With everything from more modernised legendary Gretsch instruments to specially requested one-off guitars, the Gretsch Custom Shop is the next level of “That Great Gretsch Sound”, while still preserving its original glory. But where did it all begin? Let’s take a look.
In January of 2004, the first-ever custom U.S.-made Gretsch models were debuted at the NAMM Show. The stunning limited-edition versions of original-era classics – a G6136CST White Falcon and G6120WCST Nashville Western received high acclaim and just like that the Gretsch Custom Shop was born. By 2005, Senior Master Builder Stephen Stern officially took over the custom design and production side of things, and with a small crew, a little upstairs corner workshop at the Fender factory in Corona, California, became the Gretsch Custom Shop.
Fast forward a few years and the Gretsch Custom Shop is booming. In 2017 the Gretsch Custom Shop brought the world the G6131MY-CS Custom Shop Malcolm Young “Salute” Jet™ in honour of the AC/DC rhythm guitar legend, who passed away in November of that year. As early as 2008, the Gretsch Custom Shop team had begun to painstakingly examine Young’s iconic No. 1 guitar, a battle-worn well-travelled ’63 Jet Firebird™. Limited to a 40-piece run, the G6131MY-CS Custom Shop Malcolm Young “Salute” Jet faithfully paid homage to Young’s beloved instrument, right down to every last nick, scratch and dent acquired over his long and raucously illustrious career. This takes us up to last year, in 2019 the Gretsch Custom Shop celebrated its 15th Anniversary!
Which brings me to this beauty that we’ve just received. The Gretsch Custom Shop ’62 Seafoam Green Falcon.
This rare bird is a one of a kind hand built Relic based upon a 1959 spec Falcon in a stunning Sea Foam Green finish. Masterbuilder Steve Stern and his team leave no stone unturned when making these true works of art. The Gretsch Masterbuilt G6136T-59 Relic sets itself apart from the masses with it’s incredible attention to detail and build quality, an uncompromising style that is just simply cool and a striking look that is awe inspiring. Pick it up and you soon realise that it doesn’t stop there, impeccable playability with a great low action and a full, clear sound with a resonance that makes the guitar feel a part of you. A truly special instrument that will leave you wondering where it has been all this time!
Perhaps Gretsch’s single most famous guitar, the White Falcon was designed a showpiece and not initially intended for commercial production. Following a showing at the 1954 NAMM show, interest was so piqued that Gretsch entered the model into regular production in 1955. The guitar was conceived as the absolute top of the line; the Cadillac of archtops. With a large 17-inch body and 25 1/2-inch scale length, this Gretsch came replete with all the highest end cosmetic appointments including four-ply binding and a generous helping of gold-plated hardware and detailing. The design started to change in 1958 when gold plastic binding and thumbnail inlays were introduced.