Gretsch 5420t Fret Marker Ideas

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by hendrix9001, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. hendrix9001

    hendrix9001 Electromatic

    Feb 19, 2020
    Pittsburgh, PA
    To begin, this thread is one of the main reasons why I joined the Gretsch-Talk Forum. In the coming days, you guys will begin to see the other questions I have about my 5420t, but today's topic is my favorite by far. Anything I say in this thread is just my personal opinion, and I really want other's opinions as well on the topic.

    When I first began to look into buying a Gretsch, I began to do what I always do, look waaaaay out of my price range. 6120s began to fill my thoughts, simply because every aspect of them is something I wanted in my future Gretsch. The only thing holding me back from clicking that Buy it Now button was the $2k+ price tag I would see on most (something a college student like myself who isn't making a supportive-of-my-habits salary could handle).

    So now what? The choice that made the most sense for my budget was the G5420t, a guitar that I found very pretty and fit well in my hands. I made sure that I got a newer edition of the Electromatic line because I did not enjoy the "Electromatic" on the headstock and preferred the bound f-holes and headstock.

    Long story short I found the right one. I fell in love with it and I love to customize it anywhere I can. My only gripe is the fret markers. I have always loved larger fret markers like blocks or humpblocks. The thumbnail inlays really don't do it for me, which I know is 100% personal preference.

    I did some research and I began to fall in love with the fret markers found on Hofners and other 1950s archtops. I provided some pictures below of the guitars that really peaked my interest.
    So my main questions are:
    1. Has anyone done any thumbnail fretboard marker/inlay coverup jobs on Gretsches, especially G5420ts?
    2. Is buying pearloid self-adhesive sheets and cutting out strips to stick on the fretboard a bad idea?
    3. Does anyone have any different ideas on fretboard customization?

    Thanks y'all!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  2. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I’ve seen those vinyl decals, but I’m imaging they need replacing after a year or two. That might actually not be so bad.
    hendrix9001 likes this.
  3. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    I didn't like the small thumbnail markers at first but after a while I got so used to them that when I swap guitars and play, say, a hump block, it throws me off a bit at first.
    hendrix9001 and G DynaTron like this.
  4. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    There are some sellers on Etsy and eBay who make pearloid inlay stickers at affordable prices. Me, I love the thumbnail inlays, but it can't hurt to give the inlay stickers a try if you want to customize.

    Let's see pics of your 5420!
    hendrix9001 and Merc like this.
  5. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    May 31, 2018
    I'm also not a fan aesthetically of thumbnail inlays. You might want to check Neck Illusions out. Lots of cool options there. To cover the thumbnails effectively you need to cover the whole fretboard. There may be other sites but this is the only one I've found. Pic below is from my 5655TG.

  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Don`t do it.
    If the mod is inreversible you will regret it for sure.
    At latest when you will have to sell it one day.
    dak55, hendrix9001 and new6659 like this.
  7. Lister

    Lister Electromatic

    Oct 25, 2019
    That looks great! Thanks for posting the link.
    dak55 and hendrix9001 like this.
  8. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    May 31, 2018
    At least with the Neck Illusions ones Frank, they are supposed to be reusable at least one more time and the claim is they leave no residue. Time will tell but in 6 or so months I'll lift one at the 23rd fret on the Gretsch and verify. So if the claim is correct they are a reversible mod. I'm not sure about the cheaper ones that just cover dots but to say I've had this set on a Tele neck for about a year.I replaced one of them and it did leave a little sticky residue but was easily cleaned. But you are spot on, if they prove to be irreversible you'll limit your buyers.

    hendrix9001 and loudnlousy like this.
  9. hendrix9001

    hendrix9001 Electromatic

    Feb 19, 2020
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Here's a picture of it, sorry for how low-light it is, I have no idea why it's that dark. But the pearloid block inlays I want to do, like the ones above, will hopefully match pretty closely to the pickguard's bright white.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    The Box likes this.
  10. hendrix9001

    hendrix9001 Electromatic

    Feb 19, 2020
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I adore the way this and the tele neck look. Has the playability changed at all with them on? And did you get matte or glossy finish when you ordered them?
  11. hendrix9001

    hendrix9001 Electromatic

    Feb 19, 2020
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I was looking on Neck Illusions' website and found the set pictured below. My best chances of replicating the blocks shown like the ones above are through this method I think. I'll just get the whole set, and only use the ones that go on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc. frets. I'm still open to any other suggestions though, and still would love to see what others have done whilst customizing their fretboards. Screen Shot 2020-02-22 at 10.18.56 AM.png
  12. GlenP

    GlenP Synchromatic

    Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    new6659 and hendrix9001 like this.
  13. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    May 31, 2018
    The Neck Illusion one changed nothing for me on playability and feel. I used Matte. The individual ones on the Tele neck you can feel a little.

    If it was me I would cover the whole distance between frets rather than leave the space above and below like your 2 examples. But hey it's not my guitar.:D:p:D:p
    hendrix9001 likes this.
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