G5125 review by Gretsch

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7.7 (14 votes)
Gretsch: G5125

Price paid: $ 499.99

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
This axe totally suits my genre. I play Rockabilly, and this guitar fits the bill. The neck has a fat 15.75" radius, but still feels nice in your hand. I play it on a Fender Blues Jr. NOS tweed amp, going through a Boss FBM-1 and Ibanez DE7 Echo/Delay pedal. This gives me an overdriven, "echo-ey" sound that Rockabilly is known for. The DeArmonds generate that 60Hz hum when the master tone knob is in the halfway position. I personally would do away with individual volume knobs, and put tone knobs instead. But, twangy sound is there nonetheless. The Switch in the neck pickup position is great for rhythm guitar playing, since it mellows out the twang. In the bridge position, it delivers a distorted twang, great for lead. I prefer to play in the center position, as the sound is more balanced. With Ernie Ball Regular Slinky nickel wounds, it sounds awesome! The Bigsby allows vibrato effects, which screams Rockabilly! Bigsbys aren't too good for high-pitched bends, as the bar travel is limited in that range. It's better for low-pitched bends. It gets an 8 for the loud hum, but nothing a noise suppressor pedal couldn't take care of.

Overall Impression — 9
I play Rockabilly, and I feel I made an excellent choice with this guitar. It's a step up from my Epi LP Special II, which only cost $150. Even though the factory strap locks and flimsy finish could be improved, this guitar puts out an incredible sound. I did my research before I bought this guitar, and decided on this model for my style of playing. My favorite thing about this axe is the sound. The hollow-body Rockabilly twang is there, and bites through the rhythm guitar for excellent lead riffs. If it got lost or stolen, I'd be pissed. Despite it's shortcomings, a great guitar for the money. I wouldn't recommend paying the $850 sticker price for it. $650 tops.

Reliability & Durability — 6
The guitar seems very durable for a hollowbody, but the finish chips easily. I accidently dropped the small plastic bottle of polish spray about a couple of inches from the body, and left a small pinhead-sized chip off the paint. The finish also seems to scratch very easily, as I wipe it down every time after playing, using the same cloths I use to wipe down my Epiphone LP. The strap buttons that came on it were flimsy, held on by toothpick-thin screws. I replaced them with Dunlop Dual-Design strap locks, and now I can play with confidence. All the other hardware feels durable and I would definitely gig with this guitar. The thin, scratch-prone finish and strap buttons get it a 6.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I needed to adjust the guitar, since I prefer a low action. Restringing a Bigsby proved troublesome at first, but not too hard to get used to. The only gripe I have is the bridge, which floats around. There is no intonation adjustment. The bridge likes to move around while restringing, which can be a bother. Other than that, everything seems to be well built. The internal bracing seems to be sufficient, as I have had no feedback problems with this guitar. The guitar holds a tune quite well, given that it has a Bigsby.

Features — 9
My G5129 (same as the G5125, just the color difference) was made in Japan. It has 22 frets with a 24.56" scale. It is a laminated top/hollow body of maple with a rosewood fretboard. It has a Bigsby tailpeice. It also has two single coil DeArmond 2000 pickups with a bridge, neck/bridge, bridge Switch config. There are two individual pickup volume knobs, master volume and master tone controls. The tuners are Vintage-style Gretsch tuners. I scored mine with a free gigbag. The lacquer finish is nice, but a bit rough on the edges of the F-holes. It gets a 9.

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