10/11/2016

2010 Korean-made Gretsch G5120 Hollowbody Electric Guitar





This guitar is essentially brand new. My consignor bought it and, it seems, never laid a finger on it for much longer than a few hours. This still had its protective film on the pickguard and truss-rod cover and protective foam underneath the bridge when he dropped it off here. During setup I removed all that and got it playing on the dot. It's got a fast neck and a sturdy, practical feel.

I must say, this is a very well-built guitar, though the factory setup left a lot to be desired. It's precisely made, has a good-looking gloss finish, and all of the fittings feel durable. The Bigsby whammy, for instance, is excellent and has a touch that's very reminiscent of the units supplied on the originals.


The G5120 is essentially an import version of the 6120 -- and is bascially a hollowbody design (laminate maple throughout), though under the bridge there's a central "soundpost" that helps keep the top stable with a lot of whammy use and, in addition, reduces feedback.


The neck is a pretty standard modern feel/shape with a 1 11/16" nut width, slim C profile to the rear, and a 24 3/4" "Gibson" scale length.



I've always liked Gretsch hardware.


My only complaint about this guitar is that the FilterTrons are a bit on the dark side. I'm sure this was done to give the coils a few more windings (and thus more power and usefulness in a driven context), but it strikes me that they're more suited to straight-up rock, modern "Americana," and jazzier stuff than they are for typical rockabilly

They've got a lot of that original Gretsch twang but it's slightly mellower and less diggy in the highs and upper mids. It's good, but different.



A Gibson-style adjustable bridge is a huge improvement over the barrel of laughs that were the various Gretsch bridge designs from "back in the day."







The openback tuners are 18:1 ratio, I believe, and function about the same as modern 18:1 Grover Sta-Tites. I much prefer them to something like Rotomatics.








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