Gretsch 6120SSU Brian Setzer Type Reviews 4

I was told that Gretsch had a sound that is so typical, that I would recognize it right away. Gretsches are relatively hard to find in the Netherlands, so when I found one in Leiden, it aroused my curiosity. Hearing it, I immediately knew that that was the sound that I was still missing. I paid 2700 Euros for it, which is roughly $3000.

The sound is awesome. It growls like a wolf, it is raw, and it's got this very intense feel to it. It produces a kind of sound that I can not possibly approach with a Les Paul or a Strat, or hollowbody Gibsons. I completely understand why Blues and Rockabilly artists like this type of instrument. It's got this stereotypical 50's RnR look, which I quite like. The colour is brightly orange, and it has got a beautiful flaming wood structure in its body.

The Bigsby tremolo system makes setting up the strings quite cumbersome. I have found a way to do this relatively quickly now, but compared to a Strat or a Les Paul, it takes too much time. I don't like the lucky 7 dice used as knobs for the coils. Fortunately, standard knobs were also delivered with it, so I had the dice removed. It is not as versatile as a Strat, but I don't think you would want to buy a unit like this for its versatility. You buy it for the unique sound.

I ran into what many other reviewers ran into as well, namely that the fretting had been quite carelessly done. It almost angered me. I had to have a couple of the frets polished, or the strings would rattle. I think that is quite a shame for a guitar of that price. After the polishing, the quality of the guitar is quite alright. You might want to complain about the two switches, which do not seem to be very solid, but they function alright. I think that they will last.

It is a beautiful instrument with a tremendous sound, but Gretsch ought to take better care of the finishing. I don't think I will regret the purchase, as I have been using it quite a lot already. It just needed some fixing first.

EPO rated this unit 4 on 2005-09-04.

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