Gretsch G5222 Electromatic amp

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by smuc, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. smuc

    smuc Electromatic

    4
    Nov 22, 2020
    Austria
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forum so sorry if this Thread ended up in the wrong section :)

    I wanted to share my experience with this little amp, and also how it got transformed from something fairly average to something amazing! First time I played this amp was in a shop when it came out, and even back then I was far from impressed with it. It looked great but unfortunately here was just nothing special to the sound. In the meantime I developed a thing for small tube amps, so I started looking for one. The thing is, the thing seems to be quite rare and when I would find one, the price tag was always far higher than I would be ready for a small made in China amp which sounds decent at best.

    After a period of searching for a deal, I got my hands on one completely by chance as a trade-in. As the trade in was executed on-line, I did not have a chance to try it out first but that was not the problem since I knew what would I do with it if I did not like it. The amp came in, and the sound was exactly as I remembered it to be - thin, stiff and with far from ideal distortion. The previous owner installed an 8" Jensen, which probably helped a bit, but I was still not fond of the core sound of the amp. As the amp was also producing a significant amount of hum, I decided to take it apart and build a champ from it.

    IMG_5383.JPG
    IMG_5377.JPG

    I have already made a champ before, however with this little Gretsch I decided to take the Champ circuit as a base and then tweak around it until I was 100% happy with it. As I am guessing this is not a very technical forum, I will skip the build details and go straight into the result! ;)

    Let me know how you like it!

     
    Merc, Zeek, thunder58 and 5 others like this.
  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Howdy! Welcome aboard!

    The Gretsch G5222 amp (not to be confused with the Gretsch G5222 guitar-still haven't figured out WHY they did that) is the same basic amp as the Fender Champ 600 reissue. There are a couple of problems with these, mainly the 6" speaker, cheap tubes, and the sound restricting grille cloth. The Fender's is a thick flocked material and bad enough, but the Gretsches rubberized coating covers 2/3 of the grille and chokes the speaker's output severely.

    By going to hand wired instead of the PCB you've already improved it by light years. I went with NOS tubes in my Champ and use it as a head to drive other, better speakers than the anemic little 3.2 Ohm 6" unit it came with. I got a basically new amp for much less than half price from a pawn shop, so, no complaints on that aspect. And the Fender's volume knob goes up to 12!
     
    NickGretsch and hcsterg like this.
  3. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Fine @smuc ! :cool::cool::cool:

    I did something similar to my G5222 many years ago :

    [​IMG]

    The schematic below will tell you all - as you can see, it's nearly a complete redesign and rebuilt ;) :

    [​IMG]

    Now this amp belongs to a friend who wanted it absolutely... :rolleyes:

    A+!
     
    NickGretsch, Waxhead, Merc and 5 others like this.
  4. smuc

    smuc Electromatic

    4
    Nov 22, 2020
    Austria
    Whoa @hcsterg !

    That's a really nice build! You even went for the full tube recto thing ;)

    Looking at the schematic, I would expect that yours does sound quite a bit different than mine. Do you have any clips/videos for comparison?
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Thanks @smuc ! ;)

    Unfortunately no - I never recorded it... I should ! :oops:

    Well, not even sure... We compared it to a vintage-costy 50s 5F1 Tweed champ in my local shop and I'd say they were roughly in the same ballpark about volume and tone, mine being much less noisy/hummy though, due to a better HV filtering.

    A+!
     
    Waxhead likes this.
  6. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Hello @smuc and welcome to the forum . Besides @hcsterg , I too enjoy the technical side of things and you'd be surprised how many others here do also .
    Thanks for the video , sounds great
     
    Waxhead, smuc and L Robbins like this.
  7. smuc

    smuc Electromatic

    4
    Nov 22, 2020
    Austria
    Thanks @thunder58, looking forwards to seeing some other projects here then ;)
     
    thunder58 likes this.
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