Gretsch Tennesee Rose Reviews 5

Paid $1,600 from a small online store in Mo. I wanted another Gretsch like the one I owned 30 years ago. I've had this one for a few months. This is model 6119.

Gretsch high end arctops have been made in Japan for the last several years. They are made in the best guitar factory Japan has to offer. Believe me, some American manufacturers could learn some lessons from them. The Tennesee Rose replaces the old Tennessean model and they are virtually the same in design and looks. The neck is thin and very fast and the action super low right from the factory. The fret board is ebonized rosewood and very smooth and the frets are standard vintage and feel great. I can play this guitar as fast and clean as any Fender Strat I own. The pickups are Gretsch's long time design and have a crystal clear sound unlike any other. With high gain or distortion on the amp it produces the sweetest sounds for lead work I've ever heard and I've heard plenty. The Bigsby tailpiece and vibrato looks killer vintage and works well.

The Bigsby tailpiece is a pain to change strings on. It's not too big a deal but it takes me twice as long as other setups to do it. I hate floating bridges. I don't know why so many archtops have them these days. Again, its not too big a deal but occassionally you move it by accident and you have to set the intonation again. I'm getting pretty good at setting it up right in less time. As with all single cutaway archtops regardless of make, don't expect to be doing fast impressive leads above the 15th fret. They're not very accessable.

Fender has recently taken over Gretsch and I hope they keep the high quality of the Gretsch archtops going. I cannot find a single flaw on the Tennesse Rose. It's simply beautiful all over. The deep rich red paint is well done and you can see the wood grain below it. The body, F holes and neck binding are perfect. One thing about this guitar is when you compare it to say a 60's Gretsch archtop, this one plays better and in some ways is finished better.

I usually only buy American made guitars but this Gretsch is exceptional. In 2003 they will be made by Fender but I don't know what factory they'll use. This Tennessee Rose will stay in my guitar stable and not be sold or traded. It brings back memories of the days when these guitars ruled as electrics and it feels good and plays fast and sounds great. It's a bit heavy for long stand up gigs but your audience will get a kick out of it they'll love the sound. When I'm sitting around writing a song or just I want to feel a quality guitar under my fingers, I grab the Gretsch!!!

Don (Orc) rated this unit 5 on 2002-12-30.

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