Tag Archives: Gretsch Custom Shop

Vintage Trouble’s Nalle Colt Rocks his Gretsch Custom Shop Duo Jet

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Nalle Colt

Photo by Corey Hale Ransberg

Earlier this week, Vintage Trouble’s Nalle Colt played his first show with his new Gretsch Custom Shop Duo Jet, built by Master Builder Stephen Stern.

Stern discusses the unique features of this Custom Shop piece in the quick video below.

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How the Gretsch Bi-Plane Was Built

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A longtime woodworking enthusiast, Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern does not just make some of the most beautiful and painstakingly-crafted guitars.

Recently, Stern built a biplane to live in the Gretsch Custom Shop in Corona, Calif., complete with the iconic Gretsch logo and a striking orange color.

The plane is made of balsa wood and is covered with tissue paper, and Stern himself estimates that it took between 75-100 hours to build.

Just how did this beauty come to fruition?  Luckily, Stern documented the entire process, which you can watch below.

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See Inside the Gretsch Custom Shop

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To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Gretsch Custom Shop, here’s a fascinatingly detailed close-up look at its inner workings. Set to a swinging Gretsch soundtrack, watch as master luthier Stephen Stern and the GCS team expertly execute each step in crafting the finest of Gretsch’s finest—from fashioning bodies, necks and fingerboards to finishing and detailing, and from electronics and hardware installation to final assembly, setup and inspection.

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Ten Years of the Gretsch Custom Shop

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It wouldn’t be all that surprising if you didn’t know that there even was such a thing as the Gretsch Custom Shop. After all, all Gretsch guitars look like custom instruments, really. They’re all dazzling. They all look like coolness incarnate.

And yet here we are at the tenth anniversary of the Gretsch Custom Shop. 2014 marks a decade of the finest guitars to ever bear the name so prized by guitarists everywhere for most of a century.

It’s certainly true that all Gretsch guitars are fabulous creations, but those that come from the Gretsch Custom Shop offer something quite a bit more. Few in number, they are the truly extraordinary work of truly talented craftsmen. And if you think production Gretsch guitars are as wonderful in and of themselves as they really are, just imagine being one of the lucky few to get their hands on a Gretsch Custom Shop guitar. Just imagine playing the very best of Gretsch’s best.

Back in 2003, that’s just what Mike Lewis had in mind.

* * * * * READ MORE »»

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Custom Shop Stories: Sara Ray Paints a Killer Duo-Jet

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Credit Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern and renowned SoCal hot rod artist Sara Ray for teaming up to create another gem of a guitar from the Gretsch Custom Shop.

The ’59 Duo-Jet that is headed to U.K. resident Steve Isaacs features a 130th Anniversary logo on a larger headstock and an amazing graphic from Ray.  It was the second time Isaacs asked Ray to paint a guitar, the previous one depicting a tattooed pinup.

“I got to know Sara Ray quite well over the past few years,” Isaacs said from his home in Poole, Dorsett.  “She painted another guitar for me a while ago.  When it’s time for her to work on a guitar, she sends over couple of sketches, but I really don’t like to give her too much direction.  She came up with a couple of ideas, and I loved this one the most.”

Isaacs had also worked with Stern before, as the enthusiast owns a couple of masterbuilt Telecasters from Stern.

“I didn’t know much about Steve Stern, but he had such a fantastic resume.  He’s worked with some of the world’s greatest luthiers,” said Isaacs, who noted that he has been playing guitar for at least 30 years.

“He mentioned that I should check out Gretsch. I have to say, he totally converted me.  They’re great guitars.”

The image on Issacs’ newest piece is of Anne Bonny, the infamous Irishwoman who became a feared pirate.  With a sword slung at her side, Bonny is also holding a boarding pistol.

“I think it really came out amazing,” Isaacs said.  “It is truly one-of-a-kind, and I can’t wait to play it.”

View more of Ray’s work on her official website.

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