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  1. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Synchromatic

    658
    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Yesterday I took delivery of a new 5622T in beautiful Georgia Green, the old style with 3 pickups. I would've posted this yesterday, but I've been busy playing. :p
    Here's the goods:
    IMG_0001.JPG
    I don't necessarily need to be spending money to indulge my GAS at the moment, but have always been drawn to the somewhat quirky, and seeing the discussion about this one on here got me intrigued. So, I began checking around only to find that this particular version has been replaced by a more standard two-pickup model, and because of this, prices seemed to be going up. Whereas this used to sell for $699, the new model was going for $899 and even used examples of this model were starting to command ~$1200 or more on eBait. So, bummed, I figured it was gone.
    Then I found one on Guitar Center online.
    Then they sent me a coupon good for 18% off. As we all know, the list of excluded brands takes up 2/3 of the length of the coupon, and included Fender, Gibson, Jackson, Martin, Ibanez, Guild, etc., etc. But Gretsch wasn't on that list. So I called...
    They was confirmed they still had a bit of stock in the 3-pickup cateye-soundhole version. I said I had a coupon, and the phone rep said "well let's see if it goes." So I gave him the code, and it did.
    Deeper down the rabbit hole...
    What the heck, I had a bit of an unexpected windfall I was expecting to also get... Pulled the trigger.
    Couple days later I get a call from Brandon at the Bakersfield GC store asking if I'd take the floor model. I of course would prefer new, but I would take the floor model if that's all they had. He said he'd call me back if he couldn't track one down. I didn't get a call, but a couple days after that I got a tracking number by email; it was coming from Arvada, Colorado, and was shipping for free to their store in Lake Forest, CA. Kewl. :cool:
    So yeah, I picked it up yesterday on my lunch break and had an amazingly productive afternoon because I wanted to knock out as much as I could to get home and play this thing. Here are my thoughts after having it for a day.

    THE GOOD:
    • There are SO MANY tones in this thing! Everything from your usual Gretsch chime to Strat quack (it's even quackier than my Strats :eek:) to that bell-like tone you get out of a Tele in the middle position. It's what I imagine you'd get nine months ofter a Tennessean and a Strat bumped uglies. The switching system is very versatile, with the mid switch that adds the middle pickup to any of the other selections.
    • Setup out of the box was pretty darned good. I only had to raise the bass side of the bridge a little.
    • The neck is more similar to Gibson necks than any of my other guitars. Normally, I don't care for Gibby necks, but after spending a day with this, I've gotten used to it and am actually kinda liking it. It has great fretwork, and the board is smooth; it's so easy to get around on. It might be the fastest neck I have.
    • The fit and finish are outstanding. I can't find a flaw anywhere, except for maybe some sanding marks under the clear near on the neck near the join. You have to look closely to see it.
    • Grover tuners. These are the smoothest tuners of any guitar I've owned yet by far.
    • Tuning seems to be a lot more stable than I'd been led to believe for a tension-bar Bigsby once the strings settled in.
    • The Hilotrons. They take gain so well. Smooth, creamy distortion when I turn on the dirt, but they still chime when clean. They're very responsive to height adjustments and attack; I'll be dialing in the pole and overall height over the next few days as they seem to really respond to these adjustments.
    THE BAD:
    • I get now why some people say that they hate string changes on a Bigs. OMGWTFBBQ what a pain changing strings on this thing is. Wrap it, put it on the pin, then under the tension bar, then over the bridge, and try holding the whole thing in place while getting a wrap on the tuner and not have the ball end slide off or the loose end pull out of the tuner shaft, especially the unwound strings, and your cat is biting at the loose string the whole time because "OOH shiny and moving!" Is there a trick to this you can share? I was always dismissive of those who complained that a Bigs made it hard to change strings, because on my 5120 there's no tension bar and I simply grabbed the ball end with a pair of pliers, bent a curve into the end, and slid the ball end over the pin from the top. Easy peasy. This offered little if any help on this bridge, and I admit to cutting myself twice pulling off the old strings.
    • Well, the Hilotrons. They seem to be very sensitive to height adjustments, not only of the overall pickup but of the poles. It's gonna take a few days of tweaking to get this dialed in.
    • The volume pots are obviously audio taper and there is no treble bypass on the master. From my experience redoing my 5120, an audio on the master gave me a great rolloff with a treble bypass installed, but made the individual pickup volumes without almost switches, with everything happening between 7 and 10. I'm getting that here and my OCD will not let it persist.
    • This thing is beefy, probably the heaviest of my guitars. I know that's because of the center block, but it was a bit surprising. On that note, it doesn't resonate acoustically as well as the 5120 because of this, but it also won't feed back.
    • The string spacing is a little narrower than I'm used to, both from my 5120 and my Fenders. There's enough room on the low E side that I could spread it slightly with a new nut, but this really hasn't been that much of an issue so far.
    • It's hard to find a case for this thing. I was researching online today, and the reviews constantly contradicted each other. The SKB335 is a great fit! No, don't get it, it puts pressure on the headstock and mine snapped! The Gator semi-hollow case is great! No, it's a POS that will fall apart on you! So please let me know, fellow 5622 players, what has worked for you?
    • Nitpicking, but I'd like to be able to run the mid pickup alone. I'll be modding this in the not-too-distant future with a 3-way on the mid to add this capability, but why not have it standard?
    THE UGLY:
    • If I was nitpicking, the black pickguard. I think a cream or parchment would match up with the binding much more nicely and I may notch a replacement for the new 5622 model for the mid to fit on mine. Aside from that? This thing is beautiful. The Georgia Green is just stunning in person, like Candy Apple Red with the metallic flakes under the surface.
    I have a lot more playing around with this thing to figure out all that it can do, but I have to say running it from my Mystery Brain into a Simble OD gave me a big ol' stupid grin about an hour ago... :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 2:18 AM
    TSims1, jfletcher67, audept and 13 others like this.
  2. Gretschman2

    Gretschman2 Country Gent

    Age:
    64
    Apr 8, 2013
    Enetai, WA
    Congrats, beautiful guitar!! I agree with you about the pick guard though, a bit too much contrast there I think.
     
    Mr. Lumbergh likes this.
  3. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Congrats, middle pickups are not for me, but glad to hear you're enjoying the guitar.

    Good luck finding a case!
     
    Mr. Lumbergh likes this.
  4. jclute

    jclute Electromatic

    42
    Mar 8, 2016
    Sharpsburg, GA
    Congrats from a fellow 5622 in GA green owner! I did the middle pup mod and love it. Before that I did a pup volume pot re-wire so I could achieve the same thing by turning down either neck or bridge volume all the way. The 3 way switch is is a much quicker way to isolate it. I love the mid range you can get from middle alone. Especially with some dirt added in. Still has good low and high end so a nice full sound.

    For case I got the G6241FT and it fits fine to me. I haven't had it in the case but 2-3 times in about 18 months though. I'm a non gigging player but I don't see any issues with it.

    This was my first and only Gretsch and I'm still loving it so much! Starting to get some pre-holiday GAS to get her a sister though! While I'd love to get a tele or something else, it's gonna be another Gretsch for me

    Enjoy!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Mr. Lumbergh likes this.
  5. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
  6. jmg257

    jmg257 Electromatic

    58
    Jun 13, 2010
    CA
    Sweet - have been gravitated to the Georgia green myself in store a couple times...very nice!

    Sounds like you ae having a great time with it....enjoy!
     
    Mr. Lumbergh likes this.
  7. Mag3

    Mag3 Gretschie

    407
    Nov 22, 2016
    Massachusetts
    Congrats and nice review. I love the green and the three pickups. I tried one once and thought it played great.
     
    Mr. Lumbergh likes this.
  8. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    I know you've been waiting on this for a bit, so congrats on getting it, and on hearing that it's putting a big 0l' stupid grin on your face! :D
     
    Mr. Lumbergh likes this.
  9. Inverness

    Inverness Electromatic

    11
    Aug 3, 2017
    Salt Lake City
  10. zebulon

    zebulon Gretschie

    175
    Aug 8, 2017
    oxford
    why cant you change the strings one at a time? I don't understand.
     
  11. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I never would have thought anything of the pickguard. But if the black is too much, maybe try silver. Anything but silver, black or gold on a Gretsch seems wrong (not counting the matching guards on some of the two tone finishes).

    I had a '57 Duo Jet with a white guard (which they did for a little while in the late '50s), and it never looked right to me.
     
  12. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    46
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Congrats,great colour that!

    I'd go with a silver guard myself.
     
  13. T Bone

    T Bone Gretschie

    Beautiful and versatile guitar, enjoy it!
     
  14. buzzanderson

    buzzanderson Gretschie

    Age:
    61
    137
    Jan 19, 2015
    Centreville, VA
     
  15. buzzanderson

    buzzanderson Gretschie

    Age:
    61
    137
    Jan 19, 2015
    Centreville, VA
    Beautiful guitar. Congratulations for the axe and the great deal. A cream pick guard would be nice, but I like the black, too. It matches the paint trim on the Bigsby. Thanks for the review.
     
  16. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    Clear pickguard? Show off the body & cats eye?
     
    Martin82 likes this.
  17. afire

    afire Country Gent

    And the headstock, and the pickup inserts. Plenty of black on it to tie it all together.
     
  18. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Country Gent

    Age:
    54
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Congrats... I've always liked the 3PU double-cut catseye.

    Here's a tip for the Bigsby string-change issue-- Go to the dollar store and buy a common pink wedge eraser. When changing strings, put the string on the pin, pull it taut, and jam the wedge end of the eraser firmly into the space between the pin bar and the guitar body (from the strap button side). This will hold the string in place on the pin which allows you to use both hands to weave the string through it's obstacle course on the way to the peg head. Once you have the string in place and sufficient tension on it, remove the eraser and repeat the process for the next string. The rubber from the eraser won't harm the guitar-- and any light traction smudges can be easily wiped away.

    [​IMG]
     
    thunder58 and LongJohn like this.
  19. wabash slim

    wabash slim Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    You forgot the most important part---Cat's Eyes!

    Stringing a Bigsby isn't that hard compared to a Floyd Rose. Granted, it's harder than many other guitars, but if you use the eraser idea Tartan Phantom suggested, hold the strings with a capo, do one string at a time you'll have it down in no time. It's a small price to pay for all of that Bigsby goodness.

    Enjoy that beauty!
     
    LongJohn likes this.