2420T - any recommendations - except 'spend more money'!

Discussion in 'Streamliner Gretsch Forum' started by flip, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. flip

    flip Electromatic

    Jun 22, 2020
    Manchester UK
    I'm thinking of buying a red 2420T. I know it's Gretsch's budget range but it will be an indulgence rather than a must-have guitar. I'd appreciate any opinions or experience not necessarily 'Great' or 'Terrible' but reasoned views or comparisons please. Thanks.
    CaliforniaSlim likes this.
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    It's a Gretsch , that's all that matters ;)
    hcsterg and flip like this.
  3. Armygirl

    Armygirl Country Gent

    Mar 14, 2014
    I have a red DC Junior. It's amazing. You don't need to spend loads of money... as Thunder said, it's a Gretsch... it is great. But if you want anything else, possibly a used Pro Jet might cost about the same as a new streamliner.... when you get it, please post pics.
    flip likes this.
  4. BootlegGreacer

    BootlegGreacer Electromatic

    Feb 27, 2020
    all i can add to this is that im very happy with my streamliner, these are amazing for their price range but ofcourse they wont compare to the pro models.
  5. S.R.Cash

    S.R.Cash Gretschie

    Aug 29, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    Adding a pair of Surf 90's, the rest of the guitar was perfectly fine for me. I did little touches like new knobs and things, but I mean as a guitar, it's great! Has a wonderful neck and quite a loud acoustic property.
    flip likes this.
  6. sgarnett

    sgarnett Gretschie

    Apr 14, 2020
    My two Gretsches are a 2420T and a 6120 Smoke. I still play both.

    The 2420 was my introduction to a Gretsch. As a teenager learning to play in the 70s, Gretsch was (to me) a once-great guitar company now churning out junk. Modern production remained off my radar until this year. Just before lockdown, I was hoping to trade a PRS SE for a hollow body. A walnut 2420T caught my eye, and it blew away everything else I picked up.

    The 2420 has parallel bar bracing under the top. The similar looking 5420, which I haven’t played, has parallel bracing with a single “tone post” added under the bridge, connecting the top and back. The 6120 (current versions, including reissues) has “trestle bracing”, which essentially means multiple tone posts.

    The 2420 is acoustically loud. Not as loud as an actual acoustic, but loud enough that I often play it unplugged. The unplugged voicing has some funky, tweedy character if you play it hard(ish). It’s comfortable and just a ton o’ fun.

    The pickups in my 2420 are the Broad’trons. Newer versions use the Broad’tron BT2S, which I haven’t tried. I do have a pair, and based on measurements I would guess them to be hotter sounding. The Broad’tron is PAF-ish. I have PAFs in other guitars, and I was looking for something more Gretschy sounding, somewhere between PAF and Strat. I removed six of the poles from each pickup, which gave me what I was looking for. I want to emphasize that the pickups sounded great stock; they just weren’t the sound I had in my head. Unscrewing some of the poles was a cheap, easy, and REVERSIBLE mod, and I like the result.

    The 2420 is significantly more sensitive to feedback than the 6120.

    The stock Tuneomatic bridge is cheap knockoff junk (IMHO), but I’m not a fan of the TOM with a trem anyway. I put an ABM2400 roller TOM on mine. That’s the only change that wasn’t free.

    The 6120 is much more resistant to feedback, has a clearer, more balanced voice, but is not as loud acoustically. Some people don’t care how an electric guitar sounds unplugged. I do, because I often play them unplugged.

    The 6120 came with a high quality TOM, very different from the junk on the 2420. However, I still don’t like a TOM with a trem, even if it’s a nice one, so I put a Tru-Arc Serpentune on mine.

    So ok, the 6120 is a Proline made in Japan. The 2420 is made in Korea. Out of the box, the setup was better on the 6120, but it SHOULD be. I did have to spend some time working on the nut with files. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the nut, and no need whatsoever to replace it. A few minutes with nut files will have it working great.
    Armygirl, flip, ALS57 and 2 others like this.
  7. Mark W

    Mark W Country Gent

    Jun 6, 2008
    Central Florida
    Flip - I know you read my assessment of the G2420T. If you are looking for a full hollow body that rolls in to the Gretsch Essence and you don't want to spend a lot of money and need a beefier neck then the Streamliner is an easy decision. I have zero problem with feedback issues but I do not play that loud and also not live. Feedback can be controlled and channeled so to me it is not an issue.

    I also might add that I find the pickups quite versatile for a lot of different styles.
    Armygirl, fa57 and flip like this.
  8. ALS57

    ALS57 Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2019
    Fantastic for the price and the finish on mine is excellent, love it. I've tried a 5420 and don't feel like I'm missing much with a 2420 for what I use it for.
    Armygirl, flip and GlenP like this.
  9. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    I have several pro line Gretsch guitars. Picked up a 2420 because it was a blemished model and the price was too good to pass up. I liked it so much I bought another one. They’re good stock. Great modding platform. Comfortable too.
    Armygirl, ALS57, flip and 1 other person like this.
  10. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    I have owned a red G2420T since 2017. In my opinion it's a great value for the money. That being said, for less than the price difference between the Streamliner and the Electromatic, I changed the bridge to a Compton, installed locking tuners, and put in a Reverend soft spring. Now in some respects it's better than an Electromatic, for less money.


    I gave the stock Broad'Tron pickups a three year trial before deciding to swap them out. I have no objection to the PAF sound, and the BroadTrons are OK as far as PAF types go, but I have played better. The neck is getting a DiMarzio BluesBucker, and the bridge a Fat MojoTron. Will let you know how that experiment turns out.

    Also, it's a full hollow body and it if you're careless it will howl like a wounded demon with unwanted feedback, even at low volumes. Be mindful of how close you get to your amp.

    Some don't like the plastic knobs, but I hardly use those. Anyways, replacement knobs are inexpensive. Ditto the plastic switch tip.

    Great value for the money, excellent modding platform.
    Armygirl and flip like this.
  11. roadjunkie

    roadjunkie Country Gent

    Jul 4, 2008
    I wasn't sure if the model number but a streamliner came up on MF today for 299. Worth keeping your eyes open for their sales I got this for 399 through them. I haven't had to touch it at all so far. Sometimes stupid sales ain't so stupid. 20200824_142748.jpg
    Armygirl and flip like this.
  12. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Play it. Do you like it? Easy as pie to decide.
    I'd say that it's a great bang for the buck guitar, and, above all, it's a Gretsch.
    pmac11 and Armygirl like this.
  13. sgarnett

    sgarnett Gretschie

    Apr 14, 2020
    I neglected to mention that I bought the 6120 for several reasons:
    1) The 6120 Smoke is as close to custom as I’ll ever get. Almost every detail was exactly what I would choose.
    2) I found a great deal.

    As I said, I still play both. The 2420 hasn’t been kicked to the curb just because of its fancier cousin. Really, it’s other guitars that have been or will be kicked to the curb because of BOTH Gretsches.
    Armygirl and flip like this.
  14. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    Oct 22, 2015
    I had one without a Bigsby and I loved it= loved the neck, loved the tone, liked the price. But I've got a pile of guitars ( all Gretsch)and I gave it to my sister because I love her too. She's a song writer who usually uses an acoustic and I was wondering if an easy to play, easy on the ears electric might stimulate some new songs to come from her.
    sgarnett, Armygirl and flip like this.
  15. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019

    Spend less money on one. Instead of clicking add to cart, call the phone number and ask for a discount. Ask for a bigger discount, see what they can offer before you hang up, but make sure you are ready to place the order, you might not get the discount later.
    Armygirl, flip and ALS57 like this.
  16. ALS57

    ALS57 Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2019
    I also play mine acoustic a lot of the time so as not to bother the rest of the house and it's perfect. I avoid headphones as my hearings going a bit. Great tone and quieter than an acoustic. I ended up selling a Yamaha 302 telecaster and a Yamaha acoustic as the 2420 was covering both jobs for playing at home. I've compared a 5420 and 2420 side by side in Guitar Guitar, Camden and the finish on the ones I looked at were identical. I see you're in Manchester, just to compare I found my 2420 on UK ebay for £216 and it was mint.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
    sgarnett and flip like this.
  17. flip

    flip Electromatic

    Jun 22, 2020
    Manchester UK
    Thanks for all the positive help, everybody.

    I respect the loyalty of Gretsch-dedicatees but in many purchases not just guitars I've found that brand alone isn't sufficient. (I'm old enough to have bought a Friday-afternoon car back in the day!) I have absolutely no problem with Far East product. My son lived in Korea for many years and I admire the Koreans hugely. (I've also had three KIA cars). I bought one of my grandsons an Epiphone 339 China-made last birthday and frankly it's excellent so I'm very bucked up by the almost universal comments.

    Mark, your review was very useful, thanks.

    Glen I sense that at this price level most of the UK music shops are fairly fixed in their pricing - I usually deal with one which always checks the internet and matches the lowest but it's not a huge difference.

    Al, I think you're really lucky; I'm not as brave as you! :) I've been on eBay for 20 years and today I find it's either scammers or rubbish. I buy very little there. I generally deal with PMT and find them very fair.

    Sgarnett I sense and concur with your views about TOM bridges. The idea of sawing strings over a sharp edge seems obvious. Unfortunately an ABM model adds about 24% to the price. Happily I can buy a similar German-made bridge by Schaller for half the price but your advice is much valued.

    Finally for the lady in Edinburgh I'll post photos when I get it - which will be after I've sold some video gear to balance the budget!
    CaliforniaSlim and Mark W like this.
  18. ALS57

    ALS57 Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2019
    If you did want to do any upgrades:

    I have one of these which doesnt rattle

    I found the stock tuners a bit mushy, these are a straight drop in and half the price of Grovers and are excellent


    The stock nut is fine but I couldn't resist trying one of these and glad I did. You can set your own string height at the first fret to perfection at half the price of paying a luthier to replace your nut. It did improve the sound too. Just sounds more "open" and even. You do need to carefully sand the width to fit.

  19. sgarnett

    sgarnett Gretschie

    Apr 14, 2020
    @flip I’ll spare you the details, but of my recent Fender Musical Instruments Corp purchases, the American Original 60s Strat was by far the worst quality of the bunch. I bought it as mint as they get, but used, so the cost of re-pressing, gluing, leveling, and crowning a brand new fretboard due to unplayably abysmal workmanship fell entirely on me.

    It’s a fact of life that lower-end guitars will have lower end components, but I have nothing but praise for the workmanship of my FMIC instruments from Mexico, Indonesia, or Japan, or my Alvarez AG60AR from China. FMIC does not own Gretsch, BTW, but does handle their manufacturing and distribution (since 2003-2004).

    As I’ve said for years, there are outstanding craftsmen all over the world. They can build whatever you hire them to build. The junk many associate with Asia (and to be fair, it is still being made today), exists because someone hired them to produce junk.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
    ALS57 likes this.
  20. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    There still are a couple of things you need to spend a bit of cash on:

    and the all important Jack Plate
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