A Review of the Gretsch G9112 Resonator Guitar
Since my retirement in 2003 I´ve found it difficult to fill my days and decided to become an amateur luthier. I have always loved any stringed instrument, as well as working with my hands. My neighbor got himself a Gretsch G9112 and brought it over to ask my opinion on how he could customize the guitar.
To be honest, I really wasn´t expecting much from a Chinese-made guitar that only cost him $379, but from the moment I picked it up it felt comfortable in my hands, more comfortably than the Regals and Dobros that I have tried. It felt feather-light compared to some other guitars that I have worked on. The tone was outstanding – more or less what I would expect from a guitar three times the price! It´s a real “Bluesy” guitar – you would swear you´re down in the Mississippi Delta somewhere down in the South. I was very surprised to hear this guitar´s sound is so warm and right, since I myself have only had a brass bell resonator. The intonation was perfect, not to mention that it is such a fun guitar to play. I could highly recommend this guitar to anyone who is an aspiring Blues musician and who wants to get started in the bottleneck Blues, since it is so easy to hold and also very well priced.
This is also a great transition guitar if you are only used to regular guitars. I will admit that I have heard some resonators that had better tone, but none at this price, and I absolutely love the size, as well as the style. The back, sides and body are made from laminated Mahogany, featuring twin F-Holes on the top, and the neck is mahogany with a fret board made of Rose wood. The beautiful mother-of-pearl overlay, the nut work and the headstock are all really elegant, yet the design is period-correct and ads to its character. The only thing I could complain about regarding design was a slight bit of overspray around one of the F-Holes.Action was lower than I would have expected (about string-height above the frets) and it is not stocked with resonator strings. This is because the neck is built like a standard round neck guitar, meaning that it may be stressed by the heavier gauge. This comes in especially handy for adding some “kick” when playing bluegrass or blues, however not so great for laying it down as a lap side. It sounds really great playing slide and pick songs though. Other than that, it has great sound projection, and sounds awesome strumming and picking. I especially like the sound you get when once you get above the 5th fret! Speaking of which, the frets are really well-dressed and smooth. The only thing that I can complain about regarding the sound, is that the resonator is a little weak on picking up well on soft plucking, probably since I don´t use a pick. This means that if you play gently, it might sound like a regular guitar, with a bit of a twang. However a pick surely would bring out the tone in this guitar.
Categorised in: Resonator Guitar Reviews