1969 Gretsch Corvette
I bought this guitar pretty cheaply in the USA.
I think it was a bargain for such an old vintage beauty from the 60s considering, that in the essence this is more or less the same thing like a Gibson SG which would have cost ten times as much.
A thin and light slab of solid bevelled mahogany, a chunky mahogany set neck with rosewood fretboard and nitro finish...right from the `60s!
Just like Gibson`s second best!
The finish is not as nice, I would have prefered a simpler cherry red.
The bridge is crap, the open tuning keys are not that reliable and the Gretsch-Bigsby doesn`t work, which is no surprise.
But all these little problems can be sorted out easily if I should decide to transform this vintage correct guitar into a real player`s dream.
The tuning key knobs, the nut and most certainly the pickguard may have been restored or replaced at some point and since nobody is collecting these cheap Gretsches anyway I don`t see, why I shouldn`t modify it a little bit more in order to make it a real nice SG clone.
Apart from the annoying intonation issues caused by this non adjustable bridge the guitar sounds very, very nice and resonant played without an amp. I don`t mind the tiny, tiny vintage frets either...
So underneath that ugly finish hides a little gem with good playability.
The pickups are weak and dull sounding and the protruding pole piece screws tend to rip open your right hand when you play.
The pots crackle and if you turn the volumes down the tone becomes even duller. A voice in my head keeps telling me I should put in some Duncan Antiquity humbuckers or at least two Gibson 57s, install a TOM- or a roller- bridge and just pretend it was finished in see-through vintage cherry...
I like that headstock design and the body shape a lot!
A shame that the Gretsch Corvette reissue has a more boring 3-and-3 headstock. The beautiful body is a good blend of the SG and the Les Paul jr. design and a better looking ancestor of the PRS body design.
I like it so much, that I had to buy some NOS Corvette bodys on ebay.
The seller said, they were from the `60s...but they look pretty new to me.
Since Gretsch have reissued the Corvette some time ago these might even be newer NOS ones.
Whatever... they look great and are made of beautiful mahogany...
... but before I `ll work on these beautiful Corvettes I have scheduled an other project. I want to help the ugliest Gretsch duckling ever to become a sexy swan.
to see my
GRETSCH ASTRO JET
2015 Gretsch Electromatic 5420
I had several chances to play a diverse Gretsch Brian Setzer models from Japan and I was amazed how warm and nice they sounded.
But I didn`t have the money for any of them and I thought that even these expensive instrument have bodies made only from playwood anbd plain mapel necks...
And since I know how great Korean build quality is I decided a Korean made Gretsch should be good enough for me and bought this one.
Play it without an amp and compare it to a Gibson ES-335 semi and you will notice a huge difference. The Gibson will sound small and narrow, like a box of shoes made of cardboard and the Gretsch Electromatic is loud and sparkling and warm and full. Simply amazing!
But "amped" t is dfferent. These pickups are just ... boring.
The whammy is a cheap Bigsby. We all know that even expensive Bigsbys can be a pain in the neck: It takes three hands to string them up (I only have two) and tuning stability is bad. Replace it by a Duesenberg.
Replace the pickups with TV Jones`and replace the nut.
Then youn have a very, very nce guitar. Except for these hump block inlays: I lke the shape a lot but the mother-of-toilet-seat material is way opver the top. Ugly kitsch.
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