Price paid: $ 700
Purchased from: Guitar emporium
Sound — 9
This guitar is actually more versitile than I had expected. And can do about what one would expect of a hollow body. I play through a Peavey 6505+, which is not what you'd expect to compliment this guitar, but I find it to be a very versatile amp with a bit of tweaking. With just the neck pickup on and the tone rolled back a bit, I can get really nice jazz sounds, and with just the bridge you can get some good country/rockabilly twang. Adding a bit of distortion give s really nice raunchy tone that you can only get from a hollow body (think Ted Nugent or George Thoroughgood). Too much distortion and the tone gets very muddy, but this isnt really a metal guitar. The pickups are very well balanced and one of the few guitars I've played that sounds good with the toggle in the middle position, I think this is partially due to the fact that the bridge pickup sets a little further form the bridge than most guitars.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I'm very pleased with this guitar. Again, my only complaing was the lack of a case but I bought one at the store when I purchased the guitar. I bought This guitar because I've really been getting into old rockabilly lately and this is a perfect for that. I've been wanting a hollowbody for years, I've always loved the tone of them. There aren't a lot of good hollowbodies in the under 1000 price range. Epiphone is about the only other company I can think of that make any and all of them I've tried I wasn't impressed with, to me they sounded cheap. This Gretsch actually sounds like a preofessional guitar and plays like one. I'm a metalhead at heart, but I like a having a versitile collection of guitars to be able to play in what ever style I'm into at the the moment. I really can't compare any of my other guitars to this because they are just too different. I think that for the price you can't get much better.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've only owned it a few weeks, but it seems about as solid as a hollowbody can be. I would definately trust it to gig with. I would say I could gig with it without a backup, but I would never gig with a backup for everything, that's amateur. Nobody wants to watch you change a string. The strap buttons are an odd Gretsch design, but seem solid, I wouldn't try to trow it around my neck though.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was very well set up when I bought it, but I believe the store I bought it from does a full set up before they put it out. The binding on the body and neck looks very nice. The frets are totally smooth. The pickup toggle is LOUD, not noisy, the sound is from the Switch not in the signal, you can hear it click into position. The grain on my particular guitar is gorgeous through the transparent Orange finish. The finish is totally uniform with no light or dark spots.
Features — 8
The G5120 is the korean made version of the popular 6120. It is a single cut away, true hollow body, at 3 1/2" thick, it feels pretty similar to an acoustic. The neck and body are both maple with a very nice grain pattern which shows through the transparent Orange on the model I have. It sports a 22 fret neck, although the width of the body hinders upper fret access, but this isnt really a shredder's guitar. For controls it has a 3-way toggle and both pickups have individual volume knobs and a master tone control. It also has a master volume located near the cutout. At first I thought this was redundant but after using it, I've found it pretty useful for going from clean to dirty without changing the balance of the pickups. The two humbucking pickups are Gretsch designed as opposed to the TV Jones pickups on the american model.The bridge is an adjustable tune-o-matic with a bigsby liscenced tailpiece witch adds to the old school appeal of the guitar. The tuners are non-locking open back of unknown origin, which hold a tuning pretty well, but a set of locking tuners would be a good idea with the bigsby. My only real complaint is that there was no case included, which I think is kind of a joke in this price range. Having to buy a case is an annoyance when I would've gladly given Gretsch another 75 or 100 to get a matching case.