New guy here (and G5230T question)

Discussion in 'New Member Intros' started by CalicoSkies, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Electromatic

    Nov 18, 2019
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    Hi all. I just created an account here. I mostly enjoy playing Strats, but I've hady eyes on Gretsch as well. I usually use Strat-Talk but decided to join this forum as well.

    I've considered buying a Gretsch G5230T. It seems to be reasonably priced for what it is, and it seems to sound good from demos I've seen. I've read some reviews, and it sounds good overall, but I've seen a couple people say it doesn't stay in tune well when you use the Bigsby, and that the tuners could be better. I'm wondering if that's accurate?
  2. Chris MC

    Chris MC Gretschie

    Oct 27, 2014
    Orange, Aus
    Gets talked about a lot. I have never played one, I have a 5420 and I got a hardtail 5220 on purpose. Seems to me though from what people here say the tension bar bigsby is a potential source of tuning stability problems, but that guys that care about having an Electromatic bigsby jet do a lot of work to set them up correctly and when they do, generally get good results.

    If you like things to do what they say on the tin with no tinkering, a 5420 style with non tension bar bigsby, or a hard tail electromatic jet might be better. If you know what you want and you know how to get there, the 5230 might be great.
    CalicoSkies likes this.
  3. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Welcome to Gretschville!
    CalicoSkies likes this.
  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Welcome friend
    CalicoSkies likes this.
  5. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, CalicoSkies!
    welcome mat 81.jpg
    CalicoSkies and Zeek like this.
  6. Zeek

    Zeek Gretschie

    May 29, 2016
    Illinos USA
    Welcome, You will find this is a good and informative place with good people.
    CalicoSkies likes this.
  7. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Welcome to the friendliest guitar forum on the inter webs.
    CalicoSkies likes this.
  8. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Welcome! The whole tuning stability thing is a bit of a topic. First up, the nut. It is the cause of the majority of tuning issues with a Bigsby. Got to make sure it is properly cut and non binding.

    Tension bar Bigsby's do have a reputation as trouble makers. There is a product called a Bigs Fix that is made to address those issues. There are other models too. I bought a Pro Jet with a stop tail (5435) and installed an American Bigsby on it, using a Towner Bar to fill the stop tail holes (and improve break angle).

    20171231_164806.jpg 20180609_180526 (1)a.jpg
    audept, Jeff67, section2 and 4 others like this.
  9. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    Welcome to Gretsch-Talk, CalicoSkies!

    Being a Strat lover myself, I'm sure you can relate the talk to things they can say about a Strat, too - it doesn't stay in tune when using the tremolo (it does if it's set up right, and the nut is properly cut and dressed). Tuners are another subject that any guitar has in common, so check and see what the upgrade would be if you are worried about. That can also help you with your decision.
    T Bone and CalicoSkies like this.
  10. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    I have 5232, same a the op’s, just double cut. No Bigsby guitar stays in tune as well s a Strat, especially a decked strat. I think I would have to throw my Strat or Tele off my roof to get either one to go out of tune.

    I have, or have had, tension bar Bigsbys, non tension bar ones, American ones, imports and they all require more fiddling to get the guitar as stable tuning wise as a non Bigsby guitar. They can all be made very tuning stable if you deal with the friction points correctly.

    For the money the 523x’s are hard to beat. They are entry level priced Chinese guitars but with some proper care they can be outstanding instruments.

    audept, new6659, T Bone and 2 others like this.
  11. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    Get it. You won't regret it. After years of playing crummy guitars (strats) you'll be blown away by what you've been missing.
    Regarding tuning stability... A bigsby is gonna throw a guitar less out of tune than a strat trem would. And if it does, just make sure the nut isn't binding the string. That's what causes the tuning issues, especially on the G. Or just replace the nut with a Zer0 Glide Nut and prepare to be blown away.
    CalicoSkies and radd like this.
  12. mschafft

    mschafft Synchromatic

    Jan 19, 2017
    I'm looking at the hard tail version for that reason. If they release one in blue, resistance might be futile...
    radd likes this.
  13. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome to the nut house Calico!
    CalicoSkies likes this.
  14. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Electromatic

    Nov 18, 2019
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    It seems the hardtail version has the BroadTron pickups, whereas the Bigsby one has the FilterTron pickups. I think I've seen the FilterTron pickups more often in demos I've seen, so I feel like I'd want one with the FilterTron pickups..
    T Bone and radd like this.
  15. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    I don't think you can go wrong with that choice. If you lightly sand the Laurel fingerboard, clean it with Naphtha and then dress it you will have a fingerboard on par with any Rosewood board
    new6659 likes this.
  16. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Good advice here. If you're looking at a Jet with a tension-roller Bigsby, add a BiggsFix. The other good option is to do what T Bone did: buy a Jet with a stoptail and add a Bigsby B3 and a Towner Down Tension Bar. I bought a stoptail 2655 and added a B3 and a Towner bar, and it was a fantastic setup. No tuning problems at all.
    CalicoSkies and T Bone like this.
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