Price paid: $ 240
Purchased from: Pawn Shop
Features — 8
Made in 2006, and from what I understand, it was made in Korea. Big body, fully hollow, with USA Dearmond pickups, Bigsby Tremelo. The guitar was painted gold (not a bad paint job), and the pickguard was removed. Came with hardshell case, set neck, with controls for volume, (each pickup individual), master volume and a master tone control, 3-way pickup selector, standard Gretsch bridge that has been locked into the body. The style is single cutaway, and the body is a full hollow body, but not a "jumbo" hollow body.
Sound — 9
Okay, I wasn't sure how the Dearmond single coils would sound, as I am familiar with Filtertrons, but I love the sound of this guitar. BIG FULL SOUND, with punchy lows and crisp highs. Being a full hollow body guitar, the sound that comes out of this guitar is full, and when I play it thru my Blackstar ID:10 amp, (stereo amp), the room is filled with sound. Using an echo pedal, on slap back, and BAM, rockabilly heaven. Beyond that, this guitar works real well with blues, jazz and country. It takes distortion okay when the distortion is crunch, but any more and it starts to lose a little definition. Oh by the way, being hollowbody, you can have some fun with feedback, and that is really cool. You can get good classic rock sounds, think Neil Young, Steven Stills late '60s rocking, but going with more distortion I would be a little hesitant about using this guitar. For the absolute variety that you can get out of this guitar, I am rating it a solid 9.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Being used, the fit and fretwork it still solid on this guitar, but the top has been repainted gold, so I cant say how the original finish was. The guitar does show some wear and tear, some light scratches, but on a more positive note, the tuners still work solid, and the guitar stays in tune remarkably well, considering this guitar has a Bigsby trem, and I do use it, so saying that, points for that. The pickups on this guitar mount directly to the top, and are not height adjustable, but the pickups do have screws that can be adjusted for tone if desired.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is built like a tank, albeit, a very LIGHT tank. All of the hardware, and volume and tone pots still work great, no noise, fully linear, which is a cool thing. One thing about Gretsch's, they have the absolute best standard strap buttons in the world. Once you get your guitar strap on, it is on and will take major work to take it off. This guitar is made to be played, it will handle live playing without any need for a backup, it is that well made. This guitar has been used, and it ready to be played, day after day after day.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a variety of music, and always wanted a Gretsch, and a big body hollow body and this guitar fit the bill. I am finding it is really good for blues, country and Creedence style music. Of course you can play rockabilly with this guitar and it shines, but what I am most impressed with is just how great this guitar sounds clean. It has such a pure, rich tone, that you can't help but smile, and the pickups are amazing. USA Dearmonds, they not only live up to the hype, they exceed expectations. I know some of the Gretsch Electromatic's (which this is one) are made in China, but this one was made in Korea. I have sold a lot of gear and am down now to just this guitar, a Dean Zelinsky Private Label Zenyatta model, a Squier Standard Telecaster that I modified with Dragonfire Texas Blues Pickups and a Squier Standard Stratoscaster HSS with a mahogany body and modified with Dragonfire screamers, and they all compliment each other, and the Gretsch is one that I have been finding myself playing more and more everyday. I am impressed, and while it is used, and has been repainted, I would not hesitate to buy another one, but to be honest, whoever "broke this one in," did a good job.