Electromatic models made in China - your impressions?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by DHart, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    What he said. I have a classic vibe tele from China tat is quite lovely , and for that matter, I've had some duds from Indonesia but I also have two really nice Hamers from there.
  2. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    IMO Indonesia is closing in and improving fast. And they have one major advantage over Japan, China, and Korea... Wood sources.
    DHart and montereyjack66 like this.
  3. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    Man! Now THERE'S a double edged sword!
    DHart likes this.
  4. NJDevil

    NJDevil Gretschie

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    In my opinion, the Eastman may be an exception in that they are hand made. I have played well over a dozen in the last 2+ years and love every single one. I've heard the wiring is subpar on the Electromatic MIC but that is just from various players' comments in recent years and I am far from being proficient on the technical side....I'm lucky I can change the strings!
  5. dreamingGretsch

    dreamingGretsch Gretschie

    Oct 12, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have no problem buying China made guitars.. There are really nice guitars coming out of China thats of quality..

    with Gretsches, I have bought a Korean made G5420T, and based on what I got, bought sight unseen, I was shocked at the quality of the guitar for the price.. Definitely these Korean made Gretsches are super worth the money.. I havent tried a Gretsch from China, but based on all the T-type, S-type and other guitars I have tried and bought, sold, used, owned have been really good.. Im glad that there are guitars in that price range that I can afford, and Im not priced out unlike buying US made guitars or even Japanese...

    The Eastmans are exception.. you can really feel the quality of the guitars they make.

    with that said, I want my Gretsches to be at the very least, Korean made. because thats what I had, and would like to have again..
  6. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Country Gent

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    Keep in mind, It is the Fender folks that contract factories over seas to produce Guitars. Including to the China factory. My own pocket book, what I'm able to afford and the desire to acquire a specific product is what dictates my consumer spending decisions. The where it's made or comes from dosen't matter to me as long as there are no human rights violations in the production of the product.
    dak55 likes this.
  7. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Country Gent

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I hear you. Just keep in mind that there are members that belong to this wonderful forum from all over there world who enjoy the Gretsch Brand as you and I do. We are fortunate to have this wonderful forum and the ability communicate with amazing people from everywhere.
    DHart likes this.
  8. Markkkky

    Markkkky Gretschie

    Aug 26, 2017
    I have a Chinese Airline H59 and it beats everything I own including a 1955 USA gretsch.
    Charlie westside likes this.
  9. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
  10. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Absolutely... it's an awesome forum, focused on a line of truly awesome guitars! We're fortunate, indeed.

    And... it's good to hear so many people who are pleased with the product quality they are getting from Gretsch's Chinese guitar makers.
    section2, Tadhg and Charlie westside like this.
  11. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Gents, I deleted a few posts here. I’m certain that no one intended to cross the line, but this could be considered political commentary, so it has to go. I also deleted one post which quoted one of the posts in question.

    I wish I could solve all of this, but I can’t. There are a lot of political issues in our world today but we can’t solve them at G-T.

    Now, speaking of guitars . . . :)
    DHart and Charlie westside like this.
  12. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I think this thread is missing a more central point of construct. What you guys aren't considering is the MEDIA from which these guitars are made, its not a location, or a culture or race or whatever.
    BUT... A basswood Jet is NOT A FREAKIN Gretsch Jet. Nor is a slightly routed jet shaped guitar body made from Basswood. A jet is heavily routed Mahogany w a pressed maply ply top and mahogany neck with either dynas or filtertrons. Anything that strays is a stray. :) Also the quality of wood ply counts too. Take a look at shop plywood at Home Depot versus kiln dried, void free cabinetry laminated wood.. I guarantee a good yamaha piano is not made from streamliner plywood. :) ..wait ..huh??

    ..carry on.

    Ricochet and DHart like this.
  13. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Is this a traditional view of the woods used? I actually quite like basswood as a body wood. I find my Basswood bodied Strat to be a very resonant and light guitar. I would think basswood would make a fine Jet body or even a Penguin. I have never ruled out a guitar just because of the woods used.
    TV the Wired Turtle and new6659 like this.
  14. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Good point, TV. A Jet is not a Jet is not a Jet.

    But whatever a guitar is made of, if it pleases the buyer/owner, all is good.
    Telechamp, section2 and new6659 like this.
  15. capnhiho

    capnhiho Gretschie

    Feb 16, 2013
    I guess the Electromatic Double Jet I just bought qualifies as a Jet: mahogany body, maple cap, mahogany neck. The only “unconventional” detail is the black walnut fretboard.

    Edited to add that it has Blacktop Filter’Trons too.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Removed the @DHart quote since the original was deleted.

    There is no magic button to change the economic landscape. There will always be people who want(or need) the cheapest stuff available. That's reality everywhere on this planet. Hurah for cheap imports right?

    What I do notice is a large contingent of people getting increasingly annoyed by disposable non service-able stuff and accompanying box store attitudes.
    Enter guys like Tavo/Nocturne and a slew of other boutique builders. Offering unique, top drawer products without compromise to quality.
    It’s a different mind set alltogether, and it just takes a bit of time to see the value of an "old school" approach to manufacturing and accept it comes with a corresponding price tag. I truly believe if you build it they will come... It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.
  17. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    I've got two guitars made in China (G5435TCG and G5220 gold top) and two made in Japan (G6659 and G6228). The construction of all these guitars is excellent. There are certainly differences in the hardware and electronics used but the Chinese guitars are more than acceptable for any purpose and a tremendous value. So far, I haven't felt the need to upgrade any component on the Chinese guitars. I think this speaks more to modern methods of manufacturing and the tolerances which can be achieved with CNC machines than the skills of workers in any particular country.

    If the Chinese are capable of making cameras for Nikon (which they have), they are certainly more than capable of making guitars for Gretsch.
    Tadhg likes this.
  18. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    It looks like Gretsch is now moving some of the Korean-made Electromatics over to China - the center block models, like the 5622T, which was Korean made in recent years. I have one of these Korean 5622T models and it's an awesome guitar - with Super Hilo'trons. The new model 5622T, Made in China, will have Broad'trons, unfortunately.

    Apparently the hollow Electro models will stay with the Korean manufacturer.
  19. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal

    Again, this shouldnt even be part of the discussion. AnyBODY anyWHERE in the World with the proper skill and proper equipment can replicate the same thing. But you cant use basswood dawlgawnit on a Jet, if your gonna call it a Jet. Youre gonna have to call it a new-jet, neo-jet, son-of-a-jet, Jet'ter .....but if you are Gretsch and you are selling a Duo-Jet, then it needs to be made like they made them in Brooklyn. Yes you get what you pay for, and no an asian built for less than $1000 Duojet isnt going to feel like a USA made custom shop Steven Stern built $5000+ Duo-Jet.. but you can at least use the proper same wood constructions. I love it when things are constructed historically and continue to hold to tradition, even if new methods of construction are introduced or modifications for ease of use are added..but when we Duo-Jet, we:
    • Mahogany body
    • Mahogany, Neck
    • Lam. Maple Top
    • Dynasonic/DeArmond single coils
    • Filtertrons
    = Duojet

  20. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Not to mention computers and devices for Apple. China is obviously capable of building to whatever standards they are instructed to build to - usually with the help of US companies setting the standards and leading the way.

    The Chinese now have the know-how and technology to copy or create almost anything that man can do.
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