Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Gretsch Electromatic Hollowbody 5120

Today's post was brought to you thanks to my copypasting abilities! Haha. But seriously, this review was so good I decided that I might as well just copy the whole thing and do some light editing. Well, hope you like it!

Features: This guitar has the Gretsch Dual-Coil humbucking pickups, an adjustable bridge, chrome-plated die-cast tuners, and a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. These Gretsch’s are manufactured in Korea
Detailed features are as follows:

It is crafted with a laminated maple body
24-3/4" rosewood fretboard on maple neck
Bigsby® B60 vibrato tailpiece
16" x 2.75" laminated maple hollowbody
Laminated maple neck (24.6" scale)
Rosewood fingerboard
21 medium jumbo frets
1-11/16" nut width
Vintage style machine heads
2 Gretsch chrome covered Dual-Coil pickups
Master tone, master volume, neck pickup volume, bridge pickup volume
3-position pickup toggle
G-Arrow Knobs
Adjusto-Matic bridge on rosewood base
Chrome-plated hardware
Gloss urethane finish // 9

While playing the Gretsch I was instantly able to hear the breathability of this guitar. It had a very warm tone. To me I instantly felt like I could be playing in any R&B band (sound wise not ability) from the 50’s and 60’s. The air passing through the body gives it a very warm yet clear sound. Sharp but not punchy, clear but not too crisp. It has a soft side to it, an old rustic blues side. Reason being is this body type speaks very well to Jazz.
Although this guitar has humbuckers these are extremely low-output in comparison to most Standard humbuckers. I believe these are ever slightly hotter than P-90’s. I must say Gretsch did a fantastic job with keeping this guitar affordable and providing a quality sound. I think you get a little more than what you pay for on this guitar. For $699 as listed on most websites I think this guitar is about $50 overpriced, just to be nit-picky. Furthermore, in terms of sounds this guitar is not that versatile. It does not have the range that the Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro or Gibson 61’ SG have.

If you like to play hard rock or rock n’ roll BUY SOMETHING ELSE unless you love getting enormous uncontrollable feedback. Being a hollowbody this guitar has an inherent desire to squeal. Keep in mind it is your own fault if it does squeal because you probably shouldn’t be facing the amp directly or be that loud or have that much overdrive/distortion going on. If you do decide to go against your better judgment get ready to get booed on stage! This guitar is meant to play much softer blues, jazz, and very light rock, a la Buddy Holly. For what it sets out to achieve, it does it incredibly well. Good job Gretsch. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The Orange finish on this guitar because to me it really stood out. I was just drawn to it. I have the same feeling with a Gibson SG cherry red. Something about that just ‘pops.’ The set up is very good and seems to be solid. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I am happy to say that I believe the hardware pieces will have a very long lifespan.
A rather common issue involves the input jack. While playing it would get extremely scratchy and cut out for a very short time. This is probably due to corrosion. // 7

Impression: My overall impression is very good. I really believe that this is the best hollowbody money can buy for under $600. At least I have not played anything else to date that I believe comes close to the quality of craftsmanship, sound, and playability of the Gretsch Electromatic Hollowbody 5120. Although being a large guitar it is easy to play as it is incredibly light.  // 8


  1. The guitar looks awesome!

  2. It looks amazing and sounds like a great one too, besides maybe the corrosion part..haha

  3. Must sound amazing.

  4. Bette than my girl!

  5. Beautiful! sounds like u liked it!

  6. This post goes really well with the moment right now since I've got "This is Spinal Tap" playing at the moment. To paraphrase, just listen, just listen. I can't hear anything. Well if it was playing you would be able to hear it.

  7. I like the designs on this one.

  8. Still pretty pricey. I could buy a term worth of textbooks with that money.