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Gretsch Announces the Tom Petersson Signature Basses

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Photo by Lou Barton

Gretsch will officially unveil two new Tom Petersson signature bass models during the Summer NAMM show this week in Nashville, Tenn.

The members of Cheap Trick have reigned as the high priests of hard-rocking U.S. power pop for more than 40 years, with an influential and infectiously ever-youthful sound. The band has recorded countless hits, performed over 5,000 shows and recently released their seventeenth studio album. On April 8, Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, solidifying their legendary status and entering a new realm amongst their inspirational peers.

On the heels of this pinnacle moment, Gretsch is proud to honor the Cheap Trick co-founder and bassist with the USA Custom Shop Tom Petersson Signature 12-String Falcon™ Bass and G6136B-TP-AWT Tom Petersson Signature 4-String Bass.

Both models will be available in early 2017.

USA Custom Shop Tom Petersson Signature 12-String Falcon™ Bass.

Petersson pioneered the creation of the 12-String bass and has become synonymous with the unique instrument that heavily impacted the band’s dynamic sound, especially enhancing their live shows. The Cheap Trick bassist has been playing his custom 12-String prototype live during the development process, and it has already garnered great admiration and attention.

“Everywhere I go now with my Gretsch bass, people are in shock,” said Petersson. “That’s really why Gretsch has always stood out so much because they are like the Cadillac or Rolls Royce of guitars. They are the flashiest, coolest looking … You show up with that and people are like ‘Oh my god! I don’t even care how that thing sounds, that’s the coolest looking instrument I’ve ever seen.’ But then you plug it in and it’s like, ‘Oh my, whoa, what is going on here?’ So it’s the best of every world. I couldn’t think of a company I’d rather work with than Gretsch.”

Stunning in style and utterly seismic in tone, it puts Petersson’s distinctive stamp on the classic White Falcon Bass design. This first and only Gretsch 12-string bass model is surely the most powerful Falcon ever. Premium features include a laminated maple body, a 12”-radius ebony fingerboard with 22 vintage-style frets and mother-of pearl inlays that sits atop a “C” shaped maple gloss-finished neck, a shorter scale length (30.3″) for comfort and fatter, sweeter tone, dual custom Seymour Duncan® Super’Tron pickups, a specially designed 12-string Space Control™ bridge and Gretsch “Cadillac” tailpiece, gold hardware and pickguard, and more.

Available in Vintage White.

G6136B-TP-AWT Tom Petersson Signature 4-String Bass

Additionally, Gretsch will offer a traditional 4-string model. The G6136B-TP-AWT features a laminated maple body, 12”-radius ebony fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and mother-of pearl inlays, short scale length (30.3”), Adjusto-Matic™ bridge and Gretsch “Cadillac” tailpiece, gloss-finish maple neck with “U” profile, gold hardware and pickguard, and more.

Per Petersson’s specifications, the typical bridge pickup has been replaced instead with a middle pickup (Seymour Duncan® Super’Tron) that pairs with the all-new Rumble’Tron in the neck pickup for an extra bold statement.

“You can get this big, thick sound if you just want that neck pickup sound but if you want more clarity, you’ve got that one in the middle – it’s in the perfect position and then the combination of the two is just great,” noted Petersson. “That’s different than most.”

Available in Aged White.

Petersson will make a special guest appearance at the 2016 Summer NAMM Gretsch booth for a one-hour autograph session at 4:30pm on Thursday, June 23.

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Streamliner Center Block Jr. Wins ‘Guitar World’ Gold

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The new Gretsch Streamliner Center Block Jr. Double Cutaway with Bigsby won Gold in Guitar World magazine’s July issue.

“I can’t even begin to express how much fun the G2655T is to play,” wrote reviewer Paul Riaro. “Out of the box the guitar is setup perfectly, with low action and strings that possess a springy feel, much in part to the Bigsby licensed B50 vibrato.  I found the Bigsby most effective when I used it for slight half-to-whole step vibrato wiggle. As long as you’re not whammy aggressive, the guitar will stay in tune. Also, the  snugly thin profile of the nato neck allowed me to sail across the fretboard.

“The Broad’Tron pickups are noticeably darker sounding with plenty of output, pushing forth deep lows, growly midranges and cutting highs, and sound deliciously smooth when confronted with distortion.”

Read the full review and see a video demonstration over at guitarworld.com.

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‘Guitarist’ Magazine Reviews Players and Vintage Select Edition Models

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In its May issue, UK’s Guitarist magazine reviews a few of the new Gretsch Players Edition and Vintage Select Edition models, bestowing the Guitarist Choice awards on both the Vintage Select G6120T- ’55 Chet Atkins and G6118T Players Edition Anniversary with String-Thru Bigsby®.

“Workingman’s Gretsch with great upgrades, not least the locking tuners and String-Thru Bigsby,” notes the mag of the Anniversary model.

As for the Vintage Select G6120T-55GE, the mag noted that it’s a “classic guitar with high build quality, great playability and huge ‘twang’ factor.”

The review includes a full feature breakdown of the aforementioned models, in addition to the Vintage Select G6136T-59 Falcon and the Players Edition G6119T Tennessee Rose.

The final verdict?

“Beautifully made and with some lovely period-correct details mixed with more modern concessions, there’s little we don’t like here. Choosing your fit, however, may be a more difficult decision. The White Falcon is a serious investment, although its sturdier build and longer scale (not to mention those Filter’Trons) give it perhaps the most versatile sonic palette. Considerably lower in cost, our two Players Edition models are close cousins and either would be perfect for those for rockier, less ‘Gretsch-style’ outings, the new string-thru Bigsby alone will cure what most of us find a chore: restringing.

“That just leaves the Chet Atkins G6120T-55 hollow body, which with its lighter build and those DynaSonic-style single coils, really gets to the essence of the ‘Gretsch sound.’ If you haven’t played a Gretsch for a while, you might be very surprised. These are some serious guitars.”

The mag also features an interview with rock ‘n’ roll rebel rouser and longtime Gretsch artist Darrell Higham, who was asked to weigh in on the newest Gretsch models in the review section.

“On a 6120, like the Chet Atkins Reissue we’ve got here, you want a nice dainty neck, because it’s a guitar you feel you should play quite fast on — and, actually, the 6120 is very versatile and you can use it for lots of different types of music. It’s not just great for rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll, especially with lighter gauge strings than the 0.011s that are on here.

“I think the updates they’ve made on the Players Edition guitars here are good,” he also noted. “If someone’s looking for a semi, but worries that Gretsches are too genre-specific, they should go for one of these, like this Tennessee Rose. It could be an indie guitar or jazz – there’s no reason you couldn’t do anything on a guitar like this. I really like this one – it feels really solid and it could become your main warhorse. There’s nothing delicate about it, even the scratch plate feels welded on.”

Be sure to pick up the new issue, and also check out the video demo below.

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‘Guitar Player’ Spotlights the Streamliner Collection

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In its April issue, Guitar Player magazine highlighted the Gretsch Streamliner Collection as part of its “Hottest Gear Debuts at NAMM.”

“For those who adore the Gretsch mystique but can’t afford the main guitar line’s ‘Harley Davidson’ pricing, the inexpensive Gretsch Electromatic Series has long been their savior,” notes the mag. “Now, however, the guitar maker has introduced another affordable line—the Streamliner Collection—that proudly puts just the name “Gretsch” on the headstock and pickguard. Love it! The Streamliners offer a new pickup—the Broad’Tron humbuckers—and come in Center Block, Center Block Jr., and Hollow Body models (one of my faves is the G2420T in Flagstaff Sunset with Bigsby.)”

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Total Guitar Reviews Streamliner

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The new Gretsch Streamliner G2622 Center Block Double Cutaway earned the front cover of Total Guitar‘s March issue. And while all the new Streamliner guitars received rave reviews, the G2622 was awarded with “Total Guitar‘s Best Buy.”

Gretsch practically dominates the issue with lengthy reviews of the new models, a Q&A with Gretsch Europe Project Manager Adam Bowden-Smith, tabs to play rockabilly, a look at five legendary Gretsch icons (from Eddie Cochran to Cliff Gallup), a list of alternative Gretsch icons (from Tim Armstrong to Jack White) and a tech piece on how to “get more from your Bigsby.”

As for the Streamliner review—which covers specs, looks and tones of the Center Blocks, Center Block Jr.’s and Hollow Body guitars—the magazine concluded with this:

“Gretsch has picked up the affordable ball and smashed it right out of the park! If you want a proper Gretsch-brand hollowbody or semi, you don’t have to put up with copies with the wrong name on the headstock any more. This trio are quite possibly the bargains of 2016 and we’re only just into the new year. Fit, finish, sound and playability are all way above what you’d expect at these prices.”

Get the March issue of Total Guitar here!

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