The Gretsch Custom Shop is where the time-honored legacy reaches its creative apex. No instruments epitomize the extraordinary expertise and attention to detail of Gretsch’s most trusted hands like Custom Shop instruments. From modern versions of legendary Gretsch instruments to artist tribute models and specially requested one-off guitars, the Gretsch Custom Shop takes “That Great Gretsch Sound” to an entirely new plane, but also preserves and perfects it.
2019 marks 15 years of Gretsch Custom Shop “Magic in Mastery” and we commemorate the occasion with the Gretsch G6134-GCS15 Custom Shop 15th Anniversary ’59 Penguin™ NOS model— yet another magnificent masterpiece from our revered team of builders.
Since ruby is the precious stone that designates a 15-year milestone, this Penguin features a mahogany body with curly maple top dressed in a magnificent Trans Ruby Red finish with white back, sides and headstock, all tied together with ruby red sparkle body and neck binding.
Ray Butts Full Fidelity pickups power this radiant instrument with plenty of sparkly notes and dynamic tones, tighter bass and a touch more top end.
Limited to an exclusive 15-model run, the G6134 Custom ’59 Penguin also features an ebony fingerboard with 22 vintage-style frets and pearloid Neo-Classic™ thumbnail inlays, Gretsch Custom Shop 15th Anniversary headstock plate, Adjusto-Matic™ bridge with pinned ebony base, classic Penguin-adorned gold pickguard and shimmering gold hardware including the banjo armrest, “G” jeweled knobs, Grover® Imperial tuners and Gretsch Cadillac tailpiece.
Custom Shop Timeline
The first-ever custom U.S.-made Gretsch models debuted at the NAMM Show in January. The stunning new limited-edition versions of original-era classics—a G6136CST White Falcon and G6120WCST Nashville Western were warmly received and earned much acclaim, and with that the Gretsch Custom Shop was up and running.2004
Senior Master Builder Stephen Stern officially took the custom design and production reins, and with a small crew, a little upstairs corner workshop at the Fender factory in Corona, Calif., became the Gretsch Custom Shop.2005
The Gretsch Custom Shop released the G6136TCST-R White Falcon LTD Custom Relic (2007-2009), the G6120WCST-R Nashville Western LTD Custom Relic and the G6118T-R-CST Anniversary Relic (2007-2009).
The original 2004 G6120WCST Nashville Western was re-christened the G6120WCST Chet Atkins Hollow Body in January 2007 and remained so until the model was discontinued in December 2009.
The Gretsch Custom Shop duly honored Stray Cats rockabilly icon Brian Setzer with the first Custom Shop “Tribute” model, the G6120SSC Brian Setzer Tribute Nashville. Stern and his crew hand built 59 of the instruments, which were virtually indistinguishable from Setzer’s beloved 1959 6120, right down to their thin nitro finish, dice control knobs, black cat and “Lucky Lady” body stickers, headstock skull sticker, and every last nick and scratch.
The Gretsch Custom Shop released the G6128TDS-R Duo Jet™ Relic with Bigsby® (2008-2009).
The gorgeous G6120-125 Chet Atkins 125th Anniversary Hollow Body enjoyed a single-year run.
The Gretsch Custom Shop debuted the G6129BZ Billy Zoom Tribute Custom Shop Silver Jet, designed for X guitarist Tyson “Billy Zoom” Kindell.
The G6120DSW-R Chet Atkins Relic Hollow Body was introduced in early 2009 and available through mid-2010.2009
The Gretsch Custom Shop began building specially commissioned one-off instruments, starting when Morrissey guitarist and musical director Martin "Boz" Boorer contacted Stern with a special request—a custom pink Penguin guitar. Stern obliged, and Boorer delightedly received the beautifully crafted pink Penguin—the first Gretsch Custom Shop one-off model—in spring of this year.
The meticulously crafted G6120EC Eddie Cochran Tribute Hollow Body was also introduced in honor of the “Summertime Blues” artist. Only 50 of these replicas were released, accompanied a fascinating wealth of reproduction Cochran memorabilia that paid fitting tribute indeed.
The G6128T-GH George Harrison Tribute Custom Shop Duo Jet was introduced in January 2011 in a limited edition run of 60 guitars, immediately drawing great acclaim and glowing press. Stern had worked closed throughout 2010 with his estate to spec out the all-black 1957 Duo Jet that Harrison bought second-hand at age 18 in summer 1961. It was the guitar that Harrison played during the historic three-year period when the Beatles went from local favorites to U.K. sensations to worldwide phenomenon; the guitar used to record first Beatles album Please Please Me and the title song that was the group’s first No. 1 hit.2011
The Gretsch Custom Shop received its biggest personnel boost with the arrival of five more builders including Chad Henrichsen and Gonzalo Madrigal.2013
The Gretsch Custom Shop celebrated its 10th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, the Gretsch Custom Shop released the 10th Anniversary Duo Jet NOS guitar. A limited edition run of only ten of these very special Duo Jet models were created for the global market.2014
This year saw the creation of the monstrous G6136B-TP Custom Shop Tom Petersson Signature White Falcon™ 12-string bass. As the bassist for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame power-pop outfit Cheap Trick, Petersson pioneered the use of a 12-string, multi-octave instrument and his stamp on the classic White Falcon bass design resulted in a truly jaw-dropping model.2016
At long last, the Gretsch Custom Shop brought the world the G6131MY-CS Custom Shop Malcolm Young “Salute” Jet™ in honor of the AC/DC rhythm guitar legend, who passed away in November of that year. As early as 2008, the Gretsch Custom Shop team had begun to painstakingly examine Young’s iconic No. 1 guitar, a battle-worn well-traveled ’63 Jet Firebird™. Limited to a 40-piece run, the G6131MY-CS Custom Shop Malcolm Young “Salute” Jet faithfully paid homage to Young’s beloved instrument, right down to every last nick, scratch and dent acquired over his long and raucously illustrious career.
The Gretsch Custom Shop promoted Gonzalo Madrigal to Master Builder, and also welcomed two new builders in Bill Jancar and Kyle Keesler.
The Gretsch Custom Shop celebrates its 15th Anniversary.2019
Custom Shop Gallery
Meet the Builders
Custom Shop Dealers
BIZARRE GUITAR(775) 331-1001
2677 ODDIE BLVD
RENO, NV 89512
THE MUSIC ZOO(516) 626-9292
55 LUMBER ROAD
ROSLYN, NY 11576
RAINBOW GUITAR(520) 325-3376
2550 N CAMPBELL AVE
TUCSON, AZ 85719
STREET SOUNDS(718) 680-7946
9206 3RD AVENUE
BROOKLYN, NY 11209
WILDWOOD GUITARS(303) 665-7733
804 MAIN STREET
LOUISVILLE, CO 80027
PRIVATE RESERVE GUITARS(866) 926-1923
4001 NORFLEET AVE.
KANSAS CITY, MO 64161
CREAM CITY MUSIC(262) 860-1800
12505 W BLUEMOUND RD
BROOKFIELD, WI 53005
Lark Guitars(210) 384-4303
5103 MCCULLOUGH AVE. STE. 101
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78212
CHICAGO MUSIC EXCHANGE(888) 686-7872
3316 N LINCOLN AVE.
CHICAGO, IL 60657
GUITAR VILLAGE+44 (0)1252 726821
80-82 WEST STREET
FARNHAM, SURREY, GU9 7EN
Peach Guitars+44 1206 765777
3 Crown Gate Wyncolls Road Severalls Industrial Park
Colchester, CO4 9HZ
Guitar Amp & Keyboard Store+44 (0)1252 726821
76-82 North Rd
Brighton, BN1 1YD
Guitar Guitar0141 552 9896
Glasgow, G1 5ES