I know there are several members who have a Don Grosh guitar. I'm looking for some hands on information (reviews) of Don Grosh Retro Classic (strat type guitar).
Im curious if anyone has compared the Fralin pickups to the Grosh 60s pickups? How well made is the trem, does it go out of tune easy if used? Any other information would be appreciated.
Having been fortunate to own a retro classic for five years or so: there is no better strat style guitar, and I've owned about every kind there is (no Melancon, or whatever the spelling is, but several custom shop Fenders, old Fenders, Andersons, Valley Arts..... too blasted many). You got the best there is.
Mine has Fralin VH/VH/ SP43, and I can't imagine any better sounds coming from a strat. But I have heard that Don's own handwounds might actually be even better. Blows my tiny mind. The trem and every other part of the guitar is of the highest standard, as good as Collings, but I'm a non-trem player; but I do bend the snot out of strings, and it stays in tune better than anything I've played in 45 years.
I do recommend Snake Oil original nickel strings. Made the guitar that much better, and I was never fussy about electric strings. Now, I am. The last set lasted me ten months. I changed only because there was a flurry of gigs coming up during the holiday season and I erred on the side of caution. Someone here will have played those Grosh 60's and can tell you that part. I almost don't wanna know! best tom
I took the Forum's advice on the strings thread and bought several Snake Oil Brand strings.
Is your Grosh your main gigging guitar? I found a Guitar Player Magazine review of the Grosh 60s fat pickups he really likes them.
I want a Grosh
Phil's hollow vintage T is at Cotten. It's exactly like the one that I gave to my son this past year for finishing his Eagle Scout project (P-92 in the neck, Blues Special in the bridge). Phil's is purported to have an ash body -- not sure about that -- and ours is mahogany, but other than that it's identical.
It's the best all-around electric guitar I have ever played. Unless you really, really need the Stratocaster quack in the 2 and 4 positions, there would be no need whatsoever to own anything else if you're looking for something Fender-ish.
Guitarhak can attest to this as well ...
Completely agree. My Grosh Retro Classic came with factory Grosh pickups and they are the best Strat pickups I have ever heard. By the way, you can buy Grosh pickups.
I really like the sound of Don's pickups and you can't go wrong with a set, but if you're considering your pickup options and want the true vintage Strat tone (fat, warm, meaty, with delicious splank!) I've not heard anything better than John Suhr's V60LP. I've been through many, many Fralins, and many have been very good as well, but all are sitting on a different level, IMO.
I've had my Retro Classic S for a little over 3 years now, and I can say without hesitation that it's at the top of the heap of all Strat-style guitars I've ever owned or played. Mine was made before the advent of Grosh's own pickups and is loaded with Fralin BS/BS/SP43. As far as the tremolo goes, I don't use one but I like the sound of one (versus a hardtail bridge), so I had Don mount mine fully-sprung and screwed down flush. I bend the hack out of strings (S.O.B. Vintage Nickel, of course) and have never had a single problem with it going out of tune.
I had Don mix a custom color based on a candy wrapper (a very deep, dark chocolate color) and he nailed it perfectly. You won't find finer fretwork anywhere, and the feel of the neck itself is incredible. The moment I uncased mine originally, it felt like a guitar I'd been playing for 20 years. As much as I like my Collings 290 custom, I actually rate the fit and finish of the Grosh higher. Don's attention to detail is amazing.
Recommended without hesitation!!!!
I would like to thank all of the forum members for there feedback on this thread. I talked to Don Grosh on the phone and he is just as nice as everyone says. He answered all of my questions and even had some input on a few other choices I wasn't sure about.
As a few others have pointed out he is top notch guitar builder.
Honestly, there is nobody nicer. Whenever I have complimented Don on his guitars, he always acts like I am the first person to do so!
New questions related to this thread.
What Fretwire did you choose and why? The three I'm considering are 6150 102 wide 42 tall, 6100 110 wide 55 tall, 6105 90 wide 55 tall. As a reference Collings electrics have 104 wide 47 tall according to the website's FAQs.
Is there going to be any tonal differences other than negligible differences with the different sizes of Fret wire? Is there any reason to consider Stainless Steel frets?
I use 6105 on all Fender scale length (25.5"), vintage style guitars. It strikes a nice balance between a slightly narrow vintage appearance, with ample height for great string bending ability. I also specify Jescar fret wire (which I'm pretty sure Don is using as standard now) in the standard Nickel mix. The corresponding size for 6105 is Jescar's #55090. No experience with stainless steel frets.
My own opinion is that tonal differences between different sizes would be negligible, if any exist at all.
Don finishes frets better than anyone else I've ever seen. The ends are perfectly rounded over and the frets are completely smooth and highly polished. Another bit of evidence for his obsessive attention to detail.
"You can help me keep the Collings Forum active by making a little donation. Your support will serve as a great encouragement to me, and will enable me to keep this forum active. Please Paypal your donation directly to my email address email@example.com" Ed