Gretsch Ukulele

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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.


  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.

  15. fernando April 27th, 2014 5:10 pm

    something about the gretsch G9100 soprano?

  16. Jim S May 9th, 2014 9:06 pm

    I just bought a 9120-SM Tenor De-lux Roots collection Uke and am sorry to report my disappointment.
    The main problem is the quality of build and finish. Sadly it has a rough feel to the wood and an uneven stain. The inlaid dots and snowflakes vary in visibility and are almost obscured by over-brushed stain.
    All the edges of the frets are sharp enough to catch and cut fingers.
    These problems could have easily been Quality Assured out in the build process.
    On a good note the Uke produces a lovely deep and rich tone from the surprisingly large body. Intonation is perfect at the 12th fret.
    I have now fitted Aquilla red low G strings and it is giving a guitar like depth to chords.
    Just wish “De-Lux” meant what it said.

  17. mickey May 11th, 2014 6:34 am

    just recieved a gretsch that belong to my friends’ dad. must be a least 60 years old.. sorry but it doe not as good as my old martin or kamaka ukes. fine workmanship ,,sounds a little tinny

  18. LemonGrass Slim June 15th, 2014 9:18 pm

    Recently I bought a Gretsch G9110 concert ukulele. It’s part of their Roots Collection. It’s a fantastic uke for the money. The finish is a gorgeous deep red mahogany, and the fretboard has that dovetail look. It’s a revamp of last year’s model, so the back of the body is convexed a little to improve resonation. Boy, does it resonate! For a vintage-looking uke, I prefer the friction tuning pegs. The older Gretsch models (until last year, I believe) have said tuning machines. However, the latest models come with geared machines. They work fine, if you like them, but the knobs looked a little cheap, and I swapped mine out for friction pegs and added a low G string.

    The gig bag that came with the uke is also quite cheap-looking, despite the beautiful logo stitching on it. I just bought a generic hardshell case instead.

    All in all, though, I am very satisfied with this ukulele, and it is a well-made uke for relatively little money.

  19. vito September 19th, 2014 1:54 pm

    I just got a g9110-l concert body long neck gretsch ukulele and boy i love the sound. I am very happy with my purshase, I only wish it came with gotoh tuners instead of the open geared it has. It comes with electronics and a tuner for convinience, its a simple looking uke, but hey, just play it and love it, its the roots collection.

  20. Speedy November 4th, 2014 3:34 pm

    G9120 Bought it off the “used” market with problems. Neck got some straightening but the fingerboard was still a rollercoaster so out came the frets! Fingerboard leveled, frets back in and strung up with Aquila strings. NOW it plays and sounds VERY good. Its my favorite uke right now. Looking to get a couple more “fix-its” too. I’m sure most of you wont go this far just to have a playable uke, but I have some fun being a luthier. Thanks to all for previous feedback.

  21. Rick March 14th, 2015 11:12 pm

    Tried out a roots collection mahogany concert size and long-neck at a local store. Craftsmanship left a lot to be desired. Sound was muddy compared with an Oscar Schmidt maple concert.

  22. Dan August 5th, 2015 10:53 am

    I have a Gretsch 9120-SM Tenor & just to balance some of the more negative comments above “the fit and finish” on mine is perfect. It has a lovely bright tone & more volume than I’m used to from Concert & Soprano ukuleles.

    I got mine used on eBay last year for £160 from a guy who’d bought it new & decided the same weekend he didn’t want it. I’ve fitted low-G Aquila strings and to me it’s spot on as an upgrade from a beginners model.

  23. Clinton December 22nd, 2015 10:36 pm

    Purchase a 9110-l longneck with a Fishman pickup last year. Great sounding and great value but the frets are a little bit sharp at the edges which need a slight grind. The instrument does not come with batteries plus the gig bag is a little flimsy but still attractive. Changed out the chrome tuning keys with gold ones and am now very happy with it’s performance.

  24. Tracy September 17th, 2016 10:14 pm

    Just got my first concert uke today at a local music store. I already own the beginner Kala KA15 soprano, & was there for the Luna Peace design. But after trying out the Gretsch G9110, I wound up buying it instead. While not as fancy & pretty as some of the other ukes there, the feel, balance of weight, and resonance was what won me over. Loved it even more when I got it home. If there were just one thing to improve, it’d be the rough fret edges. But for the price, you can’t go wrong with this one.

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