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View Full Version : NUD Gretsch G9126 Guilele first impressions



Cfiimei
09-21-2015, 11:06 AM
My Gretsch Guilele arrived about 2 weeks after I ordered it from HMS. Sadly I left for vacation the day before it arrived, so I had to wait an additional week to get my hands on it. The bright side of this is that it gave me something to look forward to besides work upon my return.

Chris Murray at HMS did the setup, and a card with a checklist was included with the follow work items, all of which were signed off:

Cosmetic
Action @ 12th Fret
Nut Slots
Fret Dress
Tuners
Electronics (N/A in this case)
Intonation
Strings

Chris did a great job; the action is fantastic, and there is not a sharp fret anywhere. The setup was easily the best I have received out-of-the-box, and no further adjustments at all will be necessary. Thanks Chris! I actually got a call from Chris while he was doing the setup. There was a small tear in the gig bag that came with the instrument, and he wanted to let me know they were upgrading me to a case at no charge. Thanks again Chris!

The instrument arrived undamaged. I can happily note that crinkled paper was used in packing the instrument in the box instead of those awful foam peanuts. Extra cardboard reinforcement was included where needed in the box as well. Great job. My hat is totally off to HMS; they are great folks to deal with.

I'm impressed with the instrument. This is a unique instrument. I really didn’t know what to expect when I ordered it. I can tell you what it is not; it is not just a tenor ukulele with 2 additional strings. The neck on this thing is sized from a guitar, and initially felt club-like in my smallish hands. I had read some complaints about the thickness of the head, but it is the same thickness as the head on my Ohana 8 string (both are slotted.) I think what makes it seem big to some is that it has to do the job of a guitar head, with adequate spacing on six strings at the nut. It may look a bit out of place on a uke, but then, this is not a uke. I had also read reports that the neck end was heavy making the instrument unbalanced, but I did not feel the instrument to be unbalanced at all. Again I feel I have to state that this is not a uke at all. Rather, it is a delightful and very playable small nylon string guitar.

The Aquilas seem to fit this instrument well. They have more tension than I am used to in a classical guitar, and in this respect the instrument is more like a uke or a crossover nylon string guitar. They tuned up quickly (probably due to being tensioned during setup) and they sound good on this instrument; I don't feel a need to experiment or change them.

The instrument is very well built. The inside is clean, and the braces are nice and smooth, and anchored under the slotted kerfing. The finish is satin and not overly thick. It doesn't look like the pores were filled, but this does not hurt the appearance. This is a basic instrument; there is no binding or purfing. The top is made of nicely bookmatched solid mahogany, and the sides and back are laminate. Inlays include a nicely done pearl rosette, pearl "Gretsch" on the headstock along with some designs, and abalone snowflake shaped markers on the fretboard. There are also pearl markers on the side. This is not a work of art, but it is a very well executed, playable instrument without any flaws that I can find. I have played around with Yamaha guileles at local music stores, and although I found them playable and fun, this thing is miles ahead of them in my opinion.

When I first played the instrument it sounded kind of wonky. I discovered that this was because I tuned it to itself, and it was a good dollar too low across the board. When I tuned it properly (bottom four strings GCEA) the wonkiness went away and it sounded great. This means that (with these strings anyway) the instrument should probably not be tuned to the same scale as a guitar.

I will post a video when I get a chance, but in the meantime there is a great video here:

http://www.theukulelesite.com/gretsch-g9126-solid-top-guilele-pack.html

I can attest that the instrument does sound like the sample at this site. I just wish I had his skills...

Summary; the value of this thing way exceeds the price.

Camsuke
09-21-2015, 11:45 AM
Congratulations Cfiimei, these little instruments are great fun. FYI, I've settled on Savarez CG 520 low tension strings at the moment, I've tried many and these seem to work best for me, tension & tone is very nice.

AcousticTones
09-21-2015, 03:47 PM
Wow, the sample on the site is way beyond the $159 price tag.

DaveY
09-21-2015, 04:35 PM
Wow, the sample on the site is way beyond the $159 price tag.

That's exactly what I thought, before seeing your post. I started listening to the sample, then scrolled up the price, and was shocked at what it cost.

Cfiimei
09-22-2015, 12:49 AM
Agreed. It really is a hell of a value. I'll try to post a video tonight so you can hear what this example sounds like.

Mivo
09-22-2015, 12:59 AM
That looks (and sounds!) like a fantastic deal, with great service from HMS, too. (Corey is such an amazing player.) :)