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I'm sure they have caught up by now...

Billy Duffy, Brian Setzer, Greg Keelor (when he played electric that is) John Frusciante, and this guy!!!

Yeah Luke absolutely is a monster player . I think I I’ve watched every single video and heard every song he has out there and he is of the best .

And to add to the list …Dan Auerbach, Jack White , Richard Fortus regularly use Gretsch …as does Billy Gibbons and the Ultra amazing ..Steve Wariner
 

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And to add to the list …Dan Auerbach, Jack White , Richard Fortus regularly use Gretsch …as does Billy Gibbons and the Ultra amazing ..Steve Wariner
I forgot about Jack!! Yes, he used one a lot when he first moved on from the White Stripes. The custom one with a built in vocal mic was kinda cool...
 

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Townshend used a Gretsch on a lot of the most famous Who recordings. Izzy Stradlin and Malcolm Young both played Gretsch guitars, Malcolm exclusively.
 

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The 54XX series which are their hollowbodies are all made in Korea, the 56XX is their centre block series and 52XX is their Jet series and they are made in China
This drives back at the original question. The 54xx guitars are pretty close to the design features of the vintage 61xx hollow body models. That comes with all the Gretsch quirks.

The 56xx have the Gretsch looks but they smooth out the edges. Gibson-esque tail pieces. Centre blocks. And then move production to China to get the price down. All logical moves to shift the brand closer to the mainstream.
 

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the older gretsches with bigsbys can be pretty bad for losing their tuning, even without using the trem, just going out of tune for a laugh. some of the newer mid-priced ones look great to me, but it feels like a brand that doesn't really have too clear an identity at present. maybe as a previous poster said it just needs a couple of high-profile guitarists to shine a light on them
 

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When I sold my Gretsch Electromatic it wasn't on the market more than a day or two. A friend who knew the guitar well snapped it up, and there were other offers immediately. Selling it was stupid, just stupid. Bang for the buck it was hard to beat.
 

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To second @Mooh …I too have recently sold a 1959 Gretsch Duo Jet, 1965 Gretsch Country Gentleman, 2005 Gretsch Billy Bo, 1964 Gretsch 6120 and none of these were on the market for more than several days . I had many responses on them right away either for trades or sales.

I do miss everyone of them and only sold only to replace with more (preferably 50’s) Gretschs.

Gretsch are great guitars and for the ones who know how to handle them, get the most out of them and want to look good doing it …..they are perfect .

I have also owned a few Korean “5 series” Gretsch’s over the years and they are generally quite well built and with a few small upgrades can be very Good guitars. I found where they lacked compared to the 6 series is the pickups/tuners/bigsby.
 

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To second @Mooh …I too have recently sold a 1959 Gretsch Duo Jet, 1965 Gretsch Country Gentleman, 2005 Gretsch Billy Bo, 1964 Gretsch 6120 and none of these were on the market for more than several days . I had many responses on them right away either for trades or sales.

I do miss everyone of them and only sold only to replace with more (preferably 50’s) Gretschs.

Gretsch are great guitars and for the ones who know how to handle them, get the most out of them and want to look good doing it …..they are perfect .

I have also owned a few Korean “5 series” Gretsch’s over the years and they are generally quite well built and with a few small upgrades can be very Good guitars. I found where they lacked compared to the 6 series is the pickups/tuners/bigsby.
59 duo jet is holy grail territory! I’ve always had a soft spot for the mid 60s 6120s, too, even though collectors prefer the late 50s/early 60s ones.
 

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59 duo jet is holy grail territory! I’ve always had a soft spot for the mid 60s 6120s, too, even though collectors prefer the late 50s/early 60s ones.
The 59 Duo Jet was amazing playing and sounding . I just wanted one with the single coil DeArmonds as it suits my desired style and tone better . Still searching !!! ….Ahem!!! … @tgibson 😂😂

also yep…. the 60’s 6120 double cuts are very nice too and had no complaints with either of the two I had . But I’m too searching for that elusive 50’s one with DeArmonds again
 

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The 59 Duo Jet was amazing playing and sounding . I just wanted one with the single coil DeArmonds as it suits my desired style and tone better . Still searching !!! ….Ahem!!! … @tgibson 😂😂

also yep…. the 60’s 6120 double cuts are very nice too and had no complaints with either of the two I had . But I’m too searching for that elusive 50’s one with DeArmonds again
Yeah a 59 6120 with the Filtertrons and an earlier Jet with Dyna’s seem to be the classic Gretsch sounds. Of course, I’m leaving out Gents and Falcons and George’s Tenny with Hilos for that Beatles for Sale sound. Which is probably why Gretsch lovers get sucked down the rabbit hole! There are so many cool variants.
 

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Yeah a 59 6120 with the Filtertrons and an earlier Jet with Dyna’s seem to be the classic Gretsch sounds. Of course, I’m leaving out Gents and Falcons and George’s Tenny with Hilos for that Beatles for Sale sound. Which is probably why Gretsch lovers get sucked down the rabbit hole! There are so many cool variants.
100% correct ……The Tennessean’s / Annie’s with the Hilo’s are amazing too and not to be discounted…(I’m hunting).

Country Gents too ! I just sold mine a few weeks back but will replace with another soon enough when it comes around ….Looking for a ‘63….. 😂😂 Such a sickness this collecting thing
 

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The 54XX series which are their hollowbodies are all made in Korea, the 56XX is their centre block series and 52XX is their Jet series and they are made in China

I completely misread your previous post. I missed the period and doing so changed what (I thought) you were saying.
 

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I have also owned a few Korean “5 series” Gretsch’s over the years and they are generally quite well built and with a few small upgrades can be very Good guitars. I found where they lacked compared to the 6 series is the pickups/tuners/bigsby.

New ones, or at least my new one, come with Black Top Filter'Tron pickups. I have no idea where those sit in the Gretsch pickup hierarchy.
 

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New ones, or at least my new one, come with Black Top Filter'Tron pickups. I have no idea where those sit in the Gretsch pickup hierarchy.
I had them in a white/gold Gretsch 5422TG. They weren’t “bad” pickups or anything and would be completely sufficient for most people ….but if you have played the real deal vintage Filtertrons or a nice set of TV Jones ones, there is a noticeable difference for sure …especially for live playing out with a band. I found them just all around flatter with less of a punch, less crisp …(best I can explain).

but still completely useable and giggable
 

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  • They are a niche guitar
  • Odd appointments - the controls on Fenders and Gibsons are much more intuitive
  • They are expensive for offshore guitars (A US-made Gibson is comparable to a Japanese-made Gretsch)
  • The branding is complex - numbered models with a lot of configurations
  • Any signature sound they might have is associated with the past (rockabilly, Buffalo Springfield, etc)
Despite all that, I have two prolines, don’t play rockabilly, and many of my favourite players have used one at some key point or another.
100% right
 

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I’m REALLY late to the thread, I’ve had 3 Gretches that I picked up in trades, a MIK 5120, and a couple of MIC guitars, I think they were Jet variants.

My take:

The pickups were really muddy, the finishes were not as good as some Epiphones I’ve had, and they really didn’t feel good in the hands. I wanted to love them, but really didn’t.

I think the Ibanez Artcore series are a far superior hollow body, especially the early 2000’s models, and they are much cheaper.

In terms of the Jet types, they have a look about them, but I’d want to change the pickups out to TVJones models or something along those lines.

US Gretches are probably night and day different, but I’ve never seen one in the flesh. They are legendary so there’s obviously something there, but I have the feeling that the imports are just riding that branding and reputation.
 

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I hate gold appointments on guitars, and Gretsch guitars are, for the most part, too ornate and gaudy looking for my eyes. I had a Tennessee Rose that was nice - more tame in looks, but it was stiff and uninspiring to play. I recently got to try a friend's 5 series in which he swapped the pups for a set of Vineham FT's - that was enlightening. Honestly, that guitar had more resonance and give to it than the Rose I had (2005 model), and those pickups with the amp set at the edge of break-up were beautiful and expressive. Had I not recently picked up a great deal on a 'bucker HB I'd definitely be looking at a Gretsch.

Isbell certain coaxes some wicked tunes from them, and I saw Darrell Scott playing solo with a White Falcon through a Princeton and it sounded insane.
 
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