Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 130

VG APPROVED GEAR

CAN'T-MISS
DOUBLE-CUT

The Gretsch G5622T Electromatic

E

namored with the Cadillac of guitars,
can't quite spring for a Coupe de
Ville, and don't want to get stuck with
an econobox? Take one of Gretsch's
new center-block Electromatics for a
test drive. Simply put, it's an incredible
amount of guitar for the money.
The G5622T picks up where Gretsch's
double-cut models of the mid-1960s
left off - and at a price that'll make you
think you're still living the '60s dream.
The guitar has all the classy styling and
high-end appointments - including a
Bigsby. Plus, it's got that sound.
The 1.75"-thick body is made of
laminated maple with arched front and
back. The secret lies inside: a chambered
spruce center block, which Gretsch says
emphasizes the guitar's dynamic resonance, high-gain power, and lightweight
comfort. We'll see...
The standard U-shaped neck is also
maple, capped by a rosewood fretboard
with a 24.6" scale. There are 22 medium
jumbo frets highlighted by pearloid neoclassic thumbnails. Fingerboard radius is
12.6", finishing at a 1.6875" nut.
The oomph comes thanks to a dynamic
duo of Gretsch's Super HiLo'Tron pickups, and here some explanation is needed.
The original HiLo'Tron was first offered in mid-1960 as a budget single-coil
variant of the humbucker Filter'Tron.
Some folks liked them, others... not so
much. George Harrison, though, was
among the former.
The Super HiLo'Tron debuted in 2013
as a dual-coil humbucker and it sounds
much more akin to a Filter'Tron, voiced
with plenty of clean, high-end sparkle
while still providing a robust bottom
end. In other words, the Gretsch sound.
Controls include your usual threeway pickup toggle and separate pickup
Volume controls plus Master Volume and
Master Tone knobs.
The Bigsby tailpiece leads up to an anchored Adjustomatic bridge. A highlight
is the cream plexi pickguard with golden
Gretsch logo. Tuners are vintage-style

Price: $1,249
Info: www.gretschguitars.com

open-backs. All in all, there's plenty
of bling.
Plugging into a tweed Deluxe, the
G5622T is ready to rumble. The guitar's
tone is about everything you could
dream of from a Gretsch, especially
at this price. It sparkles, it shimmers
- and it can shake the windows in
their panes. These Super HiLo'Trons
get loud.
Dial up the guitar to be warm and
rich or cutting and trebly with gobs
of gain. The pickups are not especially
fat-sounding, but then that's not what
a Gretsch is renowned
for. Besides, there are
pedals for that.
So what does

VINTAGE GUITAR

130

October 2017

that center block add? Comparing the G5622T to a double-cut
hollowbody G5422T, the center
block supplies a richness of tone
and depth of resonance, akin to a
ES-335. And it makes for a lightweight
guitar with more of a solidbody's sound.
One thing newbies to Gretsch may
not realize they're appreciating is that
anchored bridge - as any user of a
vintage Gretsch will be quick to point
out. The old free-floating bridges held
in place by string tension were not up
to the power of a good Bigsby or hardrocking doublestops.
One recommendation would be to
swap out the stock .010-.046 strings
for something with more heft - perhaps even flatwounds for country or
rockabilly. While the lightweights
make the guitar optimally playable,
heavier-gauges would boost that lovely
built-in tone.
Last but hardly least are the color
options. The G5622T is available in
Black, Vintage Orange (think 6120),
and Walnut Stain (Country Gentleman, anyone?). Plus, Gretsch offers
its stunning Georgia Green, a lustrous
hue straight from a classic '60s land
yacht. Basically, you
can't miss. - Michael Dregni


http://www.gretschguitars.com http://www.vintageguitar.com

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