Gretsch 6073 Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by B-Mac, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  2. I believe they could be notorious for feeding back onstage...still, Mr Tork and this bass were two big reasons I was always interested in playing bass.

    RIP, Peter H. Thorkelson. Thanks for the memories, music, laughs, and inspiration.
    Ric Vice, Rabidhamster, dmt and 2 others like this.
  3. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    Yeah, I heard that Peter took that Last Train To Clarksville today, RIP.
    Big Monkees fan here. I can't speak about the bass though.

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  4. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Not those basses. The f-holes are merely painted on; the sound chamber is completely enclosed. Feedback like you are referencing isn't possible.

    These basses always seem to bring higher prices than the larger 6070 and 6072, who have no celebrity endorser. Now that Peter Tork has passed, I expect prices for the 6071 and 6073 to increase.
    Ric Vice, Winoman and B-Mac like this.
  5. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Not sure I'd want an electric bass with a floating bridge. Would probably be tempted to pin it.
  6. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    How different is the vintage 6073 from the newer 6073 sound wise? I own a 6073 but it is a Fender era Gretsch.

    I assume the PUPS are different?
  7. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Good luck with intonating when you change string types.
  8. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    I can try to answer your question only indirectly since I have neither owned nor played a 6073 from any era. But the pickups on your 6073 look like the pickups on my 5440LSB, which do not sound at all like the Supertrons on my 6070/72s. Peter Tork's 6073 appears to have Supertrons as well.

    I've got my old Gretsches in various states of disassembly right now to correct some age- and factory-related ailments, but I did give them a thorough play-in when I received them; and I can tell you, those old Supertrons are not to be taken lightly.
    Winoman likes this.
  9. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    It’s a Japanese made Elecrotone bass rather than a Korean made Electromatic bass and the pups are TV Jones Thundertron like the Thunder Jet bass.

    The 5440LSB Has either black top filtertrons or filtertrons

    The black top filtertrons don’t have the two opposing metal ‘fingers’ like the filtertrons do.

    I have no idea what the differences are underneath though.

    And I’m guessing based on your description that the Supertrons are really powerful
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  10. Blame it on the fog of memory. I remember the painted-on F-holes, so your point is well made. I also, perhaps also foggily remember, onstage feedback issues, perhaps with another model.

    I remember Tork holding a Jazz in the pilot, pre-Gretsch full-on endorsement / sponsorship...then later, in videos from the tv show, Tork was seen with a solidbody Guild.
    8guy likes this.
  11. 8guy


    Jun 19, 2005
    Madison WI
    I believe the Guild was a Thunderbird model. ( Not the Gibson One.)
  12. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    The man and the bass in happy times and younger days:

    Meanwhile, I guess this is the Guild Thunderbird-style bass dje31 and 8guy mentioned:
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  13. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    So if you can indulge me a bit....

    Modern Blacktop Filtertron (on 5440 and 5442)
    blacktop filtertron.jpg
    Modern Filtertron (similar looking to vintage Supertron but no 'rails')
    TV Jones Thunder Rail
    tv jones thunder rail.jpg
    TV Jones Thundertron (on modern 6073 and Thunder Jet 6128)
    TV Jones Thundertron.jpg
    TV Jones Thunder Mag
    TV Jones Thuner Mag.jpg
    Vintage Supertron (on vintage 60's Gretsch basses like 6073 and 6071) Not sure of 6070 and 6072
    vintage supertron.jpg

    What is different about the Supertron? Different magnets? Differnet coil?
  14. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    The guild Jetstar bass, now that’s the one I want!
    8guy and B-Mac like this.
  15. It looks like they put electrical tape over the brand name on the headstock. Gretsch didn't approve of non-Gretsch product, apparently.
    bobyoung53 and Rabidhamster like this.
  16. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Very powerful indeed. This video does not do them justice (although it does provide the definitive answer to what is the best bass for metal).

    The only videos of which I am aware that show the big Gretsch in performance are by Nick Lowe, the Carpenters, and a British artist who goes by "Newsboy" but whose name I forget, which is why I'm not including the link. Can't find it. But even the Newsboy link does not do the pickup justice.

    Yeah, those Supertrons are powerful. It's like they are the tyrannosaurus while a Gibson mudbucker is only an allosaurus. To me the Supers are dark like Gibsons but without the woof but still have a mite of P-bass punch. To me the tone-switching options right now are an enigma, but these basses are very sensitive to strikepoints. One can pluck anywhere from right before the bridge all the way up to the twelfth fret and still get a useable sound. That does not happen with every bass.

    See also

    Old Gretsch

    NBD : ´63 Gretsch 6070
    B-Mac likes this.
  17. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Yeah, and Davy Jones is just faking it. And plucking with his thumb.

  18. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Well, I cannot make comparisons since I have not had the pickups on the other basses apart. But, to get my basses gig-able and with an action that is not "Eight Miles High" I did have to take apart my 'trons to flip the blade polepieces. Each blade has its own coil. The coils are insulated from the pickup housing by thin metal plates, slotted the blades to pass through. Underneath all that is a simple bar magnet. All the vintage 60XX series basses appear to use the same pickup.

    If one were to write a song about these basses the title would have to be "High Maintenance Woman." QC is all over the place. In the pic you provided of the Supertron, it is evident how off-center are the pickup and the mute, although this may be because the bridge is displaced to the right. But *that* may be because the tailpiece is off-center, a uniform feature on my Gretsches. And on top of this there is the possibility of a neck reset and the near-certainty of arm-shredding binding rot which must at least be scrutinized if not acted upon.

    But once the bass is plugged in and the amp switched on, these things are forgotten. That pickup and that neck transport one into another realm entirely. I have not equaled that experience with any other bass I have played.
    Ric Vice and B-Mac like this.
  19. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    No; you still may be onto something. I was goofing around with a 9.4 pound solidbody at moderate volumes last night and got feedback. Was not expecting it at all. So feedback from a Gretsch is at least within the realm of possibility.
  20. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    You're not kidding. At one point I had a mid-late 60's 6071. I was shocked when I received it at how good it sounded. One of my favorite bass tones I have ever heard. Full, powerful yet clear. Feedback was an issue with that bass, and it had some age/factory related issues like you mentioned, but it was was stunning in looks and sound.
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