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Gretsch Rancher Dreadnought

Gretsch Rancher DreadnoughtRe-released for 2014, the G5031FT Rancher Dreadnought is one of the more distinctive Rancher models. Essentially, this is not a standard acoustic electric guitar (an acoustic guitar with a preamp installed), nor is it a semi-acoustic guitar (think of a 335 hollow body or similar). Rather it is an ‘electrified’ acoustic guitar in the sense that it is a standard dreadnought acoustic with an added electric Fidelitron pickup in the soundhole close to the neck and a single electric volume pot on the top. Indeed, there’s something very ‘home-made’ in the feel of this instrument in the best possible way.

As an electric guitarist who plays a lot of acoustic gigs, I was blown away by the darker, edgier tones provided by the soundhole pickup and delighted with the tonal possibilities afforded by simply having a volume knob where it should be rather than searching for a slider on a pre-amp recess in the side of the guitar.

The guitar looks gorgeous and is reminiscent of days gone by with its gloss sunburst finish, triangular sound-hole and gold hardware. The neck is a joy to play and this particular model was fitted with nickel strings rather than phosphor bronze, augmenting the hybrid nature of the instrument. Acoustically the guitar is balanced and punchy. When plugged in the guitar will take players to an entirely different level of dark, rich, enticing sounds.

The guitar is one of the models Gretsch make in Indonesia and as a result the RRP is a surprising $1199. At that price there is a lot on offer from the Rancher.

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