Modern Gretsch Guitars

Need advice about buying right Gretch..

1

Hello,

I registered today because I need your help. I want to buy a gretsch guitar. From long time ago I admired the G6128T duo jet version. It was kinda more "normal" gretsch design for me, and I really wanted it. Couple weeks ago I found out that electromatics were revamped. The G5422TG (wallnut) looks amazing to me, and its fully hollow. I was really impressed by looks and videos on youtube. I was reading reviews that new electromatics are really good and there is really thin line now between electro. vs PRO line. So I got really hyped about it.

I tryed duo jet before and it was great. I never tried 5422 or any 16" guitar before and neither I have chance because no store has it.Because of that Im not so sure but still I like guitar visually alot!

So my problem is: Buy G5422 + all optional accessories or give 1000$ more and buy new Duo jet from PRO line.

Im really torn between this decision. 1000$ is not small amount of money and if the difference in sound and quality is not that big (by reviewers perspective) than its no use to buy it.. or not? :)

What do you think guys? I really don't have a chance to try G5422 so I will just ordered it and they will ship.

Thank you Luke

2

I would say go for the pro line. I couldn't afford to drop the $2400 on my silver jet at once, so I financed it with sweetwater. The pro lines are so nice that the hefty price tag seems like a deal once you get set up and going, I don't regret it at all. The new electromatic line is incredible for the price and in general too

3

I must say the new 5420T 2016 model is very good, the option would be to do a hardware upgrade, I did a Bigsby change and installed a roller saddle tunamatic. The Korean guitar Bigsby doesn't have enough screws on the base plate.

I currently use a 2003 6120DC for live playing, I also own hollow bodies in the pro line, they are amazing but 4 times the price new of an Electromatic.

The Pro line necks are slim and great to play. They are well worth the investment.

4

It's difficult, isn't it? My advice would be to get the proline if you can afford it. If you go the cheaper guitar you will always wonder how much better the proline is - and in my experience the prolines can be a lot better. Buy the guitar once.

The Electromatics are very good but I don't want one when I can have a proline. But don't spend money you don't have. It's just a guitar!

5

Thanks for your responses. I could afford myself PRO guitar just wasn't sure because of the new electromatic. And this guitar when I buy it, I want it to stay long time, because Im done with searching the "right" guitar voice, its gretch defenetly.

I was looking new "tenessee rose" - 6119, players edition one. Its even little cheaper than Duo jet, but like it because its slimmer body and bigsby is string tru. Im really interested in hollow body guitars because of the airiness of the sound and clarity.

How can you compare sound of duo jet and other gretsch hollowbodies, are they alot different in tone? What about neck, are they all the same on pro models?

Decisions, decisions , decisions...

Thanks for the patience. :)

6

In MHO, the T Rose is the best bargain in the Pro lineup. It is my most versatile guitar. Does everything from rockabilly to jazz and does it well. Can't go wrong with a Jet, but if I had to choose just one, it would be the Tennessee Rose.

7

I'll probably wait to winter namm 2017 and see if there will be any revamps on Jet series. There were some rumors about it, dont know for sure. :)

8

A string-through Bigsby isn't a big deal. You can buy the string shaft online and then you'll be set.

If having a thin, ergonomic body is what you're after, it's tough to beat a Jet. They're pretty hollow and airy, too.

9

Its not that I really mainly seek ergonomics on the guitar, im just afraid that hollow bodies would be too thick after comming from slimmer body.

10

You get used to the hollow body pretty quick, especially if you've ever played an acoustic. That 6119 is one of my favorite guitars in the line up. The cherry finish looks so sweet in person.

11

In the first place I'm not sure there is a wrong Gretsch, secondly you shouldn't listen to me and third, buy the most guitar you can afford.

12

Another option to consider given that you can afford a Proline, is looking at the used market. You can obviously go back as far as you like into the vintage eras but I'm also talking about just barely used guitars hitting the market you can pick up for a good discount from their new equivalents. Mostly I'm talking about the post FMIC era. With you having a good budget to work with the only question becomes which guitar has the features you're looking for.

There's some exceptional guitars that come on the market that for whatever reason the owner didn't like or didn't bond with. Last year here in Vancouver, L&M had a mint used 6136T Falcon for $2650 and had it for several months so it might very well have gone for less! A heck of a deal even at that price, and that's in Canada where they're more expensive to begin with.

You asked about the neck profiles possibly being different. What do you favor? Wider neck, thick or thin? I've seen some of the recent 6122-59 Gents, the recreation of Chet's specs (wider neck for one) going for very reasonable prices if you look around. I myself wouldn't buy a brand new guitar if there's its used equivalent for a big discount available, with a little patience.

I hear you about hopefully wanting to find that one guitar that you'll bond with and stick with. I've got mine and know of one just like it I'm hoping a member here picks up....to keep it in the Gretsch family.

13

Im a guy who has pretty short fingers so I would prefer thinner neck profile. :)

I was looking some good deals on duo jets for around 2k, mint condition but im kinda worried that I would get lemon one.. than I would reather add few bucks and buy new one.

One thing that bothers me on duo jet is floating bridge. I didn't have chance to try it in action long enough to see if it moves or not. Im afraid that will move while I play and lose intonation.

What do you think about that? Is it possible to have floating one and play normally without moving it?

I know You guys have alot of experience with this stuff so thank you again for helping me with advices. :)

14

Unless you're wailing away on the strings, bridges move because they aren't contoured to the top properly. This is easily solved by taping some fine sandpaper to the top and using gentle pressure, move the bridge/base towards and away from the neck till the contour is correct. Normally this will solve the problem but to ensure it won't move, either have the base pinned or use a bit of bow resin on the feet. These are the best two methods to anchor the base. Do NOT consider two-sided tape as it will have an insulating effect for sound transfer.

Others can give you their experience on neck profiles for the modern era Gretsches so you can cut down your choices of models to suit your shorter fingers. I have just normal length fingers and have 6 guitars with a 1.75-1.80" wide neck (at the nut or zero fret) and they're easy to play because the profile isn't chunky. Things to consider.

15

Hi, First Gretsch I opted for was a 5120 Burgundy special run, changed the pickups to TV Jones and new wiring loom, great improvement, bridge didn't work with the bridge very well . Got myself a 6119 Classic, needed a lot of work to sort it after original owner hammered it and wow after the work, cost a fair bit superb. Have a 6120 DSV and that's great. Just got a 6119 T players edition. I would advise a Pro Line.

16

As a guy who knows that he will never be able to buy the pro line, I ask that you buy it so I can live vicariously through you. I wouldn't see it as an "investment," but merely for the love of the thing. It's your guitar man!

17

Im a guy who has pretty short fingers so I would prefer thinner neck profile. :)

I was looking some good deals on duo jets for around 2k, mint condition but im kinda worried that I would get lemon one.. than I would reather add few bucks and buy new one.

One thing that bothers me on duo jet is floating bridge. I didn't have chance to try it in action long enough to see if it moves or not. Im afraid that will move while I play and lose intonation.

What do you think about that? Is it possible to have floating one and play normally without moving it?

I know You guys have alot of experience with this stuff so thank you again for helping me with advices. :)

– Lukec

Link

Here's the thread from when I got mine. I found it at a shop used and in need of some TLC, but it was easy work to bring it up to snuff. It cost 11-1,300 so deals are out there. It sounds great, too. The bridge base is pretty solid. I was nervous about them when I got my first one, but you find that unless you're really heavy-handed, it'll be fine.

Honestly, I'd be comfortable with anything from '05 on. They were really hitting their stride and focusing on vintage styles.

18

As you know, only you can decide this question for yourself. Asking us for comparisons about guitars is a bit like asking someone to describe a dish that they enjoy eating. Not everyone applies the same meaning to the words used, and each of us has different priorities and preferences.

There is clearly a difference between the Electromatic Series and the Professional Series. Yet, the difference is not nearly as large as it used to be. Back in the days of the Gretschbucker pickups, that was the first thing that jumped out at me. I did not like their sound at all. With the "Blacktop" Filter'Trons, the sound of the Electromatic Series has been hugely improved. For my ear, there remains a difference between the Blacktop Filter'Trons and the pickups found on the Professional Series models; however, I can easily live now with the sound of the Blacktop Filter'Trons whereas I severely disliked the sound of the Gretschbuckers.

The second thing for me where I noticed a distinction between the Professional Series and the Electromatics was a tactile difference. The Professional Series guitars feel as if they were built by very fine craftsmen. They are responsive to your touch. They feel good in your hands. When your hand slides along the back of the neck, you just know that you have a wonderful instrument in your hands. With the Electromatic Series of old (like the 5120 series), I always felt like I was handling an imitation of a real Gretsch guitar. The fit and finish struck me as a little bit on the cheaper side. But, the Electromatic's build quality, including the fit and finish, has dramatically improved in recent years. They now feel like very nice guitars; not the same as a Professional Series model, but still a very nice guitar. And the appearance of these guitars has been dramatically improved in the last few years. Very interesting finishes, humpblock inlays, bound headstocks, etc., is all very good for my taste.

As for the question of a Duo Jet vs. a hollowbody guitar, I am probably one of the few on this site who has never yet bonded fully with my Duo Jet. It handles wonderfully; however, I just don't get the tone from it that I can get with any of my hollowbody Gretsch guitars. To my ears and senses, the Dynasonics that are on it sound somewhat thin to me. It is hard to explain. However, I knowthat this has to be an issue of setup because I have the same pickups in my Country Club and absolutely love them. And too many players whom I have regard for seem to love their Duo Jets. All of that being said, however, there is something truly special with playing a hollowbody guitar. The way it feels under your arm, its light weight, the airiness of its tone. It is something that anyone who has grown up playing an acoustic guitar would acclimate to in no time at all.

Each of these guitars -- a Duo Jet or a hollowbody -- has its own strengths such that I wouldn't say that one was better than the other. But, I would not be put off or intimidated by a hollowbody.

One thing that you haven't told us is how you will use the guitar. Do you depend upon it for some or all of your livelihood? Do you just play at home? The Professional Series guitar is a good bet for a gigging guitar. You could expect to have a very dependable and reliable instrument. With an Electromatic, I am sure that the guitar would play wonderfully; yet, I probably wouldn't have the same level of confidence in it that I would in a Professional Series guitar.

There can often be other more intuitive factors that come into play in a decision like this. Are you the type that requires the best of something that you take an interest in? Do you want the best wristwatch or the best snowblower? Will you feel like you had short-changed yourself if you didn't buy the best example of a particular product. If that describes you, there is no shame in that. You are among like-minded individuals here, in large measure. However, you may not be entirely happy with the Electromatic knowing that, if you had spent just a little bit more money, you could have had the best -- the Professional Series guitar. You make it sound as if money is not a serious issue in your decision; yet, if you are a newer player and don't know how long you will be playing, you might want to be more conservative in your first Gretsch purchase with the knowledge that you can always spend more money later on another Gretsch guitar.

There is very little to dislike in an Electromatic. It will play well, feel good in your hands, and sound tremendous. It is just that that experience will be even sweeter on a Professional Series model.

Good luck with your purchase experience.

19

A string-through Bigsby isn't a big deal. You can buy the string shaft online and then you'll be set.

If having a thin, ergonomic body is what you're after, it's tough to beat a Jet. They're pretty hollow and airy, too.

– Pappy

Yep. Gretsch has a pretty good video, although once you get the foam out, it's a lot easier to do strings one at a time, so nothing shifts.

You don't even need the needlenose - you can pre bend with your fingers. I also use my forearm on the fingerboard to maintain tension on the string so it doesn't slip off the pin. It sounds tougher than it is. Two or three string changes, and you'll be a pro.

20

Thanks for great answers.

Mostly Im playing at home. I have few live gigs but yeah, mostly at home. Im not a beginner but in this phase of life I just don't gig a lot at the moment. Probably this wouldn't do justice to the PRO line guitar but anyways, I would love to have best gretsch experience, because I can afford it atm.

21

I would love to have best gretsch experience, because I can afford it atm. -- Lukec

In that case, treat yourself to a Professional Series model. You won't regret that ever.

22

I think the 5422 is the best guitar in the Electromatic line. The neck is on the chunkier side so you should be aware of that.

However, I sold a Strat, saved my money and bought a 6128T-DSV Duo Jet. I would do it all over again. It's a great guitar and a Duo Jet does have the hollow sound you're looking for. The difference is the tone is focused more on the midrange than a 16" hollow body guitar which has more natural lows by design. The Duo Jet is the perfect Gretsch guitar for playing in a band where there are other instruments to fill up the tonal spectrum. The Duo Jet sits perfectly in the middle with the vocals.

After owning my Duo Jet for a couple of years I wanted to add a 16" hollow body for solo performances that I would have otherwise played with an acoustic. I narrowed my choices down to a 5422 or an Epiphone Casino. I happened to find a great deal on a 2011 Casino 1961 reissue so I went for it. The 5422 and the Casino seem pretty similar in construction.

23

Thank you for the info about neck profile on 5422,i didnt know that.

Im more convinced now to buy duo jet. I was reading about floating bridge and "problems" that come with it. Alot of people were saying that the bridge shouldnt be pinned and with right setup it should work fine and stay in place.

Buddyhollywood, you pinned your bridge or its floating?

24

I'd say you can't go wrong; both are great guitars. IMHO the Proline is a better guitar, but they should be. The great unknown right now is you haven't been able to try a hollowbody. It would really benefit you to wait until you could try one. If that's not in the card, I would order somewhere with a liberal return policy. Get it in, put it through its paces, and decide if that particular hollowbody is as impressive as the Jet you tried. If it is, then keep it. If not, then see if you find a Jet to try. Best of luck in whatever you end up with!

25

I was thinking maybe to try 6119t tenessee rose or 6118t players edition side by side with duo jet, they are in the same price range.

It dificult here in Europe, because dealers dont have big stocks of high end guitars, they order them from big stores like Thomann from Germany. I know when I was in USA, almost every store has big collection of guitars, from low budget to high end vintage ones.


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