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

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

  1. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    G brand sticker ... $5
    https://www.gretschgear.com/collections/decals-stickers/products/sticker-g-brand-logo
     
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  2. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  3. Axis39

    Axis39 Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Jun 2, 2008
    La Quinta, CA
    So, back in '08, I got a new '05 5127. Of the Gretsches I tried, it sounded the most 'Gretsch-like'. I tried it against nothing but Prolines, unknowingly. I loved the guitar from the second I picked it up. I didn't know the difference between Electromatics and prolines, I didn't even know there was such a thing.

    In '10, I bought an '08 6129TLS. A Proline. I got sucked in by it's swirly blue drum wrap! But, the second I put my grubby mitts on it, I knew it was one of the finest guitars I'd ever touched. I loved the guitar from the second I picked it up. By then, I knew a bit about Gretsches... As, I'd nerded out like everyone else.

    I still own both guitars, but the ProLine sits in it's case a lot. The 5127 gigs with me regularly. I like the fit and finish, I like the neck shape and I like the Bigsby better on the 6129. But, I like the single coil sound of the 5127. I struggle to justify holding onto the 6129. But, I haven't quite gotten the nerve up to really try to sell it. I contemplate TVJ Tearmond pickups... That might unseat the 5127 as #1-a (I also have a Les Paul with P-90s that just flat out sings).

    The fit and finish on ProLines is that much better... But, the Electros in the mid-800's are awesome guitar sin their own rights! You do get better quality with the ProLines, but it is not always justified. I have zero worries about rocking my Electromatic. I know it's a great guitar. It's also very unique (not that many baby blue hollowbodies out there runnin' around!). I really don't get hung up on it, like I do over the Epiphone/Gibson thing.


    My first Strat was a 1982 MIJ 62 style. It was one of the first, full nitro paint job and everything. I bought it used and beat up and literally played the frets off of it. I wore them down to the rosewood between 5-11 on the D, G and b strings. I traded it away and have regretted it ever since. I thought they'd all play like that... Dumb, dumb, dumb! It's the only guitar I truly regret letting go. I still think of her, almost 30 years later. I have not played one since that felt as good... And, I've owned some good ones... But, nothing like that old MIJ.
     
  4. Rock Lajoint

    Rock Lajoint Gretschie

    406
    Nov 16, 2014
    Sussex, England
    What's the point of that? You don't compare other electrical items without plugging them in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  5. Roger49

    Roger49 Country Gent

    Feb 18, 2015
    Germany
    Obviously the best way to decide would be to play an Electromatic (5420) in direct comparison with the Pro-Line you've got your eye on.
    For what it's worth I own a 5422 (stock PUs and just the double cut version of the 5420) and a 2007 Anni 2-tone smoked green with TVs. The Anni is quite clearly better built. The craftsmanship, attention to detail and "feel" (I know the latter is subjective!) are all superior. I suspect the materials used are of a higher quality too but I can't prove that! I fell in love with the Anni which I bought after the 5422 but can't say the same of the 5422. It's a good guitar, no doubt, but our bass player commented on the tone during the first time I gigged the Anni saying how good it sounded but never commented on the 5422. Still, bass players? :D.... LOL!
     
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  6. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I don't know about the 5420 series but I had a G5129. It had a three piece scarf joint neck, plywood blocks and braces. For some, these might not be a big deal but they are necessary to hit certain price points. I myself feel like they affect the quality of sound.

    By comparison, prolines have solid blocks and braces. Jets have one piece necks and the laminated proline necks are all parallel strips, not scarf joints.

    But it's just a guitar. Bits of wood and metal. If you're curious about prolines, the only real solution is to spend some quality time with one. Other peoples' opinions will only help to question or confirm your uninformed opinions. Experience counts.
     
  7. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    Aaaaaaah. Another one of these threads. They're both great guitars and modded/upgraded Electromatics are fantastic but they just aren't the same level as a proline. However, the major question for you is it worth it to you to shell out the extra cash for that step up in quality? For me, it was. I say do it. A proline is sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.
     
  8. BobbyMac

    BobbyMac Electromatic

    Age:
    66
    13
    Mar 13, 2016
    Amarillo, TX
    I own two Professional Series made in Japan Gretsch guitars (a Vintage White G6128T-1962, and a Natural G6122-12 Country Gentleman). I also own three Korean-built Electromatics (a G5420T FSR in Ice Blue Sparkle, an Amber Stain G5422T with gold hardware, and a Black G5655T-CB). There are subtle differences in quality of construction and build materials between the two lines, but the gap has closed considerably. Even the Chinese-built Gretsch guitars are well made and very affordable.

    Even though the Professional Series guitars are expensive compared to the Electromatics, if money is not a budget consideration, I say go for a Professional Series Gretsch. But if you are on a budget, the quality and value in the Korean Electromatics is not a big step down, by any stretch.
     
  9. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Gretschie

    Age:
    46
    497
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Well, being a poor boy, I have always had a shortage of cash to buy the kind of guitar that folks would drool over and it has always been a psychological battle between the part of my brain that says 'any guitar will do, it's how you play it that counts' and the part of me that hears the peer pressure cry of 'Well that's an OK guitar but it's not a 'serious' guitar'. I figure that, if I do shell out for that 'once in a lifetime' guitar I better be sure it's the right one. I don't think there is a terrific second hand market in Gretsch here in the UK, not dissimilar to (but not nearly as bas as) my experience with Banjos so, if I get it wrong I will most likely take a hit on the purchase price. I guess I will need to take my time with this one and try and get to a shop where I can actually give some Gretsches a work out how they feel to me.
     
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  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Never give in to peer pressure. Down that path is destruction.
    The terms “entry level” or “serious” have some truth to them of course, but I don’t give a crap what other people may think or not think about my guitars. I love them and they sound great.
    And I’m no bedroom player. I play in an original band that goes before an audience a few times a month. No, we’re not “professional” in that it makes us a living (we still gotta work for a living). However, we do get paid, and we take it seriously. AND my Korean, Indonesian, and Mexican made guitars are worthy tools.
    To hell with anyone who’s gonna try and make someone feel bad cuz they’re guitar isn’t “pro”.
    Sure, i’d like a pro line someday. But i want it for ME. Cuz I want one. I don’t need it to legitamize me in anyone else’s eyes.

    Gotta be practical. Buy what you can afford to play.

    Sorry, that was a rant...
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  11. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    Well said!!!!

    I’d like to say.... The Electromatic series is not entry level at all in my book!
    A £99 Epiphone LP Special is more like entry level or a no name £99 Tele/Strat ;)
     
  12. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    This question comes up every few months and pretty much the same arguments are made. I think the answer that works the best is whatever works for you. If you like modding and tinkering, get an Electromatic that fits and improve it however you like. Electromatics on features and build quality are worth far more than their cost. However keep in mind that you will not get back whatever extra you put into it if/when you sell the guitar. An Electromatic with upgrades is still an Electromatic and worth no more than any other.

    As for Pro Lines, they use (slightly) better woods, pickups, parts, etc... They cost more to buy, although used many will not cost much more than a new Electromatic, especially if you add in the cost of planned upgrades to the Electromatic. When it comes to sell you will get more for your guitar.
     
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  13. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Gretschie

    Age:
    46
    497
    Sep 15, 2018
    Argyll
    Oh I am well used to not getting back what I put into an instrument. Here in the UK you are wasting your time trying to sell a 'serious' banjo for more than a third of it's 'new' price. My Recording King RK-82 came in at over £1500 and I doubt it would fetch £500 on ebay were I to sell it. On average a £1000 Fender Banjo will not sell for over £250 secondhand here.
    There is a 5420 Limited edition similar to the one I have is currently available from a German seller 'New' for £1100. I got mine secondhand for £600 and I think it had being going around on ebay and elsewhere for some time with no takers before I picked it up. I don't think the UK is a place where you can make much profit out of selling guitars and I guess that Gretsch are a bit 'niche' compared to the Strats and Les Pauls. When I think about it I don't think I have ever made a profit selling a guitar and I have sold a few over the years.
     
  14. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.

    Yep! Agreed & have to say I’ve never once in all my years of buying guitars thought about resale value.
    Every guitar I’ve bought I’ve intended to be a keeper.
    Obviously i havn’t kept them all lol!
    But I’ve never understood anyone worrying about resale value when buying a new guitar..
     
  15. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Me too. I've bought and sold so many guitars over the last 10 years or so that it's embarrassing. (Luckily I have a very tolerant wife. I don't have any other serious vices and don't spend money on other things.) Some I've made money on, or at least broke even. Mostly I've lost money. I view the loss as rent, or the price of experience. I wish there were a place one could rent guitars, play them for awhile and then return them. I have owned pretty much every classic Gretsch model, except a Country Club and a Penguin. (I did own a White Falcon and numerous Jets, so I think I've gotten what I'd need from either of those.) As a result I know pretty much exactly what I like and don't.
     
  16. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Cuz you’re a practicing, card carrying Rock n’ Roll guitar player! I’m the same way. I’ve definitely sold a few guitars in my day, but most of them were sold in a desperate moment. It was a sad occasion. Like my mexican fender black tele custom 72 reissue. The “Keef” guitar with the humbucker in the neck. I still miss that one terribly.
    But yeah, some of us want to live with our guitars.
    I usually mess them up so bad that they’re not worth nuthin!
    But I love the people who do care about selling their guitars. Without those people, i wouldn’t have my 2 Gretsch’s!
     
  17. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
    I think ultimately folks buy what their budget allows. It’s usually as simple as that. And if someone can’t afford what they really want, they usually try to convince themselves(and often, others too)that what they CAN afford is just as good. The bottom line as we all well know is that nothing can buy the experienced hands and fingers of a great PLAYER(which always make anything sound better).

    So I’ll say it again because it’s the truth here. A Proline IS a better guitar. It is. Anyone who says it isn’t is wrong. HOWEVER.......the modern Electromatics are outSTANDING guitars for the money.
     
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  18. Davos

    Davos Gretschie

    106
    Jan 18, 2018
    Alaska
    Na, my 6120 only cost about $200 more than I’ve got into my 5120, and I’ll pass on the 5120 to someone who will totally love it so I’m not needing to justify anything.

    Maybe my electromatic is just an exceptionally bad example, because the Nashville is just a better guitar.
     
  19. Davos

    Davos Gretschie

    106
    Jan 18, 2018
    Alaska
    That’s funny, I thought we were talking about guitars, not toasters. In that case, I see your point.

    The point is, i like playing the 6120 more because it feels nicer. That has nothing to do with the electronics.
     
  20. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    I was talking about the latest 5420‘s, not the 5120, which is a complete different story.
     
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