Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Gretsch G9511 Style 1 Single-0 Parlor

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Gretsch G9511 Style 1 Single-0 Parlor

Article excerpt

For a long time, the acoustic guitar market has been dominated by big jumbos and dreadnoughts. While these big boxes have lush bass tones and plenty of volume, they also have several drawbacks, with the first and foremost being that their size can be unwieldy for some.

Smaller-bodied and parlor-sized guitars are a lot more popular these days, which is a good thing, but not surprisingly, there are a few trade-offs. Smaller guitars won't have the pronounced volume or full tones of some larger guitars. However, with so many smaller guitars on the market, you can be more discriminating in what you look for in a compact size. The new low-cost Gretsch G9511 Single-0 Parlor is one such small-bodied guitar that has a refined tone and can be a lot of fun.

The Indonesian-made Gretsch sports excellent craftsmanship. The 'Appalachia Cloudburst" finish has been applied to a solid Sitka spruce top, giving the Gretsch a warm, smoky allure. A thin gloss over the top and laminated mahogany back and sides provides a nice sheen. The mahogany neck has a matte finish that gives a silky feel that many guitarists-including myself-prefer. The butter-bean open-geared tuners throw off a vintage vibe and the bone nut and saddle complete a classy and understated portrait. There are no sharp edges on the frets, and the guitar is set up to be a quick player with low action and no fret buzzes. Except for a tiny bit of underspray around the soundhole, I could spot no flaws.

NAKED TRUTH

My review G9511 responded best to a light touch. I normally play with either a flatpick or thumbpick when I'm fingerpicking, but I really enjoyed playing this guitar with naked fingers. A sweet tone is produced with a soft touch and speaks to my jazzier side. Although I don't consider myself a jazz player, I am attracted to the plush sounds of major 7th and 13 chords on the Gretsch. …

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