I just completed my third DIY guitar experiment using Warmoth parts. This one is a wacky Fender/Gretsch hybrid with a semi-acoustic Fender Starcaster body, a reverse, angled Strat neck, and various Gretsch-like elements, including TV Jones Filter’Tron pickups, a Bigsby/Vibramate vibrato, and a vulgar silver-sparkle finish — a tribute to the Gretsch Silver Jet, and the basis for this new guitar’s name: Kitschcaster.

Mind you, it sounds nothing like a Starcaster . I ordered the body (which Warmoth calls the Mooncaster ) in warm-toned korina, and the neck is mahogany. (Fender used bright-sounding maple for the original necks and bodies.) True to form, the Gretsch-style humbuckers provide a percussive, “plinky” attack quite distinct from PAF-style pickups. The Bigsby assembly also nudges things further from Fenderland. But I always dug the Starcaster’s offset semi-acoustic body, and I thought it would make a nice platform for my latest platypus.

I’m especially besotted with Warmoth’s “Clapton” profile necks, which I’ve used in all three of my builds. They have a pronounced V shape that feels so comfy in my left hand, and provides relief for my left thumb joint, where, sadly, I’m feeling my first tentative twinges of arthritis. It’s a trip having three radically different guitars with identical neck profiles. I dig the sleek, comfy body as well, and I love its ability to generate musically coherent feedback.

I just completed my third DIY guitar experiment using Warmoth parts. This one is a wacky Fender/Gretsch hybrid with a semi-acoustic Fender Starcaster body, a reverse, angled Strat neck, and various Gretsch-like elements, including TV Jones Filter’Tron pickups, a Bigsby/Vibramate vibrato, and a vulgar silver-sparkle finish — a tribute to the Gretsch Silver Jet, and the basis for this new guitar’s name: Kitschcaster.

Mind you, it sounds nothing like a Starcaster . I ordered the body (which Warmoth calls the Mooncaster ) in warm-toned korina, and the neck is mahogany. (Fender used bright-sounding maple for the original necks and bodies.) True to form, the Gretsch-style humbuckers provide a percussive, “plinky” attack quite distinct from PAF-style pickups. The Bigsby assembly also nudges things further from Fenderland. But I always dug the Starcaster’s offset semi-acoustic body, and I thought it would make a nice platform for my latest platypus.

I’m especially besotted with Warmoth’s “Clapton” profile necks, which I’ve used in all three of my builds. They have a pronounced V shape that feels so comfy in my left hand, and provides relief for my left thumb joint, where, sadly, I’m feeling my first tentative twinges of arthritis. It’s a trip having three radically different guitars with identical neck profiles. I dig the sleek, comfy body as well, and I love its ability to generate musically coherent feedback.

Country music. That’s the twangy stuff where everyone plays Telecasters, wears a cowboy hat, and sings with yodeling-like breaks in their voices, right? This generalization may have been pretty close a couple of decades ago, but the genre has experienced some dramatic shifts in the last 15 years. Just turn on a country radio station playing today’s music and you’ll have a hard time finding the twangy and compressed sound of a Telecaster that ruled the country songs of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Contemporary country has largely morphed into ’70s rock with some redneck lyrics and fiddle to keep the song from sounding too much like straight-ahead rock.

I’m often asked how much chicken-pickin’ I’m doing on sessions and gigs in Nashville these days, and I’d say it’s about one out of every 50 songs. I’m a big fan of the style, but the reality is that it’s become a bit passé (Brad Paisley is a notable exception—he’s keeping the sound alive but with a progressive twist). For most of those other 49 songs, I’m playing Malcolm Young-type guitar parts and jangly echo patterns.

After spending a lot of time analyzing the most common sounds being used on today’s country records and working in the music community in Nashville for several years, I have arrived at the conclusion that the guitar sound of modern country is 70 percent ’70s-style rock and 30 percent twang. Humbuckers with a vintage voicing can certainly help deliver the rock portion of this equation, but how can the twang be obtained?

I just completed my third DIY guitar experiment using Warmoth parts. This one is a wacky Fender/Gretsch hybrid with a semi-acoustic Fender Starcaster body, a reverse, angled Strat neck, and various Gretsch-like elements, including TV Jones Filter’Tron pickups, a Bigsby/Vibramate vibrato, and a vulgar silver-sparkle finish — a tribute to the Gretsch Silver Jet, and the basis for this new guitar’s name: Kitschcaster.

Mind you, it sounds nothing like a Starcaster . I ordered the body (which Warmoth calls the Mooncaster ) in warm-toned korina, and the neck is mahogany. (Fender used bright-sounding maple for the original necks and bodies.) True to form, the Gretsch-style humbuckers provide a percussive, “plinky” attack quite distinct from PAF-style pickups. The Bigsby assembly also nudges things further from Fenderland. But I always dug the Starcaster’s offset semi-acoustic body, and I thought it would make a nice platform for my latest platypus.

I’m especially besotted with Warmoth’s “Clapton” profile necks, which I’ve used in all three of my builds. They have a pronounced V shape that feels so comfy in my left hand, and provides relief for my left thumb joint, where, sadly, I’m feeling my first tentative twinges of arthritis. It’s a trip having three radically different guitars with identical neck profiles. I dig the sleek, comfy body as well, and I love its ability to generate musically coherent feedback.

Country music. That’s the twangy stuff where everyone plays Telecasters, wears a cowboy hat, and sings with yodeling-like breaks in their voices, right? This generalization may have been pretty close a couple of decades ago, but the genre has experienced some dramatic shifts in the last 15 years. Just turn on a country radio station playing today’s music and you’ll have a hard time finding the twangy and compressed sound of a Telecaster that ruled the country songs of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Contemporary country has largely morphed into ’70s rock with some redneck lyrics and fiddle to keep the song from sounding too much like straight-ahead rock.

I’m often asked how much chicken-pickin’ I’m doing on sessions and gigs in Nashville these days, and I’d say it’s about one out of every 50 songs. I’m a big fan of the style, but the reality is that it’s become a bit passé (Brad Paisley is a notable exception—he’s keeping the sound alive but with a progressive twist). For most of those other 49 songs, I’m playing Malcolm Young-type guitar parts and jangly echo patterns.

After spending a lot of time analyzing the most common sounds being used on today’s country records and working in the music community in Nashville for several years, I have arrived at the conclusion that the guitar sound of modern country is 70 percent ’70s-style rock and 30 percent twang. Humbuckers with a vintage voicing can certainly help deliver the rock portion of this equation, but how can the twang be obtained?

This snare drum was introduced around 1961; The earliest models of these drums had a smooth shell with no decorative central markings. The drums from the early 60’s to 1967, featured the micro-sensitive throw off, to be replaced with the Lightening throw. From the early 70’s the ‘fishtail’ butt plate began to appear and the drum was offered with or without the tone control dampener.

The drum featured today is a late 60’s 4160 with the knurled centre markings. This drum has a 14 x 5” Seamless spun brass shell, chrome plated and highly polished. Fitted with a Round Badge but the lightening throw off dates it somewhere between 67 and 71. The drum features 8 single lugs and solid die cast counter hoops with a tone control dampener fitted.

“The Gretsch metal snare drum sounds better than any you’ve ever heard. Its got the clean crisp modern sound that really stands out. An eye catching beauty with highly polished chrome plating, it has Wide 42 power snares to give your drumming that extra power professionals demand. No wonder you look better, feel better, sound better with Gretsch.”

I just completed my third DIY guitar experiment using Warmoth parts. This one is a wacky Fender/Gretsch hybrid with a semi-acoustic Fender Starcaster body, a reverse, angled Strat neck, and various Gretsch-like elements, including TV Jones Filter’Tron pickups, a Bigsby/Vibramate vibrato, and a vulgar silver-sparkle finish — a tribute to the Gretsch Silver Jet, and the basis for this new guitar’s name: Kitschcaster.

Mind you, it sounds nothing like a Starcaster . I ordered the body (which Warmoth calls the Mooncaster ) in warm-toned korina, and the neck is mahogany. (Fender used bright-sounding maple for the original necks and bodies.) True to form, the Gretsch-style humbuckers provide a percussive, “plinky” attack quite distinct from PAF-style pickups. The Bigsby assembly also nudges things further from Fenderland. But I always dug the Starcaster’s offset semi-acoustic body, and I thought it would make a nice platform for my latest platypus.

I’m especially besotted with Warmoth’s “Clapton” profile necks, which I’ve used in all three of my builds. They have a pronounced V shape that feels so comfy in my left hand, and provides relief for my left thumb joint, where, sadly, I’m feeling my first tentative twinges of arthritis. It’s a trip having three radically different guitars with identical neck profiles. I dig the sleek, comfy body as well, and I love its ability to generate musically coherent feedback.

Country music. That’s the twangy stuff where everyone plays Telecasters, wears a cowboy hat, and sings with yodeling-like breaks in their voices, right? This generalization may have been pretty close a couple of decades ago, but the genre has experienced some dramatic shifts in the last 15 years. Just turn on a country radio station playing today’s music and you’ll have a hard time finding the twangy and compressed sound of a Telecaster that ruled the country songs of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Contemporary country has largely morphed into ’70s rock with some redneck lyrics and fiddle to keep the song from sounding too much like straight-ahead rock.

I’m often asked how much chicken-pickin’ I’m doing on sessions and gigs in Nashville these days, and I’d say it’s about one out of every 50 songs. I’m a big fan of the style, but the reality is that it’s become a bit passé (Brad Paisley is a notable exception—he’s keeping the sound alive but with a progressive twist). For most of those other 49 songs, I’m playing Malcolm Young-type guitar parts and jangly echo patterns.

After spending a lot of time analyzing the most common sounds being used on today’s country records and working in the music community in Nashville for several years, I have arrived at the conclusion that the guitar sound of modern country is 70 percent ’70s-style rock and 30 percent twang. Humbuckers with a vintage voicing can certainly help deliver the rock portion of this equation, but how can the twang be obtained?

This snare drum was introduced around 1961; The earliest models of these drums had a smooth shell with no decorative central markings. The drums from the early 60’s to 1967, featured the micro-sensitive throw off, to be replaced with the Lightening throw. From the early 70’s the ‘fishtail’ butt plate began to appear and the drum was offered with or without the tone control dampener.

The drum featured today is a late 60’s 4160 with the knurled centre markings. This drum has a 14 x 5” Seamless spun brass shell, chrome plated and highly polished. Fitted with a Round Badge but the lightening throw off dates it somewhere between 67 and 71. The drum features 8 single lugs and solid die cast counter hoops with a tone control dampener fitted.

“The Gretsch metal snare drum sounds better than any you’ve ever heard. Its got the clean crisp modern sound that really stands out. An eye catching beauty with highly polished chrome plating, it has Wide 42 power snares to give your drumming that extra power professionals demand. No wonder you look better, feel better, sound better with Gretsch.”

The combination of the Filter’Tron pickups and semi-hollow body produces a zingy shimmer with just enough midrange bite to be nasty. It’s a sonic signature that works equally well with a clean amp, an overdriven amp, and all manner of pedals. There’s tons of articulation—though the sound is never overly bright—and the dynamics are marvelous. Things clean up brilliantly when you soften your picking attack and get all gritty and wicked when you dig in. Overall, the Nashville is an excellent staging ground for wherever you wish to go with your sonic character.

CONTACT gretschguitars.com
PRICE $2,799 street
NUT WIDTH 1.6875" Graph Tech Tusq XL
NECK Maple, set
FRETBOARD Ebony, 24.6" scale, 12" radius
FRETS 22 medium jumbo
TUNERS Gotoh Locking
BODY Laminated flame maple with chambered spruce center block
BRIDGE Anchored Adjusto-Matic
PICKUPS Two High Sensitive Filter’Tron
CONTROLS Three Volume (Master, Neck, Bridge), Master Tone, 3-way selector
FACTORY STRINGS D’Addario, EXL 110
WEIGHT 7.7 lbs
BUILT Japan
KUDOS Fun to play. Bounty of tones.
CONCERNS Needed a slight setup.


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