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Gretsch Electromatic Guitar?

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I am abut to pick one up (5120) as soon as I unload my drums later this week. I went to the local Guitar Center yesterday and played around with one for about an hour. One word....TONE! Great vibe to it no matter how i set the dials, and it can go from country to rock to jazz without breaking a sweat.


The craftsmanship seemed to be top-notch. I was comparing it to three of the higher end Setzer models and really couldn't see much difference in the quality of the build, just different components.

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These guitars are great for the money. However I do have a few issues w/them.


* Fit and finish is generally good but I've seen a few examples where the frets could use a little extra work. Dressing isn't consistent down the length of the fret board and can look a little rough where the frets meet the binding and they've quickly filed the ends.

* Don't dig the clear pick guard (aesthetic issue, to each his own) or the laminated peg head. They (Gretsch) do a much better job on the Synchromatic line.

*Pots are not of the greatest quality. Can be noisy right outta the box. Will probably give you issues down the road. Not a huge deal and wont be expensive to fix but you should know that going in.

*Pickups sound tinny IMO and don't really transmit a rich aural sound. Really a big limitation for this instrument. If you can find one that rocks for you acoustically, great. Drop the dime and replace the pickups later when you've got more smash$$.

* Die cast open back tuners. Don't have a smooth feel and lack the precision to dial it in easily.


That said, these things are an excellent choice for low budget twang and are of solid construction. Perfect for fuzzed out garage rock. Pickups lack the nuances and warmth of more expensive models and that'll be readily apparent as you ratchet up the gain.

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