Which one for my first?

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by otisblove, May 17, 2020.

  1. otisblove

    otisblove Electromatic

    33
    May 11, 2020
    Chicago, Illinois USA
    I’ve been playing for 30+ years now and I’m in the market for my first Gretsch. In the last few years I’ve learned my way around a soldering iron and feel comfortable enough to do any mods that may come along. EXCEPT when it comes to trying to get my fingers into F holes. I’ve rewired a Sheraton 3 times and can still only get one pickup to work, so it’s got to be a solid body.
    Wiring in my house is old and poorly done, so no P90’s or single coils.
    I have several guitars. They’re all different. I love them all.
    Since everybody here is presumably a Gretsch fan, I have to come clean and tell you I’m never going to touch the Bigsby. I do think they look cool, so I don’t mind having it on there, I just won’t use it.
    I’m aware many of you replace the bridge (and anything else that is replaceable-I get it). I like all of these colors. I can’t get my hands on any of them for the time being and may just wait until I can. The GC guitars I can return without a hassle if I don’t like them.
    Here are the five I’ve narrowed it down to. Prices before tax.

    Which would you choose?

    G5135 Corvette with Mega’trons $650 B1680EED-1030-4F77-B0ED-5E07798C7953.jpeg

    G5135GL (used-Guitar Center)with presumably TV Jones Power’tron Pros $700 973B7628-A4D4-458D-B2CC-13B8533B481B.jpeg

    G5448G FSR (Guitar Center)with HS Filter’trons $700 35601E5C-D8A2-4434-AEF3-096C038DB6ED.jpeg
    Chicago Music Exchange Double Jet. Website SAYS Filter’trons. Look like Blacktop Filter’trons to me. $450

    08F015EB-EF1B-474E-85F6-B506E8A4DC41.jpeg

    G5232T with Blacktop Filter’trons (Guitar Center)$600 E3B96449-50B0-48AE-9023-A077C2EC2A8B.jpeg
     
    JeffreyLeePierre likes this.
  2. lathoto

    lathoto Gretschie

    137
    Apr 23, 2020
    Ohio
    65135GL - Go with the Jones. Start slow with the Bigsby and try to be so subtle that you can hardly hear that you are using it.
     
    otisblove likes this.
  3. goostah

    goostah Electromatic

    48
    Jun 25, 2017
    HK
    Looks like you like a double cut but if you're not averse to single cut then you could look at G5220. Essentially the same as the last one you posted but without the bigsby and with blacktop Broadtrons rather than blacktop Filtertrons. Blacktop Broadtrons are closer to PAF humbuckers, Blacktop Filtertrons sit between humbuckers and traditional Filtertrons - a modernised interpretation of version of filters if you will.

    Not sure if the two green ones were special runs?? But the last one with a mod to replace G-tailpiece wcould be good of you don't mind the decreased break angle. The two bottom holes of the Bigsby holes will be hidden by the tailpiece, their may also be slight imprints in the body from the Bigsby.
     
    otisblove likes this.
  4. Alanqa

    Alanqa Gretschie

    230
    Aug 22, 2019
    Lancashire UK
    The 5448. Assuming it plays well.
     
    otisblove likes this.
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    That's the one that does it for me ;)
     
    otisblove and MTurner like this.
  6. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    This may help you down the road . Tubes and dowls can be purchased at any hardware store

     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    otisblove likes this.
  7. maverick-tx

    maverick-tx Electromatic

    84
    Feb 7, 2017
    TX
    Of the ones posted, G5448 with the G tailpiece and HS Filter’Trons
     
    otisblove likes this.
  8. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    64
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    I'm with Rich (@thunder58): for me, it'd be the 5135 with the Megatrons.
     
    otisblove and thunder58 like this.
  9. goostah

    goostah Electromatic

    48
    Jun 25, 2017
    HK
  10. xtcclassic

    xtcclassic Gretschie

    115
    Jan 9, 2019
    Missouri
    If you like double cuts and don’t care about the Bigsby, I’d get a 5222 over any of the Double Jets you posted. They’re fantastic guitars, they’re $499 USD, and the Broad’Trons sound awesome. I currently have a 5222 as well as a 5232T with TVJ’s and a 5445T also with TVJ’s and the Blacktop Broad’Trons on the 5222 hold their own against the TVJ’s and sound almost nothing like a PAF to my ears. In the range between PAF and Filter’Tron, I’d say they are at most 25% PAF and 75% Filter’Tron.

    When I ordered the 5222 I made the assumption based on a lot of people’s opinions here that the Broad’Trons would sound too much like a PAF and I ordered replacement TVJ’s at the same time. At the end of the day the TVJ’s still sound better and are still going into the 5222, but had I played the 5222 before I ordered it there’s a good chance I would have just kept the Broad’Trons and not ordered the TVJ’s. They really do sound great. I like the Blacktop Broad’Trons better than I like the Blacktop Filter’Trons for sure, and I don’t dislike those at all.
     
    new6659 and otisblove like this.
  11. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Obviously I am partial to the Broadway Jade color. So I would go for the CME double jet the one with the v tailpiece. Then I would put on a Bigsby and replace the pups with some HS Filters which are in my Broadway Jade Penguin or for more money some TV Jones pups. If you want less mod work go for the FSR.

    Now, color aside, how much work do you want to put into it, and which of those above are the closest to being what you want it to be? That would be my # 2 driving force and #1 would be since they are all double cut which have the typical long neck join and which if any have the shorter neck join like my Penguin. The long join is fine but the short neck join is a million times better if only one had the short neck join that is the one I would go for. You can mod a lot of stuff on the guitar but modding a long neck join into a short neck join isn't one to try.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    otisblove likes this.
  12. otisblove

    otisblove Electromatic

    33
    May 11, 2020
    Chicago, Illinois USA
    If this were a poll, the G5232T is in dead last with no votes.
    Guitars I’m not even considering have 3 votes.

    @Bertotti, ideally I wouldn’t need to mod a thing. Just plug and play.
    I think the FSR Double Jet with all the bling and the G Love (no relation) Corvette are the most likely contenders there.
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  13. otisblove

    otisblove Electromatic

    33
    May 11, 2020
    Chicago, Illinois USA
    Then again, I’m not looking for a new #1, I just want a Gretsch that is going to look and sound like a Gretsch, so maybe the $450 Double Jet could be the winner.
    It’s $50 less than a G5222, but it has a basswood body instead of mahogany with a maple cap.
    I’m so conflicted!
     
  14. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I have a basswood Strat and it is a very resonant body. I actually quite like it.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    otisblove likes this.
  15. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Electromatic

    93
    Aug 16, 2019
    United States
    I've found that in most cases, I prefer basswood to mahogany. All my Jets are basswood/maple models.
     
    otisblove likes this.
  16. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I'd go for one of the double Jets personally assuming you're comfortable w/ the balance point/potential neck dive. The basswood ones seem a bit more aggressive/sawtooth in tone to me vs. mahogany.

    To add another you weren't considering, I'd look for a used 5655T-CB (the centerblock MiK double jet not the MiC Jr. style one they recently reused the model # for) & add a strap button at the neck heel. Seems much more Gretsch in feel & sound than the 5435 I had.

    While I love the Megatrons for trashy crunch, I haven't been very impressed w/ the few 5135s I've played from an assembly perspective. That's just me though.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    otisblove likes this.
  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I can't say I prefer one over the other and I won't rule one out because it is what it is. I didn't think pine was a good body wood until I saw and heard some that were pine and sounded fine. I'm more picky with acoustics.
     
    otisblove and Anacharsis like this.
  18. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Electromatic

    93
    Aug 16, 2019
    United States
    I agree that I would not rule one out based on the wood. I was just noting that I wound up with 4 basswood Jets, despite playing mahogany ones as well.
     
    otisblove likes this.
  19. xtcclassic

    xtcclassic Gretschie

    115
    Jan 9, 2019
    Missouri
    I also have a 5232 and it’s every bit as awesome as the 5222 so I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that model.
     
    otisblove likes this.
  20. Hypnore

    Hypnore Newbie

    3
    Aug 10, 2018
    USA
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice