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Are Gretsch guitars considered Fenders?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Unemploid, Dec 16, 2017.


  1. Wondering if I should get a fender.... or do I?
     
  2. No. They're Gretsch guitars. They just happen to sit under the same mother-holding (FMIC) than Fender.
     
  3. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Nothing wrong with Fender basses, but…
     
  4. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Virginia
    If the Gretschs are as good as my Starcaster, they'll be worth it.
     
    DirtDog and Axstar like this.
  5. dmt

    dmt

    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Gretsch is still it’s own thing, with its own history and own line of instruments (such as the famous 6120, White Falcon, Tennessean, Dou Jet and Country Gentlemam, among others) .

    Basically, Gretsch has its own quirky vibe. FMIC could of course destroy that if they own them (I’m not up on the relationship there), but so far at least they haven’t. Im no big Gretsch expert (I actually know more about their drums than anything else), but it seems to me that last time I checked, they’d moved many of their less exclusively priced guitars over to Fender-style 25.5" scale length instead of Gretsch’s traditional quirky 24.6" scale length. I take that as a bid to be more popular (thanks to Teles and especially Strats and their descendants, 25.5" is the most well know scale length among guitarists), which isn’t inherently bad, but I also take that as a potential bad sign. Gretsch, being what it is, is only ever gonna be so popular. However, it’s very quirkiness, if kept, is what makes it unique and loved over the decades among those who want something traditional — but decidedly different. The short scale length also facilitates the big tricky chords and reaches Gretsch players like Brian Setzer and ol’ Chet are/were famous for.

    Anyway, I might be wrong about them moving scale length on their less expensive models recently — Gretsch guitars have their own unique history and there are and have been all sorts of variations on some pretty similar-looking-to-me models over the years. Basically, Gretsch lore is a bit of a daunting study, and I’m just not into them enough for a deep dive.

    Don’t know anything about their basses except that their Junior Jet looks like a somewhat intruiging (to me) short scale, due to its scale length, traditional look and very affordable price
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  6. I see Gretsch offers a 12 string bass, (MSRP: 16,869.00$):greedy:

    Bass :: G6136B-TP12 Custom Shop Tom Petersson Signature White Falcon™ 12-String Bass with Cadillac Tailpiece, White Lacquer Relic

    Definately unlike anything Fender ever made.

    I don't need another bass, but I would not mind trying one of the orange painted ones they made a few years ago. I think they might have been a GC special, and I was tempted to check them out but never did because of other priorities at the time.

    I remember not too many years ago, a member of the Gretsch family was the president of the company. Not sure if that is still the case though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
    mikewalker and Unemploid like this.
  7. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    No. Niether are Jacksons, or D'aquistos, or any of their other brands. Smart cars are not Mercedes, even tho that's who distributes them. And despite every single ad on Craigslist, Epiphones are not Gibsons.
     
  8. dmt

    dmt

    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
    mikewalker and alesreaper9 like this.
  9. jpmcbride

    jpmcbride

    Aug 31, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I was having hand troubles and was looking for a short scale bass. I picked up a Junior Jet at the music store and tried it and fell in love with it. It has a huge bottom end, very strong pickups, can produce a wide variety of tones, and has a cool look. And the short scale makes it so easy to play. I haven't hardly touched my Fender P or J basses since I got it. Its basically all I play now.

    I put flatwounds on it, because that's the sound I like. I also changed the bridge. The stock bridge is small and wimpy and has a really short distance from the back (where the balls on the end of the strings are held) to the saddles. This can cause problems with some flatwound strings that have cloth string wound at the bottom of the string. The bridge is so short that the cloth goes over the saddle and kills the tone of the string. The screw spacing on the Gretch is exactly the same as a standard Fender bass bridge. You can go to Amazon or eBay and buy any aftermarket bridge meant to fit a Fender and it will drop onto the Gretsch. I bought an off-brand high-mass bridge for about $40 and it works great.

    If you're in the market for a short scale, I would definitely take a look at the Gretsch.
     
  10. Biggbass

    Biggbass

    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Are Chevys considered GMCs?
     
    gebass6, alesreaper9 and 96tbird like this.
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    History acts as a demarcation line. Like Squier. Was a string maker when Fender bought them and Squier hadn’t made instruments in decades. The Squier name was on the shelf and was resurrected in the 80s by Fender to make guitars in Japan to intro a budget line AND hit cheap Japanese knock off makers on their own turf by flooding Japan and the East with budget instruments that Fender fully had the right to use patents on.

    So despite what people may say, Squier is a truly FENDER PRODUCT as much so as is any Fender after Leo sold the company.

    Gretsch in the other hand was a well established respected brand but struggling that was brought under the Fender umbrella to keep it alive. It now benefits from the economies of scale Frnder brings. It’s not a true Fender product like Squier is because it wasn’t conceived by Fender like Squier was.
     
  12. Ghastly

    Ghastly

    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    Didn't Fender sell Gretsch?
     
  13. No, they sold Guild (which they now are very likely regretting, since Guild is doing absolutely stellar).
     
    Unemploid, ajkula66 and Ghastly like this.
  14. bassstrangler

    bassstrangler

    Mar 2, 2015
    No, they are Gretsch, my bass came in a box with a Fender address in Scottsdale, AZ but it's 100% Gretsch.

    I own 4 Fenders and the Gretsch is a whole different beast than any Fender product. From the design to the build to the hardware nothing at all like a Fender.
     
    Unemploid and blindrabbit like this.
  15. Ghastly

    Ghastly

    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    Oh that's right. Mixed the names… :bag:
     
  16. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Guild are possibly doing so well because they are out from under the Fender umbrella. Fender used the Dearmond name to basically cheaply reissue some Guild designs in the '90s and early noughties. I recall some SG-shaped Squier guitars that were very loosely patterned on the Guild S-100 design as well. Likewise Fender used the Sunn 0))) brand to fart out some extremely low quality Strat and P bass models (called Mustangs, confusingly) from an Indian production line, in a bid to offer something cheaper than Squier instruments. If you buy a brand and then dilute the name, and the products there-under, then you deserve all you get!
     
  17. They were back to making Guild-branded guitars when it was still a part of Fender (both US-made in New Hartford, and Asian with GAD and Newark St). GAD got discontinued in favour of the Westerly collection, the New Hartford-plant was Fender, so now they're producing in a whole new plant in California. Newark Street has remained.

    I'm aware on how Fender treated Guild, using Guild models on Squiers, and using the DeArmond name for Asian versions.
     
  18. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    '94 Gretsch  G6119B-2.JPG No they aren't. And I don't recommend saying they are, to most Gretsch owners - especially Gretsch guitar owners... Gretschistas can make Rick fanboys look like members of a lady's tea social... I'm only a Gretsch bass owner; most of them don't even like me. But, as a fellow bass player, I'll let you slide... this time...:whistle:
     
  19. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    I've been on that forum of theirs, and it is true!

    ...which is ironic given that so many of them participate in one of the tackiest games of dress-up imaginable, and there is such an inherent degree of garish novelty factor built into most Gretsch designs. :laugh:

    hqdefault.
     
    gebass6 and mikewalker like this.
  20. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Hold it, Epiphones aren't Gibsons??? Next you'll be saying Squier's aren't Fenders.
    disgusted-dog.
     
    Unemploid likes this.

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