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Anyone speak Gretsch?
Old 15th January 2003
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anyone speak Gretsch?

Ok, so it's not a box or a console, but it is high end gear.

This week I picked up a Gretsch Nashville "Brian Setzer Signature Series(SSU)" guitar. If you are looking for a versitle piece of gear... run and get one quickly.

No I don't like Rockabilly and it is not stuck in that tone. You can go there to a smoother Jazz tone or glassy clean tone all the way to the most balanced (you hear every note)but bright crunch sound I've ever heard, not saturated but edgy crunchy... yum.

Any of you Engineer/Producer/Guitarist's play a gretsch?
Old 15th January 2003
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a Reissue Silver Jet that I absolutely adore. I'm saving for the new Cadillac Green Anniversary 6120. I also have a really nice BroadKaster snare. I think the FilterTron pickups are the greatest pickups ever made. They have the top-end clarity of a Fender single-coil without the screechiness. And they have the grunt of a PAF without the tubbiness. They are the perfect in-between pickup. I'm such a Gretsch fan, I even love the Roundup and Synchromatic models.

I'm curious to see what happens now that they have been bought by Fender. From the looks of the new website, there are some cool new models coming out.

Before anybody tries to tell me that the Reissues aren't as good as the originals, I've tried at least a dozen different original '50's Duo-Jet's and Silver Jet's and they SUCK in comparision to the reissues.
Old 15th January 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i read somewhere that pete townsend recorded most of the who stuff with an old tennessean thru a hi-watt...so no, theyre not just for rock-a-billy ....i sold my 50's roc-jet with 'trons and still i wake up screaming with regret.....sigh
Old 15th January 2003
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
I don't know that I'd refer to the Setzer model as having a 'jazz' tone - jazzy, perhaps...

One of the guys who works here from time to time has one, and it's really cool in the right circumstances.
Old 16th January 2003
  #5
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I knew Gertie Gretsch and she had some great stories but she didn't give me a guitar or a drumset. Oh Well. She was once married to Jack Astor, high society and then to an Italian count. Thank god she didn't run the company.
The old drum sets are definitely high end and you can't deny the quality and the versatility of the Chet Atkins model guitar, along with some others. Instruments are like wine, they're alive, you have to keep them well.
I personally like instruments more than gear, it's even logical.
You can record a lot of great musicians playing great instruments with one mic. and have a great recording but you can also pile up alot of BS through a 108 input wadchyamakawlit and end up with bull****.
Old 16th January 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One of my friends had a super nice vintage Chet Atkins that he sold some time ago because he needed money and he didn't tell me...

At least he repented somewhat lately by giving me a very clean EMT 140... heh
Old 16th January 2003
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
I don't know that I'd refer to the Setzer model as having a 'jazz' tone - jazzy, perhaps...

One of the guys who works here from time to time has one, and it's really cool in the right circumstances.
You may be right, but I can warm it up quite a bit. Very different in neck than the bridge. Even a big difference to me from neck to middle. The neck is more natural where the the middle position spanks quite a bit with the jangly quality.



I will say this...
The tone switch, "mud switch" according many gretsch players, is a comlete waste of space and wires. excep for the fact that you can take all tone adjustments out of the circuit (middle).
Old 16th January 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a 1962 6120 in EXCELLENT shape! It could NOT be oranger. Nor sound better! I'm a lucky guy when it comes to vintage guitars. Nothing sounds like it.
Old 16th January 2003
  #9
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RSMITH123
You may be right, but I can warm it up quite a bit. Very different in neck than the bridge. Even a big difference to me from neck to middle. The neck is more natural where the the middle position spanks quite a bit with the jangly quality.


Oh, I wasn't saying that the guitar doesn't sound good - it's more that I'm used to hearing Gibson arch tops, both on records and live, which have a completely different tone than Gretsch suitars. I've also had the pleasure of recording a few Strombergs - It's rare that I would say this, but THERE's a guitar worth $40,000.

I've got a deal in the works to buy a 1968 Gibson Super 400 CESN and an early 70's Johnny Smith sunburst. I hope that works out.
Old 17th January 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Oh, I wasn't saying that the guitar doesn't sound good - it's more that I'm used to hearing Gibson arch tops, both on records and live, which have a completely different tone
The thing I like about using a Gretsch over a big body Gibson is . . . it 's not the 'cliche' tone. Everyone knows the Super 400, 175 tone or other Gibsons . . . but play a Country Gent in a soft jazzy setting and it has a little something different. Which I really like. Or even flat wounds on a Gretsch is a cool thing.

Arch top Gibsons are wonderful things though. The best guitar I have ever heard for this type of Smooth BIG Body sound was a James D'Aquisto . . . and a beauty to look at . . . a true piece of art.

btw . . I agree about the dark setting on the Gretsch. It was made for the big band type guitarist that could easily switch down and play 'back' (rhythm). For me, in popular music . . I have yet to find a use for it in the studio. I think at this point it's a tradition that they still put it on.

I give Setzer a lot of credit. He can surely play his ass off. I have actually seen him use the 'dark' rhythm setting.
Old 17th January 2003
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Oh, I wasn't saying that the guitar doesn't sound good ...
I know , I gave the explaination due to the fact that I might not actually know what a "true" JAZZ sound is.

The funny thing is that I bought the guitar for something contrary to what it probably was designed for...agressive alternative type stuff and beleive it or not, it works. However, it is not your typical A.A. sound, it is much brighter and less saturated.

I found that this stick-o-wood sounds fantastic (to me of course) with enough gain to just send it over the edge. It gets crunchy but maintains a very unique clarity and balance. (think crunchy AC30TB)

If you can picture a "Puddle of Mud"(or somebody like 'em) song played by "The Edge" (tone only), this is what I am shooting for. Mixed appropriately, it is really nice. Well, in honestly I would have a more saturated paul tone behind it.
Old 17th January 2003
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
I knew Gertie Gretsch and she had some great stories but she didn't give me a guitar or a drumset. Oh Well. She was once married to Jack Astor, high society and then to an Italian count.
Interesting. I wonder if you know anyone from my family. My Dad's first wife was Charlette Gretsch so Fred Jr is a half-uncle. Small world. And no, I don't own any Gretsch gear even through the family hookup.
Old 17th January 2003
  #13
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
The thing I like about using a Gretsch over a big body Gibson is . . . it 's not the 'cliche' tone. Everyone knows the Super 400, 175 tone or other Gibsons . . . but play a Country Gent in a soft jazzy setting and it has a little something different. Which I really like. Or even flat wounds on a Gretsch is a cool thing.
I'll go along with that - I grew up listening to Chet, and he got some lovely sounds out of that guitar.
Old 17th January 2003
  #14
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RSMITH123
I know , I gave the explaination due to the fact that I might not actually know what a "true" JAZZ sound is.

The funny thing is that I bought the guitar for something contrary to what it probably was designed for...agressive alternative type stuff and beleive it or not, it works. However, it is not your typical A.A. sound, it is much brighter and less saturated.
It can be way cool - the guitarist in my wife's band has brought out an AC30 to use with his Barney Kessel - a most interesting tone...
Old 17th January 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Man I love my 6120 through a cranked AC 30. It is a great big wonderful thing. Actually, I like it cranked through a lot of amps. Has it's own sound.
Old 17th January 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
I'll go along with that - I grew up listening to Chet, and he got some lovely sounds out of that guitar.
Dave . . . . he could have played anything and made it sound beautiful, couldn't he?
Old 17th January 2003
  #17
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
Dave . . . . he could have played anything and made it sound beautiful, couldn't he?
Yep, and all sorts of different sounds, even in the day when he was playing the Country Gentleman exclusively.
Old 17th January 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Yep, and all sorts of different sounds, even in the day when he was playing the Country Gentleman exclusively.
I saw him do a song he wrote for his Dad once . . . . it was so beautiful I sat in front of the TV and cried my butt off.
Old 17th January 2003
  #19
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
I saw him do a song he wrote for his Dad once . . . . it was so beautiful I sat in front of the TV and cried my butt off.
And then there's the other side - I've got a Homer and Jethro compilation with Chet playing on more than half of the tracks; he was a wonderful all around player.

On another note, I heard last night that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of unreleased Chet Atkins tracks - Paul Yandell (who played with Chet for more than 20 years) has been given the task of going through them and transferring them to CD, I assume so that the estate can listen towards releasing some more stuff...
Old 18th January 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
a couple of my personal favorite listening choices come to mind...chester and lester.....neck and neck w/mark knofler....very cool stuff....and in most interviews with and about this great player it became very obvious what a great and truly humble man chet was.........
Old 18th January 2003
  #21
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have had a chet atkins orange double cutaway since 1962 when i got it used..no other guitar has that crystal stingy sound...i love mine been offered lots of money for it...but it is part of my family and will never go....of all my guitars it is my favorite.
Old 18th January 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by sonic dogg
and in most interviews with and about this great player it became very obvious what a great and truly humble man chet was.........
That was what did it for me with him. In a business where everyone does a lot of talking about a lot of crap, how angry they are (that's always the funniest one to me), how this, how that . . . . all that crap that people think you want to hear. . . . . . Chet just humbly and quietly did his thing for decades.

No talk . . . . just played his ass off. I remember when it was not cool for us to like him. We were NYers and he was some sort of hayseed! (Yea bull****!) . . . . . I was more of a NYC Les Paul guy. Until one day I saw Chet being interviewed and I was really touched by what a genuine, good soul he had . . . then he quietly blew all the other players off the stage and not trying to be egotistical . . . . it's just he truly was THAT much better! They were talking afterward about how he smoked them . . . and he was so cool about it. Gave the others respect and didn't take any spot light.

His playing was so clean and had such class. Just like he had as a person. I have heard stories from people that met him . . . . Where he might bring a guy over to his house and give him some classic guitar. Dave . . I'm sure you have some great stories that you have heard over the years. Too bad he is gone.
Old 18th January 2003
  #23
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have found over the years, that this holds true for many truly 'gifted' people....The really GREAT ones are for the most part modest about their abilities in a way that you feel they are accessable as people not just through their abilities but through their humanity...My banjo player likes to tell a story about one of his bands who years ago opened for TheEarl Skruggs review...after their show ...which was, as i hear, a thing of beauty....My friend approached Earl backstage to wish him well and to compliment him on a brilliant performance...Earl just smiled and said...'Well, I guess we fooled 'em again.....' classic
Old 18th January 2003
  #24
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
to my ear chet atkins had just the greatest touch on the guitar..didn't always like the music he played but he was so good it just didn't matter he made it sound great....like les paul he made great strides in recording . i am sure there are tons of tapes of him not released ...but i would bet the stuff he wanted released is out there..maybe he would be best served by not putting out product he didn't. some of those post life releases of artists..jimi hendrix...the dead.....doors.....and others are just terrible and you can see why they were never released...rather remember the great stuff than listen to the stuff from the cutting room floor.
Old 18th January 2003
  #25
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox

I'm sure you have some great stories that you have heard over the years. Too bad he is gone.
There are certainly a lot of them going around, mostly of Chet listening to, playing with and encouraging young guitarists. Some others, not nearly so widely known, show that he was just as human as the rest of us...
Old 22nd January 2003
  #26
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE]Interesting. I wonder if you know anyone from my family. My Dad's first wife was Charlette Gretsch so Fred Jr is a half-uncle. Small world. And no, I don't own any Gretsch gear even through the family hookup.

It was about 25 years ago and they were living in Mills Neck, and I just knew her and her husband at that time, she's a very funny lady. It's still a small world.
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