5 electromatics returned

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,399
Tucson
Speaking cryptically here…

As someone who works for the the biggest (censored) company in the world…

QC seems to be much less a priority. Kind of like, “Well, we’re going to lose money either way, so let’s just get it out there.”

Then it’s up to the customer to decide it they want to continue buying it. 😐
Your last sentence is key. The whole vintage guitar phenomenon came about when manufacturers started to slip their QC, and ordering a new guitar became too risky of a proposition. By the late ‘70s, you had to sort through a stack of new guitars, just to find a good one, and even the good examples were built to different specs to save a few bucks, such as headstocks that were built at a reduced angle, which changed the character of the instrument.

We’ve seen businesses, in many sectors, return to this path, and the results can only be bad … for those businesses, but also for consumers. I see it all the time, including software that appears to have been written by a particularly dim witted strain of Bonobos, sitting at keyboards.

But consumers have choices, and one choice is to say no. We are resourceful creatures, and we can find alternatives. I’ve already said no, to my favorite brand of guitars. I will not buy a Gretsch with a tension bar Bigsby, nor will I recommend the purchase of one to others. I love the Gretsch heritage, and believe that, when these designs are adhered to, they produce great instruments. However, it is not the name in which I am interested, but the designs. Stray from those, and I, as a customer, will stray from Gretsch. This holds true, BTW, for Gibson, Fender, Martin, or any other brand which trades upon a long legacy. I’ve met Fred Gretsch III, and he struck me as a decent enough chap, but his family name is meaningless, if he allows it to be placed on guitars of inferior quality or specification.
 

GOOBALL JEFF

Synchromatic
Oct 1, 2019
701
london
I was just going to start a thread on the same subject. On a whim I thought I might like a 5220 or 5230 as a back up Gretsch. Yesterday I went to my local store to have a look. They had one each of a 5220 and 5230. The fret work on both was appalling. The 5220 sounded like a sitar and the fret ends on the 5230 would have shredded your hands, as it would have on the 5220 as well. I thought “no” can’t be so tried what I believe was a 5422. Same thing. So I tried a gold sparkle jet Pro Line, about 3K Canadian $$. Not nearly as bad as the Electro’s but seriously not good….again bad bad fret work.

As a comparison I grabbed an entry level Yamaha Revstar and it was brilliant. You could have taken it from the store and played a gig with it.

I‘m very disappointed with what seems to be happening with Gretsch.
I'm glad someone else has had this experience! I was worried about backlash but this is the actual truth -
Jeff,

Not sure I'm understanding your post.

You placed five orders, for five Electromatic Jets, from five different sellers, simultaneously, paying shipping/brokerage/exchange, etc. five times, and upon inspection, sent all five back, to five different locations, paying return shipping, five times...really??

Are you currently experiencing a problem with the drinking water in your local area?

Also, if the previous ten, were that ''fantastic'', where are they now??

Sorry, I just had to ask.

BIB
as for the fantastic 10, I was broke for many years I had to let not one but all of my guitars amps jewelry go...
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,517
Ontario Canada
sorry if I didn't explain that good. basically I needed that blacktop sound for a recording in london so I bought an electromatic ltd from andertons and it had a wiring issue (not earthed to bridge post, could not fix) so I sent that back and swapped it for a standard blue with bigsby which came with fret issues and cracks in the lacquer at nut bad quality fretboard wood so I sent it back and got a refund. then I tried PMT MUSIC ordered a red with bigsby, that came with the same cracks at nut fret issues gouge in fretboard, so I sent it back and swapped for another blue which came with fret issues cracks at nut and neck joint and was a complete dog in many respects. THEN! I come back home to sweden order a vintage white jet from thomann and so the story goes. I'm not crazy I'm not bitching that my friends is actually the honest truth. regards

GJ,

Thank you for the explanation.

I still have to say, an Electromatic is an Electromatic.

I suggest you do less off site ordering, and more on site shopping.

I was in my local Ottawa Gretsch dealer's shop a few days ago, I needed a good case for an old Lemmy Kilmister Rickenbacker Limited Edition bass that I just finished ''resurrecting''.

The shop, ''Steve's Music'' had at least a dozen, I think more, entry level Gretsch guitars in stock. I didn't have an ''inspection'' look, but they all appeared very good to me.

Fine wooden instruments are not perfect, even the expensive ones. If you want to start picking them apart, you can make a long list. The harder you look, the more you find.

In all my years, I have yet to buy a guitar, that didn't come from the shop, or delivered, that didn't end up on my bench, completely stripped down, and gone over with a fine tooth comb.

I've addressed scratches, filed/dressed frets, replaced less than perfect controls, I always replace strings (I have my favorite brands for both guitar and bass, and nothing else will suffice), changed bridge assemblies, made truss rod adjustments, tuners are often first to go...and that's the short list.

Further, I do not keep boxes of stripped off junk. The garbage bin is usually full by the time the guitar is back together. When I got the ''Lemmy'' back together a few days ago, I had two small waste baskets full.

My wife would think there was something wrong with me if I ever played a guitar ''out of the box''.

I'm hearing a lot lately about bad, entry level Gretsch product, and I think in most cases the guitars are getting an undeserved bad rap.

Shop a little more carefully, buy some tools, Stew-Mac is a good place place to start, read a few books, watch a few good tutorials, and carefully teach yourself to do a little tweaking!

You're buying a tool to perform a specific job, and it's only new once!

Attached a few photos of my ''new'' guitars shortly after opening the case for the first time...

Best,

BIB.

DSCF1422.JPG DSCF1236.JPG DSCF1449.JPG
 
Last edited:

GOOBALL JEFF

Synchromatic
Oct 1, 2019
701
london
GJ,

Thank you for the explanation.

I still have to say, an Electromatic is an Electromatic.

I suggest you do less off site ordering, and more on site shopping.

I was in my local Ottawa Gretsch dealer's shop a few days ago, I needed a good case for an old Lemmy Kilmister Rickenbacker Limited Edition bass that I just got finished ''resurrecting''.

The shop, ''Steve's Music'' had at least a dozen, I think more, entry level Gretsch guitars in stock. I didn't have an ''inspection'' look, but they all appeared very good to me.

Fine wooden instruments are not perfect, even the expensive ones. If you want to start picking them apart, you can make a long list. The harder you look, the more you find.

In all my years, I have yet to buy a guitar, that didn't come from the shop, or delivered, that didn't end up on my bench, completely stripped down, and gone over with a fine tooth comb.

I've addressed scratches, filed/dressed frets, replaced less than perfect controls, I always replace strings (I have my favorite brands for both guitar and bass, and nothing else will suffice), changed bridge assemblies, made truss rod adjustments, tuners are often first to go...and that's the short list.

Further, I do not keep boxes of stripped of junk. The garbage bin is usually full by the time the guitar is back together. When I got the ''Lemmy'' back together a few days ago, I had two small waste baskets full.

My wife would think there was something wrong with me if I ever played a guitar ''out of the box''.

I'm hearing a lot lately about bad, entry level Gretsch product, and I think in most cases the guitars are getting an undeserved bad rap.

Shop a little more carefully, buy some tools, Stew-Mac is a good place place to start, read a few books, watch a few good tutorials, and carefully teach yourself to do a little tweaking!

You're buying a tool to perform a specific job, and it's only new once!

Attached a few photos of my ''new'' guitars shortly after opening the case for the first time...

Best,

BIB.

View attachment 184836 View attachment 184837 View attachment 184838
I was his apprentice for 20 years on and off, I know a thing or two https://www.dubreuille-guitar.com/index.html electromatics in the past years have all been fantastic quality, having played guitar for over thirty years now I know for a fact that something is up at the factory right now. cheers
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,517
Ontario Canada
I was his apprentice for 20 years on and off, I know a thing or two https://www.dubreuille-guitar.com/index.html electromatics in the past years have all been fantastic quality, having played guitar for over thirty years now I know for a fact that something is up at the factory right now. cheers

Jeff,

China has a localized ''one COVID case = full lockdown policy in effect.

The program I watched last night on the current state of China is absolutely frightening.

Also, with Phillipe Vs Gretsch Electromatic, you're comparing apples and oranges.

We all need to understand, we are not going to correct the MIC Gretsch build quality problem on this forum.

All we can do is shop carefully, and if you don't like the look of what you're buying while it's still on the store shelf, you're not going to like it anymore when you get it home.

Best,

BIB.
 

GOOBALL JEFF

Synchromatic
Oct 1, 2019
701
london
GJ,

Thank you for the explanation.

I still have to say, an Electromatic is an Electromatic.

I suggest you do less off site ordering, and more on site shopping.

I was in my local Ottawa Gretsch dealer's shop a few days ago, I needed a good case for an old Lemmy Kilmister Rickenbacker Limited Edition bass that I just finished ''resurrecting''.

The shop, ''Steve's Music'' had at least a dozen, I think more, entry level Gretsch guitars in stock. I didn't have an ''inspection'' look, but they all appeared very good to me.

Fine wooden instruments are not perfect, even the expensive ones. If you want to start picking them apart, you can make a long list. The harder you look, the more you find.

In all my years, I have yet to buy a guitar, that didn't come from the shop, or delivered, that didn't end up on my bench, completely stripped down, and gone over with a fine tooth comb.

I've addressed scratches, filed/dressed frets, replaced less than perfect controls, I always replace strings (I have my favorite brands for both guitar and bass, and nothing else will suffice), changed bridge assemblies, made truss rod adjustments, tuners are often first to go...and that's the short list.

Further, I do not keep boxes of stripped off junk. The garbage bin is usually full by the time the guitar is back together. When I got the ''Lemmy'' back together a few days ago, I had two small waste baskets full.

My wife would think there was something wrong with me if I ever played a guitar ''out of the box''.

I'm hearing a lot lately about bad, entry level Gretsch product, and I think in most cases the guitars are getting an undeserved bad rap.

Shop a little more carefully, buy some tools, Stew-Mac is a good place place to start, read a few books, watch a few good tutorials, and carefully teach yourself to do a little tweaking!

You're buying a tool to perform a specific job, and it's only new once!

Attached a few photos of my ''new'' guitars shortly after opening the case for the first time...

Best,

BIB.

View attachment 184836 View attachment 184837 View attachment 184838
nice ricks
 

juks

Country Gent
Nov 26, 2020
2,857
Fremont, California
I guess I'm not that picky. If its a sub $900 guitar I don't even think I'd notice if there's a little imperfection on the finish somewhere. Fret sprout is something I'd have a problem with. But it's made out of wood and wood lives so I guess it can happen even with best intentions. If it's a result of factory ignoring guidelines regarding drying times of timber they get in then that would be a serious issue. If electronics don't work, likewise because that means that no proper QC was done.

If it was a custom shop guitar I would be more critical for sure paying that kind of prices.

Knowing little bit about how subcontracted factories work, you do need to keep controlling them as they will otherwise cut corners. Especially when you have production numbers stated in the contract. And if the higher level of people controlling them are US based and have not been able to travel to the factories much in the last couple of years I can see issues happening.
 

GOOBALL JEFF

Synchromatic
Oct 1, 2019
701
london
Jeff,

China has a localized ''one COVID case = full lockdown policy in effect.

The program I watched last night on the current state of China is absolutely frightening.

Also, with Phillipe Vs Gretsch Electromatic, you're comparing apples and oranges.

We all need to understand, we are not going to correct the MIC Gretsch build quality problem on this forum.

All we can do is shop carefully, and if you don't like the look of what you're buying while it's still on the store shelf, you're not going to like it anymore when you get it home.

Best,

BIB.
 

LesB3

Gretschie
Aug 17, 2021
253
Philadelphia, PA
Knowing little bit about how subcontracted factories work, you do need to keep controlling them as they will otherwise cut corners. Especially when you have production numbers stated in the contract. And if the higher level of people controlling them are US based and have not been able to travel to the factories much in the last couple of years I can see issues happening.
As much as I will say that I will never buy a guitar that is MIC, this is pretty much true across the board, and ends up affecting a lot of sub'd out work. I bought an Indonesian-made Guild Starfire that was missing retaining nuts on a pot and the cable jack (jack was rattling around inside the guitar!), and had 3 tone knobs + 1 volume (when it should have been 2 and 2). Not to mention some sloppy work elsewhere. But, after complaining, I only ended up paying half of what they go for new so fixed it myself and just threw it on the rack.

Gibson setup their own factory in China, thinking this would be better, but I've seen some of those guitars when they first get to the shop and a lot of them are a mess too.

...And, there are different levels of "QC" too. Who knows what standards were set by FMIC... For all we know, the Chinese factory is passing QC with flying colors because of the way it was structured by FMIC.
 

Likeabrave

Synchromatic
Feb 11, 2010
723
Las Vegas, Nevada
China has a localized ''one COVID case = full lockdown policy in effect.

The program I watched last night on the current state of China is absolutely frightening.
I can imagine any type of craft / assembly operation that experiences massive and continual staff turnover over a period of 2-3 years would absolutely exhibit quality issues with their product. In 20-30 years, those of us still on this forum may be discussing the early 20s Electromatics as the worst built Gretsch guitars since mid 70's Baldwins (for which I have a soft spot in my heart).
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,517
Ontario Canada
I can imagine any type of craft / assembly operation that experiences massive and continual staff turnover over a period of 2-3 years would absolutely exhibit quality issues with their product. In 20-30 years, those of us still on this forum may be discussing the early 20s Electromatics as the worst built Gretsch guitars since mid 70's Baldwins (for which I have a soft spot in my heart).

Maybe!

At this point in our history, there are far more important things going on in our lives than to give too much thought/consideration to the quality of Chinese made guitars.

I think if you were were in China right now, it would become clearly evident to you very quickly, that the ongoing pandemic has literally ripped the heart and soul out of the country.

With localized pandemic policy being, one COVID case meaning total lockdown, there are literally hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers out of a job, with some businesses closed, never to open again.

In the grand scheme of things, little to no concern is being given to guitars...any guitars...as it should be!

In closing, and as a reminder to all, there is an excellent market in ''previously loved guitars''. A few of my ''prized guitars'' had previous owners.

Check the used market, what you are looking for is there waiting...if you take the time to look.

Best,

BIB
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,517
Ontario Canada
Your last sentence is key. The whole vintage guitar phenomenon came about when manufacturers started to slip their QC, and ordering a new guitar became too risky of a proposition. By the late ‘70s, you had to sort through a stack of new guitars, just to find a good one, and even the good examples were built to different specs to save a few bucks, such as headstocks that were built at a reduced angle, which changed the character of the instrument.

We’ve seen businesses, in many sectors, return to this path, and the results can only be bad … for those businesses, but also for consumers. I see it all the time, including software that appears to have been written by a particularly dim witted strain of Bonobos, sitting at keyboards.

But consumers have choices, and one choice is to say no. We are resourceful creatures, and we can find alternatives. I’ve already said no, to my favorite brand of guitars. I will not buy a Gretsch with a tension bar Bigsby, nor will I recommend the purchase of one to others. I love the Gretsch heritage, and believe that, when these designs are adhered to, they produce great instruments. However, it is not the name in which I am interested, but the designs. Stray from those, and I, as a customer, will stray from Gretsch. This holds true, BTW, for Gibson, Fender, Martin, or any other brand which trades upon a long legacy. I’ve met Fred Gretsch III, and he struck me as a decent enough chap, but his family name is meaningless, if he allows it to be placed on guitars of inferior quality or specification.

Synchro,

IMHO, what is going on in China right now, has absolutely nothing to do with what Fred Gretsch lll is allowing to happen.

Mr. Gretsch has no more power to correct what's going on in China right now than anyone else has.

Current Chinese Government policy is to do everything humanly possible to completely eradicate the pandemic within the country.

The quality of their in-country made guitars, doesn't even qualify as the ''last thing on their mind''.

Time and healing will bring it all back, and neither you, I, or Fred Gretsch lll, will have had a dammed thing to do with it.

As a footnote, I have bought and paid for a new Gretsch Limited Edition Malcolm Young Jet. The guitar isn't going to be introduced to the public until September, so I may see my guitar in October/November. Whatever condition the guitar comes in, I'll be glad to have it, and whatever isn't right, I'll fix it!

Best,

BIB
 

Chet Harrison

Gretschie
Apr 27, 2020
271
USA
I guess I'm not that picky. If its a sub $900 guitar I don't even think I'd notice if there's a little imperfection on the finish somewhere. Fret sprout is something I'd have a problem with. But it's made out of wood and wood lives so I guess it can happen even with best intentions. If it's a result of factory ignoring guidelines regarding drying times of timber they get in then that would be a serious issue. If electronics don't work, likewise because that means that no proper QC was done.

If it was a custom shop guitar I would be more critical for sure paying that kind of prices.

Knowing little bit about how subcontracted factories work, you do need to keep controlling them as they will otherwise cut corners. Especially when you have production numbers stated in the contract. And if the higher level of people controlling them are US based and have not been able to travel to the factories much in the last couple of years I can see issues happening.

Fret sprout is annoying, but it’s not very difficult to fix, nor is it a sign of a poorly made guitar or poor QC.
 

GOOBALL JEFF

Synchromatic
Oct 1, 2019
701
london
Fret sprout is annoying, but it’s not very difficult to fix, nor is it a sign of a poorly made guitar or poor QC.
we are talking really uneven frets as well as fret sprout, choking out all over the place even with a really high action and on a 12" radius which you can usually get away with a little unevenness sometimes. this was never the case in the past in my personal experience anyway.
 


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