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Gretsch Guitars G5120 Electromatic Hollow Body with Dual-Coil Pickups

Sound Quality

I read reviews that trash the Gretschbuckers. I've looked into TV Jones and GFS replacements, then I play the guitar, and those Gretschbuckers sound close to a Gretsch to me. They're quiet pickups, hum free, and the switchgear and pots are crackle free. They also can come close to that "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" George Harrison sound, but they've got their own voice that makes them, to my ears, a little more versitile than the old Filtertrons. They can do mellow, jazzy stuff sort of like an archtop Gibson with PAFs, an ES350 or an ES175. I'm supposed to hate them because they're cheap Asian pickups, but I quit hating them every time I play it. I use it with a tube Fender amp mostly. Sounds fine. That's what volume/tone pots are for, to make pickups sound like you want them to.


I gigged without a backup once, broke a string and didn't have a backup or even the right replacement string. The club owner got pissed. I'll never do that again with any guitar. The hardware seems fine.


General Comments

I've played 42 years. I own a Gibson Les Paul Studio Premium Plus, a Gibson J-200, an American Stratocaster, Fender and Vox tube amps. I rarely use pedals, and then mostly compressor. I like to let the tubes do the work. For the money, this is the best bargain out there. If money weren't a consideration when lost or stolen, I'd probably go for a 6120 with Filtertrons, but this 5120 Gretsch stands on its own and lives up to the Gretsch name with no apologies necessary. This guitar has filled in the gap between my Gibson and Fender and has added more useful tone and excellent feel than I had expected to my rig. This Gretsch comes increasingly close to being my go to guitar and it gets a lot of play time in spite of the other excellent guitars I own, each of which cost a hell of a lot more.

Reviewer's Background

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