Gretsch Ukulele

Gretsch might be best known for their kick ass rockabilly guitars, but they also sold a number of ukuleles. They were usually rebranded ukuleles made by others. They reached their peak in the 50s and aimed their ukuleles for the middle/lower end of the market. Even so, their instruments have aged well and the vintage Gretschs have a good reputation.

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Mark Occhionero steps outside his usual repertoire to cover Radiohead on his 1940s/50s style Gretsch.

14 Comments

  1. pohaku April 8th, 2011 10:08 pm

    Got a soprano, probably from the 50s. Looks much like a Martin Style 0. Looks lovely, but intonation is terrible. Suitable as a wall hanger. Happily, I paid little for it. Moral is to try before you buy.

  2. gimpy_mike April 20th, 2012 6:35 am

    I have a soprano ~1950-1960
    it is solid mahogany with a little rosette around the sound hole but no other decoration. It plays very well and sounds great after putting some aquailla strings on it. The top appear to be quite thin and it is surprisingly loud. Intonation was spot on. It had back crack that was repaired at some point, I can’t see the crack on the back but the cleat is visible through the sound hole. It cost $250 which is a decent deal for a solid wood uke. All and all I’m quite happy with it and and would do it again if I had the choice.

  3. Steve Reed October 5th, 2012 9:13 pm

    Recently bought a brand new Gretsch G9110-SM Concert Deluxe Ukulele. Fantastic sound, and very good action. Really pleased that Gretsch are once again making Ukes, at very affordable prices (Picked up mine at Reidys online store in the UK. Very happy with Uke, and service of the firm.

  4. Steve Reed October 5th, 2012 9:14 pm

    Sorry forgot to rate!

  5. Aaron N October 17th, 2012 5:36 am

    I recently bought a new Gretsch “Roots Collection” G9120 tenor. It is the lower-end of the new Gretsch line and is made from laminated mahogany. It is a warm sounding, easy-to-play uke that hands-down beats similarly priced instruments from Lanikai, Kala or Cordoba.

    The frets, fretboard, tuners and intonation are impeccable for an instrument in this price range. The action was a bit high out of the box but easily fixed. This uke doesn’t have great projection, or the “snap” of solid mahogany, but it’s an excellent weekender/camping instrument that is well worth every dollar spent. Well done, Gretsch!

  6. Ron October 24th, 2012 7:23 pm

    Cannot find replacement tuning machine buttons for an OLD Gretsch uke – - – must fit tapered holes in back of tuning head. Any help?

  7. Matt December 25th, 2012 9:28 pm

    Just got my G1910 for Christmas. I didn’t know Gretsch were even making Ikea. This is a lovely lovely uke. Great warm sound. Good projection. Intonation is perfect although helps that it comes with Aquila nylgut strings. The finish is simple but flawless. This uke really gives other contenders a run for their money.

  8. Matt December 25th, 2012 9:29 pm

    Forgot to rate it sorry!

  9. Sporifix January 6th, 2013 4:26 am

    Got a Roots G9121-SM solid-top mahogany tenor with Fishman electronics. Selling it. Headstock off-center, neck heel lopsided, frets unfinished – rough enough to shred the strings – and slight but noticeable bowing of top behind the bridge. The features list is great but the actual construction is sloppy. Lots of buzzing, rough unfinished bridge. A real disappointment.

  10. Shaun O'Reilly January 20th, 2013 9:17 pm

    I also bought the Gretsch Root Series G9121 Tenor A.C.E. Ukulele Mahogany.. Bought it brand new and was impressed by the nice, loud bright sound. Just projects so well. no problem with buzzing. Great deal, especially for the price. The built in tuner is nice to have in case you don’t have one on you but keep in mind it’s usually a little bit off, but close enough to it you can still play it.

  11. Shaun O'Reilly April 17th, 2013 5:23 am

    Just an update on my uke – turns out the fretboard was starting to crack off after owning it for just under 5 months. They blamed poor construction.. I liked the look and sound of the uke, so I decided to get a replacement that’s been more thoroughly checked over. Inspect the instrument very closely before buying it and keep doing so every so often afterwards.

  12. Juha Rikka October 31st, 2013 4:17 pm

    I bought Gretsch resophonic two weeks aho in Lisbon. Cost 236 €. It came with Aquila nylguts… but didn’t sound right to me. So I tried Koolaus and Hilos… no deal… but with Aquilas Red Series the sound found the Zen. I know this is not the best reso on the market but I really like the oldfashion sound and the instrument feels very good in my hands. Worth to buy.

  13. Guillermo Salinas November 21st, 2013 3:28 am

    I just received my g9121 uke and am a very disappointed in how it looks. For starters it looks closer to orange than brown. The stain itself looks sloppy, blotchy and uneven. Two of the fret dots on the side has a dark tone and are difficult to see. One of the snow flakes is also darks and difficult to see. I can see scratches on the fretboard next to one of the snowflakes The wooden bridge looks dry, dry, dry….I have not played it, but if i can’t look at it I probably won’t play it. All and all I am very disappointed!

  14. Phil H April 19th, 2014 12:49 am

    My wife bought me a Gretsch Roots Series G9121 Tenor A.C.E. Mahogany ukulele from an online store last year. When it arrived it looked beautiful, well finished and sounded great, lovely tone. However, on closer inspection I noticed a distinct crack in the grain of the top on the lower bout. I sent pictures to the company who told me to send it back, which I did. I waited months for a replacement only to be told (eventually) they were out of stock and I’d have to wait until they had more delivered. I cancelled the order, got my (her) money back and found another dealer. The second uke arrived and again, it was beautiful, lovely tone and…no cracks! I love playing this uke. The action is good and the tone, acoustically, is bright and even. However (there’s that word again) when plugged in the sound across the strings is uneven. The C string is louder than the other strings and the A string is much quieter than the rest. Now this may well be easy to remedy, I don’t know, but it means I’d have to put it into a shop and shell out to get it sorted. So…this is a lovely instrument but if you’re gonna buy one make sure you check it thouroughly first and PLUG IT IN. If the sound isnt right first time, get the seller to put it right.

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