Electromatic Silver / Silver Sparkle help

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by paultron, May 5, 2021.

  1. paultron

    paultron Electromatic

    May 5, 2021
    Hi guys,
    I’m new to the forum and completely new to the Gretsch world, so please be kind lol.

    I’m looking to get my first Gretsch (a Jet model in silver finish with Bigsby) and, while
    I’d love to get a Vintage Select or a Player Silver Sparkle Jet, I have to look for a more affordable model for now.

    The one I’m mainly focused on is their current G5230T Airline Silver, but I came across previous models from the same range that were a bit aesthetically closer to their “big sisters”.
    These are the other models:

    G5439T Silver Sparkle
    This looks closer to their pro range from what I can see

    G5236T Silver Sparkle
    This has mini humbuckers if I’m not wrong

    Synchromatic 1615 Silver Sparkle
    This should be a lower-end model

    Am I missing other alternatives?
    Is there something I should consider before making my purchase?
    Which one would you pick?

    Thanks a lot,
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  2. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hey Pau, Welcome to the forum, I'm not too up to speed with silver sparkle models but I'm sure some others will chime in soon, best of luck with the hunt.
  3. paultron

    paultron Electromatic

    May 5, 2021
    Thanks a lot Stefan, very kind of you! :)
  4. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, paul!
    welcome mat italian.jpg
  5. Alanqa

    Alanqa Gretschie

    Aug 22, 2019
    Lancashire UK
    I have the G5239t electromatic with blacktop filtertron pickups .

    I also have a G6139t White Falcon centre block with TV Jones Brian Setzer signature pickups.

    The difference between the sound of these two guitars is microscopic. Once recorded and mixed I can't tell the difference.

    So if you want a recommendation for the most Gretsch sounding - go for the G5239t
  6. paultron

    paultron Electromatic

    May 5, 2021
    thanks for your reply.
    Sorry but I'm a bit confused with all these numbers: are you refering to the current G5230T or the older G5439T?
    Thanks a lot
  7. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Gretschie

    Jan 22, 2019
    I have the G5439T and a G5420T. Both have the same pickups, just radically different bodies. I'm actually considering selling the 5439T because the two sound so similar. The quality of the 5439T is great, feel is great, build is great. It's a solid, fun guitar and I believe it delivers a really good "Gretsch sound." And it looks really good.
  8. Fredo

    Fredo Synchromatic

    Jan 18, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    When I search 5236T I come up with the old Pro Jets with minihums. Those pickups weren't popular here, but you can drop in P90s if you want. The old Pro Jets can be heavy too. It depends on when they were manufactured. A 5439T would be a newer Pro Jet, though still discontinued. The newer ones have Blacktop Filter'trons, which are generally well liked, and lots of chambering, though they can still weigh about 8.5 lbs. The 54## Pro Jets are generally better regarded than the 52## Pro Jets.
  9. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

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

    paultron Electromatic

    May 5, 2021
    Thanks a lot guys!

    So, as far as I understand the older G5439T Silver Sparkle would probably be a better choice regarding the Silver Electromatic Jet range.

    Considering that it’s discontinued though, would the current G5230T Airline Silver be a valid alternative or is a much lower quality instrument?

  11. Fredo

    Fredo Synchromatic

    Jan 18, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    I don't see much of a difference between the 5439 and the 5230. The 5439 is made of basswood and the 5230 is mahogany. I don't know what basswood means since my 5438 weighs about 8.5 lbs chambered and my basswood Glarry "strat" weighed 5.5 lbs with no chambering. It doesn't matter that the 54## is discontinued. Models change all the time in trivial ways, maybe just to keep the public interested. I'd get the G5439T. I own the gold equivalent.
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
  12. paultron

    paultron Electromatic

    May 5, 2021
    The only way to get the 5439T would be used though, am I right?
  13. Archtops

    Archtops Synchromatic

    Mar 4, 2021
    Welcome to GT Paul. Best of luck!
  14. Fredo

    Fredo Synchromatic

    Jan 18, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    "The only way to get the 5439T would be used though, am I right?"

    That is true.
  15. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Synchromatic

    May 1, 2018
    The current one would be the highest quality as gretsch are always improving across all ranges, but it misses the mark on the finish; I.e. not sparkly. The older ones were more sparkly but still nothing close to the drum wrap used on the prolines with huge flakes. Have you considered maybe looking for a pre-FMIC silver jet? I’ve seen them much cheaper and you’re still getting a Japanese jet with the real sparkle top.
  16. paultron

    paultron Electromatic

    May 5, 2021
    Sorry but I’m a complete newbye in the Gretsch world, so I can just guess...does pre-FMIC means pre-Fender era?

    Which model number and years should I look for?

    Thanks a lot to all of you guys
  17. Fredo

    Fredo Synchromatic

    Jan 18, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    "Does pre-FMIC means pre-Fender era?" Yes that's what it means. I cannot keep track of the model numbers. A pre-Fender Jet might be heavy.

    There's a big difference between a sparkle finish and a flake finish. I prefer flake because I like fancy looking guitars. The word in English is bling. I don't know how to translate that into Italian. But a sparkle finish is not an inferior version of a flake finish. They are two different things. A Gretsch with a flake finish can be expensive because flake finishes are found only on pro line Gretsches. A pre-Fender, flake-finished Gretsch might be affordable.

    The G5230T Airline Silver looks like a good choice. The Blacktop Filter'trons will give that Gretsch sound, which is bright but never thin.

    GOOBALL JEFF Synchromatic

    Oct 1, 2019
    firstly everyone on here is kind and second good luck finding an electromatic in silver sparkle that isn't in japan and costs a fortune. if it's silver sparkle you are after then you were like me and I could not find an electromatic so I bought the players edition instead a good few years down the line. and just for the record i think the electromatics are just as good as the players editions.
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