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Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar   

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When the Gretsch R&D team unearthed a Baldwin-era Filter'Tron pickup with knockout punch and phenomenal twang, they incorporated its DNA into dyn...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A single-cutaway hollowbody with Filter'Tron pickups and Bigsby tremolo.

When the Gretsch R&D team unearthed a Baldwin-era Filter'Tron pickup with knockout punch and phenomenal twang, they incorporated its DNA into dynamic "Black Top" Filter'Tron pickups, which now endow Electromatic hollow-body instruments such as the G5420T with an electrifying voice and identity.

The G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar is a sharp Gretsch guitar with a bound single-cutaway hollowbody featuring sound-post bracing and elegant bound f-holes. Other features include a maple neck, bound rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and hump-block pearloid inlays, silver plexi pickguard, three-position pickup switch, classic "G" arrow control knobs, rosewood-based Adjusto-Matic bridge and Bigsby-licensed B60 vibrato tailpiece, vintage-style open-back tuners and chrome-plated hardware.

Case sold separately.

FEATURES
  • Bound single-cutaway hollowbody
  • Maple neck
  • Bound rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and hump-block pearloid inlays
  • "Black Top" Filter'Tron pickups
  • Three-position pickup switch
  • Classic "G" arrow control knobs
  • Rosewood-based Adjusto-Matic bridge
  • Bigsby-licensed B60 vibrato tailpiece
  • Silver plexi pickguard

Choose your color and get ready to strap on something special. Order today.

SPECIFICATIONS

G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar

  • Body
    Body Material: 5-Ply Maple
    Body Shape: Single Cutaway
    Body Finish: Gloss Urethane
    Bracing: Sound Post
    Body Depth: 2.75" (69.85 mm)
    Neck
    Number of Frets: 22
    Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
    Fretboard: Rosewood
    Neck Material: Maple
    Nut Width: 1.6875" (43 mm)
    Scale Length: 24.5" (62.2 cm)
    Electronics
    Bridge Pickup: "Black Top" Filter'Tron Bridge Pickup
    Neck Pickup: "Black Top" Filter'Tron Neck Pickup
    Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup
    Controls: Volume 1. (Neck Pickup), Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Master Volume, Master Tone
    Hardware
    Hardware Finish: Chrome-Plated
    Bridge: Rosewood-Based Adjusto-Matic Bridge
    Tuning Machines: Vintage Style Open-Back
    Miscellaneous
    Unique Features: Hump-Block Fingerboard Inlays, Bound Body Top and Back, Bound Sound Holes and Fingerboard, Silver Plexi Pickguard, Knurled Strap Retainer Knobs, Adjustable Truss Rod, Bigsby-Licensed B60 Vibrato
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Gretsch GuitarsG5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar
 
4.6

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (24)
  • Fun to play (21)
  • Good feel (21)
  • Good pick up (18)
  • Solid electronics (11)

Cons

  • Craftsmanship (3)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (21)
  • Practicing (20)
  • Recording (16)
  • Small venues (14)
  • Rock concerts (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (18), Professional musician (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Good Value

I really like this guitar - sound, looks, value. I also have one of the earlier 5120 Electromatics and love that guitar too. The 5420 has a slightly livelier, brighter, and even...Read complete review

I really like this guitar - sound, looks, value. I also have one of the earlier 5120 Electromatics and love that guitar too. The 5420 has a slightly livelier, brighter, and even more Gretschy tone than the 5120. Both are quite beautiful guitars. My new 5420 has a deeper orange and the top, while not technically considered a figured wood, has such grain patterns as to almost appear burled. Really beautiful and the finish is excellent. I love playing it and hearing it's complex tone. Now for the bad. My first purchase was the Cadillac Green FSR 5420. It looked nice, sounded good, but the strings would not center over the pole pieces of the PUPS. If the bridge was moved to adjust this, it would spring back from string tension to its original position. I figured the Bigsby was not positioned correctly. Had to send it back and exchaged for the slightly more expensive orange model - which was dead on arrival - no sound from the amp when plugged in. Sigh ... I decided to fix it, figuring it to be wiring related. I resoldered several questionable looking joints and everything is fine now. I really liked the looks and feel and sound of the guitar otherwise I would never have gone to the trouble. The wooden base of the bridge was also not matched to the contour of the top very closely. I used some Stew-Mac tools and supplies to sand it to a perfect match. I know - this is a lot to do to an almost $900 guitar. It is beyond what is reasonable to expect for your money IMHO. Fortunately, I have enough experience to deal with some of these issues. This is typical of my experience with Asian guitars in this price range. Sometimes you get absolutely stunning value, sometimes you get a clinker - that's the way it is. Almost all of them require a good set-up. DIY or pay somebody competent. So, with all issues addressed, do I still love her? Yes, it was worth it for me. I would still recommend the guitar. Just a heads up of what you might expect of any brand in this price range. I have a great guitar now - but it took a little work to get it there. Seems typical these days.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good tone - poorly constructed

This guitar is very poorly constructed. The input jack broke two times in one year and the strap pins and pick-up selector will fall off.

The guitar has good tone and...Read complete review

This guitar is very poorly constructed. The input jack broke two times in one year and the strap pins and pick-up selector will fall off.

The guitar has good tone and you can make some interesting sounds with the Gretschbuckers, but if you are going to spend close to a grand on a guitar, just buy an American made Gibson

Reviewed by 27 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(37 of 38 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A Good Value

By PartialtoMarshall

from New Mexico

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Value

Cons

  • Quality Control Issues

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • School Bands
  • Small Venues

Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

I really like this guitar - sound, looks, value. I also have one of the earlier 5120 Electromatics and love that guitar too. The 5420 has a slightly livelier, brighter, and even more Gretschy tone than the 5120. Both are quite beautiful guitars. My new 5420 has a deeper orange and the top, while not technically considered a figured wood, has such grain patterns as to almost appear burled. Really beautiful and the finish is excellent. I love playing it and hearing it's complex tone. Now for the bad. My first purchase was the Cadillac Green FSR 5420. It looked nice, sounded good, but the strings would not center over the pole pieces of the PUPS. If the bridge was moved to adjust this, it would spring back from string tension to its original position. I figured the Bigsby was not positioned correctly. Had to send it back and exchaged for the slightly more expensive orange model - which was dead on arrival - no sound from the amp when plugged in. Sigh ... I decided to fix it, figuring it to be wiring related. I resoldered several questionable looking joints and everything is fine now. I really liked the looks and feel and sound of the guitar otherwise I would never have gone to the trouble. The wooden base of the bridge was also not matched to the contour of the top very closely. I used some Stew-Mac tools and supplies to sand it to a perfect match. I know - this is a lot to do to an almost $900 guitar. It is beyond what is reasonable to expect for your money IMHO. Fortunately, I have enough experience to deal with some of these issues. This is typical of my experience with Asian guitars in this price range. Sometimes you get absolutely stunning value, sometimes you get a clinker - that's the way it is. Almost all of them require a good set-up. DIY or pay somebody competent. So, with all issues addressed, do I still love her? Yes, it was worth it for me. I would still recommend the guitar. Just a heads up of what you might expect of any brand in this price range. I have a great guitar now - but it took a little work to get it there. Seems typical these days.

(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great guitar, nice price

By Tom

from Salt Lake

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics
  • Workmanship

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing

    Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

    Have owned solid bodies and wanted something new. This guitar surpassed my expectations. Great finish and great workmanship. Played both the 5420 and 5120 and I encourage anyone looking at the 5120 to check this one out. The 5420 electronics are simply superior. I'm not an expert but it was obvious doing a side by side. And for a little more the 5420 is worth it. Great action, great tone, and a bigsby!

    (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Now This is a Gretsch!

    By jman925

    from Pittsburgh,PA

    About Me Novice

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • School Bands
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

      This guitar devilers everything that its earlier verison didn't( the g5120)! The looks are amazing! The white binding around the f -holes is really nice, I have the orange version, which is a nice color, it is more of a deep orange-red color. The pickups. oh the pickups! They are great! They deliver an actual gretsch sound. MUCH BETTER THAN THE G5120 PUPS!!! This is a greta guitar for the money. I would highly adise getting one of these. If you want that great gretsch sound get this model not the 5120!

      (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Be prepared to overhaul

      By KirkL

      from Illinois

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone

      Cons

      • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing

      Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

      My experience with the G5420T has been the same as PartialtoMarshall's: this is a guitar with a lot to like compromised by sloppy manufacturing.

      The good....
      * The neck design enables hours of fatigue free playing, if you have fairly large hands. Fret installation is outstanding.
      * The Blacktop pickups are almost as good as Gretsch HS Filtertrons for playing clean (however, Blacktops get muddy and the distortion is not very appealing with high gain).
      * The no-name tuners are not bad, although locking tuners would work better with a Bigsby.
      * The Bigsby was correctly installed and works properly.
      * The clean interior speaks of a well constructed body.
      * The finish was expertly applied and looks first-rate.

      The bad....
      * The Adjusto-Matic bridge rattled non-stop and killed the tone. My first move was to replace it with a brass Compton bar bridge that has no moving parts and delivers great sustain.
      * The bridge base was not shaped to fit the archtop at all and required meticulous sanding.
      * The nut was grey plastic junk - poorly slotted and way too high - and was replaced with bone.
      * The pots and wiring harness were substandard. While the guitar was in the shop I had it all replaced (CTS pots and orange drop capacitors).
      * The cheap pickguard was installed crooked - I took it off and filled the holes with the mounting screws.
      * The binding in the f-holes was crude and required a thorough going over with emery cloth.

      Lest any one think I am being too picky, I also own a comparably priced Godin archtop that was built to a higher standard. I am happy with my G5420T now, but whipping it into shape was a costly hassle. Gretsch needs to pay more attention to quality control and stop cutting so many corners.

      BTW This guitar has a floating bridge. Any one who is unfamiliar with positioning one of these for proper intonation might want to watch the Gretsch Guitars Tech Tips YouTube video on the subject.

      (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      My new favorite guitar!

      By Bobby Vegas

      from Japan

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone

      Cons

      • Bulky Acoustic Feel

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

      This guitar feels just like an acoustic as far as the bulky feel of an acoustic goes, but the sound is amazing! This guitar is very fun to play, but the drawback to the playability is how the body cuts into your strumming forearm with a strap attached. A second note is how beautiful this guitar is. I own a bunch of guitars to include an explorer, SG standard, les paul, and a flying "V", but this guitar is my new favorite. This distortion is clear and lethal, and the clean side is very "twangy". I play mostly ska and punk sounds through it and have come to the conclusion that this guitar is perfect for whatever sound you want to have come through it. Last drawback, add some more cash to the price tag cause it does not come with a case or gig bag, which is strange for such a nice guitar. Manufacturers usually will include a case with a guitar of this quality. Other than that, worth ever penny!

      (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Love it.

      By Michael N.

      from Texas

      About Me Novice

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I bought this used in Orange. I haven't had any problems with it as far as build quality. The pickups are outstanding and the Bigsby is a lot of fun to play around with. Love the look, feel, and tone. I don't have anything bad to say about this guitar and highly recommend it.

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Fantastic guitar, if not a bit temperamental.

          By JIDIJSF

          from Texas

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Stunning Appearance

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Rock Concerts
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

            I picked this guitar up at a local shop. I took it off the wall, played it for about an hour, and knew I had to have it. I have been playing it in shows for about a year now. The tone is brilliant. It sounds fantastic coming out of the rig I use. My only complaint is that she can be a bit temperamental at times. I have it set up and looked over by my luthier about once a month or so just to be extra cautious. Needs bridge adjustments often. It also rattled quite a bit when I first brought it home. I took the pick guard off and filed it down some, then ensured that the screws holding it in place were all secured tightly in place. This made the problems go away. In short, I love this guitar, but it definitely likes to be babied and requires a great deal of attention.

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Awesome for the money!!

            By RESPLENDENT62

            from Memphis, TN

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Great fit and finish
            • Shipped Safely

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Recording
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

              Suprisingly nice instrument. Great fit & finish. Blacktop pickups are sweet. Shipped safely. Only setup required was adjusting bridge for best intonation. Super play-ability!

              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Some are problematic

              By Rick153

              from Monroe, NC

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Pretty Instrument

              Cons

              • Fret Buzz
              • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • Small Venues
              • Tuning Wanders A Bit

              Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

              I purchased the very pretty sunburst finish and really enjoy the tone the Gretsch produces. From twangy to jazz, the guitar seems to do it all reasonably well. I especially think the price is quite reasonable. I do have several quibbles, though. My first one (Gretsch is replacing it) had a couple of bubbles in the paint. The paint, in fact, scrapped on the model I purchased very readily from the strap! I had to make some adjustments not he bridge to remove fret rattle as well. Those are little things, but still... The tuning also wandered, especially compared with a Strat. I also found that one of the strap lugs (holders) was loose as was a switch. Finally, the forward pickup would change volume or cut out completely. It did it infrequently, but at the worst possible times. The Gretsch warranty is good and the guitar is being replaced. The tone is wonderful and I love the Bigsby. I would still recommend it...make sure that you always use a reputable supplier.

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Comfortable Classic, Striking Looks

              By Mike

              from Southern Maine

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Beautiful
              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics
              • Striking
              • Stylish

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Recording
                • Rock Concerts
                • Small Venues

                Comments about Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

                I own and play this Gretsch, an Epiphone ES-175, an American Standard Strat, a Squire Tele and a Gibson Hummingbird Pro. This Gretsch 5420 is the easiest to play as its action is very nice. It's a very comfortable size as it's thinner than a full size hollow body like the ES-175. I can see the fretboard as I play. The tone through my Fender Blues Jr is really pretty and full. I tried 2 of these out and they were both very nice. My wife thinks it's the coolest looking guitar she's ever seen. The Bigsby vibrato bar is so nice that I don't want to play a guitar without one now. I will get one for my Epiphone. After a couple days of adjusting the tuning a number of times with a new set of Daddario 11 to 52 (with an 18 wound G), the Gretsch stays in tune quite well. I play mostly rhythm guitar to sing and perform solo with so what I look for is a full balanced tone and to stay in tune, along with comfortable easy action. I will try other strings to try and hopefully get a little bigger sound from the bass strings. Daddarios are nice but my sets are too old to know for sure if their tone is like new strings. When you have one of these guitars adjusted just right and you strum a chord with a little reverb and just give the vibrato bar a slow wiggle, it's guitar heaven!

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