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8 Glorious Gretsch Guitars from the Custom Shop

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Holy smokes! Once again, Gretsch Custom Shop Master Builder Stephen Stern has built some truly extravagant custom shop models for the 2016 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif.

Here’s a quick look at 8 glorious Gretsch Custom Shop guitars, which all had a “car” theme …

G6136 Luxury Falcon “Spectre”

Inspired by an old Rolls Royce, this Black Falcon screams class, but with just a touch of flash thanks to the chrome pickguard, ruby red sparkle on the pickups bobbins and red sparkle binding around the bock, neck, headstock and even inside the F holes. The Spectre also features an ebony fingerboard that somehow just seems the perfect for this beauty.

G6134 Luxury Penguin “Roadster”

Luxurious is certainly the right word for this Penguin Roadster. The custom beauty features a chambered mahogany body finished in bright red with tan leather sides that mimic the interior upholstery of your favorite ride.  In a finishing touch, the pickups are also accented with tan coloring to match the sides, while the guitar body, neck and headstock are wrapped in a tortoiseshell binding. The walnut burl even matches what you’d expect to see on a luxury car steering wheel or console.

6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relics

The trio of G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic guitars below pay tribute to stock racing cars and was a collaboration between Stern and artist Sara Ray who treated each guitar with a unique custom paint job.

The G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Hammerhead seems like an ode to the high seas with its aqua blue finish featuring cartoon-ish looking hammerhead sharks, including one on the body and another on the see-through pickguard. The body, neck and headstock are capped off by red binding that blends well with a blood-red headstock featuring a pirate flag. Although based off a ’59 6120, this model features P-90 pickups instead of the common Filter’Tron pickups.

“That’s a little different for Gretsch,” noted Stern of the pickups.

G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Nashville Nelle”

Based off a ’55 6120, the Nashville Nelle pays homage to the American flag with its red, white and blue paint job, also featuring a pair of buxom blondes. Also has a custom belt-buckle tailpiece with a checkered flag racing theme.

G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Brooklyn Bruiser”

Based off a ’67 6120, Ray delivered on the bruiser theme with a menacing muscle man swinging his sledgehammer, against a cream backdrop.

All three models have a number painted on the back of the guitars, just like you’d expect to see on the door panels of racing cars.

G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo

This trio of G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo guitars is a play off the Bo Diddley Jupiter Thunderbird guitars, but in classic car finishes such as Limo Black, Cadillac Green and Shell Pink.

All feature chrome Cadillac tailpieces, silver glitter binding and chrome knobs.


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Guitar World Awards White Falcon with Platinum Award

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In its January 2016 issue, Guitar World magazine bestowed its Platinum Award to the Gretsch G6136t-LTV White Falcon.

Reviewer Chris Gill offered up a short write-up of the Falcon’s history, noting that it was originally designed to appease jazz players and promoted as the “Cadillac of guitars.”  But despite constructing the Falcon to that audience, instead, the instrument soon became associated with rock and roll thanks to the likes of Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Billy Duffy and James Hetfield.

“I even fondly remember seeing Malcolm Young grappling with a huge White Falcon during a late-Seventies AC/DC concert,” noted Gill.

“Today Gretsch offers a dozen Falcon models, including versions with black or green finishes,” he continued. “Each is cool in its own way, but my personal favorite is the new G6136T-LTV White Falcon. Based upon the late ’50s version, the G6136T-LTV includes a few modern updates that make it possibly the best White Falcon ever.”

Gill goes on to explain those features, including the Adjusto-Matic bridge that is pinned into place and a pair of TV Jones TV Classic humbucking pickups, which are based on the highly desirable PAF Filter’Tron pickups of the late ’50s.

Gill’s “Bottom Line”?

“With its just-right balance of classic aesthetics and modern upgrades, the Gretsch G6136T-LTV is by far the best White Falcon model that the company currently offers, particularly for rock-minded players.”

Read the full review here, and also check out a video demo below by Paul Riaro.

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Brian Setzer Discusses his Signature Gretsch Hot Rod Models

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What made the legendary Brian Setzer decide to put TV Jones Pickups in his 2015 Hot Rod signature Gretsch models?

Turns out it was a sly move by his guitar tech.

In our exclusive video below, Setzer tells that story and also explains a few of his other choices.

Check it out, and shop the Brian Setzer Hot Rod,—available in Harbor Blue (shown in the video), Tuxedo Black, Blonde, Green Sparkle and Highland Green here!

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Billy Duffy’s Yin Yang Video Teaser

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Cult guitarist Billy Duffy lets the world know what’s up with this quick video teaser …

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Watch a Demo of the Limited Edition Gretsch G6129T Duo Jet in Red Sparkle

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Brian from Chicago Music Exchange recently filmed a great demo video featuring the Limited Edition Gretsch G6129 Duo Jet in Red Sparkle.

“This is just gorgeous, big (sparkle flake), looks like a drum wrap,” he said. “I can’t say enough about how great this guitar looks in person. Very cool.”

After running through all of its specs and calling it a “joy to play,” he provides a quick demo of the guitar’s tonal qualities. Check it out below.

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