Gretsch g5220 vs g6228 comparison

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by TSims1, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    So I’ve been enjoying my new 6228 so much that I decided I HAD to go up to the store to compare the similar looking 5220 to the 6228 side by side and see if the price difference between the two made sense. So I did.

    The 5220........first impression is that they feel much heavier than the 6228. My personal 6228 comes in at just over 6 1/2 lbs. On average from the multiple examples of 5220’s I’d say they weigh around 2lbs more. Still no Les Paul, but one of the great joys of my 6228 is the light weight.

    5220 neck........vs the 6228 it’s definitely chunkier. Not what I’d consider a chunky neck, but certainly thicker than the 6228. More shoulder. This is a preference thing. I usually like a bit bigger neck, but in this instance I prefer the 6228 because it feels so perfectly executed and smooth all the way up and down.

    Nut.......5220 nut looks and feels cheaper, though I’m not sure what it’s made of. The 6228 TUSQ nut is perfectly cut n dressed. Beautiful.

    Tuners.......the 5220 tuners are fine. They are mostly smooth and hold tune well. The 6228 locking tuners are smooth as silk and certainly an upgrade.

    Fretwork.....the 5220 frets feel good. Solid workmanship, no issues. The 6228 fretwork is impeccable.

    Finish.......the finish on the 5220 is rather good. Not perfect, but shockingly good for the price range imo. The 6228 fit n finish is absolutely PERFECT however. Can’t find a doggone bit of slop or imperfection ANYWHERE. Feels very uptown and expensive.

    Tone.......I like Blacktops in general for rock and the Broad’Tron Blacktops don’t disappoint. If I owned one, I would not upgrade pickups cause I think they are well suited to the guitar. The Shaw Broad’Tron’s on the 6228 are in another class completely though. They are INCREDIBLE imo. Maybe my very favorite......nah I’ll say very favorite pickups I’ve ever had in any Gretsch I’ve ever owned. Big and 3D and just make me smile. They have all the good top end and chime that Gretsch is known for, but not the fragile almost sharp delicate point that TVs can have for instance. They work much better for effects and juicing an amp IMHO. I LOVE them. The 5220 has a treble bleed(cool), while the 6228 has a no-load tone pot(very cool)AND treble bleed on master volume(cool).

    Gingerbread........the binding and fretmarkers on the 5220s are bright white and the blocks on the 5220 look cheap up close. No biggie, it just is what it is. The binding and the blocks on the 6228 are aged without the harsh brightness. The blocks look expensive and quality up close. And the 6228 gets the script logo on the headstock, whereas the 5220 gets the standard logo.

    Playability.......the 5220 plays well. It feels solid and sounds good plugged in, if a little dead unplugged. The 6228 plays effortlessly and sounds flippin incredible plugged in and zingy/alive acoustically. The body really resonates well.

    So all in all? About what I expected. I’m a fan of the Electro Jets in general. I think they are fantastic guitars that punch well above their weight. I wouldn’t change anything on them other than MAYBE locking tuners, but you wouldn’t have to.

    The 6228 is a perfect guitar however. I find no fault in it, but instead just enjoy a perfectly executed instrument that absolutely smokes market competition.

    The 5220 is a great guitar that will satisfy most people easily. But when you do side-by-sides with a Proline Gretsch, you do see feel and hear why they cost more. Is it worth it? You bet. To me. Maybe to you. But if your budget does NOT allow for a Proline, the 5220 is a screamin guitar that you can rock and be proud of. You MAY have black then you can just tell people the guitar is so hot it burns you. :)

    GREAT JOB with the newest generation of Jets Gretsch!! Keep up the awesome work!
    Blue333, dswo, Waxhead and 9 others like this.
  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Great write-up, thanks Tony. I'm not a fan of these hardtails, but I do think they both look incredible. I have this idea that they differ in top construction, but don't know for sure. I think Bruno confirmed the Electromatics were well-chambered with a thick maple cap. The 6228s have a laminated maple top. I'm assuming this is a thin pressed top, right? That fact to me makes a huge difference, and worth the upcharge, even if the whole point is lost by using a hardtail/TOM setup. I bet this is why you have live/zingy acoustic sound...
    TSims1 likes this.
  3. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Thanks for the great comparison.

    I’m wondering if they may change the fretboard in NAMM 2019 on the 5220 so no more black fingers. It’s the one thing that’s kept me back from buying one and I’m sure I’m not the only person. Still a great guitar for the money though.
    stratohiker and TSims1 like this.
  4. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    This is a great review and really credit to Gretsch for creating two similar guitars at different price points that provide value to consumers.

    Do you think the Tim Shaw Broadtrons are similar to Powertrons or other TVJs, or completely different (for Gretsch pickups, at least)?

    I must say, the other day I went to my local store to check out the broadcasters and new jets. As Tony said, they are impeccable and beautifully done. Right next to the display were 2 Gibson Firebirds, which seemed overpriced. On these Firebirds, the middle pary is raised above the two sides, like a plateau. On both of them, in the right angle where the plateau meets the body, there was finish missing, like someone did not go back over it to fill in that area - these were not reliced guitars. I can't remember the price but it was over $1500. I mean, these were GLARING flaws and were the first thing I noticed. I didn't notice any finish issues on the electro or proline jet
    TSims1 likes this.
  5. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013

    Yeah, in a day of manufacturers charging over $1k for a mid-priced guitar and shipping out even more expensive guitars with issues that should NOT be acceptable.......Gretsch is cranking out incredible products. I'm actually very proud of where Gretsch is at currently. They are killing it.

    The Shaw Broadtrons........I wouldn't necessarily compare them to any Filter I've tried before. There is more bass there and more body, yet losing NONE of the classic Filter upper mids and presence. It's truly like the best combo of singles and humbuckers that speak in a Filter voice......unique to my ears. They take effects better than any Filter I've tried.
  6. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    6.5lbs x 0.453 = 2.95kg for your G6228, Tsims, so yes, it's very light... Think that a Strat is at 3.6kg. Forget my G5622TLH (avatar) which reaches 4.2kg, as well as my 1980 LH Gibson ES335-TD...

    My G5220LH right out of the box, unmodded, weighted 3.4kg, that said circa 15% more.

    Exact, BorderRadio. Then It would explain the difference in weight with the G6228.

    That said, it must also be noted that the price ratio is nonetheless circa 4 : 1 between the 2 models. The wallet even makes a greater weight difference too, if I can say so ! ;):D

    Here are the UE price tags from Thomann :

    G5220LH :

    G6228LH :

    Waxhead, BorderRadio and TSims1 like this.
  7. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013

    And I’ll say if I hadn’t spent some time with the 6228, I would have been happy with the 5220. But I have......and so am spoiled.......and the 6228 is definitely and unquestionably the better guitar. But for the $? 5220s are cool man. Kinda like 5420s.......great guitars! 6120s are definitely better though. Still.....5420s are cool! :)
    new6659, Waxhead and hcsterg like this.
  8. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Blah, Blah, Blah...Let's hear you play that dang thing!!!!:cool::cool::cool:
    JoeyC810, TSims1 and Henry like this.
  9. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    The black fingers is what kept me from buying a 5220 to scratch my LP itch. Nice review and thanks
  10. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Yes. I read that several times... Strangely, I don't (and never) front(ed) that black fingers issue at all. I can't explain why... o_O

    Did I treated directly the fretboard with Dunlop 65 Lemon oil before playing, while I was modding the guitar ? Sorry I can't remember, but I think I would have noticed any discolouration effect on my wipers while treating it, I guess... o_O

  11. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013

    You might have got lucky.....? Plenty of stories across the web by 5220 owners who have had the black finger syndrome though!
    hcsterg likes this.
  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Yes, that's true, I checked it - many forum members here also complained about that.

    Tsims1, here's a technical request that cross my mind - since you are probably one of the 1st owner of a G6228 here on G-T :

    Would you check with a DMM the DC resistance seen by the jack or your G6228 ?
    - use a guitar jack cord plugged in the guitar, the other jack being tested with the DMM probes in Ohm position.
    - with all controls maxed,
    - in each position of the pickup selector,
    - with a cloth somewhere under the string (to prevent them from the slightest movement that would disturb the measurement).

    Doing this, I will have an idea of the DCR of each of your BroadTron "BT65" pickups and be able to compare it to my G5220LH BroadTron "Chinese" pickups.

    You should read something like 5K, 2.5K and 5k in the different selector position, just to give you an idea of what to read.

    But OK, I really dont know if you have the possibilty to do this, so if it's a hassle for you : don't care, right ? ;)

    Thanks !

  13. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013

    Hmm. Lemme see if I can dig a meter out.......there’s one around here somewhere......
    hcsterg likes this.
  14. jfassett

    jfassett Gretschie

    Dec 9, 2017
    Interesting, I would love to upgrade and put the BT-65 broadtrons in my 5220, however, they are impossible to find. I contacted Gretsch directly and they told me the pickups are unavailable, damn!
  15. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013

    They sound awesome. Maybe when they aren’t so new you’ll find some.
    jfassett likes this.
  16. new6659

    new6659 Gretschie

    Dec 10, 2018
    Southwestern Ontario
    Hi Everyone - sorry I haven't introduced myself before and had hoped to do that in a day or two. I have four recent Gretsch guitars that I have made resistance measurements for: a G5435GTC with blacktop filtertrons, a G5220 goldtop with blacktop Broadtrons, a G6228FM (the bourbon stain one) with Broadtron 65A pickups, and a G6659 VWT with Fulltron 65A (neck) and 62A (bridge position) pickups. Here is what I measured:

    G5435 neck = 4.38 kOhm bridge=4.40 kOhm
    G5220 neck= 5.25 kOhm bridge=5.33 kOhm
    G6228FM neck=5.5 kOhm bridge=5.5 kOhm
    G6659 neck=5.66 kOhm bridge=6.36 kOhm (I need to double check this one when I get a chance).

    I can't guarantee that these are real accurate but are the values I got. They all sound great to me.

    This is a wonderful forum and a valuable resource on these great instruments.

  17. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Welcome to G-T, Ron "new6659" and thanks for your measurements ! ;)

    Did you took them via the jack of the guitar, or did you disconnected them from the wiring to have the real value ?

    Here are those coming from my G5520LH, taken disconnected :

    Here are those coming from sets of DC SHT and BT FT, also taken disconnected ;

    BorderRadio and gtttrrr like this.
  18. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013

    Welcome in, and thanks for the info!! Bourbon Stain is beautiful. I thought long n hard about that one. Ultimately the Caddy Green metallic won out for me, but that Bourbon Stain is absolutely beautiful to behold.

    Take off your coat n stay awhile!
    new6659 likes this.
  19. mschafft

    mschafft Gretschie

    Jan 19, 2017
    Excellent review. If and when the 5220 come with untainted fretboards and different color options I might get one.
  20. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Guys !

    Did you noticed on the pickup pics I enclosed some posts above that they all have the mention BHK in their little sticker ?

    Strangely, these one that I have in a box have that BHK sticker also :


    These come from a "Rockinbetter" copy of a LH Rickenbacker that I had for a time - nothing to do with Gretsch, right ? o_O

    After some search on the web, I found that they were probably built in Korea by a company called BOOHEUNG Precision Machinery. Here's the link below :


    BHK seems to provide pickups to many brands apart Gretsch :

    Well... I may have "discovered hot water" again :confused:, but did you know or have more informations about BHK ?

    @new6659 and TSims1 : did you saw that BHK label under your BT65 pickups ?

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