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  #16  
Old 07-03-2021, 07:03 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by mrfixitmi View Post
Nice guitar, I am sure that you will love it. IMHO, the Gretsch hollow body line is one of the closest transitions from Acoustic to Electric. In the 1960's I went from an acoustic Kay to a Country Gent, and found it to be a simple change. The Gretsch was just as unforgiving as an acoustic, where if you did make a mistake it was for all to hear. Having the required fundamentals for acoustic, made the Gretsch an easy guitar to play.
The same thing happened to may son, I would not allow him to start on electric, and then try acoustic. He went from a Yamaha LA8, to a Gretsch G5120T, when he was in Jazz Band.
The guitar studio where my son taught, had the same advice, Acoustic first, Electric next.

Many of the Gretsch fans are typically acoustic players as well.

Congratulations on a beautiful selection, I am sure you will love it, thanks for sharing.
Thanks, MrFixItMi, for your nice comment!

I concur that starting on acoustic guitar helps build muscular power in the hands and fingers that helps when learning electric guitar playing styles. Of course, there's an initial tendency for many players to press too hard when fretting electric guitar strings when transitioning from acoustic to electric guitar. Also, the pick-hand touch has to be adjusted so as not to bash the electric guitar strings. I think playing both acoustic and electric guitars keeps things interesting for the player.
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  #17  
Old 07-03-2021, 10:55 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
...there's an initial tendency for many players to press too hard when fretting electric guitar strings when transitioning from acoustic to electric guitar. Also, the pick-hand touch has to be adjusted so as not to bash the electric guitar strings...
IME the heavier flatwound strings (and a thinner pick - I use Dunlop Nylon .60's or .67's) will go a long way in easing the transition and, given the short scale and your preferred musical styles, if the 11's don't work feel free to step up to 12's - I've been using them on my Brooklyn-original 6117 Double Annie (essentially a sunburst version of your guitar) since I bought it new in 1964...
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  #18  
Old 07-07-2021, 06:51 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi SpruceTop,

I just wanted to comment about how pleased I am for you that you got this cool Gretsch 5420 hollow body guitar from Sweetwater. I have been lusting after the exact same model for some time now. It's the one version of Gretsch orange that I really like. I am enjoying your enthusiasm!

- Glenn
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  #19  
Old 07-09-2021, 10:11 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Hi SpruceTop,

I just wanted to comment about how pleased I am for you that you got this cool Gretsch 5420 hollow body guitar from Sweetwater. I have been lusting after the exact same model for some time now. It's the one version of Gretsch orange that I really like. I am enjoying your enthusiasm!

- Glenn
Thanks, Glenn! The guitar is proving to be a joy in tone and playing comfort. Today, I'm about to run the Gretsch through my new Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi Pedal for the first time to create some sonic mayhem the likes of which I haven't produced since the 1970s. Yeah, I know, what's come over me?
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  #20  
Old 07-09-2021, 11:11 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
...Today, I'm about to run the Gretsch through my new Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi Pedal for the first time to create some sonic mayhem the likes of which I haven't produced since the 1970s. Yeah, I know, what's come over me?
Still have my old NYC-built original from back in the day - IME I'd start by setting it up for some Santana-tinged tones (FYI it's very easy to push that hollow body into the uncool feedback zone , so be careful) and take it from there...
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  #21  
Old 07-10-2021, 11:54 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Still have my old NYC-built original from back in the day - IME I'd start by setting it up for some Santana-tinged tones (FYI it's very easy to push that hollow body into the uncool feedback zone , so be careful) and take it from there...
The Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi was fun for a while and would be a worthwhile addition to a pedalboard but now I'm back to just plugging the Gretsch into the Fender and enjoying the nice tones the Filter'Tron pickups are putting out.

Steve, I'm wondering if Fender, after acquiring Gretsch, has returned the latest version of the Black Top Filter'Tron pickup to alnico magnet construction after the Baldwin years of owning Gretsch used ceramic magnets in many Gretsch pickup designs as a cost-saving measure?

A Guide To Filter'Tron Pickups

From the above link:

The 1970s were an unpopular time in Gretsch history, with Baldwin obtaining ownership of the company from 1967 to 1985. The period is highlighted by a dramatic decrease in sales, unpopular designs, and an overall decline in quality.

During this period, the recipe of the Filter’Tron changed various times, too. Magnets changed to ceramic, and the covers and pole pieces also evolved. A number of pickups of differing quality also began replacing the Filter’Tron altogether, such as the Blacktop Filter’Tron, HiLo’Tron, Mega'Tron, Super'Tron, and other iterations bearing the 'Tron name.

When Fender took charge of Gretsch recently, many of the Filter’Tron specs attempted to return to the original ‘50s models, such as with the return to alnico magnets.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 07-10-2021 at 12:27 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-10-2021, 02:53 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
The Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi was fun for a while and would be a worthwhile addition to a pedalboard but now I'm back to just plugging the Gretsch into the Fender and enjoying the nice tones the Filter'Tron pickups are putting out.

Steve, I'm wondering if Fender, after acquiring Gretsch, has returned the latest version of the Black Top Filter'Tron pickup to alnico magnet construction after the Baldwin years of owning Gretsch used ceramic magnets in many Gretsch pickup designs as a cost-saving measure?

When Fender took charge of Gretsch recently, many of the FilteríTron specs attempted to return to the original Ď50s models, such as with the return to alnico magnets...
Yeah, I'm not surprised - my Big Muff is in near-mint condition and, while it sounds OK for some of those slow moody Santana leads, IME guitar-cable-amp is the way to go with a Gretsch...

As far as the exact construction of the newer blacktops, to be totally honest I'm not really sure as I've never seen one disassembled; bearing in mind, however, that the driving force of the '70s/80s was raw power rather than refined tone - and Gretsch had fallen into general disfavor among pro players - the use of ceramic magnets would have been a logical move (FWIW Gibson did much the same with some of their period humbuckers). With the post-2K move back to an appreciation of traditional Gretsch tone, I'm thinking they adopted one of the early-70's transition-period designs - the official description states "Baldwin-era pickups...[which] exhibit incredible punch and twang" - with a different-spec alnico magnet than the ones used in the early-60's Brooklyn-style "High Sensitive" Filter'trons; again I'm not certain, but I suspect that the Super Hi-lo'Trons used in the discontinued MIK 5600-Series E-Matics (my favorite of the new-generation Gretsch pickups BTW) used ceramic magnets with a single set of exposed polepieces - they're unquestionably Gretsch in tone but with a less glassy top end, IME better-suited to a broad variety of styles than the Brooklyn-derived designs (Dynasonic, "split-top" Filter'Tron, '60s Hi-lo'Tron) Fender is using in the MIJ Professional Series...
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  #23  
Old 07-11-2021, 11:13 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I'm thoroughly enjoying The Stray Cats like I never have before! That Gretsch looks kinda-sorta familiar ...

Watch it on the bigger screen here

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  #24  
Old 07-11-2021, 02:30 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
I'm thoroughly enjoying The Stray Cats like I never have before! That Gretsch looks kinda-sorta familiar ...

Watch it on the bigger screen here

It sure does! I've not seen that video before -- what fun!

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  #25  
Old 07-17-2021, 02:43 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Down the Rockabilly Rabbit Hole SpruceTop Goes! I just got a Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo to simulate that Sun Records slap-back echo made popular on early Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins records, and Boy! does it do the job! Not only does it do slap-back echo but it can replicate the varying-length delay times and repeats of single and multi-head tape machines, and it can also do it with the tone of varying tape-related wow and flutter, and tape aging! It also does "hard" reverb but does it musically. The delay effects sound warm as you'd expect from tape-derived delay effects and El Capistan can also be used to create musically toned delay effects for any kind of music, old to new. Leave the hassles of tape-based delay machines behind and get your tape tones done digitally by the El Capistan.

If you're looking for a simpler less involved echo/delay pedal, they're available from other makers for about half the price of the El Capistan. For me, the Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo pedal is a worthwhile purchase and a winner!

Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo Pedal

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Last edited by SpruceTop; 07-17-2021 at 03:14 PM.
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  #26  
Old 07-17-2021, 08:52 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Sounds like you're having a good adventure with your new Gretsch.

Yours looks like mine, though mine's the double-cut model.

Someone's mentioned delay, and of course there's amp reverb on many amps, but another old-school effect I like with mine is tremolo. My Princeton has tremolo built in, but I have a EH Pulsar with my Hot Rod Deluxe.

The Big Muff can do over the top fuzz and that sustain for days thing, but many of them can also be used with the Muff's own knobs and the guitar's turned down for a less extreme sound.

A few week ago I finally broke down and put flat wound strings on mine. I'm not a very good rhythm player, but I particularly like playing what I can manage in that role on my Gretsch.
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  #27  
Old 07-19-2021, 12:08 PM
jaymen jaymen is offline
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Default Eddy Cochran mod

Put a P-90 in the neck position and it really gives a vintage tone to that guitar, just like Eddy Cochran did way back in the day.

Have you done the Bill M mods to your Blues Jr? That, plus a Mojo-tone reverb tank, and a 12AT7 in the pre-amp transforms it into a great Jazz amp.

Jay
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  #28  
Old 07-25-2021, 09:21 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Gretsch 5420TG-59 with Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue Special Edition

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  #29  
Old 07-27-2021, 05:50 AM
TJN TJN is offline
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That is one beautiful looking guitar. Enjoy!
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  #30  
Old 07-28-2021, 06:35 AM
Gdjjr Gdjjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
While you're waiting for your strings to arrive here's a demo of the Euro-spec G5420TG-59 (note finish color), taking it through the various pickup combinations:



- and a side-by-side of the standard 5420 with the $3K+ MIJ Professional Series G6120T-55:


That first video brings to mind Chuck Berry from a long time ago.
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