Review: Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert acoustic guitar

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Review: Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert acoustic guitar

Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert
Words by Jamie Colic

Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert | Fender Musical Instruments Australia | RRP $479

The roots of the Gretsch Musical Instrument Company can be traced way back to 1883 when  German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch set up shop in New York shortly after his arrival to the United States. 

The following years saw Friedrich develop quite a reputation for producing high-quality musical instruments including Banjos, Drums and Tambourines, a craft he continued to perfect until he passed away in 1895.

After acquiring the company in 1916, his son Fred Gretsch Sr. upscaled the business and ramped up production. This led to Gretsch becoming one of the prominent manufacturers of electric, resonator and acoustic guitars, drums, and ukeleles worldwide.

Upon acknowledging the fact that Gretsch guitars have been slung by legends as diverse as Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy, Brian Setzer, John Frusciante and Malcolm Young, accentuates the notion that Gretsch not only left a firm imprint on Americana but the world as a whole. 

Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert acoustic guitar

Fast forward to 2024 and the Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert stands out as an embodiment of the company’s legacy. Modelled after the classic Rex catalogue guitars that shook the laps of legions between the 1930s and 1950s, the Deltoluxe Concert oozes retro appeal without sacrificing playability or tone. 

The Deltoluxe Concert acoustic guitar features a compact concert body shape that makes it easy for players of any size or skill level to wrangle. This means that the Deltoluxe Concert does just as well on the couch as it does in the local concert hall or open mic night. 

This essence of comfort is accentuated by the guitar’s humble 24.75” scale length, a feature common amongst Gretsch Jim Dandy models “a model designation which includes this fine instrument to be clear”. 

The combination of the Deltoluxe Concerts compact body and shorter scale length means that you won’t break a sweat while fretting even the most demanding chord shapes. This ensures that you can focus on the performance at hand and not your underdeveloped callouses. 

Read more gear reviews here.

I found the dark walnut fretboard of the Deltoluxe to not only suit the aesthetic of the instrument brilliantly, but found that it also gives the impression that the Deltoluxe’s price tag may be far more sizable than it actually is. The marriage of this timber selection with the Deltoluxes classy pearloid inlays ensures that you won’t ever be lost while navigating even the most demanding porch pickin’.

If the front of the neck wasn’t pleasing enough you will be thrilled to know that the back of the Deltoluxe is just as nice. Boasting a lovely C-shaped profile that I imagine would be well suited to a variety of hands and playing styles, I never found this profile to be fatiguing over extended playing durations ensuring that you will be always drawn to picking this one up for a strum even if it’s in the presence of old favourites.

But what is comfort without tone? Well, you will be pleased to know that Gretsch has you covered on all fronts. The Deltoluxe Concert’s X-braced body is crafted with a select blend of tonewoods which ensure not only durability but a warm and pleasant tone that punches well above the instrument’s weight.

In this case, Gretsch has opted to utilise laminated Sapele in the build of the Deltoluxe Concert. A fantastic choice which is quite comparable to another classic tonewood, Mahogany. The primary difference is that Sapele’s increased density tends to result in a slightly brighter tone, a characteristic we found suited the Deltoluxe quite well when put to use in both solo and band-related scenarios. 

Another feature of the Gretsch Deltoluxe concert that we found to be adaptable in a plethora of musical contexts was the Gretsch Deltoluxe Soundhole Pickup. This pickup provides a warm and versatile tone making it a perfect solution for any players who require amplification, the incorporation of FX pedals into their live set, or extended options while recording in the studio.

White the features mentioned in the previous paragraph may give the Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert a modern edge, rest assured that the guitar packs numerous period-correct features that tie in well with its charming vintage aesthetic. 

The Deltoluxe has a vintage-style pinned bridge that provides fantastic transference of vibration from the bridge pins into the body of the guitar. If this wasn’t enough we are pleased to report that the fit and finish of the Deltoluxes bridge makes it an absolute pleasure to rest your hand on while chicken picking or playing intricate lead lines. 

The three-on-a-plate open-gear tuning machines also serve a dual purpose in providing the appropriate look for an instrument of this temperament without sacrificing functionality. Throughout our time with the Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert, we never had a problem tuning accurately without encountering any dead spots or string snags across the synthetic bone nut.

The G graphic tortoiseshell pickguard and gold/white ring rosette only work to emphasise the instrument’s old-time charm. Adorning an attractive black finish that is sure to be right at home at the next jamboree or barn burner.

All in all, we found the Gretsch Deltoluxe Concert to be a fantastic option for anyone looking for a compact and playable acoustic/electric guitar. Not only that, with the retail price coming in at less than $500 the Deltoluxe is a no-brainer for any beginner or intermediate player who has fallen victim for its gorgeous nostalgic charm.

For more info, head to Gretsch Guitars here.