Gretsch G6118T Players Edition Anniversary review

A beautifully-made addition from Gretsch

  • £1889

MusicRadar Verdict

A fantastic model from Gretsch that while still not cheap, won't cost the earth.


  • +

    Workingman's Gretsch with great upgrades, not least the locking tuners and String-Thru Bigsby.


  • -

    Might need a treble lift to obtain true twang.

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If you need something that's more giggable and usable for virtually any contemporary style than Gretsch's recent reissues, you have the Players Edition.

The Players Edition models feature 'ML' bracing, pinned Rocking Bar bridges, 'string-thru' Bigsbys, strap locks, locking tuners and Tusq XL nuts, those Squeezebox caps, a treble-bleed circuit, No-Load tone pots and thinner 2.25-inch body.

After the recently-reviewed Falcon, our first Players Edition model looks way less showy, but far from dowdy, in this new two-tone ivory top with metallic charcoal-coloured sides, back and neck-back polyurethane finish.

Vintage buffs might get sniffy about that finish, but it's far from over-thick, and, like every other detail of these guitars, perfect in execution. Its more 'workingman' vibe is enhanced by the chrome and nickel hardware and, here, we have the rocking-bar bridge - intonated for standard 0.011s, as the guitars are shipped with, on its pinned wooden foot.

Locking tuners and a slippery Tusq XL nut help to keep tuning stable, while the string-anchor bar of the Bigsby, instead of featuring the usual pins onto which you hook the strings' ball-ends, is actually drilled through, so you simply thread the string through the bar and pull them into those rear-lock tuners. It's taken the Gretsch-owned Bigsby company a while, but, finally, here's a Bigsby that isn't a total pain to restring.

We return to the 'Tone-Pot' circuit and have Gretsch's own Alnico-loaded High Sensitive Filter'Trons. The thumbnail inlays are retained, but the unbound fingerboard is rosewood, not ebony, and Schaller strap-lock buttons are fitted as standard - the locking elements for your strap are supplied, too.

Beautifully made and with some lovely period-correct details mixed with more modern concessions, there's little we don't like here.

Considerably lower in cost, our Players Edition models are close cousins to Gretsch's recent reissue models and would be perfect for those for rockier, less 'Gretsch-style' outings - the new string-thru Bigsby alone will cure what most of us find a chore: restringing.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.