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seeso
02-08-2012, 05:32 AM
I really like the looks of the new ukulele line from Gretsch, so I thought it deserved its own thread.

Can anyone who was at NAMM talk about how they sounded?

There was a blog post (http://www.gretschguitars.com/blog/) yesterday on Gretsch's site that has a link to large photos on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gretschguitars/sets/72157629221384997/), like the one posted below:

http://i.imgur.com/XtaJQ.jpg

seeso
02-08-2012, 05:33 AM
Sweetwater at Winter NAMM - Gretsch "Roots" Collection Overview


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11HtXCYCVHs

ukeeku
02-08-2012, 06:02 AM
When I was there I did not see Gretch at all. I think they were in the fender booth. It is stuff like this that needed to be in the daily mag so people would see it. I wish they would have done the triangle sound holes on the Ukes. I am hoping that I can get a couple to review some time soon, But Fender is super weird about review instruments so we will see

PedalFreak
02-08-2012, 06:22 AM
I thought they all sounded REALLY good! The Concert & Tenor Deluxe models were all solid Mahogany, and the Standard models (and Tenor cutaway) were Laminated. Both sounded great though! Very full sounding. I'm planning on getting a Tenor Deluxe as a travel instrument :D

Below are the street prices, I thought for an all solid instrument the Deluxe models are going to be BIG sellers, I can't wait til they get here. If anyone wants to preorder one let me know :)

Concert Deluxe $269
Tenor Deluxe $279
Tenor Cutaway w/ electronics $219
Soprano STD $99
Concert STD $119
Tenor STD $129

ALL INCLUDE GIGBAGS

garyg
02-08-2012, 06:29 AM
Anyone know how to contact Michael Lewis who was the Gretsch rep. Love to get a copy of that 20's catalog or even just find out when Gretsch started making ukes (I have one with wooden tuners). TIA, g2

mm stan
02-08-2012, 07:39 AM
Mahalo Seeso for the heads up on Gretsch Ukes and Pedal Freak on the info and prices..gotta look into it..Stan

RyanMFT
02-08-2012, 08:35 AM
Really glad to hear Gretsch is making ukuleles again! I am a little bummed to see no solid wood soprano....I guess this is the way the ukulele world is going, concert and tenor are now the standards. However, I am interested to check them out! Still don't have a vintage one in my stable.

Plainsong
02-08-2012, 08:41 AM
Would be more fun if they built a killer price-no-object instrument, but money is money I suppose. They don't actually look that inspiring, but nor am I down on them, so the more the merrier! :)

Lanark
02-08-2012, 09:20 AM
I suppose it is nice to have some more competition in the market, but it really does seem like it's starting to get a bit saturated at around this price point for instruments.

Which isn't to say that's necessarily a bad thing since it means that manufacturers are going to have to start stepping up their game to rise above the crowd with some bigger bang for the buck ukuleles. But it does seem like every guitar maker is trying to break into the market pretty much all at once and cash in on some name recognition with some generally pretty mediocre wares. (As compared to say Ohana, who make some really decent instruments for the same cash.) But I'd still like to see what they're offering in person. Hopefully something a lot better than Fender.

I do also have to say that since the Gretsch brand was reintroduced, they've kind of seriously devalued the legacy with some not so good and cheap instruments. I mean, I'd have a hard time selling off my '67 Country Gentleman, but I probably wouldn't look twice at a new one. There have been quite a few duds in their revamped line.

itsscottwilder
02-08-2012, 09:28 AM
I suppose it is nice to have some more competition in the market, but it really does seem like it's starting to get a bit saturated at around this price point for instruments.

Which isn't to say that's necessarily a bad thing since it means that manufacturers are going to have to start stepping up their game to rise above the crowd with some bigger bang for the buck ukuleles. But it does seem like every guitar maker is trying to break into the market pretty much all at once and cash in on some name recognition with some generally pretty mediocre wares. (As compared to say Ohana, who make some really decent instruments for the same cash.) But I'd still like to see what they're offering in person. Hopefully something a lot better than Fender.

I do also have to say that since the Gretsch brand was reintroduced, they've kind of seriously devalued the legacy with some not so good and cheap instruments. I mean, I'd have a hard time selling off my '67 Country Gentleman, but I probably wouldn't look twice at a new one. There have been quite a few duds in their revamped line.

At least Gretsch has some history in Ukes. It is odd to see everyone jump into the Uke market. Fender? Really? But profit is profit I guess. And at Gretsch price points even the deluxe models are going to be factory made. So whether you like it or not, there's going to be quality control issues.

khairijamian
02-10-2012, 07:15 PM
I thought they all sounded REALLY good! The Concert & Tenor Deluxe models were all solid Mahogany, and the Standard models (and Tenor cutaway) were Laminated. Both sounded great though! Very full sounding. I'm planning on getting a Tenor Deluxe as a travel instrument :D

Below are the street prices, I thought for an all solid instrument the Deluxe models are going to be BIG sellers, I can't wait til they get here. If anyone wants to preorder one let me know :)

Concert Deluxe $269
Tenor Deluxe $279
Tenor Cutaway w/ electronics $219
Soprano STD $99
Concert STD $119
Tenor STD $129

ALL INCLUDE GIGBAGS

No solid wood soprano? :iwant:

Colonel Uke
02-27-2012, 04:27 PM
Has anyone heard any kind of timeline as to when these new Gretsch ukes will be available?

ukeeku
02-28-2012, 01:47 AM
Has anyone heard any kind of timeline as to when these new Gretsch ukes will be available?
When I called to get a review one, I was told Summer

Colonel Uke
02-28-2012, 02:01 PM
Thanks. One of those deluxe tenors may be in the cards for me if they sound good. Back when I was in high school and first starting to play guitar I passed on a beautiful 60's era Gretsch 6120 guitar with a fantastic action that a guy was selling for $200. I've regretted it ever since. I know the price point is low/ mid range, but I hope that Gretsch is putting some work into these and not just bringing out a uke line because they think they can make a quick buck.

Bob Bledsoe
02-28-2012, 02:44 PM
That cutaway with electronics looks like a deal. I wonder how it compares to the Cordoba.

allanr
02-28-2012, 03:45 PM
Fender now owns the Gretch brand (http://www.fender.com/other_brands.php). This looks like a branding exercise to me. The Asian quality control has definitely improved a great deal, but I think that the real value in Asian made ukes is from the uke-centric specialty brands like Mainland, Ohana, Mele, and Kala. And buying from one of the retailers that does setup pretty much guarantees a nice uke at an affordable price point.

My guess is that the Gretch line will be found mostly in the mass-marketers like Guitar Center and Sam Ash where customers value "new in the box" more than a good manual setup Let's see if Uke Republic (http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/) or Hawaii Music Supply (http://www.theukulelesite.com/) starts to carry these...

Colonel Uke
02-28-2012, 04:32 PM
Fender now owns the Gretch brand (http://www.fender.com/other_brands.php). This looks like a branding exercise to me. The Asian quality control has definitely improved a great deal, but I think that the real value in Asian made ukes is from the uke-centric specialty brands like Mainland, Ohana, Mele, and Kala. And buying from one of the retailers that does setup pretty much guarantees a nice uke at an affordable price point.

My guess is that the Gretch line will be found mostly in the mass-marketers like Guitar Center and Sam Ash where customers value "new in the box" more than a good manual setup Let's see if Uke Republic (http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/) or Hawaii Music Supply (http://www.theukulelesite.com/) starts to carry these...

You're right. There are very good imports being built now, but local setup, by people who know and play ukes is key. I've had some bad experiences trying to get ukulele work done, even by some very respected local guitar shops, known for having great luthiers. There is still a perception by some that you should just settle for a uke with a bad action, setup, etc. because it's just not worth their time to work on it, or that it's as good as it's going to get. I wasn't aware of the Fender/ Gretsch connection. I hope these turn out better than the recent Epiphone ukes. I have one, and for a $100 bucks it's fun to play, but it could have been done soo much better.

Pippin
03-26-2012, 10:26 PM
Fender management is most likely not running Gretsch. Fender also owns Guild and Ovation. They have done good things with the Guild GAD series of guitars (high quality Chinese imports).

ukeeku
03-27-2012, 01:38 AM
Fender management is most likely not running Gretsch. Fender also owns Guild and Ovation. They have done good things with the Guild GAD series of guitars (high quality Chinese imports).
Please don't take this as a burn, but taking a company like Guild (All hand built in the U.S.A. until fender took them over) and having an import with their name on it is not a good thing IMO

PedalFreak
03-27-2012, 04:14 AM
Has anyone heard any kind of timeline as to when these new Gretsch ukes will be available?

When I ordered them all I was told anytime between April and June.


Fender now owns the Gretch brand (http://www.fender.com/other_brands.php). This looks like a branding exercise to me. The Asian quality control has definitely improved a great deal, but I think that the real value in Asian made ukes is from the uke-centric specialty brands like Mainland, Ohana, Mele, and Kala. And buying from one of the retailers that does setup pretty much guarantees a nice uke at an affordable price point.

My guess is that the Gretch line will be found mostly in the mass-marketers like Guitar Center and Sam Ash where customers value "new in the box" more than a good manual setup Let's see if Uke Republic (http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/) or Hawaii Music Supply (http://www.theukulelesite.com/) starts to carry these...

I played all of these at NAMM and if they continue to make them the same it'll be a shame if the bigger uke stores don't carry them, but it'll be more business for me :D It's not a branding thing, Fender owns Gretsch, but Gretsch have their own management. They brought in a "Gretsch Historian" to do the Gretsch Roots Collection, and knowing the amount of work Gretsch did for this line, and research I doubt there will be major problems with this line.


Fender management is most likely not running Gretsch. Fender also owns Guild and Ovation. They have done good things with the Guild GAD series of guitars (high quality Chinese imports).

+1 The GAD series is great, Gretsch reps on a monthly basis visit this factory and check things out. When i was selling Guild I never had any issues with the GAD series, but the American line was a different story.

OldePhart
03-27-2012, 08:39 AM
"Gretsch" isn't the same company that made those fine old ukes back in the day. Not saying the new stuff isn't okay, just saying the name means nothing. There was a time (decades ago) when Gretsch guitars were amazing...now they're just a brand stamped on vanilla asian instruments of neither particularly good nor particularly bad quality.

John

guitarsnrotts
03-28-2012, 03:56 AM
Some of the new guitars are domestically made. Look at the prices. The American made ones go for 2X the Asian made models.

Plainsong
03-28-2012, 05:41 AM
If the quality is alright, I guess that one with the Fishman pickup could be a good deal.

Sporifix
01-03-2013, 06:34 PM
I bought a Roots Tenor deluxe, and I'm selling it after a month. It's one of those things where they've piled on the glitzy features - nice Fishman electronics, solid top, binding, gig bag - but when you actually start using it you discover: very rough unfinished frets; rough unfinished, uneven bridge and nut; very sloppy woodwork, with lopsided neck heel, slightly lopsided headstock, weirdly bulging top where the string tension is pulling. The whole thing looks good at first but I'd need to put about $80-100 into a full setup and it still wouldn't be as clean overall as my Lanikai LU-21C at half the price.

pdxuke
01-03-2013, 06:36 PM
Sorry to hear this. The laminate cheapie soprano--apart from the rough fret edges--actually sounds and plays well. I've been wondering about the build of the deluxe versions. Appreciate the info.

AndrewKuker
01-03-2013, 07:31 PM
This is junior's first post and so negative. ?? In fact not even correct because there is no model with binding and their work has been very clean from hundreds I have examined.
Gretsch is very competitive in the market they have entered. I have been impressed from day 1. On the other hand the last Lanikai Lu 21-C's...... returned all 24 for being defective. We have sold many thousands of Lanikai's but this was our last experience. And every single LU21C we have experienced doesn't even come close to the quality of the deluxe Gretsch line.To pdx- don't take this to heart, it is false and fishy info.

AndrewKuker
01-03-2013, 07:37 PM
On the lighter side they are releasing three new models at this years NAMM. This is unreleased and would bet most dealers don't even know yet. None of these will sell for over 250
https://s4ee134128e51b.img.gostorego.com/802754/cdn/media/s4/ee/13/41/28/e5/1b/G9101_Camp_Ukulele_Domesti_copy.jpg

Ben_H
01-03-2013, 09:11 PM
On the lighter side they are releasing three new models at this years NAMM. This is unreleased and would bet most dealers don't even know yet. None of these will sell for over 250
https://s4ee134128e51b.img.gostorego.com/802754/cdn/media/s4/ee/13/41/28/e5/1b/G9101_Camp_Ukulele_Domesti_copy.jpg

So Andrew,

Do you know of any reputable retail outfits that might be planning on stocking the resonator?

uncle david
01-04-2013, 01:54 AM
The resonator will likely be a hit. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on that 6 string with what appears to be a re-re-entrant string tuning...

AndrewKuker
01-04-2013, 02:48 AM
So Andrew,

Do you know of any reputable retail outfits that might be planning on stocking the resonator?

We'll have them in a few weeks. Or should. But in the UK? No clue...our shipping isn't too bad but you guys pay customs too..ouch.

Oh..actually that might not even apply at this lower cost. Doesn't the tariff kick in only for higher amounts? The setup may be crucial,...you could do your own work I'm sure..but it's one less thing to take care of.
Hey Ben, Weren't you building one...a concert? How did that come out (tiny sidetrack, sorry)

teruterubouzu
01-04-2013, 03:09 AM
Hi Andrew.

Do you know if you will be getting the G9110 in stock anytime soon? I am a beginner and just placed my first order with you guys and now my boyfriend wants a ukulele too. He thought the G9110 looked and sounded lovely.

AndrewKuker
01-04-2013, 03:19 AM
Do you know if you will be getting the G9110 in stock anytime soon? I am a beginner and just placed my first order with you guys and now my boyfriend wants a ukulele too. He thought the G9110 looked and sounded lovely.

Every model is coming on the next shipment. So a few weeks.... We may have some now but take out of stock in case some have issues and aren't gonna be able to go... those are good, sweet tone

Ben_H
01-04-2013, 06:18 AM
We'll have them in a few weeks. Or should. But in the UK? No clue...our shipping isn't too bad but you guys pay customs too..ouch.

Oh..actually that might not even apply at this lower cost. Doesn't the tariff kick in only for higher amounts? The setup may be crucial,...you could do your own work I'm sure..but it's one less thing to take care of.
Hey Ben, Weren't you building one...a concert? How did that come out (tiny sidetrack, sorry)

Wasn't me Andrew, I would love to build ukes but have all the woodworking skills of a beaver. Great at taking trees down and disposing of them but not good with the fine stuff.

I was actually slyly asking whether you would be selling them as I would probably order one via you to get your legendary setup. Works out about the same price in the long run to order one from you vs over here in the UK but depending who my local supplier was I may not get that oh so crucial setup.

AndrewKuker
01-04-2013, 07:40 AM
Wasn't me Andrew, I would love to build ukes but have all the woodworking skills of a beaver. Great at taking trees down and disposing of them but not good with the fine stuff.

I was actually slyly asking whether you would be selling them as I would probably order one via you to get your legendary setup. Works out about the same price in the long run to order one from you vs over here in the UK but depending who my local supplier was I may not get that oh so crucial setup.

cool, right on. should be showing these in a few weeks...maybe won't get listed till late in the month but I can shoot you a pm when we get them and get you one faster. a resonator is a great way to annoy everyone :D "can you turn that thing down?"

hey beavers got skills

Ben_H
01-04-2013, 08:14 AM
cool, right on. should be showing these in a few weeks...maybe won't get listed till late in the month but I can shoot you a pm when we get them and get you one faster. a resonator is a great way to annoy everyone :D "can you turn that thing down?"

hey beavers got skills

As I said, I'm good at cutting the trees down, but a chainsaw is not great for the delicate work :)

As for the reso, I'm somewhat commited over the next few months in terms of ukulele aquisitions but it's good to know for future ideas. I regularly drool over your site (sorry if the server gets damp) so will be looking in anyway.

I've only ever heard a fully metal resonator in the flesh before. How do they compare to the wooden ones with a cone?

AndrewKuker
01-04-2013, 09:02 AM
As I said, I'm good at cutting the trees down, but a chainsaw is not great for the delicate work :)

As for the reso, I'm somewhat commited over the next few months in terms of ukulele aquisitions but it's good to know for future ideas. I regularly drool over your site (sorry if the server gets damp) so will be looking in anyway.

I've only ever heard a fully metal resonator in the flesh before. How do they compare to the wooden ones with a cone?

The wooden body has warmer tones..less metallic sounding as you would imagine. I usually like it better. I would personally love any National uke in any style though. They're all great for gettin' nasty. that bluesy mid range..when your not tryin' to sound pretty.

pdxuke
01-04-2013, 01:48 PM
I really was impressed by this little Gretsch soprano. If I really wanted a laminate, entry level uke, I would have no hesitation suggesting it. At $99 it's a great deal; sounds great, good strings, classy, classy looking.

HOWEVER...

Mine came from Amazon where I had gift certificate. I SENT IT BACK. There was absolutely no set-up, and the frets were sharp and it was unpleasant to play. Some ukes you can get lucky with from the factory. But most low cost ukes you don't get lucky. I have never purchased a uke from anywhere where I either have played it first, or I know it will be set up properly. Until now.

So listen to the warning on the set-up. HMS is CORRECT: I fully believe buying from them and getting their set up would make all the difference in the enjoyment of this fine little uke.

Sporifix
01-04-2013, 01:53 PM
This is junior's first post and so negative. ?? In fact not even correct because there is no model with binding and their work has been very clean from hundreds I have examined.
Gretsch is very competitive in the market they have entered. I have been impressed from day 1. On the other hand the last Lanikai Lu 21-C's...... returned all 24 for being defective. We have sold many thousands of Lanikai's but this was our last experience. And every single LU21C we have experienced doesn't even come close to the quality of the deluxe Gretsch line.To pdx- don't take this to heart, it is false and fishy info.

"Binding" shouldn't have been in there - didn't check closely before sending and it was late.

As for the rest: "Junior" means how long I've been a member, not how long I've been playing or even how long I've been reading the site. But I know how it goes - one post, you don't know me, severe review. So let me elaborate, because this ukulele really pissed me off.

I've been playing guitar and bass for forty years and ukulele for about six. I have a pretty fine guitar collection, and aside from the three ukes I own (a cheap Eddy Finn, the aforementioned LU-21C, and an Ohana solid mahogany tenor) I've played many ukes in my monthly group, from low- to very high-end. I'm saying this to show that I didn't just pick it up one day and start complaining.

I stick with what I wrote - they skimped on the stuff inexperienced players wouldn't notice at first, to load up on the stuff that looks good on a bullet-point features list and still come in around $200. But under the features it's a mediocre Chinese instrument that I like less than many of the far less expensive ones I've played, for example my very well-put-together LU-21C, that of course doesn't sound like a solid-top but feels far more together as an instrument.

I should also note that, at the store - a well-known high-end instrument shop in this city - they got in five of these Gretschs and I went through all five to choose the best one. The others were even worse, but I thought I could grow to love it. The last straw was when I measured the neck and found the the headstock was lopsided by almost a quarter-inch. That was after I noticed that the unpolished frets were shredding the bottom of the strings.

Maybe one bad batch came to that one store. Maybe. Anyway, caveat emptor. I'm selling it and getting a cedar-top Kala.

AndrewKuker
01-04-2013, 06:09 PM
When true, negative reviews can be helpful for everyone, maybe there should be more. Yours seemed odd but I won't give you a hard time, I'll just say this. These are very simple instruments, even the deluxe models are satin with no binding (not loaded at all). We stock over 300 different models at this point (after looking at thousands) and every one of us at the store totally agree that the new Gretsch line, at least so far, is an excellent value. Not perfect but a top choice for their price range. MGM was impressed, Aaron, Corey too, and they have been relatively consistent. We don't like them because we carry them, we carry them because we like them. Gotta be realistic in this price range, BUT not everyone has to agree. Sometimes that one with the pickup pisses me off too, can spend half an hour to get wires and preamp parts not to buzz.... still, fishman active system w/built in tuner solid top cutaway, setup & gig bag for $219. Kind of hard to bash that when it actually sounds good too...and never cool to bash those not deserving. but I suppose that's subjective.
Welcome to UU. Feel free to sell at the market here also.