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.