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Guitarist Awards High Praise to the new Gretsch Streamliner Guitars

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In its February 2016 issue, Guitarist magazine features an in-depth look at the new Streamliner collection, and also bestows their “Guitarist Choice” award upon the G2622 Streamliner Center Block Double Cutaway.

“They look like Gretsch guitars and sound quite like them, too. But those prices? Gretsch opens its arms to the entry-level market and sets the bark impressively high,” notes reviewer Dave Burriuck.

One of the key features common among all three Streamliner shapes (Center Block Jr, Center Block, Hollow Body) is the new Broad’Tron humbucking pickup.

“These pickups have gone through extensive R&D specifically for these guitars,” said Gretsch’s Adam Bowden-Smith to Guitarist. “They’re punchy with a higher output, hotter-than-vintage Filter’Trons. The older ones had a larger logo; the new ones are nickel-plated with a more subtle stamped logo. The first prototypes were wound by Chris Fleming, then head of Gretsch R&D (and with extensive experience in Fender’s Custom Shop.)”

The reviewer breaks down each of the three models, and then concludes with the following verdict:

“More guitars for less money will continue to be a theme this year. It will be interesting to see if any major brands manage to do it quite as well as Gretsch has done here. Construction is crisp, seen in the important details of the neck, fingerboard and fretting. Center blocks and lightness don’t always go hand in hand, and yet here they do.

“But are we really getting a half-price Gretsch? Yes and no. The beefier pickups certainly don’t nail a classic Gretsch tonality – although if that’s what you want, the full-size pickups are easy to replace – but they do broaden the sonic potential, especially for more gained styles, while staying close to the classic iconography.

“The deep hollow body G2420T is hugely evocative and perfect for lower-volume older styles. The G2622 might well be the bargain ‘Es-335′ we’ve all been waiting for, and with the G2655, you’ll find a solid body sized center-blocked semi that might be the most ‘solid’ sounding of the trio but will handle virtually any style.”

Watch Guitarist‘s accompanying video demo below:

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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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Royal Blood Relentless at Coachella

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It was as if Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page challenged the men of Royal Blood to wield the hammer of the gods when he presented them with the BRIT Award for Best British Group earlier this year, because the duo was absolutely thunderous during their Coachella performance on Saturday.

Bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher were relentless at the festival’s Outdoor Theatre, beginning with an electric “Come on Over” and ending with the machine-gun firepower of “You Can Be So Cruel.”

In between, it was detonation after detonation, with Kerr reeling off killer riffs on his bass and Thatcher attacking his drum kit like it owed him money.

For “Come on Over,” the first notes called all fans within earshot to sprint towards the sound, making no apologies to bystanders they may have brushed with over-aggressive air-drumming.

It only got better from there. A few songs later, Kerr shouted out, “Come on Coachella!” midway through “Figure it Out” as Thatcher stood up menacingly, banging a cymbal like a general, just to make sure everyone knew who was boss.

The Royal Blood rocket continued to blast forward with stoner-rock anthems “Little Monster” and “Loose Change,” the latter of which saw Thatcher take it to the next level by actually standing atop his bass drum as Kerr vamped towards each corner of the stage.

That was when chants of the band’s name rose up and when the mosh pit started. It only took the first staccato snaps on Thatcher’s snare to switch on the blender of humanity in the middle of the field during “You Can Be So Cruel.” Hands shot up and bodies began to circle. And those who weren’t amid the whirlpool banged their heads in approval.

Coachella has posted this video of Royal Blood performing “Figure It Out” below.

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Premier Guitar Reviews G5620T-CB Electromatic Center-Block

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Gretsch G5630T-CB

The Gretsch Center-Blocks continue to get love from the various music mags, including a great review recently from Premier Guitar.

“The 24.6″-scale 5620 is a shining example of how Gretsch’s Electromatic line has evolved over the last few years,” wrote reviewer Shawn Hammond. “What once seemed a dipping of the toes into entry-level waters has, in many ways, become a deep dive revealing impressive quality and beauty. Our review guitar came in a rich “rosa red” gloss-urethane finish through which you can subtly detect grains of the underlying maple spreading across the sumptuous arches and curves. The rosewood-topped maple neck features a 12.5″-radius fretboard inlaid with 22 remarkably clean, neatly dressed medium-jumbo frets. And peaking inside the cat’s-eye soundholes reveals straight, cleanly cut kerfing and no stray glue.”

In summary, PG had this to say:

“Gretsch’s beautiful G5620T-CB has so much going for it. For the price, it packs a serious punch in almost every category, from visual vibe to practical appointments, control flexibility, and ergonomics.”

Read the complete review here.

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Gretsch-i-tude! Acoustic Guitar Highlights the Jim Dandy

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Jim Dandy Flat Top

Acoustic Guitar magazine highlights the new Gretsch Roots Jim Dandy Flat Top guitar in its May issue.

The article first gives a brief rundown of some of the artists who have played Gretsch—from Brian Setzer to George Harrison to Neil Young to Stephen Stills— before diving into the Jim Dandy, which is modeled on the Gretsch Rex that was produced from the 1930s to the ’50s.

“The main difference between this and the original is that this one has an adjustable truss rod, and it has X-bracing so it actually sounds like a guitar,” said Mike Lewis, who developed the new Gretsch Roots Collection.

To read the full piece, pick up the May 2014 issue or sign up for a digital version here.

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