G5105 Electromatic CVT III review by Gretsch

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (5 votes)
Gretsch: G5105 Electromatic CVT III

Price paid: $ 320

Purchased from: OK Go (from and eBay seller)

Sound — 9
I play rock, hard rock, blues, Phenomenauts flavored rockabilly, and some jazz (not with the CVT III, I might add). It works very well with my style, but pretty much only on the bridge pup. The neck and middle are both a bit muddy. The neck got loads better when I lowered the action. It's now full and very bright. The bridge gets kind of Telecaster-y when the tone is rolled on. I play it through my Blackheart BH5H and a Vintage Peavey 2x12 column and simultaneously into my Fender Stage 112 SE. Goes through a GFS Twin OD (awesome), a Fuzz Moo (awesome), a GuitarFuel AV-1, and some trems and verbs (all awesome), and it gets along well with them.

Overall Impression — 8
As I said, this thing is perfect for rock (cream, cream, and more cream), and twangin' it up, but it might be limited to those two genres, plus blues. It doesn't do mellow too well, but neither do I, so it fits me. I've been playing for several years now, and I have some customized and totally custom guitars hangin' around. I think that if it was stolen, I would probably shop around for something more versatile, but I might come around to it again. I have enough guitars, so I might just save up and buy something a little nicer.

YouTube preview picture
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Reliability & Durability — 9
STURDY. That's how I would describe this baby. The neck feels bend-y, but it's not a concerning sensation. It just kind of reminds you to hold back. It's kind of like a Rolls Royce. It makes sure that you behave in an un-hooliganlike manner. The strap button haven't budged in the year or so I've had it. I wouldn't gig without a back up, just because I always like to be safe. If I had no other guitars, I wouldn't be worried about playing a show solo with it. The finish will last forever, I think they used auto paint.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Can't really speak to the factory set-up because I got it after OK Go had beaten it with a PVC pipe stuck to the side of a Chevy Sonic at highway speed (really, go watch it). The action was wonky, and the neck was twisty (would be because it spent a video shoot under the HOT sun in the desert, then came to cool, damp Seattle). There were no flaws other than little lines/scrapes of plastic from the PVC pipe. One place on the headstock has no black paint under the finish coat, but nothing major. It has nice Gretsch arrow knobs, too. Gets an eight so it won't upset the average too much.

Features — 7
This axe has three passive Gretsch style mini humbuckers. It has 22 medium jumbo frets which feel like jumbos to me. Mine is in the cherry finish, and, thankfully, it is darker than those pictured by the seller. Mine was used in the OK Go video for "Needing/Getting", and was played by a car (you have to watch the video), so the set up out of the box wasn't ideal, but this is understandable. Its neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard. It's a medium verging on fat radius (12", I think). The maple is flamed in a birdseye/tiger-y way. It's very pretty. It's also very flexy, to the point of when you lift the neck up the pitch bends. But that's cool, and can work as a whammy, kind of. The 3 way switch is annoying (you can have neck, bridge, or all three (I think it's all 3).

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