Who does not love the Gretsch guitar?
There is a lot to the background and story of Gretsch guitars, such as where it is made.
You will be surprised why it is important…
If you like the Gretsch collection, it is vital to learn where they make it and how each model differs.
In this article, we will be summarizing the models in the Gretsch guitar collection, their features, overall quality, and where they are made.
So, where are Gretsch guitars made?
Gretsch guitars are made overseas mostly, but custom shop guitars are still made in America. Gretsch Guitars are made in the United States, Japan, China, Korea, and Indonesia based on the make and model.
Does it matter where they make it?
Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
Gretsch Guitars: Some Background Information
Gretsch became famous in 1916 as America’s leading importer and manufacturer of musical instruments.
Gretsch is an American company known for manufacturing guitars, tambourines, basses, ukuleles, and other musical instruments.
Gretsch was one of the most expensive guitars during the 50s and 60s, along with Fender and Gibson.
They market their guitars by collaborating with famous artists such as Chet Atkins, Billy Duffy, Eddie Cochran, Duane Eddy, and more.
The origin of Gretsch guitars takes us back to the early twentieth century in Brooklyn, years after Fred Gretsch took over his father’s company.
Friedrich Gretsch, a German immigrant, began manufacturing tambourines, banjos, and drums when he opened his first shop in Brooklyn, New York, in 1883.
After he died, Fred Gretsch, his son, took over the company and expanded to manufacturing Gretsch guitars.
Among the earliest crafts were acoustic archtops and flap tops for jazz and country and western performers.
Gretsch Guitar Collection Explained
They make Gretsch guitars in different factories all over the world.
Some in Japan, Korea, the US, China, and so on…
The Gretsch Professional Series is one of the most famous in the collection, followed by the Electromatic models and the new US Custom Shop guitars.
Gretsch guitars even became more famous after its partnership with Fender in 2002.
Gretsch and Fender worked together to recreate the previous guitars in their collection.
And that’s how the world-class Custom Shop guitars came to life!
The Gretsch guitar collection features different models, sizes, build, shapes, and colors.
Let’s find out more about the Gretsch guitars collection!
Where are Gretsch Professional Guitars Made?
They make Gretsch Professional guitars at the Terrada factory in Japan.
It is a high-grade professional guitar that produces classic, bold, and dynamic Gretsch tones.
In addition, the Gretsch Professional Series comes in four editions, which are Vintage Select, Players Edition, Artist Signature, and the Limited Edition.
The Pro Series emphasizes classic and iconic Gretsch tones but still depends on you as to what range you prefer.
Gretsch Professional guitars are known for their beautiful finishes and excellent sound.
The Pro-series guitars are considered the best of all the Gretsches. They are also one of the most expensive in the collection.
The cost of buying Pro-series ranges from 2200$ to 4000$.
They make it by hand and have all of the elements of a professional guitar such as the ebony fretboard, three-ply maple top, pickups, original Bigsby, tone switch, and more.
If you are a professional guitarist and are looking for an iconic Gretsch look and sound, the Professional Series is an excellent choice.
Where are Gretsch Electromatic Guitars Made?
In 1939, Gretsch introduced its first electric guitar, and they named it Electromatic.
Electromatic guitars are made in Korea by a company called World Instrument Music Corporation.
There are also solid body Electromatics models that they make in China.
Electromatic is a mid-range, step-down guitar from the Professional Series and your next step Gretsch from the Streamliner.
The Electromatic models are for players looking to try the Gretsch Professional Series without spending too much.
The good thing about the newly revamped Electromatic series is the features that they have upgraded throughout the years, such as the pickups, Bigsby, inlays, and head stops.
Some Electromatic features are present in the Pro-line series, such as period corrects, knobs, Bigsby, pickups, and more.
However, there may be some compromises to cut production costs, such as tone control.
The Electromatic uses tone control while the Pro Series uses a tone switch.
The tone switch needs two capacitors and switch, which adds up to the cost – another factor that makes the Professional Series more expensive.
The new Gretsch Electromatic models feature bound headstocks, Graph Tech nut, gold or chrome hardware and knobs, bold finishes, and the blacktop filter’ tron pickups.
Where are Gretsch Streamliner Guitars Made?
They make Gretsch Streamliner guitars in Indonesia.
Streamliners are entry-level guitars aimed for beginners to intermediate users.
It is also the least expensive amongst all of the Gretsch guitar collection.
The price range you’re looking at is between 300$ to 700$ for a Gretsch Streamliner guitar.
All Streamliner series use the broad’tron pickup that produces powerful mids, extended lows, and smooth high end.
There are three Streamliner models: Center Block, Center Block Junior, and Hollowbody, all of which come in a variety of features, sizes, build, finishes, and colors.
Most Streamliners have smaller sizes, which makes it suitable for young players. However, it does not mean that they sacrifice sound quality.
Streamliners also have F-holes, classic Gretsch wiring and comfortable, fast playing neck.
In short, Streamliners are the type of guitars that you might need for practicing and casual jamming.
So, what makes it different from all of the Gretsches?
As mentioned, the newly designed broad’tron pickup is close to a traditional humbucker, which sets the Streamliners apart from all of the Gretsch guitars.
BroadTron is a top-quality pickup suited for playing punk, rock, country, jazz, pop, and modern music.
Lastly, the sound may not be as refined as the Electromatic and Professional models, but it is still very clear, and the Gretsch tone is still noticeable and distinctive.
Where are Gretsch Custom Shop Guitars Made?
The Fender factory in Corona, California, is where they make the Gretsch Custom Shop guitars.
The Custom Shop guitars guarantee quality and world-class craftsmanship.
Custom Shop guitar builders are known as the makers of the modern era Gretsch guitars.
Custom Shop aims to recreate the best company’s guitars, especially during the 60s and 50s.
They are a team of talented individuals who have extensive experience in building top quality guitars throughout the years.
They are also associated with Fender in the past.
The first pair of US custom made guitars came in 2004 during the NAMM show.
They hold the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMeM) annually to introduce new music products and instruments.
In 2019, Gretsch Custom Shop celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Custom Shop guitars are made by hand, with every detail carefully crafted.
Does it Matter Where They Make Gretsch Guitars?
So… does it matter which factory made your Gretsch guitar?
It does matter where they make your Gretsch guitar!
The Professional Series, which they make in Japan, is at the top of the list amongst the Gretsch guitar collection.
In terms of quality, the Japanese made are considered the best of the best.
Additionally, the US Custom Shop also makes high-quality Gretsch guitars.
People consider the US made guitars as rivals of the Made in Japan models.
Artisans build American Custom Shop guitars utilizing extensive experience in building vintage quality guitars such as the Chet Atkins guitar.
Custom Shop builders pay a great deal of attention to all the guitars’ elements – from the material, design, pickups, fretboard, and more.
On the other hand, they usually manufacture the mid and low range guitars in China, Korea, and Indonesia.
They are less expensive than the Pro-series due to a cheaper production cost.
They also seem to be lighter and smaller because of the material used.
Are Gretsch Guitars Good?
So, we have established that Gretsch guitars are versatile and well built.
The question is…
Is it really good?
The Gretsch sound is so good that it became the standard equipment for British hitmakers and their American counterparts.
The Gretsch sound is heavily associated with the classical rock n roll music and iconic artists.
The entire world became even more impressed when Beattle’s George Harrison endorsed Gretsch.
Is it worth your money?
Well, you get what you pay for!
I can confidently say that Gretsch guitars never fail.
Gretsch put a strong emphasis on quality control to ensure excellent playability and guitar experience.
They also look stylish, graceful, and elegant.
Gretsch guitars are mostly made by hand to maintain the consistency of features and quality standards.
Gretsch builders are very meticulous and detailed oriented in keeping up with the quality of the guitars.
The new models are even better because of the improved features.
How Much Do Gretsch Guitars Cost?
The price range of Gretsch guitars is roughly from 200$ to 17,000$, depending on the model.
The White Falcon 12 String Bass is the most expensive in the collection.
You can also find plenty of Gretsch guitars under 900$.
It depends on body type and model.
On the other hand, the price of Gretsch guitars changes each year.
So, watch out for the new deals and price changes.
Some Gretsch guitars could be expensive because of quality and features.
The use of high-quality materials, hardwood, pickups, and finishes add to the production cost.
I suggest starting on something basic such as the Streamliner if you’re a first time player.
You can always level up later on!
Where Can You Buy Gretsch Guitars?
Gretsch guitars can be purchased online or in shops.
You can visit Gretsch to locate the nearest dealer store within your area.
There are over 20 dealers of Gretsch Elite Full Line dealers locally and distributors scattered all over the world.
You can also visit the service center if you need help and for other concerns.
However, I suggest reaching out to a guitar dealer for your convenience.
Visit any of the dealership stores to see the Gretsch collection.
Should You Buy a Gretsch Guitar?
You should buy Gretsch because it is worth your investment.
It is a well-built and durable guitar with easy playability and excellent sound quality.
Gretsch guitars are suited for playing rock, blues, acoustic, classic, and contemporary music.
It is also suitable for a wide variety of players – beginners, intermediate and advanced players.
With the Gretsch guitar, you can experience the taste of iconic, classic, and modern guitar music!
Gretsch is quite an iconic brand with positive reviews and endorsements from famous artists.
Korea, Japan, China, the US, and Indonesia are countries where the Gretsch guitars are built and manufactured.
Overall, the top quality Gretsch guitars can either be US or Japan made.
The lower end Gretsches are built either in Indonesia, China, or Korea.
However, you shouldn’t worry too much as the signature Gretsch tone will always be present.
Besides, Gretsch has a reputation for crafting top quality guitars regardless of where they make them.
Lastly, you’ll be able to find the perfect match for you – whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced player.
Try the Gretsch guitar now.
Let’s see how fast you’ll fall in love with the Gretsch sound!