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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-08-17, 18:36

No, I didn't buy a cow.



I went to my Dad and stepmom's for dinner last night (Wednesday, August 16) and was surprised with a new guitar. Dad and I had a casual conversation months ago and I mentioned this brand/model, Gretsch Jim Dandy, a small-bodied, short-scale "parlor" guitar (I call it a "cowboy" guitar). They've been around for a few years, kinda modeled after the small, simple student/budget models from the 40's and 50's.

There was a cardboard box with "Gretsch" written on it in huge letters in their living room. I knew neither of them played, so I was like "hmmmm...".

Anyway, he said he remembered me talking about it months ago and thought I'd like one. I was so surprised/appreciative. They're $179 new, but I've been reading reviews/watching YouTube clips of them for a few years now and this was always slated to be my "next guitar". Up until a few months ago, they were $149 new (inflation), but for something this good and nice-sounding, to be under $200 is quite impressive.

I've never owned/played a smaller, "parlor" guitar and shorter-scale (24") neck, but after 24 hours of ownership, and a solid 13+ hours of playing time since last night, I've already adjusted. I've always owned/played larger, standard scale guitars (acoustics and otherwise)...Gibson, Martin, Guild, Yamaha, Alvarez, etc. so this was a neat adjustment.

I have to say, I'm VERY impressed. Out of the box, with a quick tuning, it was perfectly playable in terms of action (string height), neck relief, etc. The tuners are smooth and responsive.

What dad didn't know/realize is that he chose a very cool color, a limited edition one that won't be around forever (it wasn't even around a few months ago), called Nocturne Blue. The pics don't fully do it justice, but it's got just the slightest hint of green in it, making it a really gorgeous dark teal kinda color, vs. the straight-up slate blue the pics show. And it's a satin finish body as well, not the gloss I've always known/played, which means it's supper smooth and not sticky (the back of the neck, like some glossy-finished guitars can get). The neck is smaller in every direction - length, width and depth, so once I'm now used to it, it's the most fun, comfortable guitar I've ever played. I play with my left thumb over the neck to hold bass notes or assist in chording (Chet Atkins) and it's effortless to do with this model.

It's got the old style three-on-a-plate tuners seen on older guitars (see pic below) and I love the white button tuners. It fits the vintage/budget vibe of this thing nicely. Metal tuners would've looked odd.

It has cream binding around the body, but black binding around the fretboard. I'd love to have seen that in cream, but that's my only "wish". Otherwise, it's the most "perfect out of the box" guitar I've ever played/owned. I've played it so much since last night I've already knocked some of that bright "clang" that comes from brand new bronze strings (and a sound I don't like). Due to it's smaller, shallow body, it's not the loudest guitar ever made, but I'm not the loudest person/play either. When I wear these strings out - which, at this rate, might be 3-4 days - I'm going to replace them with some silk and steel strings, a softer, more round/mellow sounding that lends itself to fingerpicking (I love Paul Simon's music/playing).

Anyway, I just wanted to share. And, based on the past 24 hours, I wholeheartedly recommend one of these to anyone looking or interested. THey're great for a) beginners, b) someone who's played but is coming back to it after some time off (me) and/or c) anyone with any sort of mobility or arthritic-related issues where excessive movement and hand/finger stretching may be a challenge. This compact next is a joy, and ease, to play! They're $179 new, but easily found on eBay, Reverb.com and other places for far less. This blue is a limited edition color, in addition to some others they've done over the years (a moss green/cream burst, an orange/gold burst). Right now they have an aged walnut stain and the common (original) and most easily-found model is the red-to-black burst, which [i]really/I] plays up the vintage/retro 1940's "cowboy" vibe. There's nothing fancy about this model (no electronics, no fancy exotic woods, etc.), but it's a keeper and a joy to play. Lightweight. If you're a couch plunker (like me) or occasionally get together with others and drink beer/croak out Beatles and Eagles stuff until ridiculous hours, this does the trick. I can't wait to take it to my next "back porch and beer" session.

Here is its official product page at the Gretsch website.. Those pics are a bit closer to real life, with the slight green toning.

Here are some pics taken this afternoon. The pics don't do the blue justice. It's gorgeous in real life, leaning a tad more to green. I've decided I'm going to take it Home Depot and find the Behr swatch that matches and paint my bathroom that color this fall, which will make the white fixtures (sink, toilet) and tile really pop!









And, yes, I check...no orange or copper version. I'm sure that'll come next week.
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2023-08-17, 19:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
I'm a sucker for detail work on metal like that. Beautiful.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-08-17, 20:05

Yeah, I like tuners like this too, that metalwork.

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2023-08-17 at 20:18.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2023-08-17, 23:05

Wowsers. This thing is gorgeous. What a thoughtful gift from your dad. A real treasure. I love stuff like this. Thank you for sharing.

...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-08-18, 02:09

I was blown away/stunned, which is rare. As undeserving as I may have felt, I knew I couldn’t be a jerk and refuse/decline. I’m one of those people who sometimes struggles with accepting gifts or kind acts (I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with me, on stuff like that). But I hugged both and thanked profusely.

I brought it into my bedroom last night I n a stand next to my bed, so I can reach out and grab it to play if/when the mood strikes, which has happened twice, as of 3am ET.

It dawned on me that I must be used to it’s shorter, more compact neck/fingerboard if I can play while lying down, in a dark room, and hit the chords/notes right. Wednesday evening, the first 1-2 hours I played it I was 1-2 frets off from where I wanted/needed to be and had to look at/watch my left hand which I typically don’t do, just chording. But I’m laying here playing “Sultans of Swing” in the dark and it’s sounding pretty okay. And first-position chords are no trouble whatsoever!

Yeah, when I saw the cardboard box with “Gretsch” on it, I kinda lost my breath and gulped a bit, feeling fairly sure, by the smaller size, what it must’ve been. “Is that a Jim Dandy?” I expected/assumed it to be the red-to-back “antique burst” finish. I knew I was digging pics/YouTube clips of Nocturne Blue, but he didn’t. I think it was a wonderful happ accident tgats the one he found/boight. When I first saw the peg head, wrapped in thin foam and that hue showing through, I get a little spun up and extra excited.

I’m currently on the prowl for a padded, semi-rigid gig bag or even hard case for it, both for storage here at home and for toting around. The size of this thing is the ultimate “grab and go” travel guitar and I plan to lug it around a bit to friends/family, gatherings, etc. i don’t wanna just carry it, naked (the guitar, not me!) standing up in the passenger seat beside me.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory.
 
2023-08-18, 08:32

Love the name and the color! What a nice treat from your pops, and a great memory to hold on to.
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kieran
@kk@pennytucker.social
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2023-08-18, 09:00

That's really cool.

The color on that thing is just spot on.

Blues with a hint of green have basically been the driving force behind two home renovations in the last two years for us, so this would fit right in.

No more Twitter. It's Mastodon now.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2023-08-18, 09:42

That is awesome and I too love the metalwork on that thing.

I don't know much about musical instruments, but I know the Gretsch name.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-08-18, 10:32

Yep, world-famous and behind a lot of songs you’ve heard. Brian Setzer, alone, kinda put them back on the map, made them cool again. But way back in the 50’s, guys like Eddie Cochran and Bo Diddley were playing them. And any earlier “mop top” era, a good bet George was playing his Country Gentleman or Tennessean model (studio and stage). If you’ve heard a Stray Cats or 1963-1965 Beatles song, you’ve heard a Gretsch.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2023-08-18, 13:05

Apparently Mrs T said they are who made the drum set in our basement storage. So I too have Gretsch! They are all in special bags/boxes to protect them so I don't know that I've even seen them set up. She had them before we got married and that was more than 22 years ago!

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
Visit our archived Minecraft world! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-08-18, 15:33

That’s right, they make/made drums too. You might be sitting on something collectible/desirable to drummers. I know nothing about that stuff though.

A former band mate, ages ago, had a sparkly set of Gretsch drums.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
 
2023-08-18, 19:07

That's a beautiful guitar. How does she sound?
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-08-18, 21:24

Nice. Unique. Kinda compressed/honky? The small body isn’t going to be as loud, full as a standard size acoustic, of course, but it has a tight “throaty”(?) sound that I like. Just so different from any style/size I’ve ever owned/played. I was playing slide on it earlier today (I never retune for that, I just stay in standard, which as plusaes and minuses) and it had this nice “zing” to it. I’m eager to play it with others, full plays by/so nag volume and all. Soon, hopefully. I knew, from several years of YouTube demos/reviews that it had a different type of sound, but not bad or”less than” at all. I’ll experiment with some strings as the months roll on. Silk & steel because I’ve put those of several other previous acoustics and liked the sound/feel. I’ve never been a huge fan of brand new strings. Like a haircut, I think things “settle up n” and look/sound best after a week or two. I won’t replace these until they’re fully dead…don’t wanna needlessly waste a brand new set that it came with. But I put a micrometer on them so I know the gauge. You can typically go up one or two guages on a short-scale to emulate the feel/tension you’d get on your usual, preferred gauge on a standard ~25.5” scale guitar. I play .010-.052 on a Tekecaster, but I’d bump that up to .012 on a 24” scale Jaguar or Mustang. Fender ships all their electrics with .009 gauge which just flip around like rubber bands on a 24” Jaguar. Like trying to play spaghetti.

I like a bit of resistance/push. I don’t wanna fight or struggle anything too heavy, but I do like feeling I kinda have to “work” for it a bit. From the factory, most companies probably ship their guitars with too light/thin strings. I’ve always kinda casually thought that, but have really leaned into that more recently. Even the ones on here now feel a tad “flappy” to me, and if I play too hard/loud, they rattle a little. This shorter neck may demand a slightly heavier set. Ill do some Googling and lurking around at some guitar forums and see what folks are putting on these models. Sorry for the novel. I’m pleased with the sound. It’s “punchy”, I guess you’d call it? It sounds amazingly big, when I lean down and rest my ear on the side, near the upper bout.

It earns my nickname for it. It’s blue, and it rings like a bell. A little bell.

I’ve played it ALL DAY. In 48 hours of ownership, I’ve got a solid 20-22 hours of playing time on it. And it just makes me want to play more.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-08-18, 21:30

PS -.At this price, I could see me with a second one. I’ve already decided it would be a black one. Those look sharp, like little tuxedos, with the white trim and all. 😍
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Send a message via AIM to Capella  
2023-09-12, 13:30

The color and the metalwork is beautiful!
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