Modern Gretsch Guitars

Any thoughts on the 5135CVT?

1

I have been considering one for a while and thought I'd solicit any experiences from folks on the forum. Thanks in advance.

2

I've had mine since 2009... it's the only Electromatic of mine that stays in my stage/gig rotation. Great guitar.

3

There is a lot to like about this guitar. Mega'trons are good pickups. 24.6" scale length mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard, medium jumbo frets, on a maple slab body. It comes with an Adjust-o-matic bridge, which I am not a keen fan of. But, many manufacturers use them and many players swear by them. Changing one out is stupid simple.

The best thing about this guitar is the price point. The street price is only $649. Great price for this style of guitar. I have never understood why this guitar was not competing more with the SG-style guitars. I have never owned an SG, but they seemed to be targeted towards the same market segment.

The worst thing about this guitar is the name -- the CVT. I still yearn for the old name of the Corvette.

4

Actually, the G5135 model that appealed to me the most was the Stumpomatic model. Originally released in grey, it then came out in black. Had it not have been for the stupid racing stripe on it, I would have picked one up. A three-pickup string-through slab for a modest price is something very worthy, in my estimation.

5

I want it in natural, it was one of the finish options that disappeared from the Gretsch site. Also check the colour of the one half hidden behind the The Solid Body banner.

6

This one? Oh yeah, I like that one a lot too!

7

It's not like there are a lot of new solid body Gretsches to choose from. Love the wine red! Nothing like a slab!

8

The ergonomics of the CVT/Corvette are comparable to an SG, but they sound not at all alike. The Magnatrons are WAYYYY brighter and crisper, and can substitute nicely for a Fender sonically when run clean. Cranked they have a nice crunch, but are still brighter than even a P-90 equipped SG.

I've played CVT's a little --- they're very versatile guitars with a nice feel, and a distinctive voice.

9

It's not like there are a lot of new solid body Gretsches to choose from. Love the wine red! Nothing like a slab!

– wabash slim

It has never been a big part of their identity.

10

Parabar, them's Mega'trons. Magna'trons are something different and also great pickups, IMO.

11

I stand corrected! Actually I'm sitting down at the moment, but you know what I mean.

12

I still want them to release a version with neck binding and thumbnail markers. How about it, Joe?

13

How would you compare the tone of a Mega'Tron to a Hi Sense Filter'Tron or a Power'Tron?

14

I still want them to release a version with neck binding and thumbnail markers. How about it, Joe?

– Twom

in natural please with dynasonics

15

How would you compare the tone of a Mega'Tron to a Hi Sense Filter'Tron or a Power'Tron?

– Caliban335

I'd say in between the two. More output than an HS Filtertron, but brighter than a PowerTron.

16

My thoughts? Wish I had one.

17

I'd say in between the two. More output than an HS Filtertron, but brighter than a PowerTron.

– Tartan Phantom

Agreed.

18

There is a lot to like about this guitar. Mega'trons are good pickups. 24.6" scale length mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard, medium jumbo frets, on a maple slab body. It comes with an Adjust-o-matic bridge, which I am not a keen fan of. But, many manufacturers use them and many players swear by them. Changing one out is stupid simple.

The best thing about this guitar is the price point. The street price is only $649. Great price for this style of guitar. I have never understood why this guitar was not competing more with the SG-style guitars. I have never owned an SG, but they seemed to be targeted towards the same market segment.

The worst thing about this guitar is the name -- the CVT. I still yearn for the old name of the Corvette.

– Ric12string

Blame Warwick Basses for the name issue. They threatened to sue Gretsch over the name Corvette.

Corvettes are criminally underrated. The 5135 is a great guitar at a great price. You can also usually find them even cheaper used. The last one I bought was $375 on eBay.

I have to give Patrick Stump credit. He actually uses his signature model. I've come across a few Fall Out Boy concerts on MTV Live lately and he always plays the Stump-o-Matic. If it didn't have the middle pickup I'd be all over it.

19

Blame Warwick Basses for the name issue. They threatened to sue Gretsch over the name Corvette.

Corvettes are criminally underrated. The 5135 is a great guitar at a great price. You can also usually find them even cheaper used. The last one I bought was $375 on eBay.

I have to give Patrick Stump credit. He actually uses his signature model. I've come across a few Fall Out Boy concerts on MTV Live lately and he always plays the Stump-o-Matic. If it didn't have the middle pickup I'd be all over it.

– drmilktruck

Yes, you are correct. But, how is it that Warwick came by having the name after Gretsch had had the name for all those many years? There is more to the story than that, Jim.

And, yes, Patrick Stump does use his Stump-o-Matic Corvette. Unlike you, however, I would want it for the very reason that it does have three pickups.

20

I just noticed something that was said earlier--- CVT has a "maple body"... according to the current Gretsch specs, it lists it as a "5-ply" maple body.

However, when they were reintroduced in 2006, they had mahogany bodies, according to the 2006 catalog. Mine is a 2008 and it clearly has a mahogany body, obviated by the woodgrain and also evidenced by a body ding that mine has had since I bought it (it was a scratch 'n' dent new model) which goes clear through the finish to the wood underneath-- it's no doubt mahogany. In 2008, it was still marketed as the Corvette.

I wonder when they ditched the mahogany in favor of the maple, and whether that also corresponded with the name change to CVT?

21

TP, I asked myself that very same question. It had always been my understanding that the Corvette had a mahogany body. It was not until I was looking at the specs today for the guitar that I saw that it was apparently a 5-ply maple body. I may try to remember to ask Joe that question when I next speak to him.

22

I bought a used '06 model two years ago at a guitar show where I was also lucky to find an old hard case for it. The goal was to have an inexpensive Gretsch that could withstand travel via airplane.

I'm quite happy with it and was pleasantly surprised. The only concern I have is that the toggle switch is poorly located imo as I sometimes hit it when playing. Also considered a G Love version (with powertrons) but was outbid. The 3 pickup Stump version is also tempting.

23

Yes, you are correct. But, how is it that Warwick came by having the name after Gretsch had had the name for all those many years? There is more to the story than that, Jim.

And, yes, Patrick Stump does use his Stump-o-Matic Corvette. Unlike you, however, I would want it for the very reason that it does have three pickups.

– Ric12string

Gretsch stopped using the Corvette name in the mid 70s and then revived it thirty or so years later to reintroduce the Electromatic version. In the interim Warwick began making the Corvette bass in 1992 and has made it continuously since. I'm no trademark/patent attorney, but if I understand it correctly, if you don't use a product name for a certain amount of time, you lose exclusive use of the name. Warwick was still using the name and may have trademarked it. Would that be enough?

We need a lawyer to weight in. (As a doctor I hope never to have to use that phrase in a professional sense! )

24

We need a lawyer to weight in. (As a doctor I hope never to have to use that phrase in a professional sense!

Don't tell me that was a backhanded gaff at Ric12string... (kidding)

trademark/copyright/patent law can be rather tricky.

25

Not at all, TP! I know exactly what he meant.

I am also not an IP guy, but I believe that you are correct about the ability to lose what is not used. The general gist of the story that I heard (it could have been apochryphal) was that there was an interruption in the use of the name, accompanied by a failure to adequately act to protect it as a Gretsch name once its use was resumed, but, in the meantime, as you correctly state, Warwick started using the name and perfected its interest in the name. And then told Gretsch that they had been untimely and that Warwick would not allow Gretsch to continue to use the name.

Something like that.


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