Electromatics

5422 modification

1

So I've bought a 5422 a few months ago, and it's a great (for me) guitar. I've tried a few times to love full bodied gretsches (had a pre FMIC G6120W, one of the first 120th Bamboo Annie, and even a RHH) but I much prefer the thinner double cuts.

Being a tinkerer, here's what I've done (not necessarily needed, mind you) Stripping the hardware (pots were pushed inside using TVJones' tubing kit)

2

While I was at it, I dulled the finish with progressive thin grits, and it's now a nice and satin finish, which will probably go back to shiny wherever there's friction, but that's OK. Installing TV Jones Classic in the neck position, and classic plus at the bridge. Classic with universal mount and special attachment on bass side, giving you when attached to the electromatic rings the ability to tilt the pup to align with the strings.

3

Next was the Bigsby. Aside from the aesthetics of a Vcut, my preferred DE handle doesn't mount on the licensed B60 that came with the guitar. Problem was the hinge tab : the B6's one (pointy one) was shallower than the licensed, so even if I had dowelled the old holes, they would have shown on the sides of the new piece. Plus, the strap pin hole would have been right in an old hole, so I was not very keen on hanging my guitar on there (even with a filled hole). So I decided to keep the old tab and adapt to the new Bigsby. I was able to remove the hinge pin and re-use it.

4

V cut B6 with licensed hinge, the edges of which were rounded and polished :

5

So : 5422 with TV jones classic/classic plus combo, V cut B6, DE handle, and of course TruArc bridge : I'm a happy camper, sounds awesome (again, to me !), only trouble is I have nothing more to tinker with.... well we'll see if I "need" a new harness (maybe getting rid of the individual volumes that I don't use), and tuners, but the original ones are really alright so far!

6

Nice work! Enjoy it!

9

Nicely done. My 5122 has Duotrons and an aluminum TruArc. The tuners were changed, not sure if that was necessary. No problem with the original Bigsby, but have to admit your V-cut B6 looks better. Classy looking. Congrats

10

The satin finish somehow makes the guitar look more expensive. Very nicely done - and thanks to both of you for including Tru-Arc in your mods.

11

Thanks all! Proteus, I'll have to try and take some better pics of the finish.

13

Do these mods make it a 6422? I bet it sounds fantastic.

14

Excellent job and these are great mods. The Korean Electros (or Chinese Jets) do make great platforms for modification to bring them closer to the Pro models that have all of these mods from the get-go. It is a way to make the guitar exactly what you want and personalize it to your needs.

I always wonder tho', if it isn't more cost effective to watch for a used pro model. If you can get the 5422 at a really good price and if you have some of the parts already (or can get them cheap) then maybe not. But if you are paying $750 for the 5422, $300 for the pickups, $150 for the B6 and $100 for the Tru-Arc, that's getting you up to $1300 which is probably not too far from a used 6120DC or a 6122, both of which are going to hold their value much more than a modified 5422, even if there is little difference in the playability or sound.

Sorry to sound like Debbie Downer. Your guitar does look great and you have it just the way you want it. That counts for a whole lot. Plus there is the pride factor. YOU were the one that made it this way. That goes a long way as well.

15

There’s some truth in what you say Don, but also some logic for the mods. Along with making it his own, the owner has a good sounding guitar with better upper access than a 6120 DC or a 6122 unless he wants the long scale 6122ii. I’m not sure that there is a definitive right or wrong answer here but the creativity is fun.

16

Well, Don, used Gretsches are scarce around here, not to mention rather rare models like a 6120 DC or a 6122, and they would be a lot more expensive !

And anyway, there’s a big no-no for me : the back pad ! (Plus my taste in colors is not that of Strum’s)

Really at present I can’t find an equivalent to this in the pro line.

17

There is no equivalent to a 5422 in the Pro-line. If I were to buy another Gretsch guitar I would want a 5422 with similar mods.

20

Would it be a pretty straight forward swap doing the same thing on my G-5120? While I like almost everything about my G-5120 I've never bonded with the stock Pickups & seldom play the Guitar. But sure would like to!

Thanks,

Lucky

21

Well, Don, used Gretsches are scarce around here, not to mention rather rare models like a 6120 DC or a 6122, and they would be a lot more expensive !

And anyway, there’s a big no-no for me : the back pad ! (Plus my taste in colors is not that of Strum’s)

Really at present I can’t find an equivalent to this in the pro line.

– Thomas

Understood. As I said, the mods you have chosen are great ones and improve an already very good guitar. I have a 5422-12 and it is just fine the way it is but now you and another post have me thinking about changing the pickups.


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