Electromatics

Have all Electromatics been manufactured in Korea?

1

Just been killing time strolling through old Electromatic posts... It's quite interesting reading the old comments and wish lists of early owners, and the mods and tips contributed over the years. Gretsch really does listen to it's customers and you can see the improvements come into play with each model change! Obviously, the success of the Electromatic line is proof of that!

Question: Since the beginning of the Electromatics series (5120, 5125-29, 54xx, 56xx, etc.) haven't they all been manufactured in Korea? Many posts (specifically early 51xx series) refer to some as Made in China? Was that just a generic assumption in the posts or were some actually Made in China as opposed to Made in Korea? If so, was there a significant difference in detail, quality, or QA that stood out?

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My '05 5129 was MIK. Modded a bit - bone nut, Tru-Arc - but a fine instrument it is.

4

My Electromatic ProJet — made in China. Minihums replaced with a Bareknuckle P90 at the neck and a TV Jones P90-sized Filtertron at the bridge. A silver pickguard from Paul Setzer replaces the rather cheesy pearl original. It weighs 8lbs 11ozs and overall is very well made -- the neck is a nice handful and the action can be set low with no string buzzing.

However, for correct intonation the high E and D saddles have to set fully forward. This meant those strings (and also the A) rubbed on the back edge of the bridge because of the steep string angle coming up from the Bigsby tension bar — the A and D tended not to return to perfect tune after even gentle Bigsby action. I cured this simply by running the strings straight over the tension bar (after this photo was taken) and this gave a much smoother Bigsby action. The break angle over the saddles is now quite shallow (almost Jazzmasterish) but the strings don't flip off during playing. So problem solved, but it would have been nice had they got it right in the first place.

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Mine is a 2005 Pro Jet and was made in China (I actually like the mother of toilet seat original pickguard).

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Off the top of my head, China, Korea and Indonesia have all been true.

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From what I have learned over the years the hollow body Electromatics are made in Korea and the Jets and other solid body Electromatics are made in China.

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From what I have learned over the years the hollow body Electromatics are made in Korea and the Jets and other solid body Electromatics are made in China.

– BuddyHollywood

This.

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However, for correct intonation the high E and D saddles have to set fully forward.

To put it sweetly, the bridge placement on these guitars does not comply with the standard industry position which provides best intonation in a straight line - and thus maximum usable saddle travel on an adjustable bridge.

The angle is simply more extreme than necessary, and the endpoints are not where I would have put them had I been laying out the geometry of the guitar.

(As always, what do I know, except that I'm good at being wrong.)

In any case, the bridge placement can usually be compensated for within the saddle travel of adjustable bridges, so it's often not an issue. (Though, depending on string gauge, some saddles on the supplied Adjusta-matic may have to be pushed to their limits to intonate the guitar.)

To fit the guitar with a Tru-Arc, we had to come up with a compensation profile specific to this model - as well as oversize mounting holes at the proper spacing for the bridge posts.

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"....the hollow body Electromatics are made in Korea and the Jets and other solid body Electromatics are made in China."

Yeah... it seems that is the rule. I carelessly neglected thinking of the solid body models as I was mainly focusing on the hollowbodies. And as from what I've seen, Gretsch sure made an emphasis on quality with all of the Electromatics that I've seen. I believe the Electromatic line is what contributed to the successful rebirth of Gretsch back in the guitar market.

I still have my 5120 that I bought new in 2005 (still my only hollowbody) and love it as much now as I did then. Between my Fenders & Gibsons, I never had the desire or temptation to even own a hollowbody before I bought my 5120. But I'd always tried some of them out at GC when I dropped in. I know of the classic Gretsch guitars of the past (and expensive, in my books), but that day, Gretsch caught my eye (funny...never really noticed Gretsches at GC before that). An Orange 5120 was on sale for $499 new and when I tried it and looked at the quality, it hooked me! Even my wife was shocked when I brought it home because she knows I overthink EVERYTHING before I by it, so her first comment was "...must have been something special or you would have come home and started talking yourself out of it first!"
I did eventually swap the original PUs with the later BlackTops that came on the 5420's. It was a preference (and a fortunate opportunity) and no discredit to the original PUs.
I still have the original "GretschBucker" PUs and know a project guitar will eventually come my way......

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double post

– BigJImSlade

Big Jim (and to others), you know that you can delete a double post, right?


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