Just like with any instrument, the cheaper the resonator guitar you are buying, the more probability there is that it is not that good an instrument. A rule of thumb if you will. Yet there are still examples of instruments that through miracle of design technology and the grace of musical gods sound good. The Gretsch G920 Boxcar Square neck guitar is one such instrument. Let us take a closer look and see what makes it one of my favorite affordable resonator guitars.
The body of this beauty is small, shaped in the grand auditorium style. This allows the instrument to remain powerful despite its small size. To be honest, resonator guitars rarely have issues with projection, thanks to the cones they have installed on them. Combined with the shape of the body, the sound of the guitar is beautifully amplified.
The entirety of the guitar is built out of Mahogany. This sturdy hardwood is always a nice choice for any guitar. In the case of our Gretsch G9210 Boxcar it is a great choice. The mahogany adds a dark tinge to the style of the guitar, while simultaneously coloring the sound darker as well. The result is a sturdy, relatively light guitar with a great emphasis on the lower tones. This balances the rest of the guitar’s sound biases well. The mahogany is sturdy and will last a long time, if cared for well enough.
The neck of the guitar is square and is made out of mahogany as well. The squareness of it is intended to make keeping the instrument on top of your lap while playing easy. The mahogany of the neck is there to keep the guitar together forever. While forever might be an exaggeration, it is true that mahogany is sturdy and ages well. The fretboard of the guitar is rosewood, smooth and pleasant to play. The overall color scheme of the guitar, while simple, is definitely pleasing to look at.
The bright aluminium cover plate of the guitar contrasts with the mahogany very beautifully and allows sound to escape without interruption. The designs in the cover plate are quite handsome. The additional f holes in the body of the guitar serve to further amplify the sound.
The bridge of the guitar is Aluminium. This allows the string vibrations to easily transfer with a slight bias towards the higher and mid tones. Yet the detailed sound of the bridge does not in any way dull the guitar’s low tones.
The Gretsch Ampli Sonic cone installed on the guitar is a marvelous cone that you don’t often see anywhere other than a Gretsch guitar. These cones are hand spun in Eastern Europe. The material is entirely Aluminium, which means a great, detailed sound over the entire range of tones.
The nut of the guitar is raised to allow players the use of their guitar slides with ease. This does not make playing the guitar with fingers any harder.
The guitar is marvelous in the sound it produces. Nuanced highs, with long sustain for the beautifully expressive midtones and low tones allows the player to fully express themselves. The sound is energetic yet has a warm aspect to it thanks to the mahogany playing such a big role in the sound projection.
This guitar is incredible, especially for a beginner player. Not only is it affordable, but it is designed in a way to allow novice resonator guitar players to get accustomed to the instrument. Lightweight and comfortable to hold, the square, thick neck allow easy fretting. A great way to start your bluegrass career.