Modern Gretsch Guitars

My 5420t changed me

1

A few months ago I was babbling here about how my 6119 had become my dream guitar and all the others got no love. Then I thought why not trade the extra Strat Ive owned for 20 years and never bonded with for a 5420. Then I played one and that wide neck tripped me out bad.

But I decided to visit the guitar at the shop once a week to see if I could warm up to that chunky neck. Two visits later and I owned that sucker, but there’s more!

I have not put my 5420 down since I bought it, chunky neck and all. I have not been this inspired in decades. I’ve already put a set of songs together that I’m rehearsing with my fav bass player and once we’re solid we’ll work the drummer in.

Im using 11s and only playing songs that work on this guitar, a couple of songs call for my Tele, but everything thing else on the gretsch. And we don’t need no singer so all the songs are ones that are fun to play and sound great on the Gretsch. I’m no Duane Eddy but this guitar can sizzle without a singer in the band

And my 6119 weeps but understands.

Anyhow, I am so into this guitar. I added a Tru Arc and Ive done all the pick up tricks yet eventually I see replacing the pickups.

2

Congrats. Several people have mentioned how nice the 5420T is. Must be true.

3

This is why guitar forums exist. It's great to hear how an instrument inspires you. Nice guitar!

4

Got one like this but lefty with added Bigsby, TV jones pickups I bought from a nice guy on this form. The first year I owned it, it seemed to go out of tune easily (even after a decent setup and check). I even considered selling. glad I didn't! My luthier said that on "cheaper" Gretsches like the 5420 line, they don't get enough time to let the wood dry and it takes some time to let it all set in. He'd seen it before, knew how to fix it and now the tuning is very stable, even with Bigsby. The "Aspen Green" now shines extra with the gold pickups and the one-off strap with gold lining. Every gig I do with this guitar, she gets compliments! Now I'm one proud picker when I play this beauty. Yes she inspires, I'm with you on that

What are those rubber bands between bridge and tailpiece? for dampening? How does that work for you? Never seen this sort before.

5

They cut down on the wolf tones, the weird overtones that sometimes occur. Some of us like them!

6

Got one like this but lefty with added Bigsby, TV jones pickups I bought from a nice guy on this form. The first year I owned it, it seemed to go out of tune easily (even after a decent setup and check). I even considered selling. glad I didn't! My luthier said that on "cheaper" Gretsches like the 5420 line, they don't get enough time to let the wood dry and it takes some time to let it all set in. He'd seen it before, knew how to fix it and now the tuning is very stable, even with Bigsby. The "Aspen Green" now shines extra with the gold pickups and the one-off strap with gold lining. Every gig I do with this guitar, she gets compliments! Now I'm one proud picker when I play this beauty. Yes she inspires, I'm with you on that

What are those rubber bands between bridge and tailpiece? for dampening? How does that work for you? Never seen this sort before.

– LievenDV

3/8" grommets---they're fairly common here. You can use other methods, but it's all done to dampen the wolf tones, the sympathetic vibrations that are common with tail piece guitars.

7

I‘ve experienced something similar with my 5420, but I‘ve customized this great guitar to my personal taste into a grand guitar:

  • B6/Duane handle
  • TV classic/classic+
  • dBridge

and my favorite arrow knobs Sold my 2015 Hot Rod, the 54‘ sounds much better.

8

(Dunno how to place more than one pic in one post?)

9

Love those "chunky" necks on the 5420/5422's. They feel just right to my hands.

Glad that inspiration is coming from yours. That's what supposed to happen, but doesn't happen enough from a lot of guitars.

10

Once upon a time in my short lifetime, anyone playing a guitar from Japan/Korea/China/Indonesia would be looked down upon due to our (or naybe just my) Xenophobic nature. Then Matsumoku/Fuji-gen/Tokai/Terada et al. showed in the 70s that they could go toe to toe with anyone. Now we are seeing the same thing happening with Korea, Taiwan, China and Indonesia. SPG makes fantastic guitars as owners of Gretsch Electromatics, Guild Newark Streets and D'Angelico guitars will attest. They do make a few other makes as well.

11

Ive even gotten used to the Bigsby which is very different than the V cut one on my 6119. I no longer plan to replace it. I see replacing the pickups at some point, I have Duo Trons on the other so Im kind of spoiled tonally, plus I play pretty clean. Im going to replace the master volume knob with a gold one just to be different. Oh and EVERYONE who has seen it goes on and on about the color which is kind of fun. Anyhow...

12

I‘ve experienced something similar with my 5420, but I‘ve customized this great guitar to my personal taste into a grand guitar:

  • B6/Duane handle
  • TV classic/classic+
  • dBridge

and my favorite arrow knobs Sold my 2015 Hot Rod, the 54‘ sounds much better.

– Stefan

Did you just change the handle and is it higher than the original? More bend I guess is my question. And yours is gorgeous!

13

Great story--particularly since I know that I will never have enough disposable cash to buy a MIJ Gretsch.

14

My first Gretsch, (recent) looks just like yours, only mine has the neck inlays in the middle. I am a newb, "What are wolftones?"

15

My first Gretsch, (recent) looks just like yours, only mine has the neck inlays in the middle. I am a newb, "What are wolftones?"

– 12Bars

Wolf tones are The ringing noise you often hear from the strings that originates between the bridge and bigsby. Sometimes called wolf notes.

16

I've got the double cut version, 5422TG. It's a sweet instrument, and like you, I have a hard time putting it down. EDIT: These guitars are a tremendous "bang for buck", it is probably the best guitar I've ever owned. I have a small collection of very expensive guitars (Fender/Gibson). This has rapidly become my favorite.

18

My update - the blacktop pickups are perfectly fine, I won't be swapping them. I do plan to upgrade to the V Bigsby.

I love this guitar and anytime I play it in front of people they all talk about what great tone/sound it has.

19

My update - the blacktop pickups are perfectly fine, I won't be swapping them. I do plan to upgrade to the V Bigsby.

I love this guitar and anytime I play it in front of people they all talk about what great tone/sound it has.

– Mr_Christopher

Have to agree, the Black Tops have a rawness about them that just sounds so good. No plans on swapping mine out either.

Like you, I would like to put a "V" cut Bigsby on mine eventually. Bucket list item.

20

I used Karolyn’s last night in recording. I grabbed her and tuned her up and my producer said “ oh you don’t want to use that guitar.” Oh yes I do. It sounded great and he agreed.


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