Electromatic vs Player?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by dmunson, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm really not trying to stir anything up, and the situation is not only with Gretsch, but with Gibson and particularly Fender.
    How do these companies justify the incredible price difference ($2000+) for their "top line" instruments.
    I recently played an Electromatic Jet and a the similar Player's version Jet. The differences I could hear, and the features I could see and feel were awfully close. In fact, they had more in common than in differences. But the Player was priced at $2000 more than the electromatic.
    I'm not new to this scheme, having played for over 60 years, but I'm having trouble seeing the justification.
    And, Fender "Custom Shop" stuff is just as guilty, if not more so.
    So, to each his own, and I have no problems at all with those who prefer the more expensive gear. I'm just looking for a little logical thinking.
    In advance, I'm truely sorry if I wrinkled any feathers.
  2. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    No feather wrinkling here... as far as Gretsch electrics go, I own 4 pro-lines, 5 Electromatics, and 1 Historic series (Pre-FMIC). I also own 9 various Gretsch acoustic instruments, both modern and vintage. They each have pros & cons, but I do find the that there is a difference in fit, finish and playing feel. Is the difference worth the price? For me it is, but that should be left up to the individual purchaser.

    That's why I love the fact that Gretsch DOES have multiple lines to meet the needs of multiple economic price points... find what one likes in their price/comfort range, and play the heck out of it.:cool:
  3. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    They justify them by the happy customers buying them, nothing more or less.
  4. jfassett

    jfassett Synchromatic

    Dec 9, 2017
    By any chance were the two jets you tried the 5220 electromatic and the 6228 proline jet? Just curious?
    new6659 likes this.
  5. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    dmunson, I understand your thinking. I started with a 5120, mainly because I was coming from a humbucker world, and I guess I just wasn't quite ready for the full twang experience. It didn't take me too long to get tired of the 5120 Gretschbuckers, so rather than choosing to swap pickups, I chose to check out the 5420, and found what I wanted in the Blacktop Filtertrons. Then I got my hands on a used pro-line 6119 Tennessee Rose, and it followed me home. It is without a doubt a well crafted instrument, although I am in no way putting down the Electromatic line. As a matter of fact, after getting the Tennessee Rose, I let go of an Epiphone LP, and replaced it with an Electromatic Pro Jet, which I love.
  6. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    The Electromatic was the G5230T with BT Filtertrons. To me, those are one of Gretsch's more versatile pickups. And I found the 6228 to be a very nice guitar, just not $2000 nicer than the 5230.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    Robbie, Charlie westside and jfassett like this.
  7. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    I have a few Epiphones as well. I'm really thinking about letting the Custom and the 339 go. The new Gretschs are covering all the sonic ground that those models deliver.
    LivingMyDream and jfassett like this.
  8. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    This topic was one of the first I encountered when I joined GT a little over a year ago. At the time, the general takeaway for me was that yes, the Prolines have better fit and finish, and are constructed from superior materials in some instances. Whether it's "worth" paying 3x the price (or more) is a personal matter. Worth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

    Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
  9. Groutsch

    Groutsch Gretschie

    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland, US
    Some people don't even have to look at the price if it's under 5 figures. For the rest of us, there are Electromatics.
  10. TW4990

    TW4990 Gretschie

    Aug 20, 2016
    Sydney Australia
    OH NO, this is a very touchy subject for some.
  11. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Country Gent

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I would love a pro line but I am Really, Really happy with my G5230
    I perform and record with it. Don't underestimate the versatility of the Electromatic Line. Maybe someday I'll buy a proline when my boys are out of college. But my Electro is more than satisfactory.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    Parttime likes this.
  12. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    I've not considered wether or not I could afford an instrument. That has seldom been a problem. What does concern me is wether or not the investment is worth it. In this particular case, the 5230 just seemed like a better buy. I get a great guitar at an affordable price.
    Robbie and Charlie westside like this.
  13. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    And that just makes it better for everyone. It has not been all that long ago, that inexpensive guitars played and sounded like inexpensive guitars. That's not how it is now.
  14. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Country Gent

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I have the same guitar. I love it.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  15. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    I have two Electromatic Jets and have owned four. I have never had a strong desire for a Player series.
    The guitar/money ratio is one of the things I love about the guitar. I feel like I’ve stolen the things for the price.
    I bet the Players are great guitars but I really don’t care. I’ve had some of my favorite days playing guitar on my Electromatics and I don’t have money to burn.
  16. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Well the Players Editions don't sound any different to the prolines imo - they just look a little different - and not any better either imo.

    So when comparing prices between a players edition and a standard proline I don't see any value in the additional $500-1000 ..... but some people might.

    I'm not implying that the prolines are over priced either cos I think they are better quality than other similar priced guitars like an ES-335 for example. It indicates that the Electromatic 54 and 56 series are such exceptionally great value for $$ imo.

    I do own a G5422 and a proline Jet 6131 and have played many of both E's and prolines.
    I do think there's a significant difference in tone and looks between E's and prolines.
    The prolines are definitely better imo but I'm not sure the difference is worth x2 or x3 the price. But then I only paid $900 for my used 2004 Jet 6131 :)

    I'd never buy a players edition, or a new proline, either cos there's no need and lot's of great used one's on the market for sale anyway :)
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    pmac11, JC higgy and Charlie westside like this.
  17. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    It‘s primarily the Japan vs. China/Indonesia/Korea-thing. Japanese products are built to the highest quality standards. But at least Korea is pretty close...If you compare a japanese to a korean Gretsch there are maybe 5-10% better details in finish (maybe, again, they’re pretty close!) and hardware (vibratos, pickups, electronics). Electromatics come naked, Players with a case. These small percentages are expensive.

    It‘s easy to customize a well built korean 5420 e.g. (and most of them are!) to japanese 6120 standards (vibrato, pickups, electronics). Both guitars share the same woods, specs and the usual polycoating, even the same cheap chinese bridge.

    I‘ve sold my japanese built Hotrod for my korean built 5420 with TV‘s, original B6...It plays and sounds much better!

    But don‘t forget the many different models and colors to choose from the Prolines compared to a handful Electromatics.
  18. mschafft

    mschafft Synchromatic

    Jan 19, 2017
    Law of diminishing returns. Products get marginally better as you move up the price ladder.
    Dave-B, Waxhead, MotorCentaur and 3 others like this.
  19. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Love my high end MIJ and MIA guitars and they were worth the money to me....but my favorite and most played, is my least expensive MIM 72' Tele Deluxe.
  20. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    man that's nice lookin'
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