Classic rock ‘n’ roll cool at affordable prices – we see if it’s true in our Gretsch G5422 review
The Gretsch G5422 Electromatic has been revealed, and this new affordable guitar offers plenty to appeal to wide range of players. Featuring the new Black Top Filter’Tron pickups, and plenty of classic good looks, it aims to provide a more attainable taste of the Gretsch magic, without compromising too much.
It certainly looks the part, but does it stack up? We take a look in our Gretsch G5422 review.
Classic, beautifully finished design
It’s immediately apparent that the Gretsch G5422 Electromatic is styled with Gretsch’s trademark flair. This is the kind of guitar that stands out like a beautifully manicured (rather than sore…) thumb, when displayed on just about any guitar wall. With heaps of shiny metal and contrasting detail to its hollow, F-hole styled body, this wears its rock ‘n’ roll ‘stripes’ with pride. Though I’m sure there are people wh0 don’t find this kind of styling particularly appealing, personally, I struggle to see how- this is a truly beautiful guitar.
The body of all models is a double cutaway design, with a 5-ply maple construction and sound-post bracing. A maple neck with rosewood fingerboard finishes things nicely. It has light, but pretty well balanced construction- there’s no sense of tipping towards the neck.
All models in the range are equipped with the new Black Top Filter’Tron pickups. These are designed to emulate the tonal qualities of a vintage set of Baldwin-era Filter’Trons. Combined with the maple construction, this results in a guitar with bags of ‘Twang’ and punch.
A Bigsby Licensed tremolo and adjusto-matic bridge add some further vintage flavour to proceedings. Fit and finish are excellent throughout- the G5422 looks and feels like a very luxurious guitar.
There’s a school of thought that says getting a good, resonant tone when strumming an electric guitar unplugged is a very good sign. The G5422 sounds surprisingly good, in this regard, and certainly has the kind of lively, dynamic resonance that bodes well for plugged-in tone.
The neck is a fairly chunky affair. That’s not to say that it’s huge, just that it’s far from skinny. When playing, I can only describe it as feeling slightly ‘vintage’, which is no bad thing at all in my book.
Plugging it into a classic ‘clean’ amp, and dialling in a bit of slapback delay immediately brings forth classic, Rock ‘n’ Roll tones. Fans of Brian Setzer who can’t stretch to his signature model will find plenty to like here. The pickups certainly have ‘edge’, but this is underpinned by a lovely warmth.
Turning the gain up a notch reveals some beautifully rich ‘crunch’. Though fans of Metal need not apply, adjusting amp settings reveals the G5422 to be a surprisingly versatile guitar, when gain is pushed up.
Though it’s fair to say that Gretsch’s aren’t to everyone’s taste, you’d have to fairly hard of heart not have any emotion stirred when casting an eye over the G5422. This is a truly beautiful guitar that upholds the brand’s reputation for stunning instruments with ease.
It isn’t just a pretty face, either. Aside from being incredibly playable (it’s the kind of guitar that’s very difficult to put down…), the Blacktop pickups capture that distinctive Gretsch tone. Whilst this will please classic Rock ‘n Roll fans, tweaking some amp settings shows it to be a pretty versatile instrument.
So, it looks great, plays great, sounds great and can turn its hand to a surprising array of styles- what’s not to like?
View a complete range of Gretsch electric guitars including the new electromatic models, or for more information call our stores or customer service team on (01925 582420).
Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.