Really different look and sounds great!
By: Bones from Santa Cruz, CA
Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable?
Great - everything was tight and no loose or wobbly parts. It was put together and adjusted with care. They even put plastic over the pups for shipping so they didn't get scratched. It looks solidly put together - only time will tell.
How has it stood up over time?
I've only had it four hour so i can't say but it looks sturdy enough to last for years.
Your general opinion of this product.
I got this today and I've been playing it four hours non-stop. The action and intonation were perfect right out of the box. I just had to tune it to pitch as it was shipped with it down-tuned a step. Other than that it was perfect- no buzzing up and down on all strings and the action was great and it was in tune up and down the neck. The finish is nice - a dark red. Nice chrome G knobs, chrome knurled strap buttons and Grover tuners keep it in tune. Two pups and volumes for each and a master tone AND a master volume at the front lower half. This is a nice feature that many Gretsch guitars have so you can adjust your neck/bridge volume balance then use this master volume to adjust the overall final volume. The neck is nicely bound and the nut was finished off perfectly with just the right nut slots cut in it and a smooth finish. Overall a great - if unusual looking - guitar.
Playability and Feel
How does it feel, Heavy, Fast, Chunky? How was the neck? Are the controls easy to get to while playing?
This thing plays great - in tune all the way and no buzzes. The only obvious issue is that the neck meets straight to the body at around the 14th fret and there is no cutaway so you pretty much can't play above the 14th. THis is just the way Bo Diddly had it and if yo want the Bo Diddly sound and look then you'll have to just deal with it. OTher than that the controls are very easy to get to while playing. Just set your volumes, tone then use the Master Volume (right below your pick hand) to tweak the overall volume while playing. The pup selection switch is right above the neck where it meets the body like a Les Paul so it's also quick to switch pups for tonal changes. THe overall guitar is fairly average in weight - not really heavy and not too light - sorta just right. Looking at it you would think it would be uncomfortable to play but it's actually very comfortable and no neck dive - it hangs just right and feel comfortable. Sitting down it sits just like an acoustic and comfy.
Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick, thin?
Tone could easily be varied between the pup selection and master Tone knob. I got everything from a dark jazzy sound from the neck pup to a bright tight Tele sound on the bridge. Use the master tone to roll off highs. Combined pup sound with the tone midway is almost like a hollow body Gibson - great for Chuck Berry tones. The pups are plenty clear and not overly hot - just about right - not thin, but not overly thick. Nice Gretsch pups as they use on many other of their import models. Not as good as TV Jones but adequate and great for the price you pay.
How did the stain or paint job look?
Very nice. A bit darker red than it looks in the picture but that depends on the light. No faults in the finish as far as i could tell. The chrome was all shiny and new - no tarnish or scratches. Overall a great looking guitar.
How was the action out of the box?
Perfecomundo. A tiny bit higher than some would prefer but still right on where it should be. I like a little higher action to get better tone and avoid string buzz. I don't to a lot of lightning fast licks and do a lot of rhythm and double stop runs so i'm OK with it. Some may prefer to lower the action but the neck looked dead on and the frets are even all the way up the neck so it should not buzz if the action is lowered a tad.