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Old 07-01-2019, 07:08 AM
RickRS RickRS is online now
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Default Joining the Gretsch family - pending NGD

Guitar Center has a 4th July sale going on, with the Gretsch G5420T with gold hardware, priced at $699. I went thru Musician's Friend, using price-matching, and am waiting for the delivery of a Snow Crest White. If I wasn't always price shopping I would have got a Fairlane Blue without the goldplate. Can't beat the price, soooo...

For me, first guitar ever with a Bigby or whammy. I'm hoping I can master that ok...
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:52 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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The Bigsby is pretty much a Gretsch trademark, much like the single-sided Fender peghead or keystone Gibson tuners, and FWIW many players (myself included) just swivel the handle out of the way and rarely use it; BTW the Korean-built Electromatics are great guitars period, often equalling or exceeding the vintage stuff (I'm an ex-Brooklyn boy, played several hundred Brooklyn originals since the early-60's, and don't say this lightly), and even more so at the sale price. Don't know what style(s) you play but IME these babies need a heavier string (11's - 12's if you can handle them - and preferably flatwounds) to really come into their own - given the short (24.5 - 24.6") scale and lightweight hollow body, the extra mass will help you get some "wood" and body resonance into your tone; I'm sure you also noticed the more-than-casual resemblance to the top-of-the-line White Falcon - if I hadn't acquired mine last year (a NOS double-cutaway) I was ready to buy an E-Matic and customize it with aftermarket parts, and should you decide to go this route you're sure to turn a few heads at the next gig...

Don't know what you're using for amplification, but speaking as a happy owner ('16 G5622T-CB - 3 PU's, cats'-eye soundholes, and the requisite Bigsby) the E-Matics really come into their own through a good low-/mid-powered tube amp - thankfully there's a bunch of nice stuff on the market for not a lotta bucks, and if you're in a position to take advantage of the current holiday sales you can come away with a lifetime combination that sounds/plays way more expensive than its modest price...

Good luck - use it well, often, and LOUD...
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:38 AM
RickRS RickRS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Don't know what style(s) you play but IME these babies need a heavier string (11's - 12's if you can handle them - and preferably flatwounds) to really come into their own :
What?? There's skinnier strings than Martin mediums???
I've keep that in mind. I've normal use 10's on an electric.

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Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Don't know what you're using for amplification, but speaking as a happy owner ('16 G5622T-CB - 3 PU's, cats'-eye soundholes, and the requisite Bigsby) the E-Matics really come into their own through a good low-/mid-powered tube amp - thankfully there's a bunch of nice stuff on the market for not a lotta bucks, and if you're in a position to take advantage of the current holiday sales you can come away with a lifetime combination that sounds/plays way more expensive than its modest price...
Poor thing isn't going to get a new amp to pair with. Gonna have to settle for an dusty old Fender Deluxe Reverb blackface that left the factory either '66 or '67.

Joking aside, thanks for the advise, Steve. I've also saw some advise to replace the factory Bigby spring with a softer one. I might do that as my one modification.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:33 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickRS View Post
...Poor thing isn't going to get a new amp to pair with. Gonna have to settle for an dusty old Fender Deluxe Reverb blackface that left the factory either '66 or '67...

Joking aside, thanks for the advice, Steve. I also saw some advise to replace the factory Bigby spring with a softer one. I might do that as my one modification.
I'm more a blue-check Ampeg guy at heart, going back to when I got my top-panel/non-reverb Rocket in 1964 - they were by far the (hometown) brand of choice among NYC studio/in-the-trenches musicians back in the day - but that blackface Deluxe (as well as its Gemini I counterpart) is about as good as it gets with a Filter'Tron-equipped Gretsch: there's enough power for most situations, and you'll never really overload the front end as you would with a P-90 or humbucker-equipped guitar (I assume that - like most serious players - you bought a Gretsch hollowbody for its cleaner tonal profile as well as its inimitable cosmetics) - just plug in and rock "that great Gretsch sound" till all the stray cats come home from the Cavern Club...

As far as the softer Bigsby spring is concerned I wouldn't be too quick to make the swap: a Bigsby isn't really designed for dive-bombing anyway, and IME since they were designed when 13's (and even 14's) were factory equipment the OEM heavy spring goes a long way to ensure tuning stability with lighter-gauge strings - unlike a typical Bigsby-equipped Gretsch my E-Matic holds its pitch for a week or more at a time, even through a heavy rehearsal schedule. If the arm sits too high for your taste - as it does for a fair number of players - a shorter (7/8") spring is available, and IMO this might in fact be a better choice; I've been considering installing one on both my E-Matic and my White Falcon, as well as a Vibramate Spoiler to facilitate string changes (those blued-steel pin string retainers - relics of a day when loop-end strings were a major factor in the mass market - are a royal PITA ) - probably use the Bigsby more when I finally do...
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:21 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Funny thread, as for my Gretsch, a 6120T '55VS, I go back and forth between a '64 Deluxe Reverb and a '61 Ampeg Mercury at home, and for gigs, I've been playing it through a Princeton Reverb Clone. They both sound great with my Gretsch. As for strings I'm using Pyramid Gold Nickel Flatwounds 12 -52. I like the heavier gauge as it makes easy to go back and forth between my acoustic and electric at my solo gigs (which I do 98% of the time). As for the Bigsby spring I prefer the stock spring, (I have the Reverend spring on my other Gretsch Anniversary with slightly lighter strings). Even with the Bigsby, the 6120T stay in tune for ridiculously long periods.





Pictures from yesterday's gig...




Last edited by rockabilly69; 07-01-2019 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:28 PM
Johnny K Johnny K is offline
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Originally Posted by RickRS View Post
What?? There's skinnier strings than Martin mediums???
I've keep that in mind. I've normal use 10's on an electric.



Poor thing isn't going to get a new amp to pair with. Gonna have to settle for an dusty old Fender Deluxe Reverb blackface that left the factory either '66 or '67.

Joking aside, thanks for the advise, Steve. I've also saw some advise to replace the factory Bigby spring with a softer one. I might do that as my one modification.
The best part of the buying the 10 dollar spring from Reverend Guitars is they send you great swag with the spring. FWIW, I never installed it. But the swag is pretty cool. I put the sticker on a kick drum reso head. Steve is right about the strings. I have 11-47 Thomastik Jazz Swing Flatwounds on my G5422TG and they are fantastic and hold tune very well with the Bigsby.
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Last edited by Johnny K; 07-10-2019 at 02:34 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2019, 09:27 PM
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PTony PTony is offline
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Love my Gretsches. Fantastic guitars. I’ve added the Biggsfix and “Squishy spring” to both of my Bigsby equipped guitars. I’ve owned a lot of guitars over the years. Gretsch guitars really have something special within. And the Electromatic series (at least the ones that I’ve owned/own) are fantastic guitars. Not just fantastic guitars for the money...fantastic guitars period.

My 5620CB-T is stock beyond the Biggsfix, and the spring. Although, I too have found .11’s to be a must. And a wound G helps.

The 5230-T has been completely rewired with CTS Pots, an orange drop cap, vintage pushback wiring, switch-craft jack and switch, bone nut, and locking tuners.

I use both live onstage weekly and absolutely love the tones and playability.

Either sound fantastic through my tweed/lacquered BJ at home (or the Tweaker that I owned), or through my Vox MV50 clean head and board on stage. I’ve included the gratuitous pics. Although I have changed the strings enough to do it with little frustration, I’ve found a little tool called the “Stingray”, made specifically for Bigsbys is a huge blessing for little cost.

Enjoy your Gretsch! Once you’ve experience that “Gretsch Sound”...it’s hard to imagine being without it.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:22 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
Funny thread, as for my Gretsch, a 6120T '55VS, I go back and forth between a '64 Deluxe Reverb and a '61 Ampeg Mercury at home, and for gigs, I've been playing it through a Princeton Reverb Clone. They both sound great with my Gretsch. As for strings I'm using Pyramid Gold Nickel Flatwounds 12 -52. I like the heavier gauge as it makes easy to go back and forth between my acoustic and electric at my solo gigs (which I do 98% of the time). As for the Bigsby spring I prefer the stock spring, (I have the Reverend spring on my other Gretsch Anniversary with slightly lighter strings). Even with the Bigsby, the 6120T stay in tune for ridiculously long periods.


Pictures from yesterday's gig...
OT but you must be doing something very right if your getting all $5's and $10's for tips ........ OR have you just pre-seeded the tip case ?

Once I got a $100 dollar bill, but it was folded up and I think they may have been just tipsy enough the have thought it was a $1
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:28 PM
rdawsoniii rdawsoniii is offline
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I just ordered a G6122T-62GE Vintage Select Edition 1962 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman from Guitar Center.

This is a retirement present to myself (I retired last November). I have been putting money aside for this for years....a few dollars here and there.....”mad money” I use to buy things for myself. I was still several hundred dollars short. I happened to look at the Guitar Center web sight today. I normally buy from Musicians Friend because of their rewards program.

Lo and behold, what do I see......my guitar selling for $2,199 instead of the usual $2,999! By far the lowest price I have seen for a brand new one that wasn’t a blem or scratch n dent. It won’t ship until 11/30, but I don’t care.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:08 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by rdawsoniii View Post
I just ordered a G6122T-62GE Vintage Select Edition 1962 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman from Guitar Center.

This is a retirement present to myself (I retired last November). I have been putting money aside for this for years....a few dollars here and there.....”mad money” I use to buy things for myself. I was still several hundred dollars short. I happened to look at the Guitar Center web sight today. I normally buy from Musicians Friend because of their rewards program.

Lo and behold, what do I see......my guitar selling for $2,199 instead of the usual $2,999! By far the lowest price I have seen for a brand new one that wasn’t a blem or scratch n dent. It won’t ship until 11/30, but I don’t care.
I love those early double-cut Gents - when I was a kid I fell in love with the flame-bodied one inside the front cover of the '63 catalog, long before anyone in Brooklyn (aside from George Harrison's sister, who TMK lived in the Bay Ridge neighborhood at the time) had heard of the Beatles - but if you can beg/borrow/steal the extra bucks, you can have one of these for the normal street price of a production-line '62 Gent:

http://www.streetsoundsnyc.com/grets...-guitar-ss2603

FYI they call it a '62, but having seen a couple originals as well as this beauty it's actually a dead-on copy of a late '63 White Falcon (there were differences in the f-hole binding and mute controls on the '62); except for the printed serial number on the back of the headstock and the domes on the Space Control bridge (the originals were more rounded) you'd think Mr. Spock beamed it through a time warp from the old Brooklyn factory - actually, the new ones are better-made/play better than most of the vintage stuff - and considering there are only twelve in existence there's also the value-added collector panache. Here's some pics to drool over as you sip your morning coffee:







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Old 07-15-2019, 09:55 AM
rdawsoniii rdawsoniii is offline
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I love those early double-cut Gents - when I was a kid I fell in love with the flame-bodied one inside the front cover of the '63 catalog, long before anyone in Brooklyn (aside from George Harrison's sister, who TMK lived in the Bay Ridge neighborhood at the time) had heard of the Beatles - but if you can beg/borrow/steal the extra bucks, you can have one of these for the normal street price of a production-line '62 Gent:

http://www.streetsoundsnyc.com/grets...-guitar-ss2603

FYI they call it a '62, but having seen a couple originals as well as this beauty it's actually a dead-on copy of a late '63 White Falcon (there were differences in the f-hole binding and mute controls on the '62); except for the printed serial number on the back of the headstock and the domes on the Space Control bridge (the originals were more rounded) you'd think Mr. Spock beamed it through a time warp from the old Brooklyn factory - actually, the new ones are better-made/play better than most of the vintage stuff - and considering there are only twelve in existence there's also the value-added collector panache. Here's some pics to drool over as you sip your morning coffee:







To be honest.....I’m not a fan of white guitars. Silly as it may sound, I would never play it because I don’t care for the looks.

Thanks for the info anyway. You have never steered me wrong in the past, and I appreciate the suggestion.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:14 AM
62&climbing 62&climbing is offline
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Steve, what are the "knobs" with the orange dots an inch or so each side of the bigsby? What purpose do they serve?
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:50 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Those are the controls for the twin flip-up mufflers, which selectively allowed the player to mute only the lower strings (for Chet-style bass lines), the upper strings (rarely if ever done IME) or both together (great with the bridge pickup for "Mrs. Brown" quasi-banjo rhythm, or certain surf material of the day); the "orange dots" beneath either knob are actually red felt washers, intended to prevent inadvertent damage to the guitar top when the levers are hastily flipped (BTW original '62/'63 "red felt" Falcons/Country Gents/Nashvilles are held in high regard by hardcore Gretsch collectors - they were changed to black felt in early-/mid-1964, and the latter are linked to a decline in quality in the wake of massive demand triggered by you-know-who)..

FYI from a historical standpoint, the '62 and early '63 mute-equipped models had dial-up levers, topped with knobs that matched the volume controls (post-1958 Gretsch instruments - with the exception of the single-pickup Clipper/Corvette/Princess/Sal Salvador guitars - had a 3-way tone switch on the upper bout); Neil Young's seldom-seen double-cut '62 Falcon Project-o-Sonic had dial-up mutes, as did George Harrison's first '63 Gent - as stated above, the combination of flip mutes/red felt/sparkle f-hole binding (the '62 f-holes had black/white binding due to a problem with the gold material) make the Street Sounds reissue a late '63 rather than a true '62...
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:46 PM
rwmct rwmct is offline
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The Music and Arts where I take lessons never has any interesting guitars. I am always perfectly safe going there. But at present they have two cherry red Gretsch, I don't know the model. But I am in some jeopardy, particularly because if I know that store, they will be there for six months at least, tempting me every time I go it.

The Bigsby intimidates me, and probably will keep me safe, but dang, they look and feel nice.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:47 PM
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For me, first guitar ever with a Bigby
You're gonna have fun changing strings...and you'll probably need a new haircut.

It's not really considered a Gretsch if it doesn't have a single cutaway, the tone switch and a Bigsby with the thin arm.

Rock on...

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