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Brand/Model: Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy
Number of Strings: 6
Hand Orientation: Right
Body Material: Agathis/Agathis top
Neck Material: Nato
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Price Range: Under $200
Our Rating: 9.2/10
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar Review
If you know nothing about “that great Gretsch sound,” then you might be too young to play a guitar – just sayin’. They’ve been around for over 130 years, so their authoritative reputation is well-earned.
Joining the ranks of their Gretsch inventory is the G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar. And, if you’re part of the youngin’ crowd, you might mistake the flat top guitar for an electric one if you’re familiar with Fender. So, let’s take a minute to catch you young folks up to what great music sounds like from a great Gretsch!
The G9500 sports a Gretsch “Rex” parlor body style that should invoke flashbacks of the swinging ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s for you wiser folks. The parlor-size guitar is going to be on the smaller end. It has a 24″ scale, 18 frets with 12 to the body, and is 36 1/2″ tall from the headstock to the base.
The acoustic guitar is a fully laminate instrument. The Jim Dandy features Agathis top, back, and sides. Purfling, body binding, and the rosette have all been screened onto the guitar in white paint that matches the white graphic pickguard and boldly makes the statement: “I’m strikingly attractive!”
Apart from its mesmeric appeal, the sound is true to its traditional roots – rock and blues. But, if you have more of a country twang itching to escape your fingertips, the Jim Dandy can do that too. Just ask Chet Atkins if country can be done on a Gretsch!
Although the guitar is smaller than a full-size guitar, it still has some sound punch under its belt. With X bracing supporting the soundboard and body, steel strings to pluck and strum, and a C-shaped neck for a firm grip with access to the entire fretboard, you’ve got the makings of “that great Gretsch sound” right at your very fingertips!
- Steel string
- Flat top
- 24″ scale
- Small size
Buyer’s Feedback on the Gretsch Jim Dandy
Buyers who know exactly what the Gretsch G9500 is know what to expect. Some people didn’t like the boxy sound projection, but the rich timbre sure makes up for it. This guitar owns “it.” It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not – it’s an affordable guitar with traditional and quirky style.
The neck might not be everybody’s favorite, and the size might put you off at first, but it’s a high-quality instrument that will fit right at home. It’s no surprise that it stays in tune like it should – many budget guitars can’t even do that. It can be taken anywhere and everywhere to add some acoustic goodness no matter where you are – well, that’s what the buyer’s say!
Alternatives to Consider
If you’d rather stick with the ol’ faithful dreadnought body, the Yamaha FG JR1 is a 3/4 scale guitar. It has 20 frets, which is a convenient size for an acoustic travel guitar, and it’s a great beginner guitar. It will be sure to remind you of your very first guitar if it’s not already your first-time buy. To give you a break in the budget department, the guitar also comes with a starter kit to help alleviate the costs that come with starting out!
But, if it’s all about sound performance for you, then you must swing by the Fender FA-115 acoustic guitar. For under $200, you can afford to upgrade your guitar to a solid top one. The solid top is made of spruce, and you’d earn legit bragging rights if it’s your first-time beginner guitar! We have listed our top choices for under 200 dollars and you can see all six of them here.
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Q&A
This refers to the body style of the guitar, particularly the soundboard. The soundboard (face/top) of the guitar is flat and is unlike an archtop or carved top. A carved top is said to provide cosmetic purposes. An archtop guitar in relation to string vibration produces clear, clean, and note-defining sound projection. A flat top guitar in relation to string vibration produces a rich and warm timbre.
There is a strap button located on the base of the guitar, but there is no button near the heel. You could always buy a string-based strap to tie the other end to the headstock if you don’t want to install a strap button on the heel.
The G9500 flat top guitar is made in Indonesia.
The C shape neck is the most common, standard neck shape used on entry-level guitars. It’s the carve or the underside of the neck where the palm would straddle the neck for access to the fretboard. The C shape has more of an oval curve that’s comfortable to handle and is versatile for most playing styles.
The acoustic guitar has a 1950s Gretsch 3×3 headstock. “Gretsch” and “Jim Dandy” are screen printed in white on the headstock with open-gear die-cast tuning machines.
The flat top guitar comes pre-strung with D’Addario® EJ16 Phosphor Bronze, Light (.012-.053 Gauges) strings.
The pickguard can be removed with little to no damage. The guitar top has a thin, semi-gloss finish that can be touched up or applied to restore a subtle and even shine to the top.
This flat top guitar has a pinless rosewood bridge. Replacing strings must be threaded through the back side of the bridge and then over the compensated saddle.
Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:
The Jim Dandy 24″ scale guitar comes as-is without any extras in the buy. This means you’ll have to do a little hunting to purchase gear required to provide a variety of playing styles, protecting your guitar in storage or during travel, and to help out with tuning if you’re a beginner or in a rush. Take a look at our cool accessories guide which has a complete list of items you’ll need if you’re just getting started. But, we’ll throw you a bone here with some suggestions on what you’ll need today!
- Extra steel strings
- Capo (optional)
- Metronome (optional)
- Stringwinder (optional)
- Old-school design
- Pinless bridge
- 24″ scale
Our Verdict on the Gretsch Jim Dandy
To strum it up, the Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top guitar is everything you want in an affordable instrument, including being a conversation starter. It’s a guitar that true bluesy and swingin’ folks will appreciate as a practical instrument and as a memento!