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Gretsch Electromatic guitars.
Old 29th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Jamz's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Gretsch Electromatic guitars.

So how good is a new Electromatic compared to a more expensive new 6120?
I realize their built in China, do not have a lacquer paint job and use different pickups.
But they look and feel so good.

Thinking perhaps buying a stock Electromatic and if need be installing TV Jones pickups.
What do you Gretsch owners think?

I want one so bad but not sure I want to go a few grand in. Is this an all or nothing kind of purchase. I'm not interested in resale value. I would like it for the studio. Good sound. Stay in tune.
Old 29th November 2009
  #2
Jax
Lives for gear
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
If "good sound" and "stay in tune" are your main criteria, a 6120 is huge overkill. An Electromatic sounds good and will stay in tune if you don't get one that has the knockoff version of the bigsby (IOW, get a real bigsby if you need one), or if you get one with no trem, you'll be fine if the guitar is setup properly. BTW, the stock pick ups sound good to me, although TV Jones might sound 10-15% better.

There are quite a few different 6120 models and widely varying price ranges among them, from $2300 to $7000, so a direct comparison to the Electromatic doesn't hold together. Will a 6120 sound better than an Electromatic? Yes. Is it worth the price difference? Probably not, given your criteria.

In terms of getting what you pay for with Gretsch guiars, look at it this way: the guitar snob I play in a band with has a 6118T (that I play often) and it sounds punchier and more defined than an Electromatic, but not nearly as much as it should given the price difference, $1700 versus $600. I think he realized this and now he wants a Silver Falcon, which actually does sound much sweeter, warmer, more ballsy and defined than the 6118. The 6118 is $1700 and the Falcon is about $3000.

Electromatic = good
Anniversary = good/very good
Falcon = great

If you have the cash, buy something great. If you want to cover your needs, get something good.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Jamz's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Thanks for the insightful reply.
It seems to always be the case that the small critical differences in an instrument or any piece of recording gear for that matter are expensive but noticible. Especially, to discerning ears.
I've resorted to Youtube for the lazy man's listen. As expected the great players such as Holger Bogen sound great with any guitar. However, there is a video with a direct comparison between the 5120 and 6120. The 6120 sounded warmer with a little more dimension. Where I decide to jump into the river may be totally dependent how far upstream I can afford to jump in.
Thanks again for the response.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz โžก๏ธ
Thanks for the insightful reply.
It seems to always be the case that the small critical differences in an instrument or any piece of recording gear for that matter are expensive but noticible. Especially, to discerning ears.
I've resorted to Youtube for the lazy man's listen. As expected the great players such as Holger Bogen sound great with any guitar. However, there is a video with a direct comparison between the 5120 and 6120. The 6120 sounded warmer with a little more dimension. Where I decide to jump into the river may be totally dependent how far upstream I can afford to jump in.
Thanks again for the response.
you would be suprised how much the pickups really do play into it, if the video comparing the two had the same pickups it would be a better comparison.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
sloanfiske's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
i'm kind of a gretsch nut. the electromatics are ok, but really, as musiclab said, it all comes down to pickups.

i've played or owned a variety of gretches with dynasonics, filtertrons, hi-lo trons, those god-awful humbuckers that came on the Beast, etc.

at the end of the day, if you're looking for the "sound", i would look for a used 2005+ duojet. fender got it right when they took over. lightweight and true to original. i picked up a used jet firebird with a bigsby for under a grand. i love it. not as open as my 59 double anniversary (poor mans 6120), but fits the bill for a well built, great sounding guitar. you'd spend the same amount buying am electromatic and tv jones pus.

if you really want the "hollow body" sound, i'd look for a double anni. either the recent or pre 1960 model. add a bigsby and no one listening could tell if it was a 6120 or not.

one thing...make sure they have a sound block between the archtop and back. most of the Anni's with the hi-lo trons from the 60's apparently didnt have them. and if you're looking at older models, play before you buy. you never know who built the guitar at the factory and what kind of day they had. i've played some dogs.

i've found the 2 that do it for me. one newer jet and one old anni. one can go out and one that stays home.

check out gretschpages.com as well.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Jamz's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab โžก๏ธ
you would be suprised how much the pickups really do play into it, if the video comparing the two had the same pickups it would be a better comparison.
I understand what you're saying. Not the best comparison but good enough for me to know I prefer the 6120. Now if the 5120 had different pickups it could be a different story. Don't get me wrong I don't think the 5120 sounds bad at all. Especially, in the hands of a good player and a nice amp. This video would at least make me consider possibly replacing the pickups on a 5120 IF I felt it necessary. Knowing that there is a way to improve the instrument is somewhat reassuring.

YouTube - Gretsch 6120 vs. 5120 Side by Side Comparison
๐Ÿ“ Reply

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