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  #1  
Old 12-16-2017, 08:20 PM
bjtiger75 bjtiger75 is offline
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Default Gibson or Gretsch????

Good evening! I am new to the guitar world and have just begun playing over the last few months but I am hooked. I currently have a Takamine EF340TT, Martin GPC-28E and a Gibson Les Paul Studio in the collection but I just love the looks and feel of an archtop electric. I am considering purchasing either a Gibson ES-335 Studio in Ginger Burst or a Gretsch 5622 in orange. I haven't been able to find a Gibson locally to look at as the Guitar Center near me has very few archtops in stock. Another dealer has the Gretsch and I really love the feel of the 5622 but wish they made it in a burst finish. Any thoughts on why to go with one versus the other?

Thanks
BJ
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:39 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Have you played them? Those are VERY different guitars.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:43 PM
bjtiger75 bjtiger75 is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Have you played them? Those are VERY different guitars.
I have played the Gretsch but haven't been able to find a Gibson locally to play. That's why I'm looking for some input.

In your eyes what are the main differences between the two?
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:12 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Lifetime Gretsch guy here - owned my 6117 Double Annie since buying new in 1964, grandparents lived three blocks from the old 60 Broadway (Brooklyn) plant (and just down the street from the warehouse), and probably played a few hundred originals over the last 55 years - so I'll give you my tuppence worth...

Jeff's absolutely right (as usual...) - Gretsch electrics are very much sui generis, immediately recognizable to any experienced player and in no way comparable to or interchangeable with any other guitar. Since you're seeking info on this subforum rather than Electric Guitars, I'm going to assume (rightly or not) that you're more into jazz, or at least the cleaner side of electric guitar tone; while Gretsch hollowbodies can do jazz - Sal Salvador, Jimmie Webster, Mary Osborne, and George Van Eps all used Gretsch instruments at various points in their careers (as did Count Basie rhythm man Freddie Green with his 18" Eldorado acoustic) - IMO their strong suit is the upper-midrange "chime" and clarity that allows them to cut through an arrangement, without the steely edge or raw grittiness of Fender single-coils or P-90's respectively, nor the need for excessive volume. Theirs is the tone that will forever be associated with Chet Atkins, Cliff Gallup, early Duane Eddy, George Harrison, the first Buffalo Springfield album, Woodstock-era CSNY, and Brian Setzer, among others - if you're into country, rockabilly, '50s/60s guitar instrumentals, first-wave British Invasion, or the lighter side of classic rock, you're sure to find your voice; IME they really like blackface Fender/blue-check Ampeg "big clean" American-style tube amps - match one of these with a Gretsch and it'll take you from Eddie Cochran to Neil Young, or plug into a Vox AC30 and channel your inner Beatle...

If you're thinking in terms of the ES-335 Studio I'm also going to assume that you're on a relatively modest budget; that said, I've played the Studio side-by-side with some of the Korean-made Gretsch 5400/5600-Series electrics, and dollar-for-dollar you're not going to find better quality control, fit/finish, tone, and playability for anywhere near the price of the current MIK E-matics. As I stated above I've been a Gretsch guy since the early-60s - well before the Beatles made them a worldwide name - and they rival not only the Japanese-made Professional Series (at 3-4 times the price) but often surpass the vintage Brooklyn stuff (which could be iffy even in its day); while it won't give you the fat jazz tones or high-gain wail associated with humbucker-equipped Gibsons (or their derivatives), when paired with the right amp (and a slightly heavier set of strings - wound-G 11's at a minimum, 12's if you can handle 'em) a Gretsch can cover a surprising amount of territory - and if you're not a headbanger or playing in a Santana-tribute band, could easily become your go-to guitar...

Finally, if you aren't a fan of the Vintage Orange finish (I am - reminds me of the '63 6120 double-cut my parents couldn't afford in early '64 ) they also produce a version in Country-Gent walnut brown:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/G5622TWS

I've seen/heard these used by a few local-level Beatles-tribute bands, and you're giving away little (other than the mutes - which almost nobody uses anyway - and the bigger 17" body) to the MIJ '62 Gent RI at $3K; FYI MF's having a 17% off holiday sale (you'll need to deal by phone for this one) so you can come away with a new 5622 and HSC for well under $1K - and if you can find a better-sounding/playing rig for that kind of money, PM me and I'll buy it...

You might also want to look at some of the reviews of both guitars over on the Electric subforum - should help make the decision easier...

Good luck...
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:36 AM
bjtiger75 bjtiger75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Lifetime Gretsch guy here - owned my 6117 Double Annie since buying new in 1964, grandparents lived three blocks from the old 60 Broadway (Brooklyn) plant (and just down the street from the warehouse), and probably played a few hundred originals over the last 55 years - so I'll give you my tuppence worth...

Jeff's absolutely right (as usual...) - Gretsch electrics are very much sui generis, immediately recognizable to any experienced player and in no way comparable to or interchangeable with any other guitar. Since you're seeking info on this subforum rather than Electric Guitars, I'm going to assume (rightly or not) that you're more into jazz, or at least the cleaner side of electric guitar tone; while Gretsch hollowbodies can do jazz - Sal Salvador, Jimmie Webster, Mary Osborne, and George Van Eps all used Gretsch instruments at various points in their careers (as did Count Basie rhythm man Freddie Green with his 18" Eldorado acoustic) - IMO their strong suit is the upper-midrange "chime" and clarity that allows them to cut through an arrangement, without the steely edge or raw grittiness of Fender single-coils or P-90's respectively, nor the need for excessive volume. Theirs is the tone that will forever be associated with Chet Atkins, Cliff Gallup, early Duane Eddy, George Harrison, the first Buffalo Springfield album, Woodstock-era CSNY, and Brian Setzer, among others - if you're into country, rockabilly, '50s/60s guitar instrumentals, first-wave British Invasion, or the lighter side of classic rock, you're sure to find your voice; IME they really like blackface Fender/blue-check Ampeg "big clean" American-style tube amps - match one of these with a Gretsch and it'll take you from Eddie Cochran to Neil Young, or plug into a Vox AC30 and channel your inner Beatle...

If you're thinking in terms of the ES-335 Studio I'm also going to assume that you're on a relatively modest budget; that said, I've played the Studio side-by-side with some of the Korean-made Gretsch 5400/5600-Series electrics, and dollar-for-dollar you're not going to find better quality control, fit/finish, tone, and playability for anywhere near the price of the current MIK E-matics. As I stated above I've been a Gretsch guy since the early-60s - well before the Beatles made them a worldwide name - and they rival not only the Japanese-made Professional Series (at 3-4 times the price) but often surpass the vintage Brooklyn stuff (which could be iffy even in its day); while it won't give you the fat jazz tones or high-gain wail associated with humbucker-equipped Gibsons (or their derivatives), when paired with the right amp (and a slightly heavier set of strings - wound-G 11's at a minimum, 12's if you can handle 'em) a Gretsch can cover a surprising amount of territory - and if you're not a headbanger or playing in a Santana-tribute band, could easily become your go-to guitar...

Finally, if you aren't a fan of the Vintage Orange finish (I am - reminds me of the '63 6120 double-cut my parents couldn't afford in early '64 ) they also produce a version in Country-Gent walnut brown:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/G5622TWS

I've seen/heard these used by a few local-level Beatles-tribute bands, and you're giving away little (other than the mutes - which almost nobody uses anyway - and the bigger 17" body) to the MIJ '62 Gent RI at $3K; FYI MF's having a 17% off holiday sale (you'll need to deal by phone for this one) so you can come away with a new 5622 and HSC for well under $1K - and if you can find a better-sounding/playing rig for that kind of money, PM me and I'll buy it...

You might also want to look at some of the reviews of both guitars over on the Electric subforum - should help make the decision easier...

Good luck...
Thank you for the reply and thorough explanation. You hit the nail on the head when it comes to the types of music I'd like to play, mainly classic country, southern and classic rock so the Gretsch sounds like the way to go for me. I already have a LP so if I want to play more traditional rock I can with it as I progress in my learning. The 5622 in walnut is gorgeous but is very similar to the Wine color of my LP so I'll probably go with the orange stain. I'll venture that my next guitar purchase after this will be in some format of burst as they just appeal to me.

I appreciate the feedback and info!

BJ
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:44 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I agree, based on what you said, go Gretsch.

The 335 and Les Paul actually aren't that different tonally, really.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:30 AM
DanR DanR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
The 335 and Les Paul actually aren't that different tonally, really.
Some might not agree to that, but I would. I have a 335 and whenever I'm tempted by a Les Paul Standard, to me the difference is minimal other that aesthetically. The Les Paul Standard single cutaway aesthetics still tempt me regularly, though.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:35 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjtiger75 View Post
...The 5622 in walnut is gorgeous but is very similar to the Wine color of my LP so I'll probably go with the orange stain. I'll venture that my next guitar purchase after this will be in some format of burst as they just appeal to me...
You might find this of interest:

http://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/b...green-metallic

The '66 Viking reborn - never mind the web photos, it really is classic Gretsch Caddy Green - and for under $1K...
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:42 AM
dereklaney dereklaney is offline
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Default caddy

I've got a shot at one of these. Local shop has the caddy green 5422. I've already got the pickup tone covered with other gretches, but I'm still really tempted.

/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
You might find this of interest:

http://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/b...green-metallic

The '66 Viking reborn - never mind the web photos, it really is classic Gretsch Caddy Green - and for under $1K...
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2017, 12:50 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by dereklaney View Post
I've got a shot at one of these. Local shop has the caddy green 5422. I've already got the pickup tone covered with other Gretsches, but I'm still really tempted...
So am I - got the aforementioned '64 Double Annie and a Rosa Red '16 5622T-CB (http://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/b...ckups-rosa-red) that's become my all-purpose hollowbody - and I'm also looking for a way to move some low-use stock quickly and add one to my stable...
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2017, 01:42 PM
bjtiger75 bjtiger75 is offline
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The Caddy green is definitely a beautiful guitar. Guess I'll see what the shop has to offer when I take my daughter in for her Ukele lesson tomorrow.
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:44 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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Another vote here for the Gretsch. I used to own a 1961 6117, I wouldn't mind having it back (a guy I know bought it) but I really am done with electric guitars.

Buy the Gretsch!
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Old 12-18-2017, 07:09 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Scott View Post
...I used to own a 1961 6117, I wouldn't mind having it back...
There was a short transition period in early '61 where the Double Annies had PAF Filter'trons and '59-style trestle bracing, making them essentially 6120's under the skin - had a shot at a NOS 6118 when I bought mine in May '64, passed it up because I couldn't stand the puke-green finish (still can't)...

If yours was one of those, I'd ante up $2K or so and buy it back ASAP - not too many players know about them, those who do are actively seeking them out (and paying about double that for a good one), and considering you'll drop $8-12K for a '59-60 6120 it's money well-spent no matter how you look at it...
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:58 PM
Prof_Stack Prof_Stack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjtiger75 View Post
The Caddy green is definitely a beautiful guitar. Guess I'll see what the shop has to offer when I take my daughter in for her Ukele lesson tomorrow.
The Guitar Store in Seattle has that Cadillac green colored Gretsch in stock, an early model, from the 60's, I think.
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:14 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by Prof_Stack View Post
The Guitar Store in Seattle has that Cadillac green colored Gretsch in stock, an early model, from the 60's, I think.
FYI that's one of those puke-green Anniversary models I was talking about, and given the present condition it sounds like one of those dogs that Gretsch unfortunately produced a little too often back then; IME the binding, finish, and structural issues were probably there since at least the late-60's, and a $2500 tag for a single-PU Hi-Lo'tron Annie is on the high side even for a museum-quality example. BTW if you've never seen a Caddy Green Gretsch in person it's a classier-looking color than one might think, especially with the gold hardware on the current Viking tribute; I'll also be the first to tell you that the QC is head, shoulders, and navel above anything in its modest price range (under $1K), nothing sounds like a Gretsch but a Gretsch, and if you're a serious electric player you almost can't afford not to have one in your collection...
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