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The latest offering from Gretsch’s “roots” collection is a stunner, an import model acoustic/electric mandolin that will certainly appeal to the Americana, bluegrass and traditional folk communities, or experimental indie rock bands looking for an interesting texture to add to their recording sessions.
The New Yorker Supreme sports a classy sunburst matte finish (what Gretsch calls “antique semi-gloss”) and a user-friendly Fishman M300 “Nashville” piezo-ceramic pickup. Purists, fear not! The pickup is remarkably clear and musical, delivering a much more natural acoustic tone when plugged in than you might be used to in the acoustic/electric realm. In our tests, gone were the somewhat shrill highs other A/E instruments can sometimes (frustratingly) “feature.” In fact, we actually preferred the tone of the mandolin recorded from its pickup than from miking it acoustically. Go figure.
Playability is spot on, as are fit and finish. The instrument is lightweight and strums like a dream. The neck is smooth with no sharp frets, and intonates perfectly across the fretboard – another welcome relief considering the quality issues we’ve seen with other mandolins in this price range.
In fact, so good is this instrument that we’re stumped to think of anything negative to say about it. If you’re in the market for an acoustic/electric mandolin, look no further than this new model from Gretsch. Your band (and wallet) will thank you.
Acoustic-electric mandolin with vintage ’50s styling
Solid mahogany top, back, and sides
Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays
Grover machine heads
Fishman M-300 Nashville pickup
Vintage-styled clam-shell tailpiece