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Gretsch Gretsch Electromatic G5135-PS

Sound Quality

Think Telecaster with three pickups, more or less.  Then add a lot of odd knobs and functions, (usual Gretsch stuff), depend on the ohm value of the pickups for slightly heavier tones, and you're close.

I put it through a Fender Deluxe Reverb, and it sounded like a great lead guitar, but not crunchy.

The two position rotary knob in three pickup position puts the three way switch with three pickups in the number three position, so that is a little confusing since the rotary knob in the 2 pickup position allows the three way switch to act like a normal three way with two pickups in the middle position. It can be confusing where you are.  As usual, there are no indicators on the knobs, just that Gretsch "G".  Add a volume/blend knob to this, and you might find yourself in tone hell, trying to fiddle the knobs and switches into some kind of sound you like.

If you are looking for a heavy blues sound, like the Black Beauty triple bucker, forget it.

If you are looking for a bright lead sound that will allow you to knob/switch your way back to a rythmn guitar with the power of three buckers, this is a pretty good deal. And that is exactly what Stump wanted, according to the bio on this unit.

Not a metal unit, not a blues unit, almost a throwback to twangier times, where triple Airlines and Mosrites were more of what people listened to.  Ventures and surf music should sound great on this. Course, you could also say that about a Tele.

I would think more than one or two C&W people will look at this unit, but the racing stripe, corvette type body will probably turn them off.

Sure, it will crunch, but you'll use your amp to do it, not these pickups and knobs.

Kill switch is cool for the machine-gun effect.


Kill switches are funky things.  They fail from the abuse.  And if you use it a lot, you'll probably find yourself with a dead guitar in an embarrassing position.

The rest of it seems to be pretty standard, Gretsch knobs are steel, the three way is standard. No whammy or even a stop, so not much here to fail. Precision minis are good.

But that kill switch is right there, asking you to gun it a little.

Lots of guys will gig with this, for a while, anyway.

General Comments

First of all, I think I would have a hard time giving somebody $700 for a Chinese built guitar. But this is a triple humbucker Gretsch, with a set neck and a nice body. The controls are still out in the jury.

Obviously, somebody didn't like it much, because it had all that dust on it around the pickups. GC wiped off the body, but under the stings it was just closet dusty.

That means somebody didn't use it, or didn't like it, or maybe got it as a present and dumped it. Either way, it didn't get played, so whomever was not thrilled with it.

I happen to like the bright, clear, tele sound, and if I want to darken it up, I'll put in a pedal or two. The three buckers are somewhat unique and pretty powerful when you dial it in.  I think the color is too neutral, and the racing stripes are like having stickers on your guitar. Not a fan.

But the triple sound, for a Gretsch in mint condition, for $269, I'll take that deal all day long.

I think they will make this unit for 24-30 months, and then it will dissapear.  Will it gain in value? Only if Patrick Vaughn Stump does something memorial, or writes the next 10 million seller, or lasts as long as a Buddy Guy. And that nasty little "Made in China" decal on the back of the headstock will always be there. Buy one used?  Yes.  New?  Not a chance.

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