I Woke Up To This! NGD

NotScott

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
2,348
Reaction score
5,194
The other day, I was in my local GC looking to buy one of those D'Addario hand exercisers and I happened to walk by the Gretsch area. I owned a Setzer 6120SSL for many years. I tried EVERYTHING I knew to make that guitar do the jangly, rock-a-billy Gretsch thing I love. I tried TV Jones pups, replaced the harness, tried different wiring schemes, tried different bridges and other hardware, etc.. It came close but always left me wanting more. When I received a great offer for it, I sold it two years ago. Even though my 6120 was a dog, I am still addicted to that Gretsch sound so whenever I get a chance to play one, I take it.

I saw this really cool greenish gold Gretsch model that I had never seen before. It was a neck-through hollow-body with F holes and a center block but about the size of an SG. It had some kind of Fltertrons in it and had a Bigsby so I decided to try it. Trons and a Bigsby, how can it go wrong?

As soon as I picked up, it just felt right. It feels perfectly balanced and the neck had a nice fuller feel to it compared to the typical thinner profiles Gretsch prefers. I walked it over to the amp department, found the nearest, decent Fender amp I could find and went to town.

The first thing I noticed when I plugged in was that it was wildly out of tune and was a PITA to put in tune. I was about to return it to the rack when I decided to just give the strings a good yanking and exercise the Bigsby a bit. That was all it needed and I was off.

The second thing I noticed was that the pickups didn't sound like any Filtertrons I have ever owned. These sounded like the bastard children of a Filtertron and a PAF after a wild night of partying. While they don't quite do the jangly thing, they do the most amazing rocking blues tones I have heard from a stock guitar in a long time and they clean up nicely when backed down. The neck can get a little wooly but I didn't have means to adjust the pups any. I was hoping for some more jangly in-between tones from them but I couldn't find them. Again, probably some judicious pup height adjustments could make them do what I want.

I was really enjoying this guitar! Two guys who were checking out Gretsches were hovering around me listening to the guitar and even some metal head came by to see what was making those sounds. I was enjoying this Gretsch so much that I was asked to turn down a bit by one of the sales droids. :dude: I never had that happen before! :laugh2: Seems that the manager was on the phone behind me and was having a hard time hearing his call. Oh well. I was ready to go anyway. Oh yeah, the best part of this story is that the guitar was only $550.00 and with the special coupon GC sent me, it was only $450.00. A steal, I thought.

When I got home, I started doing some research on the guitar. It is called a Streamliner and is considered Gretsch's entry-level line. The misses walks in my office and asks what I am doing. I tell her all about this new Gretsch that I had never heard of and how cool and how cheap it was. I then tell her about my entertaining demo of the guitar and we both got a good laugh out of it. I told her I probably sold all of their Streamliners with my demo. :cool2:

As much as that guitar spoke to me, I decided if I were to buy another Gretsch, I wanted the rock-a-billy sound but, I was not about to spend $3K on another 6120 and be disappointed again. I started researching the Electromatic series, Gretsch's line between the Streamliners and their "Pro" series. I really liked this one:


Back I went to GC to try their 5420s, since the anniversary model in the video is not out yet. The 5420s do the rock-a-billy thing much better than the Streamliner. However, of the four I tried, two had bad pots and switches, one would not stay in tune and one had the most sickly looking rosewood fingerboard I had ever seen. Maybe it was just the typical GC QC I was experiencing but it did put a doubt in my head about the Electromatics and made me appreciate that Streamliner a lot more. Oh yeah, about that Streamliner I played, it was sold. I figured one of the Gretsch guys behind me bought it as soon as I left the store. Oh well.

I started leaning more towards the Anniversary 5420 so I started calling around and was able to get a delivery slot at a great price. I was going to place the order today. Then I woke up and found this in my office:



It turns out the misses bought the Streamliner for me after she heard me gushing about it when I came home. So before I could order another Gretsch :naughty:, she put this out in my office before she left for work. She knows me and my guitars and told me I wouldn't have been carrying on about that Streamliner unless it was something special. And since it was so cheap (she gets the same discount offers via email that I get) she just went and picked it up for me. :love:

My dilemma now is, do I keep this Streamliner and turn down the Anniversary 5420 or return the Streamliner and order the Anni? So far, I see it as follows:

Streamliner: Plays great, very comfortable, more versatile tonally and I would gig with it.
Anni: I haven't played or heard it, does the rock-a-billy thing much better but won't rock out like the Streamliner. I probably would not gig this guitar as it is too bulky and not as versatile as the Streamliner. It is also $500 more than the Streamliner.

My thinking is the Streamliner is a killer, cheap guitar that with a few mods, I could get closer to the rock-a-billy thing without sacrificing the rockin blues tones it already gets. I have a feeling if I get the Anni, a part of me will always want to upgrade it to a 6xxx. I will play with the Streamliner for a few days and if it passes all my tests, I think I will keep it and eventually get a 6xxx. This guitar buying thing is a disease I tell ya. :laugh2:

Finally, if you are looking for a great guitar at a very affordable price, you really should check out what Gretsch has going on. They are making some fine guitars these days.
 

NotScott

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
2,348
Reaction score
5,194
Well, I am keeping the wife but returning the Streamliner. I had a feeling this guitar was a GC return and I think I now know why. The truss rod is either broken or stripped. I have tried every Allen and hex wrench, metric and imperial, that I have and they are either too big or just sink in and spin in circles. Typical GC QC. Pity too as this particular Streamliner really had that fat, nasty blues vibe down to a tee.

I just placed my order for the Anni with Sweetwater. They beat GC's best price with my coupon and they have a few that arrived today that I can choose from. Maybe I will find a way to integrate some big hollowbody tunes into my band.:hmm:

Now I can get back to putting that rosewood neck on my Tele. :hyper:
 

penguinchit

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
1,840
Reaction score
2,265
At least she thought of you and supports your habit. She's a keeper!

How was her reaction when you told her it was being returned?
 

NotScott

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
2,348
Reaction score
5,194
Yes, she is a keeper!

I haven't told her yet. She is busy in meetings all day today but when I tell her it's defective, she will be the first one to drive it back over there.

She knew I liked the Anni too. She just wanted to surprise me with something she knew I liked before I ordered the Anni.
 

Dolebludger

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
13,621
Reaction score
12,260
Of course, if it is defective, return it. But have you played an Anni to be sure it has the tone you seek?
 

NotScott

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
2,348
Reaction score
5,194
Of course, if it is defective, return it. But have you played an Anni to be sure it has the tone you seek?
Returned today.

Yes, I have played 5420s directly against a 6118 and aside from a few setup issues with the 5420s, their tone compared very favorably to the 6118. The Anni is just a gussied up 5420 so it should sound very similar. I am just not willing to drop a few grand on another 6xxx just yet, particularly since my last one wasn't anything special.

I will know for sure soon.
 

NotScott

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
2,348
Reaction score
5,194
Proof that if you need a hand exerciser, you don't have the right guitar. Now you do.

Congrats. :dude:
The hand exerciser is primarily for when I am travelling without any guitars but, I do like the way you think!:cheers2:
 

Haprom

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
154
Reaction score
203
If my Wife did that for me I would keep it even if it had a Broken Truss Rod...It would Simply mean to much to me to take Back. Just me Though...
 

Thumpalumpacus

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
76,001
Reaction score
186,243
Return a wife's gift at your own risk. Hopefully explaining the defect will allay that.
 

Dolebludger

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
13,621
Reaction score
12,260
NotScott,

Also, did you buy the D'Addario hand exerciser? I got one of those a couple of months ago because I had injured my left elbow. All strength in the left index finger was gone, and the other three fingers tingled. That device worked well for me in my recovery.
 

NotScott

Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
2,348
Reaction score
5,194
NotScott,

Also, did you buy the D'Addario hand exerciser? I got one of those a couple of months ago because I had injured my left elbow. All strength in the left index finger was gone, and the other three fingers tingled. That device worked well for me in my recovery.
Exactly. I have tennis elbow in my left arm. I have been traveling a lot and needed something to keep my hands in shape while I was on extended trips. The device definitely helps my hand strength but I need to discuss it with my physical therapist. I don't want to screw up any progress I made on my elbow.

Return a wife's gift at your own risk. Hopefully explaining the defect will allay that.
My wife is an accountant. If she found out that she bought me a damaged guitar and I didn't tell her, right after she returns the guitar and rips the sales droid for selling defective merchandise, she will be home to rip me a new one for wasting money on a damaged guitar.

We have been together a very long time. It's all cool. :)
 

Dolebludger

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
13,621
Reaction score
12,260
NotScott,

Just explain to her that the defect is not the sort that can be detected by in-store examination. That should do it.
 




Top