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View Full Version : Ordered a Gretsch mahogany tenor - any experiences?



kissing
01-13-2013, 03:26 AM
Uke fever got me good, and I took a plunge and ordered a Gretsch solid-top mahogany cutaway tenor with Fishman pickup:

http://www.theukulelesite.com/gretsch-solid-top-tenor-cutaway-fishman-active-pickup-gig-bag.html


It sounds great in video, and the specs were too good to be true for the price.



Does anyone have experience with this uke?
Any comparisons to different ukes would be appreciated!
Thanks



oh the painful wait begins

teruterubouzu
01-13-2013, 03:46 AM
I don't have experience with it, but it looks like a beautiful instrument. Congratulations!

dweez
01-13-2013, 08:48 AM
I have the laminate version and sounds great and plays great, so I'm sure you'll be delighted... especially at that price. Unfortunately, mine came with a poor setup from HMS, but without a doubt a great bang for the buck. I'm somewhat partial to my other mahogany tenor (an Islander), but you can't beat the looks of the Gretsch. And hey, it's a Gretsch!!

Jayboy99
01-13-2013, 10:22 AM
I also own the laminate tenor version......which my missus got me for Xmas.
I have put a low g Aquila red on it and it sounds proper naughty ( that means very good by the way)
I got mine fom a local music shop here in the uk , my missus picked it up for me , after I told her what I wanted so
I am not sure if it was set up in store or not,but it is perfect ( or as perfect as I guess a uke can get intonation wise)
And it looks and feels great.
I wouldn,t hesitate in recommending it to someone .
Good luck with your new plaything buddy.....let us know how it works out for you.

ukegirl
01-13-2013, 10:34 AM
I bet you will be very happy with it...Gretsch/Fender really did it right...and did you see the camp Uke they are coming out with...way cool!!

Paul December
01-13-2013, 11:56 AM
I have the laminate version and sounds great and plays great, so I'm sure you'll be delighted... especially at that price. Unfortunately, mine came with a poor setup from HMS, but without a doubt a great bang for the buck. I'm somewhat partial to my other mahogany tenor (an Islander), but you can't beat the looks of the Gretsch. And hey, it's a Gretsch!!

What kind of setup issues did it have?

dweez
01-13-2013, 05:33 PM
C string buzzes like crazy... open to the 4th fret. Bad enough that it irritates me while playing chords even. In fact, it's more than likely the reason I'm more partial to the Islander. My first uke from HMS is perfect (Gretsch is the second) so I'm not terribly bitter - just wish I would've had the same result. With $60 shipping from them, I'm paying for the "free" setup... and sending it back isn't really an option. I'll probably give them another whirl in the future, but a guy may be better off buying locally and having the convenience of returnable workmanship.

AndrewKuker
01-14-2013, 12:04 AM
C string buzzes like crazy... open to the 4th fret. Bad enough that it irritates me while playing chords even. In fact, it's more than likely the reason I'm more partial to the Islander. My first uke from HMS is perfect (Gretsch is the second) so I'm not terribly bitter - just wish I would've had the same result. With $60 shipping from them, I'm paying for the "free" setup... and sending it back isn't really an option. I'll probably give them another whirl in the future, but a guy may be better off buying locally and having the convenience of returnable workmanship.

How so? You never even contacted us to ask. Our return policy is simple, if it plays and looks fine but you just decide you don't want it, then you pay return shipping. If you get it and the C string buzzes up to the 5th, we don't want you to have to pay for anything. We talk to you, perhaps send another string, but most likely we get it back and send you a new one with no cost to you. Either that or we pay for a local repair person in your area to fix the issue if you know of one and don't mind. This is not common but when it happens we try to make it right with the customer, everyone that has come to me with an issue like this has gotten helped. I feel bad for a customer if this was the case. Why didn't you contact us?

We set up our instruments to play excellent, and if that isn't what you experience, we want to make it right. We don't think about profit, we think about ethics and delivering what we say. We think of customers as friends. And beyond that we know that if we take care of you, you will later return the favor. Or at the least not share a bad experience publicly. So tell me, why do you say "sending it back isn't really an option"? What gave you that idea?

anthonyg
01-14-2013, 12:22 AM
I've played one without pickup in a shop. I wanted to like it. So many things about it were right but the bridge/saddle on the one I played had been glued on too long with too much compensation. I put this down to quality control. Assess it fully when you receive it.

Anthony

dweez
01-14-2013, 07:34 AM
How so? You never even contacted us to ask. Our return policy is simple, if it plays and looks fine but you just decide you don't want it, then you pay return shipping. If you get it and the C string buzzes up to the 5th, we don't want you to have to pay for anything. We talk to you, perhaps send another string, but most likely we get it back and send you a new one with no cost to you. Either that or we pay for a local repair person in your area to fix the issue if you know of one and don't mind. This is not common but when it happens we try to make it right with the customer, everyone that has come to me with an issue like this has gotten helped. I feel bad for a customer if this was the case. Why didn't you contact us?

We set up our instruments to play excellent, and if that isn't what you experience, we want to make it right. We don't think about profit, we think about ethics and delivering what we say. We think of customers as friends. And beyond that we know that if we take care of you, you will later return the favor. Or at the least not share a bad experience publicly. So tell me, why do you say "sending it back isn't really an option"? What gave you that idea?

I guess I assumed that I would be responsible for the return shipping, and on a $150ish uke the $60 bucks to do so doesn't make much sense. This has tended to be my experience in the past, so that assumption was clearly an oversight on my part. Regardless of your policy, the simple fact is that I received a ukulele with a poor setup. I think that you'd agree that your customers have the right to be informed of the service that you provide and that it's not always as perfect as claimed, so I have absolutely no regret in sharing my experience. If indeed there were a sincere desire to completely satisfy the customer thousands of miles away, why would any uke go out the door with a significant buzz? It seems very unrealistic to me that someone that is skilled in the setup of fretted instruments could have not known in this instance. And why should I, as the consumer expecting the product that is promised, have to spend the time to return that product (whether the shipping is paid for or not)?

I'm a big fan of HMS, and I doubt that there are many other uke stores that offer the degree of customer service, product info, and general expertise as you guys. That being said, it doesn't mean that every instrument that you ship is perfectly setup - so why shouldn't I share that publicly?

AndrewKuker
01-14-2013, 09:05 AM
I guess I assumed that I would be responsible for the return shipping, and on a $150ish uke the $60 bucks to do so doesn't make much sense. This has tended to be my experience in the past, so that assumption was clearly an oversight on my part. Regardless of your policy, the simple fact is that I received a ukulele with a poor setup. I think that you'd agree that your customers have the right to be informed of the service that you provide and that it's not always as perfect as claimed, so I have absolutely no regret in sharing my experience. If indeed there were a sincere desire to completely satisfy the customer thousands of miles away, why would any uke go out the door with a significant buzz? It seems very unrealistic to me that someone that is skilled in the setup of fretted instruments could have not known in this instance. And why should I, as the consumer expecting the product that is promised, have to spend the time to return that product (whether the shipping is paid for or not)?

I'm a big fan of HMS, and I doubt that there are many other uke stores that offer the degree of customer service, product info, and general expertise as you guys. That being said, it doesn't mean that every instrument that you ship is perfectly setup - so why shouldn't I share that publicly?

You were saying there is no return, and that is not the case. I apologize for the inconvenience. I promise we try on every instrument. I promise we stand behind what we say to the point of losing money. But I can't promise perfection. I am not gonna tell you what to say publicly and am not upset about it. But I will correct the error in your statement, "sending it back isn't really an option". If you aren't happy with what you get you have many options and returning is one.
Kissing is a long time customer that has experienced our support when something was less than perfect. We worked together to get it right and that is why he still uses us. So I wanted to let you know that and hope you contact me.
Sorry to derail...on with the OP's question..experiences with Gretsch?

stevepetergal
01-14-2013, 09:25 AM
No personal experience with this ukulele, but an observation. Looks like an amazing deal. Sounds very much like the Islander, but looks so much prettier. And the price I would expect just for all the electronics.

You also get the bonus of the customer service born out in writing right here on your thread. Andrew at HMS is the greatest customer service guy in the business.

mm stan
01-14-2013, 11:19 AM
Aloha S,
Congrats it's a beautiful uke....wow UAS is getting strong again with you...

kissing
01-14-2013, 01:25 PM
How so? You never even contacted us to ask. Our return policy is simple, if it plays and looks fine but you just decide you don't want it, then you pay return shipping. If you get it and the C string buzzes up to the 5th, we don't want you to have to pay for anything. We talk to you, perhaps send another string, but most likely we get it back and send you a new one with no cost to you. Either that or we pay for a local repair person in your area to fix the issue if you know of one and don't mind. This is not common but when it happens we try to make it right with the customer, everyone that has come to me with an issue like this has gotten helped. I feel bad for a customer if this was the case. Why didn't you contact us?

We set up our instruments to play excellent, and if that isn't what you experience, we want to make it right. We don't think about profit, we think about ethics and delivering what we say. We think of customers as friends. And beyond that we know that if we take care of you, you will later return the favor. Or at the least not share a bad experience publicly. So tell me, why do you say "sending it back isn't really an option"? What gave you that idea?

I can completely vouch for HMS and their awesome service. The Gretsch is my third uke from them. A uke i bought from them, a Luna Baritone, had pickup issues. I emailed Andrew about it, and i was completely reimbursed for cost of a new pickup and repair from a local store. And i live all the way in Australia. Absolutely love their service and will always buy from HMS :)

blue_knight_usa
01-14-2013, 06:45 PM
I own and for the price I think it will be extremely hard to beat since you get the Fishman pickup as well. Came perfect out of the box, but I pulled off the Aquila's and put on a set of Savarez strings and it sings nicely. I just took off my Low G a few days ago to test an Aquila Low G on it and it sounds decent, fairly even balanced but not as chimey as my Savarez Low G string. Action is great, and the new Fishman pick up plugged into my Fishman Loudbox acoustic amp sounds really good. I wrote up some detailed info and photos on my Gretsch on the Underground if you search for it.

Have fun!

kissing
01-21-2013, 12:24 AM
My Gretsch arrived today!
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/IMG_20130121_185438_zpsc054ad5a.jpg

I am very very happy with it. It has far exceeded my expectations.
The tone is open, bright, warm and pleasant (even with Aquila strings, which I will switch out later) - plenty of sustain and clarity.
The electronics and tuner work really well. The uke is very well set up (credits to HMS) and a delight to play.
The mahogany is a darker shade than the photo shows, and is very pretty to look at. The ukulele is immaculately put together - no sloppy worksmanship whatsoever. No blobs of glue, paint, crooked stickers, saw marks, dodgey frets you may see in other Made in China ukes - it feels very much like a high-end uke in the $500+ cost range.

I feel as though I've found my perfect uke, and at such an affordable price range.
I daresay that maybe Gretsch sorta feel they profit enough from their guitar sales, so they kinda produced a ukulele that is quality way beyond their retail price to get their product into the market. Gretsch has pulled it off really well, and I will say that perhaps it is one of the best ukuleles (certainly at this price point) made by a mainstream guitar company. It blows the Epiphones and Fenders out of the water.

NinetySimonSomething
01-21-2013, 09:26 AM
I trust you will be very happy, have looked at it too :)

teruterubouzu
01-31-2013, 02:29 PM
It's beautiful! I'm glad you started this thread.

My UAS by proxy set in and I ordered one of these for my boyfriend this morning. He's been having a lot of fun with my uke (which I ordered from HMS on the first of the year) and now he'll have a ukulele of his own. Thanks for sharing your experience. It made me more confident about the instrument.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a practice amp?