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Thread: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

  1. #1

    Default New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    For holidays and such, my current "risk-having-it-crushed-to-death-at-check-in" mandolin is an Epiphone MM30 - mahogany back and sides with a spruce top. But I really like the look of the new G9310 - anyone bought one? Solid Mahogany top, back, and sides - nice looking a genuine New Yorker - comes from someplace else. Just wanted to know if anyone with personal experience has nice things to say about it.

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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    The Gretsch is pretty much a straight out copy of a 60's-70's Harmony. Harmony made the New Yorker's this one was based on. Somewhere here I actually posted an early New Yorker with it's Harmony model number and date code. With that said I've only played one in a Guitar Center and I actually preferred the Rogue that was hanging next to it. Some members seem to like them.

    You can actually buy an original Harmony, all solid woods for less. It just won't say Gretsch on the headstock.

    Here's one of a few.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    Thanks, Mike. I was intrigued by the solid mahogany construction. I have a 1950's "Bobby Henshaw" baritone uke made from mahogany and like the tone a lot - also made in New York, oddly enough.

    Speaking of which - thank you again! Looking for something else, I stumbled on your superglue/bicarb method for fixing a nut and this uke has been sitting on top of the wardrobe for years becuzz of the buzz.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    That method precedes me by decades probably
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Lowlands Blue's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    My first mandolin was a Gretsch New Yorker G9320, not the exact same model, but the quality of build and sound beat everything else that the local shop had on their wall at the time (some Fenders and Washburns) in the same price range.

    I know Gretsch isn't the most popular brand for mandolins around here, but I've never regretted buying it as my first.

  8. #6

    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    When looking for a "cheap beater" I settled upon the New Yorker and the Washburn M1SDL as the better of the lower-end offerings. Especially used, they go cheap, are fairly solidly built with a descent play-ability, tone and volume - just what you want in a beater.

    I ended up getting a MK $199 special as my "cheap beater" but would have been happy with either the New Yorker or Washburn if the MK hadn't come along.
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowlands Blue View Post
    My first mandolin was a Gretsch New Yorker G9320, not the exact same model, but the quality of build and sound beat everything else that the local shop had on their wall at the time (some Fenders and Washburns) in the same price range.

    I know Gretsch isn't the most popular brand for mandolins around here, but I've never regretted buying it as my first.
    The G9320 was my first mandolin also. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough, and I did regret buying it as my first. Hard to play, buzzy, even after I had a local luthier look it over and adjust a bit. Granted some of that was me I know, but I have even played one after a while, and still think less of it than other lower priced mandolins. It did beat The Loar cheap mandos though.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    Me being a vintage type kind of buyer-I just love old builds/wood. I'd buy an old original Stradolin or Harmony Biltmore or regal or something of the like for pry the same amount of cash and use that as a frequent flyer? Just my opinion. I just seen Mike's old link post-my thoughts exactly!

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    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    Me being a vintage type kind of buyer-I just love old builds/wood. I'd buy an old original Stradolin or Harmony Biltmore or regal or something of the like for pry the same amount of cash and use that as a frequent flyer? Just my opinion. I just seen Mike's old link post-my thoughts exactly!
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  14. #10

    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    Here's a local CL ad for an old Harmony Monterey:

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    https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/msg/6151295527.html

    Looks in reasonable nick for it's age. At $150 plus a good cleaning, strings and setup - assuming the neck is straight enough to get the action playable - the cost is probably about the same as getting a new/used Gretsch.

    From a functional POV a new Gretsch has a truss-rod and probably uses better glues so it'll probably outlast the Harmony.

    But the Harmony does have vibe, plus it's all solid birch?

    They both have solid pressed tops and I don't think solid woods add much when used on sides/backs, so that one is a personal preference IMHO.
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    Registered User Lowlands Blue's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Leonard View Post
    The G9320 was my first mandolin also. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough, and I did regret buying it as my first. Hard to play, buzzy, even after I had a local luthier look it over and adjust a bit. Granted some of that was me I know, but I have even played one after a while, and still think less of it than other lower priced mandolins. It did beat The Loar cheap mandos though.
    Huh! Funny how people experience these things differently! After I had mine properly setup it actually sounded pretty good. I didn't experience the buzz issue and found it to play very easily.
    Didn't have enough volume though, but for the first 2 years of me playing and learning this was never an issue, as I just played by myself and with my teacher.

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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    Electric guitars are the Gretsch company's bread and butter. I have a couple that I use for western swing and country that I love for their garish eccentricities. Even among die-hard Gretsch fans there is a general acknowledgment that acoustic Gretsch instruments are sort of an afterthought. The old Rancher flat-tops must be among the worst acoustic guitars ever made, though the new imported production is some better.

    I haven't had any experience with the newer Gretsch mandolins, but the general feeling over on the Gretsch Pages is that they're only OK. The reports from a couple of guys on that forum are underwhelming, and they are absolute Gretsch FREAKS. I'm a bit cautious about Gretsch acoustic instruments, even though you'll never pry the big, orange Gretsch electric guitar out of my hands.
    Last edited by Warren H; Jun-12-2017 at 6:10pm.

  17. #13
    Registered User Lowlands Blue's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-ish "NewYorker" Mandolins from Gretsch

    OP is looking for a risk-having-it-crushed-to-death-at-check-in mandolin. From my experience these mando's fit that description quite well

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