Price paid: $ 499
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play mostly older hard and classic rock, from AC/DC to Sabbath. The guitar's tone is phenomenal for this. I love it as a rhythm guitar, because it's sound is so rich. The semi-hollow body gives it a very warm tone. I play it though a Marshall MG15 as of now, and even though my amp could be better, this guitar really does make it the best it can be. With the bridge pickup selected, it has a very decent bite to it. On the neck pickup, it becomes rather warm, suitable for a wide variety of styles. I do like the bridge pickup with low distortion and max tone. Sounds like a dream.
Overall Impression — 10
The guitar matches my style of music to a T. I bought the guitar after researching different tones for a long while, and I must say, I'm extremely happy with it. I've been playing for around 5 years, and this is my first high quality guitar. I have an Epiphone SG Special as well that I like very much, but this one is by far better for just about everything. Except maybe running around that stage like Angus. It is rather heavy. If it was lost or stolen, I would probably purchase another Gretsch, but this time a full hollow-body with f-holes. I was tentative about that at first, so I picked this one as a happy medium, but knowing what is possible with a big, hollow guitar, my eyes are open. Thanks for reading.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would gig with this without a problem. I'd bring a backup only because the Bigsby makes swapping a snapped string in a timely fashion all but impossible. All the hardware is rock solid. The strap buttons screw on, and with the leather strap I have on it, it isn't going anywhere. The finish is durable, but color (black) makes every.single.tiny.fingerprint show up like day-glo paint. I Drive myself mad trying to keep it clean.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Guitar came stock with a set of 10s on it. Action was low, not buzzy. Looking for that thick Malcolm Young bark, I instantly swapped the strings for a set of Ernie Ball 12s. This required a minor action adjustment, but nothing too extreme. Pickups height is good enough that I've never considered adjusting them. After three years of playing, my only complaint is that the pots fuzz when adjusting them, but that's normal dirt at this point. I'll have them replaced for $20 when I stop being lazy.
Features — 9
-Made in China, in 2006 I believe. -22 frets, on a Rosewood fretboard. -Laminated Mahogany top, mine in black. -Double cutaway body (This is actually a minor variation of the standard Jet. Not sure to what extent it affects the guitar, but I've been told the double cutaway version is quite a bit harder to come by) -Bigsby tailpiece over a Tune-O-Matic. -Two passive "Gretsch Mini-Humbuckers" -Rather simple control setup. Master volume, master tone, three way pickup selector. -Non-locking tuner and nut.