Considering 5220G, 5622T and 2623TG P90

Discussion in 'New Member Intros' started by mrtunes, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. mrtunes

    mrtunes Electromatic

    Sep 20, 2020
    Hello! I'm looking into a Gretsch after a few first missteps. The first thing I went with was an Epiphone 339 which sounded great but was not comfortable at all. It was low down and the neck too thin. An Ibanez sm93me which was great on paper but I think has some quality control issues with the frets and I don't want to fiddle with this any more. I can revisit ibanez later.

    My style is a bit of funky jazzy stuff and a bit of roots music. I like to get a nice glassy sound with a volume pedal into reverb and delay. Lots of chords and learning a few more technical things like arpeggios in my lessons. I sit in a chair when I play and don't think I would perform standing up with this guitar.

    I first tried a 5230 which I really liked the neck of, but it comes in casino gold at the store which i didn't like so much. I understand it has good pickups for my tastes though.
    5220G in black with gold hardware. I tried it once, and will have to try it again because the reviews are very good.
    2623tg - I didn't try this one but it's in stock at the location i will go to, so i'm curious what it would do for me because I liked the P90s on the 339.
    5622T - This one I liked. it's big, and like the 2623 the bigsby worries me about tuning issues, but i imagine it's a great guitar and i love the colour that's in stock.
    GlenP and Mr Swisher like this.
  2. ampe

    ampe Country Gent

    May 11, 2011
    Don't focus too much on reviews and what should work in theorie.
    All Gretsch guitars should be great sounding good quality guitars.
    And if you like the feel, you can always improve the sound or tuning stability with mods.
    I have a casino gold G5232T and have to say I love the colour
  3. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Electromatic

    Jan 22, 2019
    Quick comment on your Bigsby concern... Don't overthink that. A well-setup guitar (proper nut cuts, good tuners, etc) shouldn't have problems with the Bigsby. In fact, there is a whole dedicated thread around here to managing Bigsbys. I have two Gretschs that have them and I don't have issues. One of them is factory stock with no official setup yet.
  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Welcome to the forum
  5. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, mrtunes!
    Maple Leaf doormat.jpg
  6. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Here's a welcome from further west in Ontario, mrtunes! I'm going to suggest trying out the G5220 again because of your reference to "glassy sound". I'm lucky enough to have one (in Casino Gold) and love it even though it is the least costly Gretsch I own.
  7. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Welcome! It's nice to see a fellow Torontonian here. I'm a former Cabbagetowner living in Oakville. Whereabouts in the city are you?

    For your first Gretsch, there are lots of different options to choose from. Your best bet is to try them out and see what sounds and feels best to you. Don't worry too much about tuning stability with the Bigsby: with a proper setup, you shouldn't have any trouble. Most tuning problems can be solved by a professional nut-dressing, and if you're still having trouble after that, you can improve a tension-roller Bigsby by adding a BiggsFix.

    Enjoy the hunt!
  8. mrtunes

    mrtunes Electromatic

    Sep 20, 2020
    Thanks for the welcomes!

    Yes I feel like this is a good starter to function as a main guitar. When I first tried it my head was thinking about other guitars but I watched a good video review that describes it as a weird mix between a les paul and a telecaster which would line up with generally what i'm looking for. I do remember the necks on almost all the Gretschs I've tried as being the type of neck I like to play.

    I'm in midtown so I go to different long and mcquade's to get this done. I am going to start going to Cosmo in the future though because I think they are setting up their guitars when they put them on the floor. Something that appeals to me about Gretsch is apparently a lot of them come very well set up out of the box.

    Good to know about the bigsby i kind of imagined that people are able to wrestle them under control otherwise they wouldn't appear on so many gretsch models.
    section2 likes this.
  9. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome to GT mrtunes!
  10. mrtunes

    mrtunes Electromatic

    Sep 20, 2020
    Thanks JC! I ended up going with the G5220. It came down to the wire with the 5230 which i can see is also a solid instrument the money. I just felt like i needed a solid base guitar at the moment which i can add other guitars to afterwards
    new6659, section2 and GlenP like this.
  11. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019
    That should be a good solid guitar and introduction to the world of Gretsch. If you decide later to add to your collection one with a Bigsby, you might try out the G5655 center block jr, about the same size, a good lap guitar.
    section2 likes this.
  12. OzzPocket

    OzzPocket Gretschie

    Aug 11, 2020
    Congrats on your new guitar! For future reference, I had the same concerns as you regarding the tuning stability issues with the Bigsby....against my better judgement, I went with a 5420T about a month ago.....but, I can say that after having it for a bit, I've had very little issue with the trem. IF I hammer on it, then yes....I have tuning issues....but if I use it like I think it was intended...with a light touch, I don't have much trouble at all.....I do have to spot check the tuning here and there...but it wasn't at all the nightmare I was fearing it would be...... I can honestly say I am overjoyed with mine....the look, the feel, the's all aces for me.
  13. mrtunes

    mrtunes Electromatic

    Sep 20, 2020
    what would it be like to add a bigsby to the g5220 later on? do i have to look for a specific model and is it hard to set up?

    thanks and glad to hear you have no issues. both models mentioned here look like nice additions for a semihollow/hollow sound
  14. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Good advice!

    Or if a second Gretsch is not in the cards, it's also dead simple to add a Bigsby to a 5220 if desired. Just add a B3 and a Towner down tension bar, and you're all set. The only irreversible modification would be three small screws at the heel of the guitar to hold the Bigsby.
    GlenP likes this.
  15. Shadowy_Man

    Shadowy_Man Gretschie

    May 18, 2020
    If you want to stay with the TOM bridge, I've found filing the grooves a bit helps a lot. I used welding torch tip cleaners to enlarge the groves and smooth out any rough bits.
    capnhiho likes this.
  16. GlenP

    GlenP Country Gent

    Jul 23, 2019
    see an example here (a B6 on a larger size guitar, you may need to get the smaller size B3 Bigsby for the Jet):

    but if you really like the look of the V-tail, I wonder if you could just re-mount that on top of the Towner bar and still have enough clearance from the strings running under the Towner bar. Might be too much hardware there to look good with both of them right on top of each other.
  17. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    I posted about adding a Bigsby before I saw your question. Great minds!

    It's very easy to add a Bigsby to a 5220. You'll want a B30 (the less-expensive import version), or a B3 (the original US-made version; it looks a little cooler and feels a little smoother), or—if you want the prettiest version—a Gretsch-branded V-cut B3C (exactly the same as a B3, but it features the Gretsch logo and looks extremely cool).

    The Bigsby is easy to install. You line it up with a string going around the Bigsby and through two tuning pegs, drill pilot holes for the three screws in the heel of the guitar, and screw them in.

    Then you replace the stop tailpiece with a Towner down tension bar and adjust it to taste. Easy peasy.
    capnhiho and GlenP like this.
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