Grosh ElectraJet

Straying too far from the templates of a mere half a dozen touchstone guitars can give some of us the shakes, but bad. Nevertheless, a few contemporary makers have managed to earn widespread respect by dragging a boatload of players kicking and screaming into guitar design of the new millennium, while simultaneously allaying our anxieties with comforting vestiges of the golden years. One in particular, Don Grosh, has become a master of this retro-modern sleight of hand. Strut your stuff with a Retro Classic or Vintage T, and you can enjoy utterly contemporary custom-grade craftsmanship, versatility, and playability, while maintaining the comforting illusion that the enthusiastic table of six in the third row very likely thinks you’re playing a vintage Strat or Tele—even though you know those sharper horns and revamped lines hail from the 21st century. It’s a win-win situation, and you could say that both music and musicians are all the better for it.
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The latest release from Grosh Guitars, the ElectraJet offers the same “haven’t we met somewhere before?” familiarity, while simultaneously taking us another step forward. Despite gentle nods toward the Fender Jazzmaster and Mustang in its body lines, the ElectraJet is nevertheless no surfin’ twangdango, but a lithe, long-necked rocker combining the snap, clarity, and percussion of a bolt-neck 25w"-scale guitar with the power afforded by two custom-spec’d Fralin High Output humbucking pickups. No hidden tricks here (other than the coil tap accessed by pulling the Tone knob), just a hip yet businesslike ethos, and a major bent toward tone and playability.

The solid alder body is swathed in an extremely luscious metallic Atomic Orange nitrocellulose finish, while the quarter-sawn maple neck wears a satin-finished shot of aged lacquer. North of the slab-like, high-cocoa-solids rosewood fretboard, a set of locking Kluson-style Gotoh tuners keep the strings up to pitch, while a six-screw Gotoh Vintage Tremolo handles the dips and divebombs below. This vibrato tailpiece is set flat to the body, so it’s down bends only as supplied. Don Grosh tells us the flat bridge setup really suits the solid sound that they’re aiming for with the ElectraJet, so this is a very conscious choice. However, as with most vintage Strat-style vibratos, it can be set with a little tip up for smooth flutter action and slight upbends, which results in a slightly airier tone besides.

I’ve already mentioned the term “businesslike,” and the ElectraJet really does make you want to get down to it. Even unplugged, this guitar inspires you to play. It rings loud, clear, and pure acoustically, with a resonance that tingles all the way to its tail. The medium-low action of this setup (with .010s from the factory) retains enough string height to let the sound breathe, but it’s still a slinky, easy player, with a neck that’s thin enough for speed, but nicely rounded so it really sits well in the palm when you want to dig in.

Played through a range of vintage and contemporary tube amps, the ElectraJet’s versatility really came to the fore. With the guitar’s Volume and Tone at 10, in full humbucking mode, the bridge pickup is gutsy and aggressive, with an in-your-face midrange hump that really cuts and sings when you step on a little fuzz or overdrive. The neck pickup is rich and fat, but impressively clear—a testament to the skill Fralin has put into these pickups. You often think of high-output humbuckers as being one-trick ponies, but these offer great dynamics and excellent string definition even at full volume, while providing the range for a diverse palette of clean tones as you wind them down. They might not quite nail the sparkle, texture, and dimensionality of a genuine PAF or a top-shelf reproduction, but they do a darn good impersonation while delivering a more scorching rock tone. Pull the Tone knob, and the split-coil tones are snarky, bright, and lively—more realistically single-coil in nature than those achieved by splitting many weaker ’buckers I’ve tried. Overall, the design objective of the ElectraJet really does prove itself—it’s a guitar for many, if not all, seasons.

Along with our review sample, Grosh also supplied a second ElectraJet (serial #1) for comparison, which has Fralin P-90s and a tailpiece set for a slight float. These minor alterations quickly show you what a few changes will bring to the table: it’s another solid, toneful performer, but nails a gnarlier, more vintage-rock vibe, while still offering nuanced sonics and plenty of sweetness when you seek it. Also, Grosh is set to introduce the ElectraJet Standard, the company’s first mid-priced guitar, which intends to be a no-compromises instrument priced for the working guitarist. On the whole, it’s a welcome new line—easy on the eyes and the hands alike, and extremely satisfying to the ear.


Grosh Guitars, (303) 464-8717;

Model ElectraJet
Price $3,050 retail (as supplied with metallic finish, aged lacquer on neck, Fralin pickups; $2,650 base retail) street N/A
Nut Width 1 5/8"
Neck Bolt-on flat-sawn maple with “medium roundback” profile
Fretboard 25 1/2"-scale, unbound rosewood with 10" radius
Frets 22 Dunlop 6150 medium-jumbo
Body Solid alder with ribcage and forearm contours
Pickups Two Grosh-spec Fralin high-output humbuckers
Controls Master Volume and Tone, 3-way pickup selector switch, pull function on Tone pot for coil-tap
Bridge Gotoh 6-screw vintage vibrato
Tuners Locking Gotoh Kluson-style
Factory Strings S.I.T., .010-.046
Weight 7.8 lbs
Kudos Top-notch craftsmanship and smooth playability.
Concerns It don’t come cheap, but you get what you pay for.