Gretsch Malcolm Young Tribute

I’m a huge fan of AC/DC, and Malcolm Young’s rock-solid rhythm playing in particular. I’m not much of a lead player really, but I thoroughly enjoy bashing out the chords to old AC/DC tunes . I’ve even done a few tribute sets, guesting with Northampton band Motorpriest.

Until recently I’ve used an ES345 copy on stage, mostly because it’s vaguely the right colour. It sounded completely wrong though. I tried my Gretsch G5124 for one set, and it was better, but the Dynasonics still weren’t quite right. I had to have a Jet, but the official MY signature has been discontinued for years and was far too pricey. Time to look on eBay again…

It didn’t look quite like this when I got it. I’ve tweaked it a bit…

I briefly considered going all the way and doing an exact replica of Mal’s ‘Beast’, complete with random holes and ‘bishop’s helmet’ vibrato cover. It turns out my OCD wouldn’t let me hack up a perfectly good guitar, and I don’t think the wife would have given it house room either. I compromised and made it more like the MY Signature guitar.

I prefer the Bon Scott era of AC/DC, so I’ve used parts appropriate for that time, or as close as I could get without scouring eBay for rare and overpriced bits. We’ve got a Schaller 455 bridge and stock Filtertrons to give that clanky, scratchy sound that’s so distinctive. There’s more detail on what bits I’ve used and why on the construction page. The frets, nut, tuners and neck are completely stock.

It took a weekend plus paint drying time, and was certainly worth it. It looks the part, and more importantly sounds perfect. It’s a bit of a one-trick-pony, but it’s a great trick and the one I wanted. It’s a bit heavy, the ergonomics are weird and the neck is huge, but Rock & Roll isn’t supposed to be easy!