Electromatics

The Marketing Of This One Has Me Unclear

26

To a non-guitar playing casual observer, this and a Penguin would look alike. Those "in the know" will see the differences right away. It's "bling on a budget" for someone who couldn't afford a real Penguin.

27

I'll reiterate about that ugly Bigsby and add that with no Penguin style headstock, even someone with only a cursory knowledge of the Gretsch line won't mistake this for a Penguin. As it's own 'animal' as it were, you're either moved by its looks at first exposure or not. Don't think there much middle ground with this model.

28

WOW! What a disappointment! Not the guitar, but the tone of some of the posts in this thread.
First, a little background: I'm much more fortunate than I deserve to be in that I have a guitar collection that includes many Gretsch models as well as Gibson, Fender, Taylor, Epiphone, Ibanez and a bunch more and, most importantly, a wife who not only tolerates but supports my G.A.S. affliction. The dollar figure for each ranges from the $20,000 range to about $150.00.
My point in bringing value into this thread is that, to me, the price of a guitar is NOT what draws me to it. When I pick up a guitar, does it feel good? Great! Does it sound good? Great! Is it well constructed? Great! If it looks cool, sure, that's always a plus. THOSE are the determining factors in deciding if a guitar joins the family.
Where I'm going with this is that I'm lucky enough that if I REALLY wanted a Cliff Gallup model or a Penguin, I could make it happen, BUT after spending some time with the G5435TG Limited Edition I decided I liked it and it wanted to come live with us.
HOWEVER, after reading some of the posts I find that I like a guitar that's too gaudy, doesn't have the updates, the Bigsby or even the correct advertising it should have had. AND, it isn't a professional model AND even though I've been playing for 60-plus years I probably can't tell the tonal difference between a good guitar and something to use when backing a stripper. Darn! I just thought it felt and sounded good. And, the Bigsby felt smooth as butter. Strangely, the guys in my local guitar shop (One of whom repaired guitars for people with names like Chet Atkins.) thought it sounded pretty good, too.
My point is, while questioning the advertising may have been the original point, as the thread continued it started to have a bit of an elitist tone. (And, I know this isn't an Epiphone group. OK, I've probably gone on too long and some of you probably think I don't understand the difference between this and a Penguin. Trust me, I do. I just think they both have something to offer. So now you know why I don't post often.
Anyhow, I'm sure the tone I perceived probably wasn't intentional, but it might not be a bad thing to take a second look before you hit "add post" and make sure it doesn't cross over from being informative to sounding overly negative. These wonderful wood, composite and steel friends of ours may not all wear tuxedos, but they all have songs to sing.

– wgnhim

All I know is the few Pro Jets I've played in music stores have always felt great to me.

29

For those who are curious, here's a photo of the G5435TG Limited Edition that followed me home.

31

Nice indeed!

By the way---are you on WGN, the World's Greatest Network? I grew up watching channel 9 in the '50s, and still do.

32

You will recall that this guitar ended up in a thread a couple of weeks ago. However, I had understood that that guitar was somehow a special run for that retailer, Danny D's. However, I see now that the guitar is a production run Electromatic.

I am baffled by why Gretsch is trying to compare the guitar to a Penguin. There is no Penguin headstock on this Pro Jet, so the silhouette of the guitar is markedly different. That would mean that every Jet should be thought of in terms of being similar to a Penguin.

But, even more importantly, the suggestion that a Pro Jet offers the "classic vibe" of the Penguin seems odd to me. The Pro Jet is not even a Professional Line model; rather, it is an Electromatic model, albeit a very attractive Electromatic model. And the Penguin has always been something of a "Holy Grail" guitar to many. But, to favorably compare a Pro Jet with a Penguin has me stumped. Why not simply market it as an extremely price worthy guitar that looks tremendous and, with the Blacktop Filter'Trons, sounds great too. The great looks of this guitar should be enough to sell it on its own.

Or am I missing something here?

– Ric12string

Fender does the marketing. Fred Gretsch seeks mega sales. Nothing to question here. They want to make money and are willing to compromise the reputation their Japanese top line guitars to sell lower priced Chinese made plywood guitaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasasssssssssssssssssssssssss. (Burp)

33

Nice indeed!

By the way---are you on WGN, the World's Greatest Network? I grew up watching channel 9 in the '50s, and still do.

– wabash slim

After 27 years on the radio side of the WGN family my wife/co-host, Johnnie Putman, and I no longer have the responsibilities of a 5 night a week program. We've formed our own company, wrote a book about our friendship with Les Paul called "A Little More Les" (http://alittlemoreles.com/)), do video road tests for Consumer Guide Automotive and we still do occasional "drive-by" radio shows and specials on WGN radio. Also, I'm currently working on an album, we're working on another book, and we're constantly surprised at how busy we are now that we don't have that 5 night a week commitment. That's probably more information than you wanted but, as our friend Paul Harvey used to say, "now you know ... the REST of the story."

34

After 27 years on the radio side of the WGN family my wife/co-host, Johnnie Putman, and I no longer have the responsibilities of a 5 night a week program. We've formed our own company, wrote a book about our friendship with Les Paul called "A Little More Les" (http://alittlemoreles.com/)), do video road tests for Consumer Guide Automotive and we still do occasional "drive-by" radio shows and specials on WGN radio. Also, I'm currently working on an album, we're working on another book, and we're constantly surprised at how busy we are now that we don't have that 5 night a week commitment. That's probably more information than you wanted but, as our friend Paul Harvey used to say, "now you know ... the REST of the story."

– wgnhim

Coolness!

35

Fender does the marketing. Fred Gretsch seeks mega sales. Nothing to question here. They want to make money and are willing to compromise the reputation their Japanese top line guitars to sell lower priced Chinese made plywood guitaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasasssssssssssssssssssssssss. (Burp)

– Gretschrocker

Most Gretsch guitars are high quality plywood.

36

Fender does the marketing. Fred Gretsch seeks mega sales. Nothing to question here. They want to make money and are willing to compromise the reputation their Japanese top line guitars to sell lower priced Chinese made plywood guitar. -- Gretschrocker

Fred Gretsch is not very involved in the design and marketing of these guitars. That is FMIC's responsibility. Your post makes it sound as if Fred is willing to sell his soul for greater sales numbers. I don't think that that is how Fred thinks. He has always viewed the business as a family-owned and operated business. His biggest priority was to keep the family business operating. While he is definitely a businessman, he has not sold his soul to become one.

FMIC is the one who develops new products and markets them. Many of us personally know Joe Carducci, who is THE Gretsch product specialist who is very involved in the design and marketing process. One thing that Joe isn't is stupid. And he loves Gretsch guitars and the brand's history and its place in the marketplace. It is my very strong belief that Joe would do absolutely nothing that would compromise the brand's reputation, especially just to make a few quick sales with an Electromatic model guitar. That just isn't who he is.

And, as another poster pointed out, all Professional line Gretsch guitars made in Terada, Japan, have laminated tops. A laminated top should not be viewed as "cheapening" a guitar. In fact, it actually strengthens the guitar top's build. The original post dealt with the marketing of this guitar in a manner which compared it favorably to a Penguin. It simply struck me as an odd marketing strategy. But, while this particular Electromatic model sells for less than a Penguin, I would not characterize it as a "cheap" guitar. It is a fine guitar, to which GDP member wgnhim can undoubtedly attest.

37

Fender does the marketing. Fred Gretsch seeks mega sales. Nothing to question here. They want to make money and are willing to compromise the reputation their Japanese top line guitars to sell lower priced Chinese made plywood guitar. -- Gretschrocker

Fred Gretsch is not very involved in the design and marketing of these guitars. That is FMIC's responsibility. Your post makes it sound as if Fred is willing to sell his soul for greater sales numbers. I don't think that that is how Fred thinks. He has always viewed the business as a family-owned and operated business. His biggest priority was to keep the family business operating. While he is definitely a businessman, he has not sold his soul to become one.

FMIC is the one who develops new products and markets them. Many of us personally know Joe Carducci, who is THE Gretsch product specialist who is very involved in the design and marketing process. One thing that Joe isn't is stupid. And he loves Gretsch guitars and the brand's history and its place in the marketplace. It is my very strong belief that Joe would do absolutely nothing that would compromise the brand's reputation, especially just to make a few quick sales with an Electromatic model guitar. That just isn't who he is.

And, as another poster pointed out, all Professional line Gretsch guitars made in Terada, Japan, have laminated tops. A laminated top should not be viewed as "cheapening" a guitar. In fact, it actually strengthens the guitar top's build. The original post dealt with the marketing of this guitar in a manner which compared it favorably to a Penguin. It simply struck me as an odd marketing strategy. But, while this particular Electromatic model sells for less than a Penguin, I would not characterize it as a "cheap" guitar. It is a fine guitar, to which GDP member wgnhim can undoubtedly attest.

– Ric12string

VERY well said, Ric. It's very apparent to anyone paying attention that, while of course like anybody else they want to make a profit but, Fred and Joe have the best interest of Gretsch at heart. And yes, obviously, I think it is a fine guitar and, with each day spent with it, I'm becoming more impressed.

38

Most Gretsch guitars are high quality plywood.

– BuddyHollywood

Yikes... high quality plywood... costs more in Japan.

39

Fender does the marketing. Fred Gretsch seeks mega sales. Nothing to question here. They want to make money and are willing to compromise the reputation their Japanese top line guitars to sell lower priced Chinese made plywood guitar. -- Gretschrocker

Fred Gretsch is not very involved in the design and marketing of these guitars. That is FMIC's responsibility. Your post makes it sound as if Fred is willing to sell his soul for greater sales numbers. I don't think that that is how Fred thinks. He has always viewed the business as a family-owned and operated business. His biggest priority was to keep the family business operating. While he is definitely a businessman, he has not sold his soul to become one.

FMIC is the one who develops new products and markets them. Many of us personally know Joe Carducci, who is THE Gretsch product specialist who is very involved in the design and marketing process. One thing that Joe isn't is stupid. And he loves Gretsch guitars and the brand's history and its place in the marketplace. It is my very strong belief that Joe would do absolutely nothing that would compromise the brand's reputation, especially just to make a few quick sales with an Electromatic model guitar. That just isn't who he is.

And, as another poster pointed out, all Professional line Gretsch guitars made in Terada, Japan, have laminated tops. A laminated top should not be viewed as "cheapening" a guitar. In fact, it actually strengthens the guitar top's build. The original post dealt with the marketing of this guitar in a manner which compared it favorably to a Penguin. It simply struck me as an odd marketing strategy. But, while this particular Electromatic model sells for less than a Penguin, I would not characterize it as a "cheap" guitar. It is a fine guitar, to which GDP member wgnhim can undoubtedly attest.

– Ric12string

Marketplace and current products offered suggests a cheapening of the Gretsch brand. Ultimately Fred makes the decisions - or did he turn over all decisions to Fender? If so, and he really isn't the one watching over the family brand, as suggested.

Also, an inherent bias of friendships reveals itself in the discussion presented. So some levels of credibility are suspect.

Fred wants money. Fender wants money. They are for profit. That's good. But they risk tainting the image and reputation of the brand by pooping out Chinese quasi knock-offs of their higher end guitars. Any freshman marketing seminar case study of Gretsch's current brand initiatives would reveal this.


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