must say. Unfortunately, I cant' compare both hollow bodies because I already put all my savings into one ES-175(best buy I ever did), but I do have a nice G... solid body with a tremendous Bigsby. When compared to my Les Paul, it's completely different in playing and sound: thinner neck, light body and single coil pick-ups. So, the tone is pretty much comparable with a Tele rather than a LP.

But I love her as well...if it was only for the color!



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I own 30 + plus guitars


My 2005 Gretsch Brian Setzer (Made in Japan) G6120 SSL in Nitrocelulose Lacquer is still the best guitar I own


This model has the 1959 style internal "H"Trestle bridge support - which allows you to play it very loud into a Marshall stack,and instead of typical useless howling - I get Musical feedback and can get infinite sustain on command -and nails Pete Townsend "Who's Next" tones.


Factory installed Sperzel locking tuners, Delrin NUT, ABR-1 Bridge, and locked bridge base - all setup by TV Jones, and a pair of his vintage repro Filtertrons.





paid $2500



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Love that great Gretsch sound! I have a 6120 Nashville that is, without question, the best of the lot I have owned over 35+ years of guitars, and that includes Pauls, SGs, Strats, Tellies and a host of others. Great neck, small vintage frets, good body size and great tone. The Filtertron pickups, to me, are the perfect pickup - not as ballsy as a Gibson-style humbucker, not noisy and thin like Fender-style single coils. (Not to say those pickups don't have their place in musical history!) The Gtresch sound is different, a tone unto it's own, unique in the guitar world like no other. I previously owned a Setzer model which I had "hardtailed". I had a very skilled luthier install an anchor block to the underside of the top and mount a Gibson stop tailpiece behind the bridge - a hardtail 6120! Very cool and very unique.....possibly the only one in the world. I'll see if I can post some photos later......

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Here is a pic of what was my main axe for 15 years (1982, when I got it, until 1997, when I got my '70 Les Paul Deluxe):




It's a Brooklyn-made, 1963 Chet Atkins Country Gent.


Here's the Gibson that replaced it:




And here's the Gibson that replaced THAT:




But now I find myself pulling Lester out of the case again....


Don't miss Chester. Miss his Bigsby. Don't miss the peculiar controls, the prohibitibely-expensive-to-reset neck, but I guess I do miss the half-moon neck inlays (still the most elegant way of marking frets, in my opinion), don't miss the non-adjustable pickups or the Gretsch-way-or-the-highway mindset....

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Sadly, I do not own a Gretsch 6-string, only a bass & a drum kit. I can only say that I have played dozens of different ones (old ones from all eras via Norman's Rare Guitars & brand new ones at Gretsch dealers). I cannot for the life of me keep track of which ones are "the good ones" as far as production year goes... partly because I've played multiple specimens from the same periods & it blew my mind how all over the place they were from each other. In the past it's always made me hesitate to buy one - but I still want one! I've never heard a concise explanation of the good, the bad, & the ugly when it comes to Gretsch. What a dilemma.

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I have a lovely old '66 Country Gentleman (excellent conditon, save the dreaded "binding rot"), and 2 Duo-jets!

All, are Great Guitars! A nice compliment (rather than competition) to my Gibsons, Epi's, Ric's, and Fender's sounds.

In fact, the Country Gentleman, into a Fender Twin Reverb at a decent volume, is "to die for"....IMHO.




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