Gretsch historic series

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Any owner reviews? Value? Quality? Issues? 
The power of valves compels me
The thought of iem's repel me.

I make my living with bolt-on necks, please don't ask to borrow them.
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 4859
    edited April 21
    I’ve had a few. They were made from about 1998-2001 by Peerless in Korea, non of which were historically accurate in dimensions. Some of the models were rebadged, and sold under other brands, such as the 3131, which was also sold (with minor changes) as a Carlos Robelli, and Peavey Rockinghsm. 

    Modern Gretsch Electromatics are much better built guitars, the wiring/electrics in all Historic models is cheap and nasty.  Would benefit form a wiring loom upgrade.  And for many models, the pickups were pants - generic cheap humbuckers. The exception being, the models fitted with DeArmond pickups. These are fantastic single coif pickups (also found on the Gretsch G512x models (x=1 through 9). 

    Most models were centre block, not fully hollow, with the exception being the G315x series, and 3110, 3131.and 3161. 

    In my opinion, the best models are the Cats Eye models fitted with DeArmonds, the G3155 (red) snd G3156 (white). The white on looks pretty cool.  I’ve had the red one, which has a serviceable Bigsby B70. I wouldn’t consider buying any other model from the Historic range. 

    Value, for years, you could pick these up for £350 with a case. Right now, I would expect to pay about £500 to £600 (with case) for the two good models in minty condition. Chancers on eBay are recently asking £800 plus for the undesirable models, but I doubt they sell for that as they seem to get relisted regularly.  

    You can pick up a G5420T for the same money (maybe less), a way better built guitar.  The G5420T has improved dramatically since launch, and the current G5420T is way better built than when first launched.  Over the years they have upgraded most of the hardware, wiring, pots, pickups mounts, and even the nut.  A recent G5420T is very hard to beat.  The historic range feel very much like the budget guitars they were, closer in feel to the current Gretsch Streamliner range (which are also better built than the Historics). 
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  • @TheMarlin Thanks, l had a feeling that might be the case but it's always good to have an experienced opinion. 
    The power of valves compels me
    The thought of iem's repel me.

    I make my living with bolt-on necks, please don't ask to borrow them.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 4859
    There are some gems in there. 

    The G3155 and G3156 are pretty cool.  I’d love to pick up the white one. I might pick up my old G3155 that is currently with a friend. It looked great, and was fun- but gold hardware sets my teeth on edge.  I’m weird like that. 



    The G3156 (white) also came with a stop tail piece, as well as a B70.  Some people took the stop tail piece off and popped a proper Bigsby B6 on there, and that looks very cool indeed. 

    If I do pickups my old G3155, I’ll swap the pots and wiring, mod the Bigsby with a tuning stabiliser to improve feel, and then it’ll be a great, cool looking guitar.....something you won’t see every day. 



    The G3567 Goldtop Jazz model with the wooden bridge looks great, pop a Carlie Christian on it, and it’ll be a really fun and unique looking jazzer.  I believe (but can’t confirm) it’s fully hollow. Looks fab!



    Other models, while they look good, the cost of swapping out the fridge magnet pickups just makes it a poor investment...particular when a newer G5420T is such a great guitar. 


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  • @TheMarlin You don't love red & gold? I do miss owning a hollow body with the DeArmond 2000's. To my ears they were as good as anything I've played on a proline. 
    The power of valves compels me
    The thought of iem's repel me.

    I make my living with bolt-on necks, please don't ask to borrow them.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 4859
    If you want the DeArmond sound, a good alternative guitar is a late model Gretsch G512x (x=1-9) 

    Here is my G5129, same DeArmond pickups, great neck, lovely construction, (meh pots), but a fine guitar, uses prize around £450 in case. 

    An easier guitar to find :)

    https://imgur.com/a/CAmmZe6
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  • TheMarlin said:
    If you want the DeArmond sound, a good alternative guitar is a late model Gretsch G512x (x=1-9) 

    Here is my G5129, same DeArmond pickups, great neck, lovely construction, (meh pots), but a fine guitar, uses prize around £450 in case. 

    An easier guitar to find :)

    https://imgur.com/a/CAmmZe6
    You're selling it?
    The power of valves compels me
    The thought of iem's repel me.

    I make my living with bolt-on necks, please don't ask to borrow them.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 4859
    No, I thought about it months ago, but it’s quite lovely.  It’s staying :)

    I’ve just taken delivery of a bunch of shims for it from TV Jones. Pickups are way too low, and need shims for adjustment. So will raise them up to where they need to be over the weekend.  

    If anyone has DeArmonds and needs shims, I bought more than I need, so can make a donation :)
    They’re impossible to find in Europe, bought them from the USA. 
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  • @TheMarlin Bugger ;) 
    The power of valves compels me
    The thought of iem's repel me.

    I make my living with bolt-on necks, please don't ask to borrow them.
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
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