There are many mid-range mandolins out there and it’s sometimes difficult to choose the right one for you. But fear not, as here comes the Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue, an all-solid and versatile mandolin for a very accessible price.
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This mandolin could be used on long trips and outdoors, as the construction is very robust and solid. It’s also a very pretty looking mandolin with a beautiful F-style design, which adds to the overall value of the instrument.
I’m a music composer and avid mandolin player. The mandolin is a delicate and beautiful instrument that deserves much more recognition than it gets. That’s why I embarked on a journey to explore as many different mandolins as I can.
In this article we’ll take a close look at the Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue with all its successes and failures.
About the Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue
The Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue is an all-solid mandolin made with a classic F-style design and semi-gloss finish. This model is a part of the Gretsch Roots Collection, which includes four A-style mandolins and one F-style (the Gretsch G9350).
This mandolin is actually the most expensive one in this collection. This is due to its complicated F-style shape and new high-quality pickup and hardware.
It’s very pleasing to the eye and it sounds quite decent for this price range. The Gretsch G9350 comes with a solid maple body and solid spruce top, which is a very well proven combination of tonewoods, giving this instrument loud volume and very good sustain.
This model also comes with a unique Fishman M300 “Nashville” pickup system, which gives a more natural tone with a better dynamic range. This is a piezo-ceramic pickup, which means that the sound will come directly from the body and the tonewood, giving it a more natural and pure tonality.
The overall construction is quite solid and robust. This mandolin looks and feels reliable. I never felt like it had any cheap design flaws or deal-breaking defects. This, in combination with a pretty finish and elegant design, makes this mandolin quite notable.
Some models might come with some finish defects, like unevenly applied gloss finish, but overall it looks fine. I’d say it’s a solid 8/10.
The mahogany neck of the G9350 could be described as slim and narrow. But this doesn’t mean that it’s made for small hands only. It actually plays very well and quite comfortably.
The design of the neck is inspired by old vintage mandolins with “V”-shaped profiles.
The fretboard is made of mahogany, which gives this mandolin a very smooth and comfortable action. This model actually plays much better than most mandolins in this price range.
The finish is semi-gloss with 3-color sunburst coloring. It’s quite appealing and good looking. It has this unique and elegant F-style touch to it. I personally like the slightly sophisticated but simple look of this mandolin.
The overall design and finish might be too classic for some players, but it certainly has its own appeal.
Pros & Cons
My Experience with the Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue
The first thing I noticed about this mandolin is the design. I really like this simple but elegant touch. This model has something special about it. This mandolin feels like it doesn’t need to prove itself with its traditional sunburst coloring, which is nothing special at first glance.
One of the smaller defects I could find is the oval sound hole and the ornament around it. If you look at it from the side, you’ll see that the ornament doesn’t go all around the sound hole. This could be aesthetically annoying for some people, but it’s a very minor defect that might not be noticed by every player.
My Gretsch G9350 came all set up from the box and was tuned. This is a big plus for novices and beginners, as they don’t need to spend precious time on tuning and tweaking the instrument.
But as with most mid-range mandolins, you might need to change the strings. Most mandolin brands use cheap string sets as a default set for their models. This isn’t a big deal-breaker, as you can buy a decent set in almost any music shop.
One thing I really appreciate about this mandolin is the quality of the tuners. Most mid-range mandolins use cheap tuners, as this is where you can drop the production cost significantly. But the tuners of the Gretsch G9350 are very sturdy, which helps maintain the tuning throughout the playing session.
The sound is very well balanced from string to string. I heard some players describing the tone as sometimes dull and unimpressive, but I personally find it to be more than decent. It might depend on a particular model and the fabrication defects it might have.
My G9350 has a great sustain and volume. The overall sound is good enough for a mid-range mandolin. I’m honestly quite happy with my Grestch, as it proved to be a great companion in long voyages and outdoor jam sessions. It’s really surprising how long this mandolin can maintain its tuning and tonality, even in the worst conditions possible.
Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue Review: The Sound
As I mentioned before, the G9350 has a great sustain and volume. But how does it really sound, you ask me.
Well, I’d describe the tone as a solid 8/10, which is quite nice compared with other Gretsch mandolins. Most models made by Gretsch seem to be a little bit worse when it comes to the sound, especially when compared to Ibanez or Fender mandolins.
The tone is quite rich and bright. I find it very versatile, and the G9350 could be used for many different musical styles. The Gretsch G9350 also has a good amount of mid and bass frequencies, which is quite rare to find in most mandolins.
Overall, the sound is very well balanced and is perfect for solo mandolinists. This model is probably one of the if not THE best sounding Gretsch mandolin currently on the market.
Where to Buy the Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue
Some Gretsch mandolins have been discontinued in recent years. This makes them hard to find sometimes. Here we’ll take a look at the options you have if you’re looking into buying one.
Amazon is a world leader when it comes to online retail. Amazon brings you the best prices and a huge stock of instruments to choose from. One of my favorite parts about Amazon are the customer reviews. In this section you’ll find real opinions from real people who tried the product, which is much better than any official promo or description.
Amazon offers a huge selection of products. But some online retailers have exclusive deals with famous brands and companies. This is why it’s worth your time to look for other retailers online, as you might find the instrument you want for a lower price and with better extras and accessories.
Here at Into Strings we highly recommend SweetWater.com, FiddlerShop.com and GuitarCenter.com. These online retailers offer a lot of exclusive deals with famous brands and a huge selection of acoustic instruments.
Your Local Store
In your local store, the selection of instruments might be limited, but you can always count on staying in the shop for a while trying out several models and instruments. This is the best part about going in person. You can get the real feel for the instrument and see if it fits your playing style.
You can also ask for some help from a local vendor. You might get lucky and find a real expert on acoustic instruments who can help you out with more technical details.
The Gretsch company is famous for creating beautiful and somewhat old-school vintage instruments. This philosophy can be seen in the G9350, which has that unique Gretsch rock ‘n’ roll style mixed with modern ideas and designs.
The Gretsch G9350 is an easy choice for any player, as their mandolins are very versatile and easy to use.
I heard some players saying that if the price would drop a little more, it would make this model a really good deal. But even at the current price, this mandolin has a great value to it.
But don’t let its price discourage you from buying this model. I honestly never heard anything bad being said about this mandolin. The Gretsch G9350 only gets praise from intermediate and professional mandolin players.
I personally love this mandolin and am having a great time with it. It’s robust, easy to play and easy to maintain, which is perfect for my numerous outdoor travels and jam sessions. The Gretsch G9350 is a very low maintenance instrument.
Thank you for reading this whole Gretsch G9350 Mandolin review. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to drop a comment or share this article on your favorite social media.
Stay safe, and as always, good luck with your sonic adventures!