Tag Archives: Vintage Guitar

‘Vintage Guitar:’ The Making of the Tom Petersson Signature 12-String Gretsch Bass


In its October issue, Vintage Guitar magazine caught up with Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson, Gretsch luthier Chris Fleming and Gretsch Custom Shop Master Builder Stephen Stern to talk about the partnership, design and development behind Petersson’s new signature 12-string Gretsch White Falcon bass.

“I love the look of classic’50s and ’60s instruments, and Gretsch are a longtime favorite,” said Petersson, who keyed on the double-cutaway version for a very specific reason.

“George Harrison used a Gretsch Country Gentleman,” Petersson told VG. “There have been quite a few different White Falcons, but I like the double-cut Country Gent look.”

Fleming, who had the task of building the first prototype for the Cheap Trick legend also revealed some of the challenges he faced.

“It was a matter of creating something that could hold up to the huge pressure that 12 strings exert on an instrument,” said Fleming. “We’ve created many prototypes over the years, but none as unique as this. Most were variations on historical models like the White Falcon and 6120, but none had to stand up to that kind of tension.”

Pick up a hard copy of the magazine or click here to learn more about the adjustments that needed to be made to bring this unique instrument to life. But before you do, any guesses to where Petersson first debuted his Gretsch White Falcon bass live?

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‘Vintage Guitar’ Reviews Vintage Select ’55 Falcon


Vintage Guitar’s Michael Dregni reviewed the G6136-55 Vintage Select Edition ’55 Falcon in the magazine’s September issue, awarding it as “VG Approved Gear.”

Dregni tees up the review with a brief history of the original 1955 Falcon—“the pink Cadillac of guitars”—that segues into an explanation of the 2016 Gretsch product line hierarchy, from the Vintage Select and Players Editions to the Electromatic and Streamliner Collections.

The glowing review also offers an in-depth description of the many luxuries the Vintage Select Falcon is equipped with, including gold sparkle binding, TV Jones T-Armond pickups, “Squeezebox” capacitors, and Grover Imperial tuning machines.

As the review notes, the ’55 Falcon’s “looks would make Liberace drool,” but it also is a tonal masterpiece that ranges in versatility.

“You can make music ranging from White Falcon designer Jimmie Webster’s jazz to trebly rockabilly to Stephen Stills’ and Neil Young’s classic rock drive,” writes Dregni. “It’s fluid, smooth, and a wonder, making you sound better than you thought you ever would.”

Read the full review here.

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Vintage Guitar Reviews Gretsch Electromatic Center-Block


In its November issue, Vintage Guitar reviews the Gretsch G5655T-CB Electromatic Center-Block, which features a solid-spruce center block designed to cut feedback when things get loud.

The magazine reviews the instrument’s key feature set, finish and set-up, and also details some of the sounds wrangled from this little beauty.

“A Black Top Filter’Tron pickup near the bridge provides all the early George Harrison jangle and super-clean Chet Atkins single notes anyone could ever use,” writes Bob Dragich. “Beatles songs are channeled almost involuntarily through the ’Tron. And even though Tom Petty doesn’t normally use a Gretsch, the G5655T-CB is great for reproducing the rhythms of nearly every song he’s ever done.”

The guitar also held up well when it came to feedback testing.

“Feedback testing involved running the G5655T-CB through an early-’80s Fender Super Champ in a 15×15 room with an eight-foot ceiling. All-tube and point-to-point wired, the Super Champ dished out Paul Rivera levels of gain. Pushed to window-rattling, 911-calling levels, the little Gretsch refused to squeal unless it was aimed directly at the amp’s speaker, and then only in close proximity.”

Pick up the magazine to read the full review.

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BIlly Duffy Featured In Latest Vintage Guitar


The Cult‘s Billy Duffy landed on the cover of July’s Vintage Guitar, in which he talks about his trusty Gretsch White Falcon and his band’s upcoming album, Choice of Weapon.

Duffy reminisced about the first Gretsch he ever owned, a double-cutaway stereo 1970′s White Falcon that he no longer has.

“I had to sell that one to get what I really wanted, which was the single-cutaway Falcon with the curved palm bar, which has a very different feel than a short-armed Bigsby.”

Duffy also confirmed that he is working with Gretsch on a signature White Falcon.

“They forensically analyzed my guitar – the ’70s Falcon I used on “She Sells Sanctuary,” with all its battle scars and whatnot, and they’re going to make something based on it,” he noted.

To read the full interview, pick up your copy of Vintage Guitar here, and visit The Cult’s official website for more information.

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Vintage Guitar Test-Drives Tim Armstrong’s Signature Gretsch


Vintage Guitar recently checked out Tim Armstrong’s distinguishable signature Gretsch G5191BK, dubbing it “exceptional,” and “plain cool.”

Take it from the magazine itself.

“The G5191BK has classic Gretsch styling with some of Armstrong’s particular requests well-represented,” says Vintage Guitar. “Aesthetically, it’s just plain cool – oozing a rock vibe reminiscent of a hip old hot rod, it looks retro in its flat-/matte-black finish and gold hardware.”

But according to Vintage Guitar, the cool factor doesn’t stop there. Armstrong’s signature model sounds as great as it looks.

“Plugged in, the G5191BK does not disappoint,” says the magazine. “It has the classic jangle and resonance one would expect from a Gretsch, while all that projection is a godsend for styles not necessarily associated with the brand.”

Get the full story at Vintage Guitar.

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