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Gretsch Guitars G5120 Electromatic Hollow Body with Dual-Coil Pickups

Sound Quality

When I first had it, thought it was pretty cool sounding. Then, bought a Ibanez RG350MDX, a Hagstrom F20T, an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus a Rogue Triple Lipstick and finally got an older Samick Strat copy H-S-H in mahogany that I restored and I quickly found the Grestch sitting on it's stand all the time. It just didn't have the kick I was looking for. Finally bought a Digitech GTX3000 and pumped the Greatch through, WOW, new guitar. Can replicate that Dire Straits sound and a lot of others. Makes those humbuckers shine. No wonder so many posts talk about changing out the pickups. But I had to spend a few hundred more to get it to sound right?? Come on... It plays nice - it sounds stable - has a pretty good blues sound - does everything nice. Just nice. I find it to be a great beginner guitar, (even for $500), but now that I am starting to make the transition to more difficult playing, I just don't get the sounds or kick out of it anymore unless I am willing to pump it through my Digitech. Never really got a handle on the wiring of the sound and volume knobs - actually downloaded the diagram, but you find yourself fiddling with knobs until you just get disgusted and turn everything on full and use only the master volume. I understand what knob does what, but they interact. Confusing at best. And no numbers or indicators on the knobs, you never know where you are. I know that there are some great blues sounds on those pickups if you can find the right arrangement of the knobs. Why not put at least Volume and Tone on the doggone knobs?? I've thought about taking the old Les Paul tophats I took off my OLP 6/12 and put them on this Grestch so at least I know where I am at!! Overall, kind of like a typical four-door sedan. Nice, gets you there, but nobody remembers it.


It's pretty sturdy, and the Bigsby is solid as a rock. Short of a major problem like dropping it, it should hold up live for anything you want it to. I did notice yesterday that I had put this guitar on maybe 50 times in the last five months, and lo and behold, the bottom strap nut was almost out completely. Maybe one more time, and I would have dropped it. Electronics plain enough if you can figure out the knobs. Not that hard, really, but they just don't do what you think they should do. It's a well made carcass, and has a good finish.


General Comments

Been playing seriously, (everyday without fail), for seven months. Fourth time in my life, this one is gonna stick. Want to play for pleasure, no illusions of being the next Chet Atkins or Van Halen. But I do like the gear, enjoy collecting gear, and I currently own ten guitars, two Line 6 amps including their Sypder Jam modeling amp, Digitech GTX3000, Yamaha 413 keyboard, and the Spyder Jam footpedal. Also own a collection of Chinese traditional string instruments which are hard to play, but beautiful. Guzheng, Pipa, Yanshing, and that two stringed violin I can never remember the name of.

If this guitar was damaged, lost or stolen, I would NOT buy it again. I would look closely at other offerings with humbuckers, maybe a Black Beauty. Something, anything with more versatility. I wish this had more difference in the humbuckers. Almost like having two of exactly the same pickups on one guitar. What a waste. But I do like the body of the instrument. The combination of the acoustic sound coupled with the electric is what makes hollowbodies what they are. But this one is just mediocre...Too bad.

Reviewer's Background

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