ANY MAJOR 5420 SPEC CHANGES IN THE LAST FEW YEARS?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by 53Rockets, May 16, 2019 at 6:02 AM.

  1. 53Rockets

    53Rockets Electromatic

    71
    Oct 14, 2018
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Hi all, I've been looking at/pricing out lefty 5420's. Any significant spec changes which make anything between 2015 and 2019 better than another year. Cosmetically i prefer the neo classic fret marker over the hump inlay, but is there a huge reason to buy an older vs a 2019 OTHER than saving a few bucks because one is used? If anyone has a favourite year or something i can try to track down the info is always appreciated.
     
  2. Fasteddie42

    Fasteddie42 Electromatic

    21
    Sep 18, 2018
    tip of the mitt
  3. kjmac

    kjmac Gretschie

    237
    Mar 7, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    I believe they added the tone bleed circuit in 2017 and at some point they went from a floating bridge to a fixed bridge. I owned an earlier 20teens Orange stain and had some issues I didn't like. It had Electromatic inlaid in the headstock, had a floating bridge and the tone was muddy at lower volumes. I then bought a 2017 model G5420T in red sparkle and all those things were changed. The only place it says Electromatic is in small letters on the pick guard and you get full tone at lower volumes. I especially appreciate the pinned bridge. Easier to retune when changing strings. I say go new.
     
    Pop1655 likes this.
  4. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    782
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Yep. I think those changes were made at some point in 2016. I know they changed the headstock to remove the Electromatic logo in 2016; not sure whether they added the treble bleed and pinned the bridge at the same time.
     
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    • Treble bleed
    • Alpha pots
    • Small headstock lacking „Electromatic“ moniker
    • Yellowed binding
    • Better QC
    • Secured bridge (bad idea)
     
  6. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    719
    Feb 3, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    I was surprised at how much I like the blacktops. Get a new one .. a lot of great upgrades.. the construction and finish is exceptional ...one thing I don't like is the Allen wrench truss rod assembly and tuners.
     
    CaliforniaSlim and budglo like this.
  7. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Synchromatic

    729
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    The headstock was the most important change made. The lesser string angle from the nut to the tuners improved tuning stability, and IMHO looks much nicer than the larger 2015 and prior models.
     
    section2 likes this.
  8. johnny g

    johnny g Synchromatic

    763
    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    The nut was changed from Derlin (plastic) to a Graphtech , as said before, Inlays to thumbnail. They also went to a fixed bridge from a floating one. Still no jack plate or case for the new ones. I also think the controls are better quality than before.
     
  9. budglo

    budglo Electromatic

    38
    Feb 26, 2019
    Ohio
    I just bought one a few months ago and am blown away by the quality . Really great instrument tbh.
     
    sh4rkbyt3 and CaliforniaSlim like this.
  10. jetbunny

    jetbunny Electromatic

    61
    Mar 29, 2017
    NYC
    I have a 2013 model. Tried the newer ones, looks better.

    The blacktop filters is a class of its own.
     
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
  11. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Good list. Also add Tusq nut.
     
  12. DennisC

    DennisC Gretschie

    Age:
    36
    242
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    Not really, but close to. The nut is made of "NuBone", made by the same company, but somehow a kind of cheapo-TUSQ - often used as original equipment, never as replacement. It is roughly the same, but, as they say, has most of the properties TUSQ has, but at a cheaper price.
     
    Henry likes this.
  13. 53Rockets

    53Rockets Electromatic

    71
    Oct 14, 2018
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Thanks for all the info. It's definitely looking like the Electro's have been stepped up in the last year or so, as far as playability, tone and aesthetics. Even little touches like the binding extending up onto the headstock really add class to the 5420's.
     
    sh4rkbyt3 likes this.
  14. sh4rkbyt3

    sh4rkbyt3 Gretschie

    248
    Mar 8, 2019
    Elkton, MD
    I can't attest to all of the changes (my 2018 5420 was my first Gretsch) but having seen the older Electromatic headstocks I think that was a very wise improvement, made it look cheap previously IMO. The smoothness of rolling the volume and tone pots in either direction are better than any other guitar I own also. No tuning issues at all. And the muddiness at low voume from the controls is definitley gone.
     
  15. jay_mci

    jay_mci Electromatic

    18
    Feb 9, 2019
    indiana
    I have a 2018 5420tg 59 from sweetwater. It looks plays and sounds killer. The treble bleed is a nice touch the aged binding adds a nice touch. My version came with gold pickup surrounds and pickguard and gold knobs and pickups. It is a killer guitar and the price is nice.
     
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