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Old 09-23-2022, 01:35 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
...I wonder if there is enough demand to keep making the Sweetwater Exclusive and current European-available, Korean-made Gretsches in Korean production, or will their manufacture eventually be moved to China?
There's no question the demand is there - the '59 is Sweetwater's most popular Gretsch offering (and, as you've discovered, with good reason - BTW, didja notice that their top four sellers are all 5400-Series E-Matics... ) - but by the same token the demand's always been there, since Gretsch redesigned the line as a successor to the MIK 5100-Series (with the Streamliner-style full-size humbuckers) in 2013, and they still went over to Chinese production (as well as full-size humbuckers on the 5600-Series - don't be fooled by the blacktop Filter'Tron-style covers/surrounds ). FWIW the basses follow the older large-headstock pattern so they may survive a bit longer, but unless they can latch onto the newfound interest in '60s-style hollowbody basses brought about by Guild's Starfire offerings, I don't see much of a future for them either. I owned a G5123B (the predecessor model to the current G5440LS "6120 bass") and it proved to be a total disappointment: tonally uneven (I've owned other hollow/semi-hollow electric basses before - including a '67 Epiphone "Chas Chandler" Rivoli and Hofner 5000/1 Deluxe - so I know how they're supposed to respond), unwieldy and unbalanced on the strap (FYI this is coming from the former owner of a Guild B-50SB guitarron-sized acoustic bass), hard to keep in tune - in short, all the drawbacks of the 1960's 6070/6072 "Country Gent" basses, and I couldn't get rid of it fast enough; while I understand the short-scale 5442 addresses most of the issues (and receives better reviews) I doubt they'll keep the Korean contract open for a single niche model, nor will they retool for Chinese production when their other models are selling as fast as they can make them - and although I have other priorities, I might just spring for one as a stablemate to my 5622 if I can clear the space...
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