The Gretsch Jim Dandy G9500 flat top guitar is a parlour guitar, and part of the Gretsch ‘Roots Collection”. This means it harkens back to the ‘Rex’ designs of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s- so this is a type of instrument that Gretsch stopped making about 50 years ago.
Overall: (4.0 / 5)
While, as a ‘parlour-sized’ instrument, this guitar is fairly small, the Jim Dandy Flat Top has more than enough volume. The design features a 12 fret neck, and elongated upper bout (which should increase the volume and brighten the sound).
The G9500 is made from agathis, is fully lined and braced, and has a 24″ scale length. This creates an instrument that is not only comfortable to play- due to the shorter scale length and smaller body- but it sounds very full and resonant, with a very beautiful tone.
The Gretsch Jim Dandy comes strung with D’Addario® EJ16 Phosphor Bronze, light (.012-.053) gauge strings, although these can feel a bit heavy. If you’re after this guitar for the smaller size, I would recommend replacing them.
- Model Name: G9500 Jim Dandy™ Flat Top
- Roots Collection Series
- Non-cutaway, parlour body shape
- Agathis back and sides
- Agathis top
- Rosewood fretboard on a nato neck
- Semi-gloss vintage sunburst finish
- Internal X Bracing
- Screened white rosette and binding
- 3 7/16″ Diameter Soundhole
- Body width: 18″ (457 mm)
- 9.5″ (241 mm) upper bout
- 13″ (330 mm) lower bout
- “C” Shape neck
- 18 vintage-style frets (12 to Body)
- Pearloid dot inlays
- 12″ (305 mm) radius fretboard
- Nut Width: 1.6875″ (42.8 mm)
- 24″ (610 mm) scale
- 1950’s Gretsch® 3×3 headstock
- Dual-action hex truss rods
- Nickel-Plated hardware
- Rosewood Top-Load bridge with Compensated PPS Saddle
- Open-Gear Die-Cast tuning pegs
What We liked
Well, first, let me just say that the size of this guitar makes it perfect for a beginner, child, or smaller-framed person. Although, when I say ‘beginner’, that doesn’t mean that this is exclusively a cheaper, beginners guitar!
The sound remains warm and full, but has a lovely, brighter element to it (as you may expect from a smaller acoustic guitar).
You won’t have much trouble getting that sound either, because the Gretch Jim Dandy G9500 is so easy to play! The shorter scale length means that the frets are closer together and within easy reach of smaller hands, and the parlour-style body will never be a struggle for smaller persons to get around.
We’re huge fans of the ‘through-bridge’ design- which means the strings are attached through the bridge and you don’t have any fiddly bridge pins to worry about.
The price should also be a nice surprise. While this instrument isn’t totally aimed at the ‘budget’ range, it also wont break the bank. Either way, it certainly doesn’t sound like an inexpensive piece of equipment!
This Gretch acoustic guitar is also the perfect size for travelling, or camping. The construction quality is just as you would expect from such a well known brand. There are no obvious flaws in the finish, or in any joints or bindings- you can see they’ve taken time and care over this guitar.
What We didn’t like
Well, the ‘retro’ styling of this guitar is either a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ thing. Either you see this as a beautiful looking retro guitar, with a classic design…or it’s just plain cheesy.
This guitar also sounds much better for fingerpicking than when strumming it with a pick. This is because of the high end that the guitar has, which is softened when using your finger tips.
If you must use a pick to strum this guitar, we recommend a thinner, lighter pick. Heavier picks may just make the Jim Dandy G9500 sound thinner and tinny!
Conclusions on the Gretsch Jim Dandy G9500
So, the Gretsch Jim Dandy guitar will never beat a more expensive Taylor, Martin or similar, but for what it is, it sounds just amazing.
This is definitely the guitar for you if you’re looking for a less expensive, travel instrument or if you find the Dreadnought style body a bit too large to play.
This acoustic is just great for those of us with smaller hands!