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1st gen G5420T vs newest G5420T

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Nick_66, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Aymara

    Aymara Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    A workhorse is a guitar, that is nearly or even fully played exclusively ... and how often do we see the "so called Rockabilly god" with a different guitar ;)

    Sure, but that doesn't change the fact, that bone is the supirior, better sounding material, that nearly every luthier recommends.
     
  2. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    This discussion makes no sense to me. I was wonderin why one said that the new Electros are "totally different guitars" compared to the "old" ones. Like it or not, they aren't, but to each their own.
     
    Noparadise likes this.
  3. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    In addition to that:
    the 5420 is a good guitar, basically. Neck and body is real nice, but the hardware is cheap (and I guess most of you'll have to agree) and the stock Pkups are, hmm, "Blacktop Filtertrons" , but they don't sound like Filtertrons should sound.

    It's a real good basic for better parts, better hardware, and finally the "right" Pkups turns this good and still affordable guitar into a real good guitar: a Professional Electromatic in the tradition of the vintage Electromatics.
    Korean made guitars are really good nowadays, it seems Korea is the new Japan when it comes to instruments, whilst Japan took the place where the US guitars once stood (besides custom shop instruments).

    But due to the need of mods Gretsch Electromatics are pricy, and you'll have to pay more for the GRETSCH on the headstock. Try a GUILD (made in the same korean plant) and you know what I mean.
     
  4. Nick_66

    Nick_66 Electromatic

    8
    Mar 8, 2017
    The Netherlands
    Hi all,

    I am now the proud owner of the latest Gretsch G5420T in the color orange. Will try to post some pictures soon. The guitar already sounds very nice unplugged! Very resonate sound.

    Only thing I am concerned about is the string action. Some strings tend to rattle a bit on the frets. The neck is completely straight. There is no up-bow or back-bow to be seen. Shouldn't there be some up-bow?

    What would be the best way adjusting the string action?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  5. Nick_66

    Nick_66 Electromatic

    8
    Mar 8, 2017
    The Netherlands
    Sorry, but I don't think the hardware is that cheap. The tuners are okay and for an amateur like me I really do like the sound of the pickups. I can't compare my guitar to a more expensive Gretsch and how it should sound with Filtertron PU's. I don't play in a band and only by myself at home. I have a cheap Fender Mustang III V2 amp and it sounds great!

    Overall, I am very pleased with this guitar and the looks of it.
     
  6. Joey L

    Joey L Gretschie

    363
    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    IMG_0652.JPG I have 2016 model and have no problem with the tuners. I thought I would need to upgrade, but the guitar stays in tune with the correctly cut Nut that came through. I did install TV Jones Classics as well as a roller bridge I had in my parts draw. Luckily, it had the same radius. I hangs pick ups in all of my guitars (In luring my Gibsons, Fenders) to get the tone I am looking for in the guitar. The bigsby works smoothly with the New Reverend Smooth Spring ($10).
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  7. Henry

    Henry Friend of Fred

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    The new 5420 electronics seem a big step up over previous generations. I have a 2014/2015 5622 and everything is fine and great except the pots.
     
  8. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    That's cool, glad to see you're happy with your Gretsch.

    Tuners are the last suspects when it comes to tuning issues. It's the missing comfort and smootheness of the stock tuners.

    That's true. It's the same guitar with some cosmetics and a treble bleed.
     
  9. Aymara

    Aymara Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Yes, this is called "neck relief" and is needed to avoid fret buzz, especially between the 8th fret and the nut. Fret buzz closer to the bridge is a sign for a too low action, so the bridge needs to be raised ... usually a bit higher on the bass string side.

    A new guitar usually needs a setup, that means especially adjustment of trussrod, which sets the needed neck relief, and bridge height, which adjusts the action of the strings.

    Search Youtube for guitar setup and trussrod adjustment to learn more about the details, like in this example:



    If you look at the trussrod adjustment screw ... from the headstock in the bridge direction ... and turn it clockwise, you streighten the neck and reduce neck relief. Turning it counter clockwise increases neck relief. This needs to be done with the strings tuned to your desired tuning. Important is to only adust an 1/8 turn at once and then wait at least half an hour. It's also wise to only adjust 1/4 turn per day and wait over night until the neck has settled.
    To measure the neck relief, place a capo at the first fret and fret the high E string, where the neck meets the body. Then check the gap between the 8th fret and the high E string. If it is that small, that a standard business card fits in this gap without lifting the string, but filling the gap, the minimum neck relief is set. On a guitar with perfectly leveled frets, this neck relief is just right. On non-pro guitars usually a bit more is needed.

    When the neck relief is set, you can adjust the bridge height, which should be done with the strings loosened ... as an orientation ... a low action has around 2mm on the high E and 2.5mm on the low E at the 12th fret.

    PS: If you're anxious to do it yourself or don't achieve the desired buzz free action, search for a good tech, who has experience with Bigsby equipped hollow bodies. This is important, because an unexperienced tech can make things worse ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  10. Dave-B

    Dave-B Synchromatic

    Age:
    51
    669
    May 23, 2016
    Scotland
    Chris - what additional considerations are there when setting up for a Bigsby-equipped hollow body, compared to say setting up a LP? I've been setting up my Gretsch guitars just like any solid body (level frets > adjust neck relief > adjust nut slots > intonation & action > pickup heights) and haven't had any issues so far, but I'm always keen to learn more.
     
  11. Wozob

    Wozob Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Welcome to the forum Nick.

    The neck should not be totally straight. If the strings only buzz on the lower frets, close to the nut, you can loosen the truss rod a bit. If the strings buzz only on the higher frets, you can tighten the truss rod and probably need to raise the action a bit. If the strings buzz on all frets you should raise the action. Be careful when adjusting the truss rod. Use small increments and let it settle for a while. Check again and if needed, repeat.

    Or just take the guitar to a tech for a pro setup.
    Enjoy your new G5420!
     
  12. Aymara

    Aymara Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Just remember, what setup problems users report on several forums and what some of them report regarding tech experience. And how often did we have such reports here at GT, where the tech setup was worse than before?

    That's so far the general problem, that some techs don't deserve this job description, because they leave the impression of being rookies.

    Knowing this, just remember too, that some Bigsby newbies have even issues with restringing, though they aren't unexperienced in general.

    And sometimes strange things happen, like this:



    So knowing a good tech with Gretsch or at least Bigsby experience might come in handy ;)
     
  13. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    That's a very common problem especially on the B6 V-cut.
     
  14. Aymara

    Aymara Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Yes, and now imagine, you don't know much of guitar setups and you bring such a Gretsch to a tech, who never setup a Bigsby guitar ... fail ... disappointment. That's why a tech should be wisely chosen, if possible ... some people live in areas, where techs and luthiers are a rare species ;)
     
    Stefan likes this.
  15. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    That's one reason for this great forum!
     
    Henry likes this.
  16. Nick_66

    Nick_66 Electromatic

    8
    Mar 8, 2017
    The Netherlands
    Is there an easy way to place pictures here on this forum? I want to share some of my pictures which I have stored in Google Photo's.

    This is the only way I have found to share some of my pictures:

    https://goo.gl/photos/fddywnPTYvRCxLAx9
     
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    You can upload them here. Look for the big orange "Upload a file" button. It's right below the reply button.
     
  18. Above Dimension

    Above Dimension Electromatic

    82
    Jun 8, 2015
    Bulgaria
    True,hardware is really good I like it a lot I'll never change anything on that guitar.But I'll look forward to try a Gretsch with DynaSonic pups,who knows I may find an old 5120 and try to fit the Dynasonics or maybe TV Jones Classic.By the way check a track I made using my beloved G5420T https://soundcloud.com/savanaviolenta/bbking-surffin
     
  19. Nick_66

    Nick_66 Electromatic

    8
    Mar 8, 2017
    The Netherlands
    Hi,

    Now owning my new G5420T for a couple of months I ran into one problem with this guitar and that is the selector switch. When I select the bridge pickup sometimes there is no output at all. I'll have to wiggle the switch a couple of times. Using contactspray won't work I guess, because I can't reach the contacts so I will have to take out the switch. What shall I do: replace the switch or just take it out and use some contact spray?
     
  20. Nick_66

    Nick_66 Electromatic

    8
    Mar 8, 2017
    The Netherlands
    Thanks, still have to upload a couple of pictures! o_O
     
    Ricochet likes this.