Electromatic 12-String G5422G-12 - Does color matter?


I know this probably sounds like a dopey question, but I'm about to pull the trigger on the 12-string, and after reading numerous user reviews on various websites, I've found a pattern: people who own the black & gold model have better things to say about the guitar's intonation and consistency in staying in tune, as opposed to owners of walnut stain and red versions. Now, in my mind this would have to do more with where the guitar was manufactured, but does anyone know if there are any performance differences between the colored versions?

I already own a black Epiphone Sheraton and wanted to opt for the walnut or red 12-string, but at this point, unless I hear differently, I'm assuming the way to go is black. Reactions? Advice?


I don't own one but I can't see how color options would affect play-abilty or construction. Gretsch guitars are inherently born for some adjustments but it's usually a casual tweak here and there.

I'd say if you have a chance to play one, do. That's the best way to determine.


I have one in Natural, and it seems to be slightly brighter in tone than the black one I played at a RoundUp a few years ago. That may have more to do with build and wiring improvements than with color.

Whichever color you end up with, I think you're gonna love it!


On an electric guitar I would say this has nothing to do with the sound or playability, more likely small variations between individual instruments, set up strings, etc etc. Certainly not the colour.

If that were so all light colour instruments would sound brighter and all dark coloured instruments would sound darker. Orange instruments would be warm sounding whereas blue instruments would be cold sounding. Gold would sound rich, silver would sparkle, green would sound challenged as well it's not easy being...


I ended up buying the Walnut stain - not many affordable options in France. It was that or the black and gold. I already have a black Epiphone Sheraton, so I opted for something different, so I don't reach for one and accidentally pick up the other.



Poly vs. nitro, maybe, and that'd be a stretch, but color? Seriously?


Hello mortstiff, welcome to the GDP (Gretsch Discussion Pages). You are about to enter into the world of Gretsch, and experience a whole new sound.

I have a 2018 Walnut 5422 six string, and it is a stellar build. It stays in tune remarkably well, it has impeccable fretwork, flawless fit and finish, a lovely electric sound and excellent acoustic properties. However, I bought it from GC (online) and I had to send the first one back. The bridge had been pinned off center of the fretboard. The high E was very close to the edge of the fretboard, and the low E was correspondingly far away from it. It really should have been caught by the QC department, so I returned it, and it's replacement was a way better guitar all way around. It came setup perfectly and I've never had to change a thing, not even string height. The experience gave me concern that the QC on the Electromatics was a little looser than it should have been. The first guitar had numerous issues including several high frets and internal buzzing. I was thoroughly delighted with the second one!

I understand your quiry as, you are wondering if the different colors might be made at different facilities. I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect that they are not. It could just be a statistical quirk that more walnut colored guitars are made than black, so you would have more complaints with them. I honestly don't think that you will have any problems with your new guitar. The members here have reported overwhelmingly good results when buying any of the Electromatic line. My experience was an anomaly, and is one of those things that could never happen in a perfect world, but that's not where we live.


I have a Black/Silver model and have little if any problem with intonation/staying in tune. IMHO, a 12 string is meant to have a little intonation issue; it helps to give it more of a chorus effect. However, if there is more than a cent or two difference it becomes annoying.

Choose the color you like best and play the sucker. I think it is the best buy in electric 12s. I particularly like mine because I had the courses reversed, Rickenbacker style. All it cost me was a new nut. The dealer didn't even charge me for a new set of strings (pyramid flats) as he was going to change them anyway.

BTW, if you are looking at an electric 12 try to avoid those with tailpieces where you have to secure the string on the bottom of the tailpiece (e.g., Ric "R" tailpieces, Hagstrom, maybe Guilds). Those will frustrate the heck out of you when you are trying to change strings. Better to use ones like Gretsch where they are inserted through a block on the top of the tailpiece. Other good examples include the Ric Horseshoe tailpiece, the Reverend Block and Fender through the body string loading.


Rick "R" tailpieces on the 12 strings are a PITA to string up; the trapeze tailpieces that come on the 660 12 and some of the vintage reissues are way easier. However, there is a trick to making the "R" tailpiece a bit more manageable when doing a string change: Remove all the strings; flip the "R" tailpiece back(it's hinged) exposing the underside; insert the ball ends of all 12 strings into the tailpiece and then take a strip of painter's tape (or masking tape) and place it over the ball ends across the tailpiece E to E to hold them in place in the tailpiece; now flip the tailpiece back over and begin inserting each string through the tuning machines; once you get all the strings close to pitch, pull the tape off.

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