A Legend in the Making
“Don Grosh Guitars (and now Pickups too) represent the very best of what a small, passionate luthier can accomplish using a combination of tried and true traditional designs and modern construction techniques.” – Mass. Street Music
With its time-honored looks and killer tone, Grosh Guitars Retro Classic is an impressive solid body electric with some not-so-ordinary specs. It’s probably safe to presume that Don Grosh, founder of Grosh Guitars, wouldn’t have it any other way.
A Bit About Grosh
Pickers and strummers will occasionally come across a once-famous guitar brand that has fallen on hard times and then resurrected itself, via a partnership with one of the few remaining industry giants. Such brands have a tendency to rely on a good name, only to produce imports that could never stand up to the American made originals. Not so with Grosh guitars.
With Grosh, what you see is what you get. All the instruments, including the Retro Classic, are made in the U.S.A.; it’s right there on the guitar. Founder Don Grosh stands behind every one of his products.
Grosh, the man, had an extensive background in Hollywood prop production, was an expert carpenter and then a shop foreman for a leading California guitar maker before becoming a first-class luthier in his own right.
The Grosh company website explains, “After many years of building guitars for others, Don decided it was time to venture out on his own and pursue his vision of what a custom boutique guitar company should be. In 1993, Don started Don Grosh Custom Guitars in the 3-car garage attached to his parent’s house up a canyon in Santa Clarita, California. The vision was clear—to build hand-crafted custom guitars with the best tone, looks and playability available…”
About the Retro Classic
With its scooped cut-away bouts and contoured body lines, the Retro Classic resembles a vintage Strat at its finest. Available in an ultra thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish, the Tobacco Sunburst has a particularly compelling blues-rock vibe.
Are you looking for professional axe? This could be it. According to the Grosh website, “The next original Don Grosh creation was the Retro Classic, an inspired take on that classic California double cutaway bolt-on neck design. Although inspired by that classic California-style guitar, Don conceived and designed every aspect of the Retro Classic from scratch, from the body dimensions, contours and routing to the neck design, construction, and headstock.
Now For Some Tonewood Specifications
The Retro Classic solid body is made of Alder wood. The neck is not just maple. Grosh adds an “aged nitro satin finish,” another nice touch. Indian Rosewood and narrow tall frets are used for the fingerboard. The nut is 1-5/8″.
Hardware, Controls, and Electronics
Locking silver square-back Kluson tuners and a string tree on the headstock are familiar favorites. So are the three characteristic control knobs, for volume, tone, and blend, in addition to a 5-way pick up selector switch and a tremolo bridge.
As the “pièce de résistance,” Grosh has equipped the Retro Classic with three “hand crafted” custom wound 60s Fat single coil pick ups, which contain Alnico V magnets.
Prices for the Retro Classic may vary, but new, it will probably set you back about $3000. Grosh doesn’t sell direct so potential buyers should consult the Grosh website for details. EBay has some, for a less than a new one, so look around.
The Grosh Retro Classic is a bit steep in price; however, it may the best and last guitar you’ll ever own.