Are the newer/newest Gretsch Electromatics better than 5 years ago?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by WilburBufferson, May 29, 2020.

  1. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    I asked this over at Gretsch-Talk and got a limited response so I thought I would try here since I know a lot of you like the "other twang" of Gretsches.

    My options: a used 5422, non-pinned bridge. All else stock. Assuming there are no issues, this would be a good buy under 1K w/case (in Canada).

    Or, a new (2019/2020) Electromatic with the smaller headstock, secured bridge, treble bleed, and "Electromatic" writing relocated on the pickguard. Retail here is $1,200 + tax, no case.

    It was brought to my attention that the smaller headstock might improve tuning stability due to the less severe break angle at the nut. I guess I am also wondering whether the quality is the same or better than the mid-2010 models. I can't go to a store and try one out due to Covid, so I would likely be ordering blindly.

    Any thoughts on current versus recent Korean production 5422 Electromatics? Any help would be great as there is a clock ticking on one or more purchase decisions. Thanks!

    a gretsch.jpg
     
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  2. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not exactly sure when the change took place, but I have seen several recent Electromatics that were of a much higher quality than anything Gretsch was offering just a few years ago, Pro line included.
     
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  3. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    What did you notice that was better?
     
  4. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I have a MIK 5622 and it is a great guitar. I scored it on a close out deal for a great price. The new 5622's are now made in China and they have a Laurel fingerboard instead of rosewood and they have different pickups. I haven't seen one in person, so I can't bag on it, but I am skeptical that they made it higher quality.

    I also have a MIK 5420 which I also think is a killer guitar. I'm 2 for 2 on the MIK's.
     
  5. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been a Gretsch dealer for fifteen years. The really big moment they upped the game with the Electromatics was the move from the 5122 to the 5422 where they changed the pickups - before they were a good mod platform, after they were ready to go. Otherwise I honestly haven't noticed a massive shift in quality with the Korean ones.
     
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  6. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Are the newer/newest Gretsch Electromatics better than 5 years ago?

    5-years... IMHO, probably yes.
    For a 10-years ago gap : yes indeed.

    This If I rely on the instrument I have / had.

    But it's me OK ? :D

    A+!

     
  7. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Meister

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    I bought a slightly used G5220 and I’m floored. I’ve owned dozens of axes in my 30 years of playing and this guitar made me stop, pick my jaw up off the floor and turn to look at my partner doing the same. Seriously! I plugged it in and wow! The resonance of the chambered body is just an awesome experience. The strength and clarity of the Broad’trons really just take my breath away. Very 3D! I’d never owned a Gretsch, chambered body or any type of ‘tron pup but better late than never!
     
  8. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The one you posted is Korean and not that new.

    The new one is Chinese and has full sized pickups. It's also a 5622, the closest new model.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    So the 5622 in made in China and the 5422 is made in Korea?

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
     
  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yes, I think so!
     
  11. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree, I don't think overall much has changed on the quality, the very first 'budget' ones I played in the first half 2000's were not as nice as they are now, but over the last decade quality-wise seems consistent from what I've played... and as someone who loves the look and sound but never found the one for me I've played a fair few in the last 10 years. I've come to the conclusion I need to spend what I can't afford to get the one. :(
     
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  12. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I do not have the model you are looking at, but do have an '18 G5230T Electromatic Jet--made in China (and three newer Streamliners, also China). The Electromatic Jet is a terrific guitar and ended my quest for an LP type...rich sounds, terrific sustain, plays great. The Streamliners are actually three different models...each really nice guitars in their own right, but each with a little different sound due to model and pup types. I really like all of them.
     
  13. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    If tuning stability is a priority, I would lean to the Bigsby model WITHOUT the hold-down bar - typically a B3/30. A steeper bridge break angle tends to invite friction and thus tuning stability - even with roller saddles. I find the B5/50s work better with rocker-type bridges, and I still modify them which includes removing the roller, installing roller bearings, and just using the bare axle.

    Regardless, any vibrato system requires a perfect nut - probably the most neglected item on a guitar. If you are going to be a vibrato-person, you may as well learn how to tweak nuts with lubrication, files, or polishing thread - useful skills for any guitarist. Learning how to replace a cheap, plastic nut with a Tusq nut is also an excellent skill to learn.
     

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  14. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    I played a bunch of Electromatics months ago before the Brave New World.
    I found them impressive; well built with attention to detail, and good sounds. Just, that skinny little U neck...
    I ended up with a 6112, which is a real cut above.
     
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  15. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    I know that it is sacrilege to say this, but I wish Gretsch offered a non Bigsby model for right-handers as I don't use vibrato all that much in my playing.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    Easy enough to remove and add the tail of your choice. Then you have a CUSTOM!! Just throw the Bigsby in the case in case you ever want to sell it.
     
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  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I must of missed your post over at G-T...

    I’d get a newer one, personally. The reasons for that are largely cosmetic, because quality is generally and consistently high for the past 10 years. Before that, there were not as many features to ‘screw up’ (f-hole binding, secured bridge location), but those G51xx series were still excellent quality too, just more stripped down affairs and no Filtertron style pickups.

    I like the wide ‘boat paddle’ headstock with “ELECTROMATIC” down the middle. That is exactly how early to mid 50s Gretsch Electromatic Streamliners came, and I think I was one of a small handful of “Gretsch guys” that got the roots and wasn’t ashamed of being associated with a ‘lowly’ guitar. But true, the late 50s narrow headstock is better for tuning stability.

    I don’t like the Baldwin-era metal rings. I mean they’re ok, but I much rather have the original plastic ones from the early 60s. Secured bridges are fine, but I have a true floating bridge as well, I can take it or leave it. The treble bleed is one little tiny ceramic cap. Ideally, you’d want a 150k resistor and .001uF cap.

    The metal rings were only around from 2012 to 2013/14-ish. I owned two G5420s, a 2012 and 2016, a G5122, a G5128, and also a pre-FMIC Double Jet, a 2005-ish Pro Jet, and Special Jet. All of them were well made for the price point.
     
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  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Oh yeah, I own a second generation G5622, the f-holed, thin MIK double cut semi hollow with Super HiLotrons. As mentioned above, the 3rd gen is now MIC and has Blacktop Broadtrons. All the Electromatic Jets over the years have MIC, but with so much changing up, and after the introduction of the Streamliner line, I’d look at these ‘new’ models with some caution. The ones I check out in stores still seem great quality wise, so again, it’s about the features you want.

    If you don’t use a vibrato, take the handle off and remove the main spring and the correct size dowel there. Instant trapeze tailpiece. (*shaking my head at you*).
     
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  19. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    It's too much money, and I've never seen one in a store, but I would really like to try the Irish Falcon. Love green guitars and the Cadillac tailpiece (my dad used to sell em, so I was raised in the newest models from 1975-1985).
     
  20. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    The G5622T (fully hollow) I got used was MIK. Not sure of the year. In terms of quality, utility, all around satisfaction, it's the best Gretsch I've encountered. I like everything about it.
     
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