Electromatic models made in China - your impressions?

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

  1. new6659

    new6659 Synchromatic

    531
    Dec 10, 2018
    Southwestern Ontario
    The methods of construction of these guitars and the woods used is decided by FMIC. I would doubt that anyone in the manufacturing country has any input on it other than to specify what it will cost to have them do it to FMIC's specs.
     
    Tadhg and TV the Wired Turtle like this.
  2. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    no doubt but a duck needs to quack like a duck, have wings like a duck, and a bill like a duck to be a duck.. otherwise its
    a duck billed platypus made of basswood :)
     
  3. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    If we see a duck billed platypus on a pick guard and it is built like a Penguin but with a bass wood body maple cap hog neck and t Armonds then we will know who has a new job with Gretsch.
     
    TV the Wired Turtle and Tadhg like this.
  4. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    My '08 Pro jet is chambered mahogany, maple ply top, not sure when they changed to basswood. I have changed every single piece on it to proline stuff though and it is excellent.
     
  5. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    My '07(I think) Pro jet is solid mahogany and the weight will put any LP to shame. :)
     
    Telechamp likes this.
  6. capnhiho

    capnhiho Gretschie

    272
    Feb 16, 2013
    California
    Y’know, my new Jet isn’t basswood.....

    But it does now have a name: The Chinese Platypus


    Thanks, Tavo! ;)
     
    section2 likes this.
  7. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    253
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Which Jets are basswood? Some Electromatics, but not others?

    Does Pro Jet indicate professional one made in Japan?
     
  8. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Strangely enough, "Pro Jet" is the name Gretsch gave to the Electromatic Jets, which are made in China. We here on the forum use the term "pro line" to refer to the professional-grade Gretsches, which are made in Japan. So the Pro Jets are not from the pro line.

    It took me a while to wrap my head around it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    DHart likes this.
  9. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    As for basswood: some (but not all) Electromatic Jet models from the past few years have been made with basswood bodies. Others are chambered mahogany with maple caps. The Gretsch website specifies the body wood for each guitar currently in production; I've always checked there when considering whether to buy an Electromatic Jet.
     
  10. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    Age:
    65
    983
    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    A Pro Jet is an Electromatic - don't confuse Pro Jet with Proline.

    Bottom of the line Club Jets (5426) are basswood with a bolt on neck. All other 5XXX (Electros)bodies are set neck mahogany. I think the 6XXX (Proline - MIJ) are also all mahogany but most have maple tops.

    "Entry level" Prolines $2200 - Electros $550. Personally I love China but someone will say you get what you pay for.
     
    DHart and section2 like this.
  11. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    There are some recent basswood Electromatic Jets aside from the Club Jets. The limited-edition 5435 had a basswood body (which was a shame, because I loved the Fairlane Blue finish but wanted a mahogany body).

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...h-g5435-limited-edition-pro-jet-fairlane-blue

    The Gretsch website doesn't list any basswood Jets in current production, but there are some relatively new ones out there. [EDIT: the website still lists the basswood Jet Club]

    The mahogany Electromatic Jets also have maple caps, though I believe they're constructed differently.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    DHart and dak55 like this.
  12. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    Age:
    65
    983
    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    Sorry, yes you're right. 5220, 5230, and 5232 have maple tops The 5425 which I still see on their site as a Jet Club with a basswood body.
     
    DHart and section2 like this.
  13. Telechamp

    Telechamp Country Gent

    Oct 20, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Yep. Solid mahogany on my '05 as well, and the weight is why I sold it. That thing had to weigh 10-11 pounds..

    But as I mentioned in my earlier post, I wish I had kept it now.. o_O

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    Ricochet likes this.
  14. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I got tired of Gretsch not building what I want for a price that isnt what my 03' Dodge Magnum costs, its called the Rooster. :) I did get talked out of the actual rooster logo because then it would be called the c0<k. Might be normal talk for folks in europe but not here :) :)
     
  15. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Ah, you're right--I should have said that Gretsch isn't currently listing any basswood Jets other than the Jet Club. Fixing my earlier post now...
     
  16. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Yeah, the Pro Jets from that era were boat anchors. I think they started chambering them around 2010 or so. I have a mahogany G5236 Pro Jet from 2011 that's nearly hollow.
     
  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    My Penguin is kind of like a jet, small chambered mahogany body I think maple cap and it is the heaviest guitar I have at over 9lbs, where the basswood Strat is the lightest and so very resonant. I really don’t have preferences it is the sum of the whole that I have to like. Can understand being frustrated trying to get a favorite manufacturer to make a guitar with desired specs to a desired price point. Other than building your own, as consumers our hands are usually tied at this point. I am to indifferent to get worked up over it anymore. Like @TV the Wired Turtle if I can’t get what I want I make it myself or find someone who does!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    section2 and Charlie westside like this.
  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    On second thought I’m actually glad people can’t always get what they want. Imagine if @TV the Wired Turtle got everything just as he wanted it he would have never brought the Nocturne pedals to market! That would be a travesty!
     
    section2 and Charlie westside like this.
  19. DHart

    DHart Gretschie

    253
    Jun 26, 2019
    Arizona
    Speaking of getting a guitar JUST the way you want it... I have a beautiful ES-339 Studio in wine red. I've had it for a few years but rarely ever played it because I lost my appreciation for PAF Humbucker tones... much preferring the sparkly bright and detailed/articulate single coil tones from my Teles.

    Well... after discovering how much some Gretsch pickups can sound detailed and sparkly bright I decided I either needed to sell the ES-339 -OR- install a set of TV Jones TV-HT pickups in it.

    I created an entirely new wiring harness to welcome the TV Jones pickups with. What a bear of a job doing the install, BUT, with a nice assortment of four letter words, I got it done.

    And it sounds FAN-TAB-U-LOUS. Clear, articulate, and sparkly bright. And, best of all, it's a KEEPER now. I love it.

    I also installed a no-solder pickup terminal underneath the bridge pickup, so I can change pickups in it quickly and easily - WITHOUT ever having to pull the guts out again. Created a 500k No-Load tone pot for the neck pickup, as well... for an extra dose of sparkle from the neck.

    For those unfamiliar with the ES-339, it's like an ES-335 but with a smaller body... about 14" across the lower bout - a little bigger than a Les Paul body. I'd say its about the size of a Gretsch Junior semi-hollow body.

    It's my Gret-son ES-339. I'll do a thread on it with pics soon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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