Gretsch Pro-line, player edition versus G5420T with upgrades? Comparable?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Jockabilly, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Gretschie

    Age:
    46
    497
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Hi all,

    I am interested to hear from those who have both 'high end' Gretsches and G5420's (or other electromatics) on how they measure up.

    Mine is a limited edition model in orange with TV Classics and bound f-holes (thomann limited edition from 2015). How would you say these compare to the players editions? I want a Double Anni in two tone smoke but the question is do I need one? Do you get much more from Japanese built over Korean or are you paying for higher labour costs and a classic design rather than a much better guitar?
     
  2. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    It’s a tough call now & I think ... do i really want a Pro line because it’s a Pro line... if you know what i mean.
    I have both.
    2005 White Falcon & a 2016 G5420T in Fairlane Blue.
    My 5420 is stock apart from a couple of little cosmetic bits. The stock Blacktops are really great IMO... I like them a lot.
    My Falcon has HS Filtertrons that i do think sound a lot better than the Blacktops.
    I held off buying a Pro line for a long time as i was so happy with the 5420s (I’ve had 3 5420s down to one now) The latest line of Electromatics are so damn good that they’re not far off Pro line quality.
    I bought the Falcon because it came up at an amazing price & i’d always wanted one since i was a kid.
    So i think if you have a heavily modded 5420 there probably isn’t a lot of difference now.
    & you could buy a 5420 do the mods & it would probably still be a lot cheaper than buying a new 6120 for £2,800
    At the end of the day you have to do what you feel is right for you. My Falcon has become my number one gigging guitar for sure.. 360BE431-1F51-4AAB-B452-0ABD04B323AD.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
    diamoroso, unknown fan, j.s.c and 5 others like this.
  3. peterjcb

    peterjcb Gretschie

    151
    Nov 28, 2017
    USA
    I never owned a Gretsch until this year. I now own a highly modified 5120 and a 5124 which is untouched. Both are very nice instruments.
    I recently had GAS for a 6120 Setzer Hot Rod and acquired a mint 2013 model in flat black. Sad to say that I hardly pick up the 5120 anymore.
    I will always keep the 5124 just for the Dearmond pickups alone but I will most likely sell the 5120.

    The neck on the 6120 is what really makes the difference. Pickups can be changed and most other stuff can also be modified but you can't replace the neck and that's there real heart of the 6120....worth the extra money IMO.
    Don't make the mistake of buying a guitar based on price, buy what turns you on.
     
    LongJohn, emitex and Trash Kidd like this.
  4. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I wondered the same thing. My 5129 electromatic is a babe, and sounds like a honey, but the neck is a little fatter than what i’m used to. But I’ve decided to just get used to it! Cuz she rocks!

    On the other hand, my G2622 streamliner is a cheap Indonesian guitar with so many mods, that the ONLY stock pieces left are the body, neck, and b70.
    The neck on this thing is UNREAL! Just perfect in every way. It’s a “streamliner” in name, i’d say she plays and sounds like a top shelf instrument.

    Someday i’ll own an orange 1958 6120 chet with original filtertrons like Poison Ivy played (or a reissue that matches).
    But till that happens, I’m more than happy with what i got going.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  5. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Gretschie

    Age:
    46
    497
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Is the 6120 neck slim or fat? The neck on my 5420 actually seems really slim in my big mitts compared to my Ibanez S470, two strats and my Les Pauls and the string spacing suits me down to the ground. I think the only guitar I have which feels like a slimmer neck is my SG.

    If I am honest the only thing I don't really like about my 5420, and I am worried about saying this on here as I guess it could be called sacreligious, is that it's Orange and I don't really dig Orange much. I love Eddie Cochran and I dig Setzer but I don't dig the colour Orange, I think I have a problem and need to see a good Rock'n'Roll doctor.

    If I do get the loot together and buy myself a Double Anni (I have always had a real soft spot for that two tone green) I suspect that it will have as much to do with the wee voice in the back of my head telling me that it's a 'proper' Gretsch as it will have to do with it actually being a much better guitar but, even then, the wee voice will say "but it's not an original Made in the USA Gretsch" and so the cycle will continue. I can't say that I have ever found a guitar that makes any appreciable difference to my abilities as a guitarist.
     
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  6. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    You don’t dig the orange?! Well, it’s not for everyone. I’d love an orange gretch someday.
    What color would you prefer?
    I hear ya in-terms of the internal voice saying “it’s not a proper Gretsch” but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, than it probably isn’t a chicken.
    I used to feel that way about my mexican telecaster, but when i bought it, I tried out a few american ones, and none of the ones I played could compare with how my sexy mexi felt and sounded, so I got over it.
     
    Andrew Griffin and Alberta_Slim like this.
  7. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Gretschie

    Age:
    46
    497
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Hmm..... I would like something like say a sunburst but not an ordinary sunburst. In my mind's eye I can see it starting as chrome at the edges, turning into a turquoise and the centre as a real royal purple. Like that will ever happen though.

    I know what you are saying about the risk of disappointment when you reach what you thought you wanted. A couple of decades ago I bought an American Fender Strat after having only ever being able to afford what I thought of as cheap Far Eastern (mainly Japanese made) guitars. In the shop I was all starry eyed, signed the 0% finance offer and walked out of the shop. After a few days, when the 'New Guitar Haze' had worn off and I started to see it properly I realised that the finish had quite a few flaws and the tone set my teeth on edge no matter what I tried. It was one of the few guitars I have ever handled that I couldn't get comfortable playing and I have played ancient Hofner and Framus guitars with insane fretboard radii and huuuuuugggggeeee actions. I sold that guitar and got just over half what I paid for it months before I had to cough up the full purchase price to the finance company. Boy that mistake stung!
     
  8. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Oh man, that’s rough. Yeah, the japanese or mexican fenders feel really just as good to me as the USA mades. They need a proper set up, and maybe some mods/upgrades here and there, but I don’t need a fender to be American.
    When i’m rich, i’ll buy a vintage American Gretsch. Maybe...
     
    Jockabilly likes this.
  9. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
    Proline is a better guitar. Definitely. But an Electro is a GREAT guitar for the price.
     
  10. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    62
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    I occasionally get a hankering for a Strat. It's always the 80s Japanese ones that draw me.
     
    Axis39, calebaaron666 and Jockabilly like this.
  11. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    You got a couple beauts there, Thrashy! I like the "G" brand sticker on the 5420. I was thinking about making one of those for my 5129.
     
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  12. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Gretschie

    Age:
    46
    497
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Do you not worry taking a White Falcon out in public though @Trash Kidd ?
    Especially in the pub scene it can be real hell on instruments. Double Bass player I used to play with had a drunk nip onto the stage in a pub when he turned his back and try to have a go at his bass. He managed to snap one of his seriously expensive strings and put his foot through the side of the bass (Trying to emulate a skilled Double Bass showman) before anyone could stop him. Mind you the Bassist took the cost out of his hide (He was an ex-Argyll and Sutherland Highlander). Another guy I used to know on the folk scene let a guy see his handbuilt five grand acoustic and the idiot dropped it and did no small amount of damage. I reckon that, if I was going into that level of cost, I would need to be insured to take it out amongst the public.
     
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  13. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    There’s an old saying...
    A ship is safest when it’s in port,
    But that is not what a ship is for.
     
  14. Davos

    Davos Gretschie

    106
    Jan 18, 2018
    Alaska
    I can’t comment on the 5420, but my 5120 is nothing compared to my 6120. From my experience it is totally worth the money to just get the pro. Now, if that’s not an option then a modded electro is a great guitar for the price.
     
  15. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Electromatic

    33
    Sep 28, 2018
    New Zealand
    I've had a G5422TDC and a G5420 for years. Thought they were awesome quality (they are). I just picked up a '14 G6131TVP in Firebird red, my first professional collection Gretsch. I have to say, I never thought I'd care about the build quality... but dang... this thing is on a whole other level in my opinion. It's hard to describe... it just FEELS so much nicer..
     
  16. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Long time Electro player, just recently playing Prolines. The difference is in finishing details, materials, and in some cases historic authenticity. Otherwise, Electros are just as much the real deal, and there is no magic fairy dust in the MIJs—you’ll still sound like you in the end. That said, I’m selling one Electro because the closest Proline version is really that much better (Scripty Duo Jet/T-Armond > Electro Jet w/ DeArmond 2000s).
     
  17. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    If you strip both guitars completely you‘ve got roughly the same. Differences are Hardware and Electronics, maybe some minor finish details (besides historic authenticity and colors, like BorderRadio said). The orange on your 5420 isn‘t the typical Gretsch orange, I‘ve owned the same guitar two years ago. The newer series are better.
     
    Jockabilly and Robbie like this.
  18. Davos

    Davos Gretschie

    106
    Jan 18, 2018
    Alaska
    I could not disagree more. I’d say the add ons on an electromatic are what gives it any value. Play an electro next to a proline without plugging in and there is no comparison
     
  19. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    You‘re welcome. That’s not my experience anyway and I know you’ve got to justify your Pro. Tell us the differences please, didn‘t know that the korean made Gretsches got no value without modding.
     
    TW4990 likes this.
  20. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    I know what your saying but to me guitars are for playing not just admiring...
    Most of the gigs we play are on the London club circuit (proper venues rather than local pubs) If there’s not a lockable/safe dressing room/backstage area the Falcon stays with me at all times...
     
    sh4rkbyt3, unknown fan, Henry and 5 others like this.
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