Archive for the ‘Gretsch News’ Category

Gretsch Introduces New Rancher Acoustics

Friday, January 20th, 2012

From the Gretsch Guitars Website:

A great Gretsch name is back with the return of Rancher acoustic guitars.

The richly resonant Rancher first appeared in the early 1950s with its highly distinctive triangular sound hole and sweepingly elegant pickguard, and Gretsch is now very proud to re-introduce the model with a great new five-instrument selection of body sizes, styles and features.

New Gretsch Rancher Acoustics

The G3500 Rancher Folk delivers full, well-articulated acoustic tone worthy of its larger Rancher brothers. Premium features include a vibrant laminated spruce top with scalloped X bracing and the traditional Gretsch Rancher triangular sound hole, laminated mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with 20-fret rosewood fingerboard, 1940s-style pickguard with Gretsch logo, compensated bridge with rosewood base, nickel-plated hardware, deluxe die-cast tuners and an elegant gloss Natural finish. The G3800 Rancher Orchestra packs those same features into a classic medium-size 21-fret model with a rounded orchestra-style body that fills the hall with full Rancher sound, feel and vibe.

The G5013CE Rancher Jr. is a diminutive but powerful model with an elegant Venetian cutaway for easy access to the fingerboard’s upper reaches and onboard electronics that let it be heard loud and clear. It too has the same features listed above, with the additions of Neo-Classic™ thumbnail inlays on the 21-fret fingerboard and onboard Fishman® electronics that include a Sonicore under-saddle pickup, Isys+ preamp system with onboard tuner, battery life indicator and controls for volume, treble, bass and phase.

The biggest new Rancher is the G5022CE Rancher Jumbo Cutaway Electric, which produces great volume and broadly expansive tone complemented by its elegant Venetian cutaway for easy access to the fingerboard’s upper reaches and onboard electronics. Premium features include a solid spruce top with scalloped X bracing and the traditional Gretsch Rancher triangular sound hole, flame maple back and sides, mahogany neck, 21-fret rosewood fingerboard with Neo-Classic™ thumbnail inlays, 1940s-style pickguard with Gretsch logo, compensated bridge with rosewood base, gold-plated hardware, deluxe die-cast tuners and a gloss Savannah Sunset finish. Onboard Fishman® electronics include a Sonicore under-saddle pickup and Isys+ preamp system with onboard tuner, battery life indicator and controls for volume, treble, bass and phase.

The G5034 Rancher Dreadnought delivers full-size, full-on Rancher sound, feel and vibe with classic Gretsch styling. Premium features include a solid spruce top with scalloped X bracing and the traditional Gretsch Rancher triangular sound hole, laminated mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck, 21-fret rosewood fingerboard with Neo-Classic™ thumbnail inlays, 1940s-style pickguard with Gretsch logo, compensated bridge with rosewood base, gold-plated hardware, deluxe die-cast tuners and an elegant gloss Natural finish.

For all the details and specs, visit the Gretsch Guitars website.

Gretsch Introduces New Brooklyn Series

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

From the Gretsch Drums Website:

Gretsch drums were born in Brooklyn, New York in 1883. They were proudly crafted in the vibrant city for the better part of the 20th Century. Brooklyn and Gretsch share an inseparable history that is part of American music history and folklore. It is a shared legacy that cannot be duplicated. Today, Brooklyn represents a renaissance community that vibrates with contemporary artistic expression, youthful innovation and passionate musical commitment. Gretsch Brooklyn series celebrates the rejuvenated Brooklyn city passion and spirit and expands on its distinctive shared American experience.

Gretsch Brooklyn Series

Sound

Rooted in classic Gretsch design, Brooklyn delivers vintage Gretsch tones that are full, punchy and warm. These classic tones are modified by the 6-ply North American maple/ poplar shells and “302″ hoops. Innovative specs drive a new Gretsch tonal characteristic that is slightly more open and ambient. Brooklyn drums sound like classic Gretsch drums, but speak with their own sonic personality.
The Shells

All Brooklyn drums feature 6-ply North American maple/ poplar shells. Toms are .220″ thick and snare and bass drums shells are .310″ thick, slightly thicker than standard USA Custom shells. All shells have the proprietary Gretsch 30-degree bearing edge. Shell interiors are finished with classic Gretsch Silver Sealer. Each shell comes with a distinctive Brooklyn internal shell label that contains drum shell model number and serial number.

The Hardware

Brooklyn toms and snares come fitted on batter and resonant side with the new Gretsch “302″ hoop. At 3mm thick and double-flanged, it is reminiscent of hoops used by Gretsch up until the mid 1950’s. The 302 hoop has the same height profile as the classic Gretsch die-cast hoop to provide a playing experience that feels the same as traditional Gretsch USA Custom drums. All other drum hardware components – lugs, claws, brackets, spurs, etc – are the same that is used on Gretsch USA Custom.

Snare Drum

Gretsch Brooklyn series metal snare drums add another professional and distinctive voice to the Gretsch snare line up. The straight-sided chrome over brass shell (with Gretsch center knurl pattern) is offered in two sizes, 5×14 (8 lug) and 6.5×14 (10 lug). Also offered is hammered chrome over brass shell in 6.5×14 (10 lug). All shells include Gretsch “302″ 3mm/double-flanged hoops, Lightning throw off and butt plate, “Snap-in” drum key holder, 20-strand snare wire and Gretsch Permatone drum heads. The brass shells resonate with classic, musical tones and are extremely versatile. The “302″ hoops provide a timbre that is more open and ambient than traditional Gretsch die-cast hoops.

The Badge

The return to Brooklyn means a return to a Round Badge. The Brooklyn Round Badge has a black/pewter color scheme with classic embossed Gretsch design.

The Finishes

Satin Finish Colrs: Mahogany (SM), Dark Ebony (SDE), Tobasco (ST), Emerald Green (SEG)
Nitron (Wrap) Finish Colors: Vintage Cream Oyster (CO), Smoke Grey Oyster (GO), Ruby Red Oyster (RO), Royal Blue Oyster (BO)

Brooklyn Series Colors

Series Specs

Shell: Gretsch Maple/American Poplar 6-Ply
Bearing Edge: Gretsch Style 30-degree
Hardware: USA Custom drum hardware in chrome
Shell Interior: Gretsch Silver Sealer with serialized Brooklyn shell label
Hoops: “302″ double-flanged 3.0mm
Badges: Brooklyn Round Badge
Configurations: 6 total configurations
Finishes: 4 Satin, 4 Nitron
BD Hoops/Satin: Maple hoops finished in satin natural
BD Hoops/Nitron: Maple hoops finished in satin black with matching inlay
Drum Heads: Gretsch Permatone by Remo

Brooklyn Metal Snare Drums

Shell: Rolled 1.1mm brass with center knurl pattern or 1.1mm hammered brass
Finish: Chrome with chrome hardware
Hoops: Gretsch “302″ 3mm, double flanged
Throw-off: Lighting Throw-off / Butt plate
Snare Wires: 20 Strand
Heads: Permatone coated batter with white sound dot and clear snare-side heads
Features: Snap-in key holder

For all the details and more photos, please visit the GretschDrums website.

Star In Your Own Bigsby Ad!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

In a world where advertisements are often ho-hum, Bigsby has upped the excitement level by inviting guitarists around the world to star in their very own Bigsby ad!

The idea is simple:  Bigsby wants to create a series of “personalized” ads using shots of working guitarists playing their favorite Bigsby-equipped axe. Response to this innovative idea has already been tremendous, generating dozens of great photos for the contest.

The first winning entry featured two shots from Steve “Twang Is The Thang” Litvak, guitarist for Rochester, New York’s The Tombstone Hands. Other entries submitted can be seen HERE. While there, be sure to check out the rest of recently renovated Bigsby website.

For a chance to win a spot in a future Bigsby ad, guitarists should send their photos (of YOU with your Bigsby-equipped guitar) to everythingyouneed@bigsby.com. Photos can also be mailed to Bigsby, P.O. Box 2468, Savannah, GA 31402.

Please note that submitted photos will not be returned, and that submission constitutes permission to use any photo in its entirety or in edited form in print, on the web, or in promotional materials.

For everything Bigsby, please visit the Bigsby website.

Gretsch Seen by Millions Over the Holidays

Friday, January 6th, 2012

From the Gretsch Drums website:

Rockin’ in the New Year with Omar Tavarez!

Omar Tavarez with Pitbull: With this being the 40th anniversary of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, ratings were at their highest in 11 years! At one point, there were 22.6 million viewers!

Omar Tavarez on Gretsch Drums

Here is a link to Pitbull’s performance with new Gretsch/Gibraltar artist Omar Tavarez!

Eddie Fisher with OneRepublic

We also had Gretsch placed with Eddie Fisher and OneRepublic. They appeared on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve as well. And did you happen to see the new Disney commercial featuring OneRepublic that premiered on New Year’s Eve? If not, check it out here . . . another Gretsch logo appearance! Even Donald Duck plays Gretsch!!

Eddie Fisher on Gretsch Drums

Update: Louis Messina and Electric Touch

Recent Gretsch/Gibraltar signee, Louis Messina and his band Electric Touch are just under a quarter of a million views on their new video “Don’t Stop.” Amazing Gretsch logo coverage!

Louis Messina on Gretsch Drums

Check the video out here.

For more information on Gretsch drum artists, make sure to visit the Gretsch Drums website.

Dinah and Fred Gretsch Host Drum-Makers Holiday Lunch

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Dinah and Fred Gretsch recently hosted a special holiday lunch for all the staff at the Gretsch USA Drum Manufacturing facility in Ridgeland, SC. The “Drum-makers Holiday Lunch” featured a splendid feast of southern delicacies and this special occasion was very much enjoyed by one and all.

Dinah Gretsch began the lunch by thanking everyone for all their hard work during the year and acknowledged the very important role that they play in upholding the Gretsch tradition for quality and for creating “That Great Gretsch Sound”. Fourth Generation family member Fred Gretsch further demonstrated the long history of this tradition by showing images of some of the earliest Gretsch drums from the pages of a 1912 Gretsch catalog.

With demand for Gretsch USA drums growing all around the world, the factory has recently been expanding its production staff.  So the holiday lunch also provided a great opportunity for the Gretsches to get to know better the newest members of the drum-making team.

Gretsch Drum Team

Front row:  Mrs. Dinah Gretsch, Tonya Munn, Lorena Ortuno, Juana Nunez, Emilia Ortiz, Maria Perez, Barbara Fennell, Harry Dailey, Paul Cooper.

Back row:  Mr. Fred Gretsch, Joshua Safer, Craig Johansen, Lee Vallier, Matt Collett, Adam Dycus.

Chet Atkins: The Lasting Influence of “Mr. Guitar”

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player exhibition which opened in August 2011 continues into the summer of 2012. Located in the East Gallery of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, the exhibit pays tribute to one of country music’s most versatile and visionary artists.

Ten years after Chet’s death in June of 2001, interest in him has not faded in the least.  One only needs to see all that is blogged, tweeted, and otherwise posted about him on a daily basis.  Here are a couple recent examples:

“Chet Atkins: The Lasting Influence of ‘Mr. Guitar’” by Craig Havighurst.  Excerpt:

“It’s not that there weren’t solo guitar players before him — but there weren’t that many. Chet took solo guitar to everybody.

Even to this day, young devotees are embracing Atkins’ style. Ben Hall, a 22-year-old from Okolona, Miss., showcased at this year’s convention. Hall uses the tricky right-hand technique that Atkins adopted from Kentuckian Merle Travis and refined in the 1940s and ’50s.

‘It revolves around a bass note,’ Hall says. ‘The fingers … Merle used one, Chet thought Merle was using two. So he used two and three and sometimes a handful of fingers. They play the melody. And there’s famous stories of so many great guitar players along the way who play other styles listening to this and saying, ‘I had no idea that’s one instrument.’ ”

Read the entire story here.

December 2011 issue of Premier Guitar magazine, “Chet Atkins: Country Gentleman,” also by Craig Havighurst.  Excerpt:

“Refinement. It’s a word we’ve come to associate (sometimes incorrectly) with luxury brands and upscale dining. Musically, maybe the term conjures up a string quartet. It’s not what you see emblazoned on welcome signs to little Appalachian Mountain towns like Luttrell, Tennessee.

But to properly consider the career of Chester Burton Atkins, native son of said mountain town, the true meaning of refinement (‘to make improvement by introducing subtleties or distinctions,’ says Webster) could prove more than a little useful. Chet’s not the only small-town kid to become a major-league musician, cultural force, and executive, though few have achieved so much with such humility. But on the guitar, where nails meet strings, Chet stands pretty much alone.”

Read the entire story here.

Chet Atkins Exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Photo by Donn Jones Photography.

Dinah & Fred Gretsch Honored At Georgia Family Business Gala

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Dinah & Fred Gretsch (president and CFO of Savannah’s Gretsch Company respectively) were recently honored at the Georgia Family Business of the Year Awards 20th Anniversary gala. The event was held November 29 at the Cobb Galleria Center of the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the awards, notable former honorees were invited to the gala to receive special recognition plaques. This included the Gretsches, who were the recipients of the Cox Century Award in 2007 as part of the Georgia Family Business of the Year program.

The Cox Century Award award recognizes companies that are one hundred years old or more. The Gretsch Company was chosen because of its 129-year history as a family-owned operation, its importance within the worldwide music industry, and its contributions to the Georgia business community. Since receiving the award the Gretsch Company has proudly displayed the Century Award logo on its business correspondence.

For more information on the Cox Family Enterprise Center, visit their website.

Paul Bigsby Remembered

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Paul Bigsby

On December 12, 1899, Paul Adelbert Bigsby was born in Elgin, Illinois.  Paul was many things:  a successful motorcycle racer, expert pattern-maker, machinist, inventor, poet, guitar-maker, and musician. Most widely known for inventing the Bigsby True Vibrato tailpiece, Paul also made the first modern solidbody electric guitar for musician Merle Travis in 1948.  Paul Bigsby was the “man who could build anything”.

Following are a couple of excerpts from The Story of Paul Bigsby:  Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar by Andy Babiuk.  This well-researched book tells the fascinating story of Paul’s life and work and is loaded with hundreds of photos and illustrations.

“The musicians who played their custom-made Bigsby guitars helped shape the core of modern electric-guitar playing.  Merle Travis’s inspiration gave rise to the Chet Atkins style, and both men were the fathers of the Scotty Moore and early rockabilly style.  These players in turn heavily influenced the guitarists of the British Invasion and almost every rock player who has ever picked up a guitar since then.”

“P.A. Bigsby achieved nothing less than changing the world of American music. He was a man of vision and extraordinary imagination who possessed the abilities and sense of craft to turn that vision and imagination into a reality.”

To learn more about Paul Bigsby, get a copy of The Story of Paul Bigsby today and visit Bigsby.com.

You can also check out the article in the December issue of Premier Guitar magazine featuring Paul Bigsby. In a series of articles entitled “Forgotten Heroes”, light is shed on legendary figures who have contributed great things to the world of music though their stories may not be widely known.  This article details contributions made by Paul Bigsby to the world of modern music by focusing in on some of his most enduring designs.  Included are details of how he modified the pedal steel guitar into the configuration we know today, used an aluminum case for the shielding of pickups, placed all 6 tuning machines on a single side to promote tuning stability, and, of course, designed the now-famous Bigsby True Vibrato.  The article also discusses the sometimes-strained relationship with Leo Fender and the similarities of a few design components found of most modern electric guitars.  A nicely crafted article to whet your appetite for more history of Paul Bigsby and how he contributed to the world of electric guitars. Available at your local newsstand and online HERE.