sup. i've recently become interested in getting a gretsch and as a lefty am really looking at either the 5435 or the 5420.

don't know that there's a world of options for me as a lefty but in general, the 5420 would probably be around the ceiling of my budget range (~$775 according to the net).

not really looking to ape anyone's tone, but some guitarists i like are johnny marr, stephen malkmus, andy summers, elliott smith and robert quine. other guitarists/general musicians who probably impact the music i make and thus to some extent this decision would be syd barrett and lou reed.

my main guitar is a 2005 american deluxe strat, i think with either the 1950s or 1954 pickups (stock ones died, friend hooked me up). i like it a lot. based on the youtube demos i've watched, it seems like the 5420 might give me more new options since it's a hollow body, and while i think both look cool, i might prefer that one's looks (the aspen green particularly).

that said, i wonder whether the 5435 would be more practical. starting up a new group but may be playing both regular and 'non traditional' venues-- lofts, warehouses, basements, etc. don't really go crazy or play super aggressive music, but i wonder if a more delicate hollow body would be ill suited for possibly chaotic places, even if i am vigilantly careful. additionally, those sorts of places might have iffy acoustics/no backline. my amp is a 50W ampeg GVT, which i love the sound of, but which isn't super loud. read that the 5420 has a lower output, and wonder if this would be an issue live.

i've been playing for most of my life, recently got a job teaching guitar, but know very little about guitar tech stuff. i know the LH models don't come with bigsbys but i'm interested in having one, both for the cache and because the tremolo bar on my strat is stripped and more or less unusable. having trouble finding a site to purchase left handed ones from, and would probably have to pay to have it installed since i wouldn't know what i'm doing. i imagine this would add a few hundred dollars to the overall cost, which i could maybe swing, at least eventually.

not necessarily averse to purchasing used if in person, but am honestly apprehensive about it online- have no experience with that at all.

i live in western long island, reasonably close to all the boroughs. tried googling guitar shops in the area (brooklyn/queens would be easiest) but the ones that listed inventory had leftyland-level selection, so i figure it's inevitable that i'd just order this online. open to store recommendations though.

sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance to anyone who could help me out.
I'm of the mind that if you're getting a Gretsch you're cheating yourself a bit if you don't get a hollowbody. Their solidbodies are good, but that Gretsch sound comes from those goofy pickups they use and a big hollow body.

Speaking of pickups, those two guitars have the same pickups so output will be the same.

I wouldn't worry too much about getting a hollowbody to play out, they're not that delicate. Unless you're being physically assaulted during your gigs it will be fine.

If I were you I'd take the LIRR into manhattan, check out Sam Ash midtown, guitar center, Rudy's. You can throw a rock and hit 30th street guitars and Rogue music from penn station, sam ash is only a few blocks away too. I would start there instead of Brooklyn unless Retrofret has something in stock for you but they're usually a higher-end sort of place.
First of all, condolences in trying to find affordable guitars as a lefty.

Second, here are some retailers to check out:




Third, I noted that some of the Gretsh guitars DID have Bigsbys, but were almost all of the pricier variety, and I don't know your budget...so I found this:


Fourth, I noticed THIS on Jerry's site:
Gretsch 5420 Orange with Bigsby. B7 (USA) Bigsby's added here in shop, includes Gretsch hardshell case. Jerry's Price: $1049.

Which means they might be able to mod another Gretsch if that me is sold...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 19, 2013,
great, thanks guys. agree that not getting a hollow body gretsch seems weird. will check out the stores in manhattan, and keeping jerry's in mind
Another option is to get a lefty Gretsch and put a Trem-King on it.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!