Electromatics and player models.

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Marko60, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. Axis39

    Axis39 Country Gent

    Jun 2, 2008
    Beaumont, CA
    I've told this story innumerable times...

    When I bought my first Gretsch, I chose my 5127 over ProLine guitars I compared it directly to. When I first played it, I had no idea the difference between Electromatics and Prolines, never even knew there was a difference. So, I went in unbiased. That 5127 is still one of my main stage guitars. It plays and sounds beautifully. It is one of the best sounding guitars I'ver ever put my hands on.

    When I first tried my 6129TLS, I knew it was one of the finest made guitars I've ever put my hands on. But, the Filtertrons don't excite me quite as much as the Dearmond 2000 pickups on my Electromatic.

    Yes, there's a difference in fit and finish. The Electromatic was literally 1/3 the price of my ProLine. Is it 1/3 the guitar? I'd suggest it's more like maybe 90% the guitar. I've played a lot of ProLines since buying my two Gretsches (A couple years apart) and none have unseated my 5127.

    Now, I will say, I have not cared for any of the Electromatic humbucking pickups I've tried (but, it's also been a few years since I've looked at any). I did not like the 5120 or 5420 guitars as much as my 5127. Build is similar, but the pickups made all the difference.

    To me, guitars are professional tool. I enjoy the collecting aspect, the art of the guitar and all that... But, a guitar has to work on stage for me to be even remotely interested in it. To date, the 5127 and 6129 both do it well. So, they both win.
    Wjensen, pmac11 and Marko60 like this.
  2. Psicotommy73

    Psicotommy73 Electromatic

    Feb 8, 2021
    I sold my streamliner and kept a G5410T Hot Rod (I swap the AOM bridge with a rocking bar bridge) very fun to play
    RatRod Gentleman and BentFX like this.
  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Geez Calab don't know what you did to yours but I spent $1000 all up on my mod'ed 5422.
    I only did mod's that were gonna improve the guitars tone and operation - did nothin for looks only.

    A good used 6120 would have cost at least double that and a new one triple.
    Seeing my 5422 sounds almost as good as a 6120 now I reckon it was a very good investment.
    And if I ever need to sell it I'd get at least $1500 for it Australia now :D
    Marko60 and RatRod Gentleman like this.
  4. RatRod Gentleman

    RatRod Gentleman Electromatic

    Sep 28, 2020
    Brisbane, Australia
    Not sure if it’s relevant but I’m a tinkerer and like stuff unique. I’d never have the courage to pull apart a proline to fix it much less mod it. An electro though.. my first and only Gretsch is a white rat rod that’s now the way I want. Mismatched pair of butchered TVJs, flat wound 11s, truarc, custom other bits and all.

    If you’re a mad dr Frankenstein at heart, starting with 90% of the geet for %35 of the beans is ..... jeepers.... “It’s Alive!!!”

    Outlaw, Psicotommy73 and Mr Swisher like this.
  5. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Mine was $1500+ including all the mods, not counting any aesthetic stuff.

    I found my 6120 used for $1500.

    no joke.
  6. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    New pickups, a compton bridge, and locking tuners. My G2420T has about $600 dumped into it, and at this point is probably a bit better kitted out than a stock Electromatic. Still want a proline tho... The G6659T has caught my eye, but they're rare used and pricey even then. A 6120 or 6118 might also fit the bill.
    mjm0 and Waxhead like this.
  7. dmunson

    dmunson Gretschie

    Dec 19, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    My Electromatics are the 5230 and the 5622. I have played, and owned, several Pro lines, but do not consider them as a step up, other than some of the more vintage specs.
    Mojoman likes this.
  8. Mojoman

    Mojoman Electromatic

    Jan 14, 2019
    Gardena, ca.
  9. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    WOW fantastic price you got on the 6120 - congrats :D
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Yeah, I’ve been real lucky finding two dream Gretschs at prices that could be considered a steal.
    They’re out there, just gotta keep looking and be patient.
    Now that I have them, I lust after no others.
    That is to say, I do sometimes drool over other guitars, just not other Getschs.:p
    Mr Swisher and Waxhead like this.
  11. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Electromatic

    Dec 18, 2020
    As an addendum to my previous post, I think the most important difference between the players editions, and the Electro/Syncro, is simply consistency. Players editions are consistently great, and that is a lot of what you pay for. There are certainly a lot of happy players with excellent Electros and Syncros, but there are too many reports of problematic or inconsistent guitars in those lines. I'm generally fine with Korean and Indonesian instruments, but I'm still very skeptical about China after my experiences. Put more simply, I would (and have) buy a players edition online with no concerns. I would personally not do that with the other lines. It's a bit weird because FMIC manufacturing is usually very consistent at all levels. 'Try before you buy' applies here.
  12. Marv666

    Marv666 Gretschie

    Jul 26, 2020
    I got to play many guitars over the years (also some prolines, but never owned a proline unfortunately) and my modded 5120 is my all time favourite guitar .... i'll never sell it and it's the best sounding/playing guitar i ever played.
    Sure there is a Lot of sentimental value involved considering it's with me since i was about 8 years old but still there's something magical about it besides that.
    Maybe i got a sunday model i don't know ....
    After that come the prolines i got to play and out of my own guitars the 5125 is my second favourite.....
    These old electromatics are just great guitars, super alive!
    But my 5420 comes nowhere close, looking Back i would have gotten another 5120 or 5125/6/7/8/9 instead.
    The new electromatics are good guitars but i feel like they're just further away from what a gretsch is supposed to be than the older ones (i don't like the blacktops in the hollowbodys btw)

    I hope my next Gretsch will be a yellow double anniversary or old setzer hot rod in lime gold
    Archtops likes this.
  13. I’m not widely familiar with the Gretsch model numbers.
    After reading these posts I went to look up some of them to distinguish which everyone is talking about for the models I did not know.

    It was gratifying to note in the specs, Amazon provided this tidbit:
    Body Material : Wood.

    Thanks for the indulgence, I return you back to our regular programming.
    Archtops likes this.
  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Hey Marv - every single one of us has got a different idea of what a Gretsch is supposed to be :D

    The only arbiter on that is Gretsch Corp and they've decided they want them to be many different things to different people.

    For example, if they didn't make E models with Blacktop filtertrons I would not have bought my 5422 :eek:
  15. Mr Swisher

    Mr Swisher Synchromatic

    Jun 12, 2012
    I think Prolines generally used to be wood... not sure about these new-fangled Players Editions... :D;):confused:
  16. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    I will echo everyone who has said that the electros are great guitars and the prolines are indeed a level up, there is a difference but it's whether that price is justified by the player and that is something only you can decide.

    I have 5 prolines and 1 electro with another one in coming, I can't comment on the 5420T as I haven't played one but have played a 5410T, my take on it is that the 'feel' of the prolines is what makes the difference, yes the electronics are better, the consistency is better, the fit and finish is better but only marginally (my 5230T is just as stunning to look at then my others), the finish coating on the electromatic is a bit thicker so it does give that slight 'plastic' feel to a degree and I won't go into the differences I find between the two jets as you aren't looking at them.

    In saying all that though I love my 5230T, it's different but not in a bad way, it cost 1/5 of the the price of the penguins but you wouldn't think it, I am planning on putting about another $500.00 into it but that's only because I want too not because I have too as it will never be sold.

    My opinion would be to definitely give an electromatic a go, buy one and see what you think, if you find you love it then great but if you are even the tiniest bit interested in the prolines then don't mod it until you have at least tried a proline, that way if you decide to sell it you won't lose any more money they you have too.

    Good luck with your decision.
    Marko60, new6659 and Mr Swisher like this.
  17. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Well I paid a really good price on my 6120JR2 from a pawn shop on ebay, which is good because I doubled the amount of money I put in it replacing everything except the wood, pickguard and truss rod cover (and the latter 2 will be replaced). Bye bye gold hardware!
  18. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer Electromatic

    Feb 23, 2021
    I had a 6120 DSW from Japan....great guitar but I could never really get into it....so I sold it for cash and a trade on a new G2442GT in Midnight Sapphire....totally love it....as much Gretsch as I'll ever need for half the price
  19. golem

    golem Electromatic

    Jan 3, 2021
    My first Gretsch was a a MIJ gotten in trade for a very beat up PRS CE 24 that I had about $500 into. It was a 6114R I think. Now I have a 6228 and absolutely love it. It competes with a PRS 594, a Silver Sky, and a Kauer. So it's a good guitar.
    Mr Swisher likes this.
  20. grplans

    grplans Newbie

    Mar 21, 2017
    Marko60 I also live in England (Congleton, Cheshire). Bought a 2007 Gretsch 5120T on Ebay for £400. Turned out it was being sold by a branch of CashConverter pawn shop in Chorley, Lancs and was in unused unmodified mint condition, albeit with no case (came in the original Gretsch cardboard box including the inner packaging!). I played that for 4-5 years then sold on Ebay for the same amount of money before buying a mint 2015 6119T Tennessee Rose (again barely played, and came with the case) for £1500. Was there £1100 of difference between the two? No, probably not, but I do love the tone on the Tennessee Rose. You don't have to spend a lot of get a good Electromatic. Keep an eye open on Ebay, Gumtree etc and when a decent one comes up snap it up. BUT check it out before you buy. If you don't know enough to spot problems then take an experienced Gretsch player with you when you view. There are some on sale that have been upgraded with TV Jones pickups and they are pobably worth checking out.
    Marko60 likes this.
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