Electromatics

NGD and NAD! 5622T in Georgia Green with Vox Mini Beatle Union Jack

1

This weekend on Saturday I did a bit of Craigslist horse trading. I swapped a MIM Fender 60s Telecaster for a near mint Electromatic 5622T in Georgia Green. It turned out to be the perfect trade for us both and we did a straight up even exchange. This is my first center block Gretsch and so far I really like it. On Sunday, While purchasing some new strings at the local GC, I saw the little Vox Beatle and worked yet another trade for another MIM Baja Telecaster. Did I need another guitar or amp? No. But I did need another Gretsch and Vox more than I needed those Teles. Nothing wrong with Teles, but I really prefer Gretsches.

2

And another obligatory dog and guitar pic. her name is Lucy.

3

Real nice combo. Cool pooch, too. Looks like he wants to try out your rig!

4

From the look at your pups face...SCORE! Now let's play.

Great looking Gretsch, cool amp.

7

Congrats! I really like the Superhilo pickups , and I'll bet they sound great thru that Vox!

8

Nice score! Congrats on the new combo, they look amazing!

9

I can easily understand the guitar. How d'ya like the Mini Beatle?

10

I can easily understand the guitar. How d'ya like the Mini Beatle?

– wabash slim

Wabash, the mini Beatle is very cool. It has a 10” speaker in the cab, made by Celestion for Vox 8 ohm. The head has two speaker outputs, a 4-8-16 ohm selector switch and is rated at 50-25-12 watts respectively. It also has a headphone/line out jack. I opted for the Union Jack version as I play a in weekly Beatles jam called the Beatle Bash, so it matches the vibe of the gig and is loud enough to compete with the other players small combo amps, although I won’t get to try it out until next week. It has plenty of gain and volume and can be overdriven. There’s no footswitch or boost capabilities but the reverb and tremolo sound decent.

I’ve owned numerous Vox amps including the small practice Pathfinders, an AC-30TBX and AC-15TBX, and I still own a fully original 60s full-sized Vox Beatle with chrome trolley, all covers and recently refurbished 5-button footswitch. The little Baby Beatle stack will fit very nicely into the collection. I usually use a small Fender Princeton reverb reissue with the early 60s Brownface and wheat colored speaker cloth and Celestion G10 Vintage as my small gig amp, so I’m curious to hear how it will compare.

11

The Baby Beatle will join the Big Beatle and a few other old Voxes shown in this pic. I sold the AC-30 and the smaller Patherfinders and Bass practice amp but still have the others.

13

The Baby Beatle will join the Big Beatle and a few other old Voxes shown in this pic. I sold the AC-30 and the smaller Patherfinders and Bass practice amp but still have the others.

– Beatlebacker

Nice amp and guitar. Congrats. Is that a Pathfinder 15 SMR in front of the Super Beatle? If yes, how does it compare to the Mini Beetle? Thanks

14

Nice amp and guitar. Congrats. Is that a Pathfinder 15 SMR in front of the Super Beatle? If yes, how does it compare to the Mini Beetle? Thanks

– Baba Joe

Hi, Baba Joe. I sold of the Pathfinder SMR off years ago, but it was a nice looking and sounding modest practice rig, too. It had a closed back cab design with two 10” speakers, so I wish I still had it. I was always happy with the Pathfinder 15 but it wasn’t loud enough for band practice with a loud drummer (only an 8” speaker). The Baby Beatle sounds a little smaller than the SMR due to the smaller cab, but it is open-backed and I haven’t really been able to crank it up very loudly yet. So it may surprise me. I plan on using it at a gig next week along with the new Gretsch and I’ll try to remember to give an update. I may experiment with different speakers such as a Celestion Gold 10” which I’ve been wanting to put in my Princeton Reveb RI, so I’m looking forward to playing around with over the next few weeks.

15

Real nice combo. Cool pooch, too. Looks like he wants to try out your rig!

– Synchroslim

Oh, that pup is a female named Lucy. She’s almost 13 years old and I always try to get her in a shot with the latest axe.

16

Thanks Beatlebacker. I currently have a Pathfinder 15R and had a shot at an SMR a couple of weeks ago but hesitated and lost. Should have done it and returned it if not satisfied. I like the 15R well enough at home but probably would have liked the SMR better. Naturally, the baby beetle is also on my mind. Looking forward to your opinion after the gig. Thanks

17

The Baby Beatle will join the Big Beatle and a few other old Voxes shown in this pic. I sold the AC-30 and the smaller Patherfinders and Bass practice amp but still have the others.

– Beatlebacker

Nice wall of Vox!

18

Thanks Beatlebacker. I currently have a Pathfinder 15R and had a shot at an SMR a couple of weeks ago but hesitated and lost. Should have done it and returned it if not satisfied. I like the 15R well enough at home but probably would have liked the SMR better. Naturally, the baby beetle is also on my mind. Looking forward to your opinion after the gig. Thanks

– Baba Joe

Ok, I used the Vox Mini Beatle at a gig for the first time and it performed quite well. It could easily hang in there and cut it with three other amps, a couple of Fishman Loudboxes that two other guys play their acoustics through, and. vox pathfinder SMR head through an AC 4 speaker cab. I left it at the 8 ohm 25 watt setting. I was using very little gain and kept the volume at about halfway to maintain a clean, bright tone. The Gretsch played quite well, too and felt quite comfortable with the slimmer body than my 2007 Tennessee Rose. Being a Proline model, I still prefer the Tenny as my regular go to guitar for this gig, but the 5622 will now become part of my regular rotation, joining the Tenny, and a Ric 350v63 jetglo and Carl Wilson 360/6 fireglo. It’s a sweet little amp with a fun little retro look.

19

Say what you will-- the 5622 is a very underrated guitar. Sometimes it takes a little coaxing to get some growl out of the Super HiLoTrons, but it can be done.

20

Thanks Beatlebacker. Looks like you got a winner.

21

Say what you will-- the 5622 is a very underrated guitar. Sometimes it takes a little coaxing to get some growl out of the Super HiLoTrons, but it can be done.

– Tartan Phantom

Indeed! I’m still experimenting with the pickup height and the pole pieces on the 5622T, but I’m very happy with it and I like these “Super Hilotrons”. I’m not really sure about the history of these pickups and what makes them distinctive over other Hilotrons. I’ve had two other Electromatic that had the Blacktop Filter’trons which I also liked, but these pickups seem to have a higher output, in a good way. I like this Gretsch guitar much better than the Telecaster I swapped for it. Very cool color, too!

22

I was about to create a thread asking if anyone had played the 5622 when I spotted yours. Concerning the pickups, I'm told that the earlier HoLoTrons were single coil where as the new "Super" version is actually a dual coil humbucker. My first interaction with the Electromatic line was a month ago when I got my G5230T with FilterTrons. The sound and build quality of that little Jet was so amazing that I decided to investigate other models, thus my interest in the 5622. I've sort of set my mind on the walnut model, but wanted to hear what someone else thought of it first. It's good to hear that you are enjoying it. And, one of my favorite amps is my Vox Pathfinder SMR4x8, which I've had since 2004. It's just too incredible to let go, and I've had offers of over $500.

23

PlayerOne, I've had a 5622 since it came out, and heartily recommend those pickups. I don't get on well with Blacktops on most guitars (though I love other FilterTrons), but the SuperHiloTrons are completely unrelated to the Blacktops.

They're also not intimately related to original 60s HiLoTrons, which are the bright, underwound single-coils of the Gretsch world. (Think "House of the Rising Sun.") Very distinctive, very cool, and more widely usable than haters think - but ... very bright, very low output.

SuperHiLoTrons, as you say, are dual-coil. To me they sound like a bright mini-humbucker...which is, I guess, kinda what they are. Interesting alternative to FilterTrons.

My 5622 is an earlier incarnation, with 3 pickups and catesye soundholes - odd that Gretsch would re-use a model number for such a different guitar. In any case, the SuperHiLos are ideal in the triple-pup instrument. Kind of a Gretsch Strat.

24

Proteus: The local GC has a 3 pickup version of the 5622 used, asking $599. provided it's in good shape, would that be a reasonable price, and is that version preferred over the 2 pickup version?

25

It sounds eminently reasonable to me; it's a lot of guitar.

I guess the market didn't prefer the triple over the double, but I sure do. Not only are the catseye soundholes more distinctive, but the three pickups will do everything the two do...and, clearly, more. With the right wiring mod (completely invisible), you go from three combinations to seven. And even the way it comes, you get six. That's about twice as many, for just half-again more pickups. Easy math.

Bet you can get it from them for less than 599.00 though. Ask nicely.


Register Sign in to join the conversation