G5220 and G5222 Fretboard Wood?

MarkLo

Electromatic
Oct 15, 2021
47
Northern Utah
Hello,

I'm brand new to this forum and Gretsch guitars! I'll be placing an order next week with Sweetwater for either a G5220 or G5222.

Here's my question: What are the fingerboard woods on these two models? The Gretsch website says Laurel, but Sweetwater (and other music stores) say Black Walnut.

Thank you in advance!
 

Londoner

Gretschie
Dec 18, 2020
328
UK
When I bought my 5220 last year it was listed as black walnut.
I see on the Gretsch website it's now listed as laurel.
Maybe they had a few complaints about the colour coming away?
 

MarkLo

Electromatic
Oct 15, 2021
47
Northern Utah
When I bought my 5220 last year it was listed as black walnut.
I see on the Gretsch website it's now listed as laurel.
Maybe they had a few complaints about the colour coming away?
Thanks for your reply! Black Walnut isn't a deal breaker for me, just curious about it being listed differently depending on where you look.

BTW, if your 5220 was BW, did you have an issue with any of the stain coming off?

Thanks again!
 

Londoner

Gretschie
Dec 18, 2020
328
UK
Thanks for your reply! Black Walnut isn't a deal breaker for me, just curious about it being listed differently depending on where you look.

BTW, if your 5220 was BW, did you have an issue with any of the stain coming off?

Thanks again!
A little at first, but fine now.
I would imagine perhaps old stock have black walnut?
ps I've got another Gretsch with the laurel board, and actually prefer the look of that.
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Feb 13, 2012
6,483
France
Yes, my G5220LH Custom Jet was specified Black Walnut fretboard and is dated August 2018 :

Model N°251-720-539 G5220LH-DCM (Dark Cherry Metallic)
S/N°: CYG 18080917
CY = China, Yako factory, Zhangzhou.
18 = 2018
08 = August
0917 = 917 th guitar built for 2018 at the factory, all models included.

OH4WIb-P1070632.jpg


Surprinsingly, I never have any stain issue with mine... o_O But I must confess that I have very dry hands.

A+!
 

Alaska Mike

Electromatic
Apr 12, 2021
38
Alaska
I dumped a ton of lemon oil in my G5230T's fretboard (very dry environment in the winter) and never had any stain issues.

Mine was made in China a couple years ago, so they could have made the switch to laurel relatively recently.

You could always call Sweetwater about a specific guitar and ask the question. They usually are pretty responsive about such things.
 

MarkLo

Electromatic
Oct 15, 2021
47
Northern Utah
A little at first, but fine now.
I would imagine perhaps old stock have black walnut?
ps I've got another Gretsch with the laurel board, and actually prefer the look of that.
Yeah, I saw the Laurel Fingerboards and they look really nice to me! I'm glad Gretsch isn't staining those like they are with the Black Walnut! I'm a fan of letting the natural grain of the wood speak for itself!

Thanks again for your insights! Very helpful!
 

MarkLo

Electromatic
Oct 15, 2021
47
Northern Utah
Yes, my G5220LH Custom Jet was specified Black Walnut fretboard and is dated August 2018 :

Model N°251-720-539 G5220LH-DCM (Dark Cherry Metallic)
S/N°: CYG 18080917
CY = China, Yako factory, Zhangzhou.
18 = 2018
08 = August
0917 = 917 th guitar built for 2018 at the factory, all models included.

OH4WIb-P1070632.jpg


Surprinsingly, I never have any stain issue with mine... o_O But I must confess that I have very dry hands.

A+!

If I decide on the 5220 it's going to be the DMC like you have! Beautiful! fingerboard looks really nice! I guess the Walnut is up to the task. I live in northern Utah where it's very dry. Maybe this will help in the stain from rubbing off on the BW fretboard!

Your mods look awesome! Do you have a thread where you listed all of your upgrades? I'd love to know what you did!

BTW, thank you for the breakdown of the serial number, and how to read them! Very useful!
 
Last edited:

MarkLo

Electromatic
Oct 15, 2021
47
Northern Utah
I dumped a ton of lemon oil in my G5230T's fretboard (very dry environment in the winter) and never had any stain issues.

Mine was made in China a couple years ago, so they could have made the switch to laurel relatively recently.

You could always call Sweetwater about a specific guitar and ask the question. They usually are pretty responsive about such things.
I've never used Lemon Oil on any of my fretboards (I use Fret Dr.), but have heard good things about lemon oil, and that Gretsch recommends it. I plan on trying lemon oil with my new acquisition!

You may very well be correct about Gretsch switching to Laurel relatively recently, with stocks at some outlets still be being predominately BW.

As I mentioned, a Black Walnut fretboard is not a deal breaker for me at all. I'm planning on purchasing from Sweetwater, and their particular stock of 5220's and 5222's looks to be BW.

I'll be racking my brains the next few days deciding if I want the 5220 or 5222!:confused::confused:
 
Last edited:

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Feb 13, 2012
6,483
France
If I decide on the 5220 it's going to be the DMC like you have! Beautiful! fingerboard looks really nice! I guess the Walnut is up to the task. I live in northern Utah where it's very dry. Maybe this will help in the stain from rubbing off on the BW fretboard!

Your mods look awesome! Do you have a thread where you listed all of your upgrades? I'd love to know what you did!

BTW, thank you for the breakdown of the serial number, and how to read them! Very useful!

Thanks @MarkLo - you welcome ! :)

Here's the link : https://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/gretsch-jet-g5220lh-dcm-new-guitar-day.181375/

I personally find the shape of the G5220 single cut nicer than the G5222 double cut...

I always feel that there's something missing on the double cut version : it looks imbalanced, at least aesthetically.

But it's me, OK ? :D

A+!
 

MarkLo

Electromatic
Oct 15, 2021
47
Northern Utah
Thanks @MarkLo - you welcome ! :)

Here's the link : https://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/gretsch-jet-g5220lh-dcm-new-guitar-day.181375/

I personally find the shape of the G5220 single cut nicer than the G5222 double cut...

I always feel that there's something missing on the double cut version : it looks imbalanced, at least aesthetically.

But it's me, OK ? :D

A+!
Thank you for the link to your 5220 Custom project! Your technical expertise and finished Custom Jet are very impressive!

My short-term goals:

* Replacing the stock tuning machines with GOTOH SG381 3+3, per your recommendation!

* Replacing the stock pickguard with a White Pearloid pickguard from Quick Guards!

My long-term goals (These are out of my comfort zone, and will probably have these done professionally):

* Revised wiring per your recommendations

* Addition of a Bigsby B3 and new roller bridge

I'm going to try the BT BT's for a while, but may have them changed out for something else later.

I think for my first Gretsch, the 5220 in DMC will be a great choice! Thank you again for your insights!
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Feb 13, 2012
6,483
France
@MarkLo :

I re-read my thread about my G5220 "Custom Jet" and I unfortunately see that there's no more pictures available in the discussion... :mad::oops:

This is probably due to an issue that I recently had with my pics hoster. :confused:

If you need some detail pictures, indeed feel free to ask ! ;)

A+!
 

WingZero

Electromatic
Oct 21, 2021
66
Québec City, Canada
Yes, my G5220LH Custom Jet was specified Black Walnut fretboard and is dated August 2018 :

Model N°251-720-539 G5220LH-DCM (Dark Cherry Metallic)
S/N°: CYG 18080917
CY = China, Yako factory, Zhangzhou.
18 = 2018
08 = August
0917 = 917 th guitar built for 2018 at the factory, all models included.

OH4WIb-P1070632.jpg


Surprinsingly, I never have any stain issue with mine... o_O But I must confess that I have very dry hands.

A+!
This is a real stunner....

GF won't believe it when I say I NEED a singlecut guitar now
This color is awesome - is the back wood or the same? if it is wood, this is just amazing
 

Hickeroar

Gretschie
Oct 4, 2020
183
Texas
Thanks for your reply! Black Walnut isn't a deal breaker for me, just curious about it being listed differently depending on where you look.

BTW, if your 5220 was BW, did you have an issue with any of the stain coming off?

Thanks again!
Just my unsolicited opinion:

I have guitars with both Black Walnut and Laurel, and IMO Black Walnut is superior in every way. It reminds me of a darker version of Pau Ferro. It's dense, hard, doesn't need to be conditioned, and it has great color striations. I'm sure they use it because it's cheaper, but it's definitely better than many other financial substitutes.

Laurel is an extremely thirsty wood that dries out very fast and likes to be conditioned at least twice a year to maintain moisture and color. It's also rough and quite porous. Laurel just strikes me as a cost-cutting wood with very few redeeming qualities.

My $0.02. :p
 

Londoner

Gretschie
Dec 18, 2020
328
UK
Just my unsolicited opinion:

I have guitars with both Black Walnut and Laurel, and IMO Black Walnut is superior in every way. It reminds me of a darker version of Pau Ferro. It's dense, hard, doesn't need to be conditioned, and it has great color striations. I'm sure they use it because it's cheaper, but it's definitely better than many other financial substitutes.

Laurel is an extremely thirsty wood that dries out very fast and likes to be conditioned at least twice a year to maintain moisture and color. It's also rough and quite porous. Laurel just strikes me as a cost-cutting wood with very few redeeming qualities.

My $0.02. :p
With regards to my two, I would say the reverse. My Black Walnut looks very dull and dry looking.
Aso patchy in places where the colour's worn away.
The Laurel on the other hand, looks and feels like a quality piece of Rosewood, just a bit lighter in colour.
 

Hickeroar

Gretschie
Oct 4, 2020
183
Texas
With regards to my two, I would say the reverse. My Black Walnut looks very dull and dry looking.
Aso patchy in places where the colour's worn away.
The Laurel on the other hand, looks and feels like a quality piece of Rosewood, just a bit lighter in colour.
Maybe I just have some unusual specimens? /shrug
 

Alaska Mike

Electromatic
Apr 12, 2021
38
Alaska
I soaked mine pretty heavily initially, and now do a light application every string change. I live in a semi-arid area, and winter gets pretty dry. Clean and oil the fretboard, polish the frets, lubricate the nut, put on new strings, and adjust the truss rod if it's needed.

I haven't seen any wear spots on mine, but I also have 7 (8? 9? Hard to keep track) guitars currently that I intentionally rotate through. So any guitar will only see about 30minutes of use a week on average. My travel guitars see a lot more use, because they are all I have when I'm away from home.
 

MarkLo

Electromatic
Oct 15, 2021
47
Northern Utah
@MarkLo :

I re-read my thread about my G5220 "Custom Jet" and I unfortunately see that there's no more pictures available in the discussion... :mad::oops:

This is probably due to an issue that I recently had with my pics hoster. :confused:

If you need some detail pictures, indeed feel free to ask ! ;)

A+!

If you have the time, I would love to see some of your pics!

BTW, I placed my order today with Sweetwater for the G5220! My Rep contacted me a few hours after I placed my order indicating it had been shipped! I love Sweetwater's customer service! Hmmm, maybe I'll get it on Friday? I better not hold my breath!
 


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