Grosh Guitars Buying Guide
Don Grosh has earned the reputation for building some of the finest custom, high-end guitars, basses and pickups on the planet. Every single product that leaves his shop in Broomfield, Colorado delivers the ultimate experience in tone, looks and playability. All of Don’s instruments live up to his slogan ... PURE PASSION - PURE TONE! The information guide below will help you understand the differences between the various models Grosh Guitars builds that we sell and some of the unique features that make Don's instruments so special.
Bolt-On Neck Models:
The “Standard” Models Information
Don Grosh “Standard” model is almost a misnomer in that same quality and playability found in his custom guitars are found here too. To offer a lower price point you do have some limits when it comes to features. SO you might ask…“what is the difference between the Grosh Retro Classic or ElectraJet Standard and the Electrajet or Retro Classic Custom?” Several things… Grosh Standard models come with ONLY an Alder body, Satin lacquer finish neck, 10” radius neck carve, 6150 frets, Non locking Kulsion tuners and Aged White pickguard. The Custom models have way more optiona available in terms of body wood, neck profile/radus, and tremolo choices to name a few.
The “Custom” Models Information
Grosh Guitars Custom models, such as the ElectraJet Custom, feature Gotoh 510 tremolo and Kluson locking tuners. Grosh Custom Models come with a wide array of options such as Adler or Swamp Ash bodies, several different neck carves, neck wood, neck finish, pickguard and fret size options. Custom models also offer the choice of a 10” or 12” neck radius, a Gotoh 510 tremolo and Kluson locking tuners. The big picture with all of Don’s custom guitars is that there is a much higher level on “customization” available to suit your personal comfort level in terms of the neck and playability.
NOS Retro Information:
Since it's introduction at the Winter NAMM show in 2012 the NOS Retro has quickly found itself on the short list of the finest "traditional" strat-style instrument with the now famous Don Grosh tone and playability. While this guitar is very similar to the Grosh Retro Classic in tone, the NOS Retro combines the traditional "S" shape and features with the unmatched construction, tone and playability of a Grosh. The NOS Retro features a true, traditional "S" body shape, vintage pickup routing and traditional truss rod construction. For the player who must have the look and features of a traditional strat-style guitar but demands the ultimate in tone and playability, it doesn't get any better than the NOS Retro. And like every custom Grosh guitar, the NOS features master-grade, tone-tapped woods, ultra-thin nitro-lacquer finish and handcrafted Grosh pickups.
Retro Classic Information:
If you have ever played a “traditional” strat shape but thought something was missing then this might be the guitar for you. The Grosh Retro Classic is a strat-style instrument with unmatched tone and playability. Don has taken every aspect of the traditional strat shape re-designed it to fit his vision of the guitar. From the body dimensions, contours, balance and routing to the neck design, construction and headstock. It’ a modern take a classic design. As with all Grosh guitars it features master-grade, tone-tapped woods, ultra-thin nitro-lacquer finish and handcrafted Grosh pickups.
A modern classic and a Don Grosh original. This innovative new design combines the classic, vintage styling for which Grosh Guitars is known with a modern flare and edge. The ElectraJet throws off a vintage vibe but with a slightly heavier and thicker voice compared to the Retro Classic or the NOS Retro. Many consider the Grosh ElectraJet Don’s most versatile instrument depending on pickup configuration ... from jazz to rock to funk to blues to "heavy", it can cover a lot of ground. And like all Grosh guitars, it retains that beautifully complex harmonic clarity and full acoustic voice. The ElectraJet feels completely natural, ergonomic and balanced, and it plays like a dream. Featuring master-grade, tone-tapped woods, ultra-thin nitro-lacquer finish and handcrafted Grosh pickups.
The Grosh ElectraJet VT is another modern classic. It build on the success of the original ElectraJet as the ElectraJet VT combines the thicker, meatier voice of the ElectraJet body with a tele-style pickup configuration. Fat, thick and mean but still able to twang, spank and chime. The sound is truly reminiscent of traditional "tele" tones but fuller, with more dimension, while still retaining the ability to cut and bite. The ElectraJet VT exudes classic vintage tones with just a little "more" of everything. Country, jazz, rock, funk and blues, it's all there. And the ElectraJet VT feels completely natural, ergonomic and balanced, ... and of course plays like a dream. Featuring master-grade, tone-tapped woods, ultra-thin nitro-lacquer finish and handcrafted Grosh pickups.
Grosh Blend Control Information
Grosh Guitars offers the blend control on many of their custom models (not available on standard models). Depending on what pickup position you’re in, the blend control is used to blend in the remaining pickups. In the neck position, the control blends in the bridge. When in the bridge position, it blends in the neck pickup. When in position 2 or 4, it blends in the third pickup. When the blend knob is on 10, it has no effect on the sound. As you roll the knob towards 1, it blends the pickups as described. The blend control provides virtually limitless tonal options!
At Grosh Guitars, Don is continually in search of the finest old growth tone woods available. He uses nothing but the highest quality, master grade materials. These precious materials are the foundation of the tonal magic Grosh guitars produce. All tone woods are aged and seasoned in the Grosh shop in Colorado for maximum tonal complexity and structural stability.
Grosh Guitars has very specific criteria for every piece of wood used in their instruments. Don personally taps and listens to each piece. The piece is weighed, visually inspected and, if it doesn’t meets Don’s very high standards it is discarded. Don specifically selects wood of certain weights and density depending on if it will be used on a solid body, semi-hollow or full-hollow instrument. This is done to maintain tonal balance and complexity. Don also takes the extra step to tonally “tap match” the materials for every instrument to make sure they produce the quality and resonance needed to produce the full, rich and complex tones for which Grosh Guitars are known. This careful selection process of the highest quality tone woods is one of the many differences that elevate Grosh Guitars to one of the premier builders of fine instruments today!
Tonewood, by its very nature, is complex and varies one piece to the next. Custom luthiers such as Don understand this and know how to best use this variability to produce the tone you desire.
Alder – Most commonly used in bolt-on neck guitars like the Grosh NOS Retro models. This is the body wood used on most late 50’s/early 60’s Fullerton-style guitars. It has a full robust midrange with good harmonic content to remain clear. The attack is smooth but crisp. It also takes just about any finish color well. It is the most versatile sounding body wood for our Retro Classic and ElectraJet models, especially when using a humbucker pickup in the bridge position. Visually it has less grain compared to ash.
Swamp Ash – Used on early to mid 50’s bolt-on neck guitars, Swamp Ash has a more pronounced grain pattern that is very attractive and works great with transparent finishes. Tonally, Swamp Ash has a full bottom end with a clear extended top end. The mids are more “scooped” than Alder. It also has more attack and snap compared to Alder. Don is very particular in selecting Swamp Ash for tonal and weight factors. Swamp Ash looks particularly good with any transparent or Mary Kaye finishes. Swamp Ash is a great option for a 3-single coil guitar or the Grosh Retro Classic VT. If you’re opting for a humbucker in the bridge, Alder is a better choice.
Mahogany – More commonly used in set neck style instruments, but also featured with the Grosh Bent Top, Flat Top and Carve Top bolt-on models. Grosh use the highest quality, master grade Mahogany available. This premium tone wood has a tight even grain structure. Tonally, it has a smooth and rich attack with warm bass, strong mid’s and a sweet and clear top end. It works great by itself or combined with a top wood like Maple for a complex tone combination. This is also another material that is carefully selected for tone and weight.
Figured Maple – Grosh use only the highest quality, master grade AAAAA flame and quilt Maple tops for their guitars. Flame and quilt Maple is very beautiful and adds to the visual appeal of an instrument. Maple has strong mids and a clear top end. Most commonly combined with a Mahogany body, a Maple top adds quickness, snap and clarity to the attack and tone of the guitar. Highly-figured AAAAA flame and quilt Maple tops are standard on Set Neck, Bent Top Custom, Flat Top Custom and Carve Top Custom models.
Grosh Pickups Information
The ElectraSonic is Don's hybrid pickup in that it combines the punch and thickness of the Grosh G-90 pickup with the chime and clarity of their single coil pickups. The ElectraSonic uses a G-90 bobbin, but instead of screw poles pieces, traditional single coil pole pieces are used. This change creates the perfect "hybrid" pickup combining the sounds of the G-90 pickup and the single-coil pickups. The ElectraSonic can cover alot of grounbd too. From jazz, funk and blues to full on rock. They also feature Alnico V pole piece magnets. Output: ~6.9k neck, 8.7k bridge. Available with cream, black or matching pickguard covers. All Grosh pickups are wax potted and handcrafted in their shop using only the highest quality components.