My dilemma - Gretsch or Jackson

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by buckman, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Help me out here. I am on the edge of a NGD, and while I am a LP guy, I have serious GAS for something else. A while back a guy was going to trade me for a Gretsch G2622T, their low end take on a semi-hollow Bigsby Gretsch, but then he backed out. I can pick up a new one from Sweetwater for under 500 clams, in a vintage sunburst they call Brooklyn Burst. I hear really good things about them.

    Then I was trolling through sites and found a Jackson SLX Koa for under 500 clams. In the late 90s I picked up a USA-made Jackson SL1 second-hand that was a killer shred guitar. I can pick up an SL2Q (Indonesia built) for about 750 clams, which is a step up from the SLX. Mahogany body instead of basswood, ebony board instead of rosewood, SD Distortions instead of Duncan Designed, and a licensed Floyd Rose instead of "special FR".

    I play in an original, old-school, power trio prog band with a brief early summer tour planned (for which the Jackson would be an asset, especially with the locking Floyd). I also play a couple times a month in a classic rock cover band and in another less accomplished one, which the Gretsch would surely serve.

    Have any of you played both? I'm on the fence about the two Jacksons, the SLX or the SL2. The only semi-hollow I've owned was a 90s Korean-made Epi dot, but it is long gone. So, 480 for an Asian Gretsch or corners cut Jackson, or 740 for an Asian Jackson with all the trimmings? The Duncan Distortion pair runs about 150 street and an official FR is about 200.

    Please help. Of course I could cut bait and grab a faded SG for about the same top end.
     
  2. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Or I could blow my budget on one of the new Marshall Origin heads that were just rolled out at 2018 NAMM.
     
  3. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Silver Supporter

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    Don't know, other than to say, the Gretsch looks like a lot of guitar to haul around if you are traveling.
    If you do go that Jackson route, I've swapped out the Locking nut for locking tuners it's way easier and works just as well.
    The origin amp is nice but only 1 channel.
    Perhaps the new DSLs would be better...
     
  4. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Thanks! If I get the Gretsch I'll have to buy a hard case for it.

    I have locking tuners on one of my LPs. I can't imagine they hold tuning better than a locking nut when abusing a Floyd Rose. A floating FR will go from slack to about three steps up.

    The demos I watched on the Origin are great. I use a Carvin V3M now, but I rarely ever use more than one channel. My amp sound is slight breakup maxed and clean when I roll off my guitar volume.
     
  5. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    The rest I get from my pedalboard.
     
  6. filtersweep

    filtersweep Senior Member

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    I don’t know exactly what sort Floyd you get with the Jacksons, but never again for a no-name ‘licensed by’ Floyd for me. I bought an LTD online, and it arrived with a different Floyd than listed in the spec- and it was the only bad thing about it- but I eventually sold it.

    Personally- not a fan of Chinese Gretsches. I wanted to like them, snd played a few in some stores before realizing they are not for me. I find the low end models are stripped of their Gretchiness. But it becomes a thought exercise to compare all their lines. Is a Korean Gretsch any Gretschier?

    Do you want a licensed Bigsby with a tension bar? Maybe it is needed, but I prefer a Bigsby without. Just something to think about.
     
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  7. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    The SLX line is what they call a "special FR". Some complain the contacts wear out after heavy use over a couple years. The special is cheaper metal with less mass in the trem block and the bridge assembly is less dense.

    I should probably go for the higher end Jackson. And call it a day.
     
  8. 07rogersg

    07rogersg Senior Member

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    I've played a Gretsch streamliner with an odd shaped stop tail, not sure which model it was, I loved the sound and the shape but the frets were so skinny it was just horrible for my play style, I'd also say given the price the fit and finish wasn't up to standard either. I have also played a Jackson SL3X, the fretboard & frets were immaculate. Sound wasn't anything special although it did have quite a bit of sustain, for what it's worth I'd only ever buy a FR guitar with an Ibanez or Gotoh floating trem.
     
  9. JazzyLester

    JazzyLester Member

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    Oh man.. Gretsch all day long. :)

    I would say that as I'm more of a rocker than a metaller though.

    Shred guitars aren't my thing.

    Gretsch on the other hand are super cool. I have a big orange 5420T myself. Those Streamliners are pretty awesome. I've considered grabbing one of those once or twice myself.

    In my view, the Eastern made models have came on leaps and bounds in the past few years.. as somebody else said, they used to be pretty.. well, lets just say I didn't care all that much for the older models. But I really wouldn't judge the more recent models on those.. you could be missing out. I can speak for the 5420 and I'd almost say it has become a mid-range opposed to beginner Gretsch. It's up in price (and many would say quality) plus most of them come with better pickups and everything as stock. My 5420 has Blacktops which are based on a Baldwin era Gretsch pickup and they're really good.. the earlier pickups weren't and had ceramic mags.. many felt they they just weren't very good or indeed Gretschy. With Blacktops it's a completely different story.. no need for TV Jones Classic IMO unless you hear a difference and prefer their sound. I don't feel either is better or worse. Both great pickups.

    I'll also say, my Gretsch was one of the best playing guitars I ever received new. It played a dream soon as I got it. I feel they have very good quality control. It genuinely seems like they cared about the production on my guitar anyways. I can't fault it.

    I'd say get the Gretsch for sure. Even more if it has stock Blacktops.
     
  10. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Well, I really appreciate your thoughts and opinions. I am almost certain to go for the Jackson SL2Q. If my local GC has either or both I'm going to go play them tomorrow. Ultimately though getting from Sweetwater. I could use a shredder FR for this tour.
     
  11. El Pablo

    El Pablo Senior Member

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    Good luck on your purchase. It just sounds like your a little all over the place on what you need and/or want. Unless it's a big void to fill, stash your money away and be patient. Something will come along that leaves no doubt.
     
  12. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Well, I am a Les Paul guy. But my band is starting to mess around with some drop D metal ideas so the Jackson makes sense.
     
  13. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    I was going to pull the trigger yesterday on the Jackson but there was a SNAFU on the "promotion" because it is a price drop and a discontinued color. Awaiting manager override on Monday. Maybe they'll knock some more money off it.
     
  14. JTM45

    JTM45 Premium Member

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    I just bought the Indonesian Kelly with a Floyd it's the KEX and it kicks ass, absolutely knocked it out of the park with this model. The Floyd is cheap and for the money it should be but it gets the job done for now and it's one of those thins I can change out in the future.

    The Indonesian line is solid, it's certainly not USA but it's pretty damn good
     
  15. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Well I pulled the trigger on a blue quilt SL2Q. Insane discount on a demo. Supposed to come Thursday!
     
  16. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Got the SL2Q today. Only got to spend a little time with it. Will report back after spending some time. Got a really great price from Sweetwater.
     
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  17. JTM45

    JTM45 Premium Member

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    Awesome, congrats man great guitars for the dollars
     
  18. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Will post some pictures later today. Initial thoughts: solid; action lower than any guitar I've owned (out of dozens); very resonant; intonation spot on; fit and finish a bit shaky where paint meets oil rubbed neck; fret dressing excellent; and most important, has songs and riffs in it.
     
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  19. JTM45

    JTM45 Premium Member

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    Oh man that's awesome, the necks on these are really good, fretwork is solid, action is great out of the box and they are lookers too.
     
  20. buckman

    buckman Senior Member

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    Yeah I got the blue quilt. It is quite a looker. I rather like the Duncan Distortions I also rolled the preamp tubes in my Carvin V3M yesterday. Very smooth. I swapped out the 12ax7 in my V1 position to a 12at7 to reduce the gain a bit.
     

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