The only other Gretsch I really looked at was a
duo-jet but I choose this one because I wanted that
rich, warm, hollow body sound. If this guitar were
stolen I definitely would buy another.
Only thing that bothers me on this guitar is the
problem I have every so often with the neck
mentioned few paragraphs earlier. My favorite thing
about this guitar is the fact the you can play really
nice sounds and you can also get just the right
amount of crunch out of it when you want to.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $1900.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
Made in Japan. Body is laminated maple with a dark
cherry red finish. Measurements for body are 16"
wide, by 2.5" deep. Neck is Ebony stained rosewood
and has 22 frets. Has a 3-position pickup switch for
bridge pickup, bridge and neck, and neck pickup.
There are 4 volume knobs: neck pickup, bridge,
pickup, master volume, and master tone. It has 2
FiltertronTM pickups. Single cutaway, and the bridge
is Gretsch Bigsby vibrato tailpiece with adjustable
roller bridge. The tuners are deluxe chrome-plated
The action is quite low which is what I prefer. The
neck is slightly bowed and therefore may give some
trouble with frets buzzing every now and then. But
compared to other guitars it plays quite well.
I use a Fender Blues Jr. with it when I am just
practicing. This guitar sounds best when used to
play rockabilly or folk-rock songs from groups that
really had that "full", warm, hollow-body sound. So in
other words, works real well with most stuff from the
late 50's to late 60's. It works really well in both
stage and studio.
It is reliable enough for steay-live playing, but beware
with using the trem, bar because that usually puts
you right out of tune after 1-2 hits. The strap-locks,
controls and hardware are holding up extremely well
and it fares quite well through even the most extreme
I looked at the comparable Guild models, and some of the lower priced DeArmonds. The are both very nice, and the DeArmonds were especially tempting because that's a lot of Guitar for the price. But I went with this mostly because I like the 2 7/8 body, plus the color is just beautiful. I am very pleased with this guitar. If it were lost or stolen, I would replace it. I've been playing guitar about 10 years, and country / blues harp for 28 years. I'm a rythym player; I do a lot of lead work on the harmonica. I was in the market for a Taylor or Larrivee, when I discovered the Gretsch sound and was hooked. That twang is sensational for the music I'm doing. This is a tourist area of Texas, near Luckenbach, and there are great players everywhere with acoustic guitars. The idea of something different sounded really good. This baby does the job nicely, and is magnificent to look at.
Model Year: 1999
Price: $1600.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center, Austin TX
1999 Model Gretsch Tennesee Rose 6119. Made in Japan by Terada Company, whom Gretsch has contracted to build their higher-end models. It has a laminated maple neck; rosewood board; thumbnail inlay. Similar to the current Nashville body; not quite as deep which I like, cause I'm not a big guy. Two Filtertrons, each with volume control, plus a master volume & tone control. Adjustamatic roller bridge & Bigsby; all hardware is chrome; Single cutaway body is dark red with white binding. Plenty of gadgets to play around with. It came in a nice tailored TKL case with GreTsch logo on the outside. Allen wrench thrown in for trussrod adjustments.
Factory setup was adequate, but not great. I took it to a tech for a professional setup. He tightened up the neck relief a bit, and that was about it. Anyone considering a new Gretsch hollowbody, should plan on another few bucks on a pro setup, or have it worked into the price. Chances are, it'll be needed.
The workmanship itself is magnificent. It is the most stiking deep red you've ever seen. I love the way the color matches with the chrome hardware. The wood grain pattern is very pronounced in this guitar; maybe a bit more than on most TRoses. I use it regularly outdoors in the South Texas heat. With proper care, the hot conditions don't seem to phase it at all. I just wipe it down before it goes back in the case. Once in a while I'll use a little polish on it.
The hardware seems fine to me as far as I can tell. I was an acoustic player before; this is my first good electric guitar. The Bigsby is smooth and doesn't pull the guitar out of tune. Gretsch hardware is said to rattle sometimes, but other than the minor rattle noted above, I've had no problems.
Mine is strung with Pyramid flat 11's. It nails the old 'roots' music sound. My music is old C&W and swing standards, plus a lot of Waylon & Willie type stuff. This guitar & these strings are a natural for the 50's twang I want. It's run thru a modern-day Peavey Classic 30 all-tube combo, made in '95. Not even any pedals, although I'm told an MXR Dyna-Comp would be a nice touch. Sometimes I hear a slight rattle -- not uncommon with bigsby equipped hollowbodies. It disappears with a gentle but firm press downward on the pickguard. At first, this guitar had an annoying harmonic ring on the 3rd string (G), but that problem disappeard when I switched to the Pyramid flats; which feature a wound 3rd. If I ever go back to an unwound third, I may have to deal with that.
This thing is solid as a rock. It can definitely handle the cartage and stresses of professional work. Although mine's only a year old, the hardware and finish feel like they'll last longer than I will, if properly cared for. I am amazed at the tuning stability.
This new generation of Terada made Gretsches are known for strap-button failures and less than reliable switches. The electronics are made in Europe somewhere and sent to Japan for assembly. Mine are not acting up, but I do watch it closely. The suspect electronics are a bit of a concern. Switchcraft is said to make dead-reliable replacements at a reasonable cost. At the first sign of trouble, I will replace the switches.
I love it. Looks great, plays great, sounds great
Model Year: 1998
Price: $1500.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
Master volume, bigsby tremelo, chrome tone knobs with a gretsch "G" stamped in them, as well as chrome tuners with a gretsch g printed on them. Hollowbody.
Smooth fretboard. Really easy to slide around on.
I got the ceramic magnets replaced with vintage alnicos @ univibe guitars in Berkeley. It sounds SOOO nice now. It was a little too Strat-ish before, which still sounded great.
So far it's held up well, but it's only been a year. I've heard belt buckle horror stories about Gretsch's though.