#1
I'm looking around for a guitar that can hang well with my Vox AC15. I like how my Strat sounds but I'd also like to switch out on occasion for something with a little more "meat on the bones" so to speak than the thin chime of a Strat through a Vox. I like Gretsch, and I was wondering if I can cop a similar vibe through one of those electromatic models? The price is what I'm into, because I can't see spending (or saving) $2,000-$3,000 for a real Duo Jet or White Falcon.
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X)
Klone circuit/Russian Big Muff 2in 1
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Line 6 M5
#2
I've owned a few Electromatics over the years and have always found them to be excellent - in my opinion they're better than Epiphone or MIM/MIJ Fenders.

Maybe I'm just reading the question wrong, but you say you want more 'meat on the bones', then you say you want to 'cop a similar vibe' to the thin chime you get on your strat?

Assuming your strat is the standard SSS setup, the Electromatic will definitely put a bit more meat on the bones as they use humbuckers, but you may need to switch back to your strat when you want the thin chime - that would be the case whatever you buy though, humbuckers don't sound like single coils & vice versa.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
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#3
I had a G5235T Pro Jet for a while and I loved it. Previous poster is right, the build quality is way above most Epi's or MIM Fenders. Great guitars.

Keep in mind that the humbuckers in a Gretsch like that are actually mini-humbuckers. It will definitely sound "meatier" than the standard Strat SSS setup. But it still won't be as bassy or punchy as something like a Les Paul-style guitar. The Pro Jet still has a good amount of chime to it.

FWIW I think something like that would sound awesome with your amp
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#4
Basically what I meant was, could the electromatic cop a similar vibe to the more pricy Gretsch guitars? Yes, I am looking for a meatier sound than my strat, but still with some chime as well (ala Gretsch). Thanks.
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X)
Klone circuit/Russian Big Muff 2in 1
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Line 6 M5
#5
the only negative thing i can say about the electromatics is that the full-size humbuckers on some of the models are kinda crappy. a bit muddy and muffled, but you can get some good, affordable upgrades that are in keeping with that gretsch vibe from guitarfetish.com (GFS retrotron series). i've heard about the mini-humbuckers also being a bit muddy but don't have enough experience with them to say for sure.

excellent guitars for the price, though.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#6
Quote by sg4ever
Basically what I meant was, could the electromatic cop a similar vibe to the more pricy Gretsch guitars? Yes, I am looking for a meatier sound than my strat, but still with some chime as well (ala Gretsch). Thanks.

Yes and yes. Judging by what you're looking for I think you'll like them.
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#7
Cool. I'm always willing to upgrade the pickups, down the line.
Fender Telecaster
DeArmond M series
Vox Night Train 15 head w/Weber loaded 1x12
Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X)
Klone circuit/Russian Big Muff 2in 1
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET
TC Electronic Nova Delay
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Line 6 M5
#8
The Electromatic could easily be worth more than it is. A great guitar that gets you bang for the buck.

Quote by sg4ever
Cool. I'm always willing to upgrade the pickups, down the line.


Pickups are not an upgrade, they're a customization. They do not make the guitar better, they just get it closer to the sound you want.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#9
Quote by JustRooster
Pickups are not an upgrade, they're a customization. They do not make the guitar better, they just get it closer to the sound you want.

i think that's debateable the stock humbuckers on the 5120/5122 etc just don't have much clarity or definition really, i don't know anyone who wouldn't call any pickup that gives these guitars a clearer sound an "upgrade".

of course, given the subjective nature of everything related to guitars, that's only a generalisation that doesn't necessarily apply to everyone, in which case the term "upgrade" may be incorrect for the few individuals who would buy a gretsch specifically for its muffled top end and flabby bass

(yep, i really want to swap the pickups in my 5120 )
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#10
I have an Elctromatic Pro with the bigsby and love it. It had some mods done to it by the previous owner... he switched out the pickups to GuitarFetish NYII, installed locking Sperzel tuners. I love the sound and feel of it. Overall i think that guitar could play anything.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#11
Quote by sg4ever
Basically what I meant was, could the electromatic cop a similar vibe to the more pricy Gretsch guitars?

The answer is a big YES.




I own both a 5120 Electromatic and a pricey White Falcon. Yes, the Falcon is a magnificently crafted guitar. It plays like nothing on Earth. But here's the thing. Though the electromatic isn't as well made as the Falcon, the electromatic can and does provide a very similar vibe and tone as the Falcon.

There is a great video on youtube where a guy compares the high end Gretsch 6120 to a low end 5120. You will be stunned by the lack of any difference between the two when it comes to tone. In fact, the 5120 in that video at times sounds better than the 6120!

Don't be afraid to buy an electromatic. They are fantastic guitars. They can keep up with the high end Gretsches. Check it out:
5120 vs. 6120
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI_B20C3fV0
#12
yeah, electromatics can definitely pull off the same sort of vibe as their more expensive, american counterparts. however, they benefit greatly from a pickup swap (and pots too if you can pop for it) as the stock electronics, though not bad, are not nearly as nice as the ones in american guitars.

that being said, electromatics play quite well and have a good basic sound. I have a 5120, and I played it through an ac-30CC for a few gigs, and it was absolutely great sounding
#13
The most popular Gretsch modification that we get daily phone calls about is upgrading the 5120 Electromatic from the stock Gretsch humbuckers to TV Jones TV Classic Pickups.-Made in China, in 2006 I believe.
-22 frets, on a Rosewood fretboard.
-Laminated Mahogany top, mine in black.
-Double cutaway body (This is actually a minor variation of the standard Jet. Not sure to what extent it affects the guitar, but I've been told the double cutaway version is quite a bit harder to come by)
#14
just to clarify, i may have been a tad harsh about the stock pickups in the 5120 in my last post, as a result of a slightly sarcastic response to justrooster

the stock pickups are acceptable but i find they require some serious EQ tweaking from the amp in order to get a proper gretsch sound - i use a laney VC30 and the only way to get that classic twang is to cut a lot of bass out and turn the bright switch on. 'that great gretsch tone' is within the guitar itself, but the stock pickups seem to hide the best of it.

btw, casinoepiphone, is that a compton bridge on your 5120? have you tried it with a wound G-string? i was gonna buy a stainless steel compton for mine but a few guys said the shape of the bridge means a wound G won't intonate properly because it's meant for a plain one.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#15
I used to own an Electromatic Pro Jet in gold flake. Great guitar, very solid feeling, great neck and fretboard, played wonderfully, but I found the mini-buckers a bit lacking tonally. I sold it to help finance my wedding, but I'd definately consider buying another one and switching out the pick ups for TV Jones Classics or Classic +'s.

My two other guitars are a LP Style and a Gretsch Country Club style with P90s, so it might be just me. Tone is always subjective.

Give it shot, I think you'll like it based on your posts.


Nice pair CasinoEpiphone! White Falcon's freakin' badass. Whada you play?
Petey D

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Last edited by Petey D at Dec 14, 2011,
#16
Quote by Petey D

Nice pair CasinoEpiphone! White Falcon's freakin' badass. Whada you play?

On my 5120 I play that great Gretsch sound -- the rockabilly, early 50s rock and roll, reverb, slap back echo stuff. The guitar sounds really great for that.




On my Falcon I do not do the Gretsch thing much. I bought that Falcon model because of The Cult's Billy Duffy. To me the White Falcon is a hard rocking beast and basically that's what I go for on my Falcon. The guitar has flatwounds on her so I also can switch to the neck pickup and play it as a smooth, warm jazzy guitar. It can also jangle really well so I use it for British indie-pop stuff. My Falcon is used for a lot, but surprisingly not much for that classic Gretsch stuff.

#17
Dont know bout the electromatic, i know the falcon is GREAT i own one next to my strat and tele and it really rocks!
#18
One of the best guitars for the money. Mine absolutely screams compared to my other guitars. You can get some killer tones from any of the bridge positions, and the neck is great to play. Look for a used one, if you can get an electro for 400 then it's a wicked deal.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
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#19
Orange 5120 <333

Even the £300 Gretsch Pro Jet i played was a stunner. Felt great, Gretsch make some outstanding nice guitars on a budget.
#20
Quote by CasinoEpiphone
On my Falcon I do not do the Gretsch thing much. I bought that Falcon model because of The Cult's Billy Duffy.

I've always liked Gretsch for that exact same reason. Billy Duffy was the main reason I started playing guitar back in the 80s.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#21
Quote by CasinoEpiphone
On my 5120 I play that great Gretsch sound -- the rockabilly, early 50s rock and roll, reverb, slap back echo stuff. The guitar sounds really great for that.


i notice you have replaced the bridge: what kind of bridge is that?

that's something i'd like to change on my 5120 - the TOM style bridge rattles too much for my liking.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#22
I actually like my G5122 more than my musicman silhouette, which would be twice the price.

I personally love its pickups too; they get an insanely warm clean tone, exactly the right clean tone I've always been looking for. I really like it a lot =)
Only con IMO: It's a b*tch when you want to work on the wiring. The only way to access anything is the lower soundhole. And it's 0,5 cm large.
edit: ^Blomp is right!!! I forgot about the bridge rattle. Add it as the second con. Besides that, there's hardly anything to write against these guitars. However, I found out that removing the pickguard makes a huge part of the rattle disappear, so the bridge isn't the only factor.
Last edited by Darkflame at Dec 15, 2011,
#23
Quote by Blompcube
i notice you have replaced the bridge: what kind of bridge is that?.

Yeah, the TOM bridges both had to go on my Gretsches.

On my Falcon I replaced the TOM with a Gretsch Bar Bridge (that posted photo was before change). I respect the guitar too much to start putting non-Gretsch aftermarket products so I went with the classic bar bridge shown here:



The 5120 has the fantastic Compton bridge. Cheap as anything (about $35) and what an amazing piece of work. Every good thing you read about the Compton is true. My 5120 originally sounded very good, but then I put that Compton on and it suddenly sounded like a top of the line professional instrument. It evened out the sound, gives it a full sound. Can't explain it, but all I can say it is a night and day difference when you put one on.

Pretty good review here that states exactly what it brings to your guitar:
http://musicmonte.webs.com/comptonbridgereview.htm

Last edited by CasinoEpiphone at Dec 15, 2011,
#24
right, i thought it might be a compton, i've been looking into getting one for a while, the only thing stopping me from getting one is their website states the profile is designed for accurate intonation with a plain G string, and jim thompson from compton told me i might have intonation problems since i use a wound G on that particular guitar. but i'm sure a reasonable compromise can be accomplished by moving the bridge around.

i can't really tell from your pictures but it kinda looks like you have a wound G string on yours too?
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#25
Quote by Blompcube
i can't really tell from your pictures but it kinda looks like you have a wound G string on yours too?


Don't know for sure at the time of that photo what was on the 5120, but I actually do play with a wound G on many of my hollow bodies including the 5120.

I had the same concerns as you about the intonation being off with the wound G. Surprisingly, it was fine. I wrote to the maker of the Compton and told him so.

One thing, I'm not a lead player. I'm strictly rhythm and fingerpicking so I rarely go down to those frets in the teens and twenties on which intonation problems will arise. My guitar sounds fine with the Compton. Is it PERFECTLY intonated on that wound G? To me it is, but to a Julliard school graduate it may not be. But just rest easy, I put the Compton on there with a wound G and the guitar did sound in tune no matter where I was going.
#26
ah right, thanks - well since the upper fret access is difficult on the 5120 anyway i probably won't be going so high up the fretboard that it causes a huge problem if it is a little bit out. i'm a lot more convinced about getting a compton now, though
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.