Sep 13 2007

Gretsch BST-1000 (aka The Beast)

I’d wanted an electric guitar for a long time, and was searching here and there rather aimlessly. I’d wander into a store and grab instruments just to see how they felt in my hands. I didn’t need to plug them in… I knew that I was looking for a fit, a feel, something indefinable that would eventually reveal itself. Sadly, one day, it did. I had the misfortune of grabbing a beautiful Paul Reed Smith guitar from the wall and it was as though the choir invisible began to sing, and light spilled forth from the heavens…. that is, until I saw the price tag. I wasn’t looking to spend $2000 on a guitar… More like $500. Still, now that I had the idea of what I was looking for, I continued my search. A friend, Jack Waterson, whose claim to fame was his membership in Green on Red, was working at a music store on Melrose. I described what I was looking for and, after trying a number of guitars, found this one.

Gretsch BST-100

Gretsch BST-100

The guitar came with stock Dimarzio Super Distortion humbucking pick-ups, which I love. They have tons of output, and are rich with tone. I also like that the strings go through the body. This seems to help with tone and sustain, and in making the strings connect physically with the wood.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Gretsch BST-1000 (aka The Beast)”

  1. Jcurlon 25 Feb 2008 at 8:25 am

    Nice guitar. I have the exact some one I bought new back in the 80’s. What is one of those going for these days?

  2. Geoffon 05 Oct 2008 at 11:41 am

    they go for like 500.00 on ebay, i’ve been trying to get one forever, they’re hard to find

  3. Brianon 18 Oct 2008 at 4:34 pm

    It’s a beautiful guitar. I’ve heard it was a low-end guitar from the 70’s, but lots of guitars are underestimated, and as soon as I saw this one I loved it. Does it play well? Does it stay in tune? Is it in general of good quality, or does it have that sort of cheap feel? I would appreciate if you mail me the answers at the.bna at ! Furthermore please stay completely objective.


  4. Jameson 27 Oct 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I have one just like this i may sell. Mine has chrome covers on the humbuckers, and a off-white pick guard. Sounds f-ing awesome! interested?

  5. Geraldon 20 Dec 2008 at 11:06 am

    I have one a little different. My pick-ups are chrome and the headstock isn’t the same exactly. I was playing it when everyone was playing strats and my beast sounded huge compared to other guitars. It has a great factory defect too,….. The dot pattern is messed up in the second octive, but I just put my own dots on it and never looked back.

  6. Administratoron 20 Dec 2008 at 11:21 am

    Gerald, the one you have is a slightly earlier model. The pick-ups are considered semi-generic, were mass produced in Japan, and used in a number of different instruments. That’s not to say they’re bad, however. I actually like the look of the covered pups, but love the powerful screaming output of the later stock diMarzio Super Distortion pups in mine.

  7. Jeffon 04 Jan 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I seem to have the exact guitar, by the look of it. Any idea what the year is of this Beast?

  8. Administratoron 04 Jan 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Not sure of the exact year, but mine is not one of the early ones. I want to guess 80 or 81. They didn’t make them for very long because they weren’t hugely popular. I agree that it is an excellent guitar.

  9. craig smithon 20 Jan 2012 at 2:30 pm

    i love my beast , just like that one ,,, plays and sounds better than axes i played that cost over a couple of thousand dollars

  10. Me tooon 29 Mar 2012 at 9:25 am

    I have this guitar as well, and it’s my go-to baby. I love the mahogany, the scale of the neck, and the overall feel. Fun Fact: There was an episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by MacCaulay Culkin, years ago, in which he’s running around the studio in a parody of Home Alone. At one point, he picks up a guitar just like this one.

  11. Jacobon 15 May 2012 at 1:47 am

    I had one exactly like the one pictured. Bought it in “80”. Played great, but I tend to really man handle a guitar on stage. The BST had a thin neck & I would pull it out of key a little while using power chords. It was a great guitar, wish I had it now. It played just like my Ibanez ART100 I have now.

  12. johnon 29 Jan 2017 at 11:00 am

    I also have one like the picture w/ case, it is a marvel of sound

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