Electromatics

Advice for Gretsch newbie - 5422 vs. 5622?

1

Hi guys, hoping for some advice on this upcoming purchase of my first Gretsch (mainly a Fender guy). Ever since I saw the Georgia Green Electromatic, I've loved the look. However, 3 pups were too complicated, and I didn't love the cat's eyes, and wasn't convinced I wanted such a large-profile guitar or even a hollow or semi at that point.

But then a few years go by and GAS strikes again, and I see they've now come out with a 2-pickup model with Bigsby, and reshaped the cat's into the more traditional f-hole. So I managed to compare two different models at my local shop, and I'm sort of torn between the two. One is the Georgia Green 5622 with the centerblock, the other is the Orange 5422 that is all hollow. I thought I wanted the green and the centerblock to avoid feedback, but honestly I rarely play on stage and usually mess around with my little 5-watt amp at home, so I don't think feedback will be an issue. And the 5622 is quite a bit heavier; I like how nice and light the orange one is. But I also noticed several other differences:

  1. Pickups - the 5422 has the well-regarded Filtertrons, while the 5622 has the Super HiLos. I think I like the sound of the FTs better, but my ear is not great for this sort of thing (I can tell the difference between a Strat in the 4th and 5th positions, but that's about it).

  2. The 5422 is a bit thicker/deeper in the body profile compared to the 5622, which I thought I wouldn't like, but again is quite a bit lighter than the centerblock version.

  3. The Bigsbys are different - the 5622 has a 2-bar version, the 5422 only has a single bar (with a higher bridge with wood at the base). Are these equal when it comes to tuning stability? Everything is "higher" on the hollowbody - elevated bridge, higher pups - but I don't know if that's good or bad. But I prefer the one with the most tuning stability, and I probably won't use the Bigsby all that much.

Finally, even though I always loved that green color, I have to say the iconic Gretsch orange is pretty cool too, and I already have a surf green Strat. So I'm seriously warming to the 5422.

So, anyone who is familiar with both care to offer some advice? Will that single-bar Bigsby or elevated bridge give me problems down the road, especially with tuning? I'm not much of a tinkerer, so stability is helpful. Do I need to worry about feedback given the way I usually play? Thanks for any advice before I pull the trigger on one or the other.

2

I really like the 5422. I think it's the best Electromatic guitar Gretsch makes. However I would get the one that inspires you to play when you pick it up.

3

well i was in the same boat a little while back. The shop i went to had a few in stock so i was lucky enough to play them both side to side in the same amp same settings. It took me 15-30 minutes to figure it out. I went with the 5422.

it was black and i didn't really want a black one, i prefer orange. The 5622 was orange, but the colour was not enough reason for me. i chose the 5422 based on how it sounded and played. they both played very well and were not very different feeling to me. little things but no deal breakers, i could have easily gotten used to either of them in that area. ultimately it was about tone. i honestly wanted to like the orange one more but i didn't. and it really wasn't that close either. even though i planned on changing the pick ups anyway, something just told me to get the 5422. i found it way more Gretschy.... more reminiscent of the tones i associate with Gretsch guitars. i like the sound of Filter' Trons and these had that going on. it wasn't too specific... not exactly Setzer, not exactly Chet, but it had potential. i still will probably change out the pick ups at some point but I'm not in a big rush. since i took it home I've liked it more and more. taking the time to get the settings right on the amp and will pedals, and finally a good set up sealed it for me.

i will also upgrade some parts at some point but I'm taking my time, it actually is pretty good as is. Stays in tune great! i love the bigsby on it, feels really good to me. I'm a tone hound, so I'll always be thinking of what it will sound like of i replace this with that. that's just me. so far, it's still 100% stock and it sounds great! No regrets about choosing this one :)

4

I kept saying that I bought my G5191-BK to mod but I like it so much the way it is, I just left it alone, other than adjusting the pickups up and pinning the bridge.

5

OK, thanks guys for all the advice. I did another side-by-side comparison of the two through a Fender Blues Junior, and I felt the hollowbody had a bit richer, fuller tone in all three positions than the centerblock (mostly due to the different pickups I guess). And when cranking that little amp, I got a great sound and only got feedback if I aimed the guitar right in front of the driving amp - and it sounded really cool anyway! So much for feedback being a problem!

Anyway, here she is, the latest addition to the collection (and probably the last for awhile). Thanks again for the help.

6

That looks great! I've got the 5420 in the orange and play it through a Blues Jr. As you said, I only get feedback when I drop the guitar right in front of the amp.

Enjoy the wonderful tones. Play with the pickup height and pole piece height as well to see if you can get the sound that you are really after.

7

Thanks, but the sound I'm after has far more to do with how badly my fingers mangle the strings than it does my pickups or amp! Coming up on 40 years of playing off and on and I still suck. But that still hasn't stopped me for chasing the dream of being decent someday.

8

You did it! Congratulations. 5422s are in my top 5 favorite sounding Gretsch guitars of all the lines.

9

Looks good in orange! Glad to hear it's working out for you!


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