Best Gretsch guitars 2024: Explore those iconic Gretsch tones with our top picks

Gretsch is no newcomer on the block. In fact, the guitar company has been churning out guitars since 1883, making them one of the longest-established guitar brands still in existence. Founded by a German immigrant, Friedrich Gretsch, the Brooklyn-based guitar company’s production has never been bigger, and today they are making some of the best Gretsch guitars since their inception!

Rising to fame in the ‘50s after country picker Chet Atkins and cool cat Bo Diddley were widely seen playing Gretsch models, the company went from strength to strength. However, if Gretsch were rising to fame in the ‘50s then they were soaring throughout the ‘60s as George Harrison’s “first real decent guitar” was a Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman, cementing the guitar company into legend. 

Today, Gretsch offers an extensive array of models and ranges catering to various budgets, spanning economical to luxurious. This diverse selection includes the accessible Streamliner series, the Players Edition well-suited to gigging musicians, and an array of options in between. Given the abundance of choices available and the admittedly intricate nature of Gretsch's naming convention, we're here to help simplify your decision-making process. Here, we've curated a list of the best Gretsch guitars currently on the market.

To honor the brilliant choice available, we have taken into account Gretsch’s full range – so no matter your budget, we’re confident there will be a Gretsch guitar suitable for you.

Ross Holder author image
Ross Holder

Ross has been a music lover and guitar player since the age of 8. He has spent the five years since graduating from university working in music retail, selling guitars, amps and more from brands including Gretsch, Fender and Gibson. Ross is particularly interested in electric guitars, pedals and amplifiers and his current rig includes a trusty 2009 Fender American Standard Stratocaster and Vox AC30S1.

Best Gretsch guitars: Quick list

Want to cut to the chase and find out exactly which we think are the best Grestch guitars on the market right now? Below, you’ll find a round-up of our top choices. You can jump to a more detailed review of every pick, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals.

The best Gretsch guitars available in 2023

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Below you'll find full and detailed write-ups for each of the best Gretsch guitars in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

Best all-rounder

Best Gretsch guitars: Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Double-Cut with Bigsby

(Image credit: Gretsch)
The best all-rounder for that tantalizing Gretsch sound

Specifications

Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Laurel
Body: Laminated maple
Pickups: FT-5E Filter’Tron
Finish: Snowcrest White, Orange Stain, Walnut Stain

Reasons to buy

+
Paying homage to ‘50s/‘60s Gretsch design
+
Lovely acoustic response
+
New trestle block design
+
Plenty of attack 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may prefer a center block

Gretsch’s Electromatic range is ideal for those who are looking to spend under $1,000 but retain the characteristic features that make Gretsch guitars great. The Electromatic Classic Hollow Body range, to which this G5422TG belongs, has taken inspiration from those holy grail guitars of the ‘50s and ‘60s with a few modern twists.

None is more useful than the trestle block bracing which helps reduce pesky feedback that hollow-bodied guitars are most commonly associated with. The FT-5E Filter’Tron pickups pack a fantastic full-bodied punch and coupled with the new bracing system there is a tighter bass response with plenty of high-end attack. 

The G5422TG looks the part thanks to its golden hardware, oversized bound F-holes, and the smaller late-’50s style G6120 bound headstock. It’s a fair statement that Gretsch are known for their classy guitars and the G5422TG certainly delivers on the aesthetic. 

To make a beautiful guitar an absolute showstopper is its playability, and here the G5422TG doesn’t let you down. The comfortable 'C'-shaped maple neck offers an extremely comfortable experience and the 12”-radius laurel fingerboard with medium jumbo frets is warmly familiar. We prefer the double-cut option thanks to increased playability up the fingerboard, but there is a single-cut if that's more your style. 

So, if you have been hankering for a new Gretsch for under $1,000 that has been influenced by the past with two feet firmly in the present, look no further than the Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Double-Cut

Read the full Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic review

Best on a budget

Best Gretsch guitars: Gretsch G2622T-P90 Streamliner

(Image credit: Gretsch)
The best affordable option to quench your Gretsch desires

Specifications

Neck: Nato
Fingerboard: Laurel
Body: Laminated Mahogany
Pickups: FideliSonic 90
Finish: Brownstone, Forge Glow, Gunmetal

Reasons to buy

+
The P90s have a tasty bite
+
Comfortable slim body
+
Can’t go wrong with a Bigsby
+
Reasonably priced 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the widest selection of finishes 

In recent years Gretsch has put an incredible amount of attention into its Streamliner series. There is now a plethora of fantastic Streamliner models to choose from and this range continues to be the perennial best-seller for those who don’t want to break the bank for a new guitar. Enter the G2622T-P90.

This thin-bodied guitar is incredibly comfortable to play. It is lightweight, resonant and the center block seriously helps reduce the amount of feedback you’ll encounter. The 12”-radius fingerboard is smooth as butter and the thin profile 'U'-shaped neck will help you glide up the neck with ease. 

However, our favorite feature of this guitar is the FideliSonic 90 pickups. They are very well-balanced and offer an articulate top end that has plenty of bite and snap the more you dig in. The pickups clean up very well and if you dial back your amplifier’s gain you’ll achieve sweet, warm tones in the neck position. 

There are three different finishes available; Brownstone, Forge Glow and Gunmetal, and the “radio arrow” control knobs add heaps of character to the guitar. Topping off this fantastic, affordable Gretsch is the B70 Bigsby vibrato tailpiece – luscious vibrato is just a touch away! For those who don’t fancy the prospect of re-stringing a Bigsby, there are stoptail options also available.

Read the full Gretsch G2622T-P90 Streamliner review

Best for versatility

Best Gretsch guitars: Gretsch G6118T Anniversary Players Edition

(Image credit: Gretsch)

3. Gretsch G6118T Anniversary Players Edition

Celebrate Gretsch’s anniversary with this sophisticated Player’s Edition

Specifications

Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Body: Laminated maple
Pickups: FT-67 Filter’Tron
Finish: Two-Tone Vintage White/Walnut Stain, Two-Tone Copper Metallic/Sahara Metallic

Reasons to buy

+
Rolled fingerboard edges feel amazing
+
The FT-67 pickups are unlike any others
+
String-thru Bigsby is easier to restring 

Reasons to avoid

-
Deep body may be too big for some 

The Players Edition series is Gretsch’s next step up for those looking to splash a bit of cash. Like the aforementioned Streamliner and Electromatic ranges, the Players Edition blends modern and traditional aspects from Gretsch’s past and present. 

Features like the rolled fingerboard edges, the Bigsby B6CP String-through Tailpiece, a 'U'-shaped neck with a 12”-radius fingerboard and Luminlay neck side dots are all useful contemporary features that make playing this guitar a breeze. The treble bleed circuit and no-load tone control work exactly as you’d expect and are welcome editions. 

However, what makes the Players Edition range stand out are the FT-67 Filter’Tron pickups, they are quite unlike anything we have heard before from Gretsch. These noise canceling humbuckers are extremely focused and span a wide range of frequencies to a pleasingly mellifluous result. From a distinct, snappy high end to a glassy, bell-like midrange, the FT-67 can do it all.  

The 2.5”-deep body evokes the nostalgic charm of Gretsch guitars from yesteryear. Fans of Billy Duffy and John Frusciante are likely to appreciate the added depth that brings a satisfying chunkiness to their sound. However, if a slimmer profile is more to your liking, exploring alternative body shapes might be a worthwhile consideration.

Best for rock

Best Gretsch guitars: Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet

(Image credit: Gretsch)

4. Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet

A solid body rock‘n’roll monster

Specifications

Neck: Mahogany
Fingerboard: Laurel
Body: Mahogany
Pickups: Black Top Broad’Tron
Finish: Natural, Walnut Stain, Black, Vintage White, Jade Grey Metallic, London Grey, Ocean Turquoise

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for the AC/DC enthusiasts
+
Plenty of sustain
+
Built like a tank
+
Brilliant finish for the price 

Reasons to avoid

-
Hardware is a little cheap

Gretsch is renowned not only for its elegant hollow-bodied guitars but also for its production of iconic solid-bodied guitars. Malcolm Young of AC/DC undoubtedly understood this, and the G5222 Electromatic Double Jet will get you in a similar territory of arguably the greatest rhythm player in history. 

The Double Jet doesn’t beat around the bush and is a straight-shooting guitar. Equipped with Black Top Broad’Tron pickups, it has plenty of bite when cranked but retains an impressive amount of clarity. The treble bleed circuit is a nice touch and there is plenty of onboard tone control thanks to individual pickup volume knobs allowing you to blend the sound as you like. 

For those who want to step away from Malcolm’s natural aesthetic, there is a wide range of finishes available and also a Bigsby variant if you’re that way inclined. The only slight critique we have is the hardware – it does feel a little cheap, particularly the volume and tone controls. That aside, this is a powerful guitar that we’re sure will shake you all night long. 

Read the full Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet review

Best baritone

Best Gretsch guitars: Gretsch G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone

(Image credit: Gretsch)
The best Gretsch for those looking to explore different styles

Specifications

Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Laurel
Body: Mahogany
Pickups: Gretsch mini-humbucking
Finish: Imperial Stain, Bristol Fog, Jade Grey Metallic, London Grey

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for inspiration
+
This thing can go heavy
+
Huge amount of fun
+
Original pickup design 

Reasons to avoid

-
Getting correct strings is a bit of a hassle 

If you’re looking for a guitar that is going to take your playing in different directions then look no further. The Gretsch G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone is ideal if you feel your playing has gotten a little stale. The baritone voicings and tunings will take you to subsonic levels without having to learn different fingerings or chord positions, making this a fantastic tool to obliterate the mundane.

Oh yeah, and this thing can go heavy. You heard it, a Gretsch that is right at home chugging heavy riffs. The dual Gretsch mini-humbucking pickups capture all of those thundering lows and do a good job of keeping things from spiraling into an incoherent mess. Other Gretsch staples like the comfortable 12”-radius fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets are present and familiar, and will help you tame this monster. 

Lastly, this Jet Baritone is long, 29.75 inches long to be exact. This is encroaching on bass territory so be warned if you prefer a guitar that is slightly more nimble. It does also mean that picking up a suitable set of strings is a bit more tricky as most local guitar stores won’t carry strings with such esoteric specifications. 

Read the full Gretsch G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone review

Most iconic Gretsch

Best Gretsch guitars: Gretsch G6636T Players Edition Falcon

(Image credit: Gretsch)

6. Gretsch G6636T Players Edition Falcon

The quintessential Gretsch adored by many

Specifications

Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Ebony
Body: Laminated maple
Pickups: High Sensitive Filter'Tron
Finish: Black, White

Reasons to buy

+
Perhaps the most iconic Gretsch style
+
Double cut for better playability
+
Vintage Falcon design elements 

Reasons to avoid

-
Too flashy for some 

The Falcon has been a go-to choice for some of the biggest and most well-known guitarists in music. Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, Billy Duffy of The Cult and Neil Young have conquered the world’s musical psyche with this blingy bird in their hands. Available in the traditional white and super cool ebony, the Players Edition G6636T is the Falcon at its very best. 

The dual High Sensitive Filter’Tron pickups do exactly what it says on the tin. Their reactiveness is unparalleled and will respond to your touch impeccably allowing for truly emotive playing. The G6636T has a slightly smaller 16” body with a double cutaway and is very comfortable. The lightweight body is resonant and the spruce center block enhances note attack.

Whilst the ebony option is a little less in your face than the white, the golden hardware is still incredibly loud so if your style is usually a bit more subdued, perhaps the Falcon isn’t for you. 

Best for comfort

Best Gretsch guitars: Gretsch Streamliner G2410TG

(Image credit: Gretsch)

7. Gretsch Streamliner G2410TG

A viable option for those on a smaller budget

Specifications

Neck: Nato
Fingerboard: Laurel
Body: Laminated maple
Pickups: Broad’Tron BT-2S
Finish: Single Barrel, Village Amber, Ocean Turquoise

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable slim body
+
Higher output pickups
+
Great build quality for price 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pickups perhaps too hot for some 

The G2410TG is a bold guitar. Equipped with golden hardware, including a Bigsby-licensed B60 vibrato tailpiece, this fully hollow Streamliner offers seriously good value for money. Although this guitar is retro looking it has all the features a modern player yearns for. 

In particular, the Broad’Tron BT-2S pickups pack a higher output punch that many will not associate with Gretsch guitars. The BT-2S pickups were designed specifically for this Streamliner collection and they are voiced accordingly, providing a tighter bass response which can sometimes run loose on hollow-bodied guitars. 

Although the pickups may deviate from the norm, there are plenty of nods to Gretsch’s past with a wood-mounted bridge, Bigsby licensed tailpiece and bound single cutaway body. The current G2410TG boasts a thinner body than the previous Streamliner iteration providing a comfortable experience, especially when sitting down. 

All of these features are rolled into a guitar which is both affordable, good looking and sounds great. If you’re after a Gretsch on a smaller budget, you can’t go wrong with the Streamliner G2410TG.

Best solid-body

Best Gretsch guitar: Gretsch G5210-P90 Electromatic Jet Two 90

(Image credit: Gretsch)

8. Gretsch G5210-P90 Electromatic Jet Two 90

A snarling set of P90s adorn this chambered solid-body option

Specifications

Neck: Mahogany
Fingerboard: Laurel
Body: Mahogany
Pickups: P-90E
Finish: Broadway Jade, Cadillac Green, Fairlane Blue, Single Barrel Burst

Reasons to buy

+
Finish and hardware exceed its price tag
+
Stunning finishes
+
Treble bleed circuit 

Reasons to avoid

-
The wraparound tailpiece may put some off 

The G5210-P90 is one of the latest releases from Gretsch and this double-loaded P-90E solid-body is easily one of the best single-cut electric guitars you can buy. Starting with the pickups, the P-90Es are a brand new design from Gretsch and do exactly what you need a P90 to, with heaps of midrange bite that remains clear enough when things get overdriven. 

Other features include a chambered mahogany body which helps ease the burden on your shoulder, and a thin 'U'-shaped neck with a 12”-radius laurel fingerboard. This particular model has an adjustable wraparound tailpiece, but if that doesn’t appeal you can always go for the Bigsby B50 vibrato version, proper Gretsch style. 

As for finishes, the G5210-P90 has some of the most eye-catching in Gretsch’s arsenal and our particular favorite is Cadillac Green, a luscious and rich deep green that would look great in anyone's hands.

Best Gretsch guitars: Buying advice

Close-up of a Gretsch guitar body

(Image credit: Future)

Is Gretsch owned by Gibson?

Founded all the way back in 1883 by German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch, Gretsch is one of the oldest dogs in the guitar industry. Although they shared a lot of similarities with the hollow and semi-hollow-bodied ES guitars Gibson was creating during the late-’30s through to the ‘50s, Gretsch remained an independent company completely separate from outside ownership. 

During the 20th century, ownership of the company transitioned back and forth between the Gretsch family and external firms. In 2002, a significant turning point was reached when Fender and Gretsch came to an agreement, granting Fender the rights for the production, marketing, and distribution of Gretsch guitars.

What kinds of music are Gretsch guitars good for?

Gretsch guitars are most commonly associated with country and rock‘n’roll, having risen to international prominence in the hands of players like Chet Atkins and Eddie Cochran throughout the ‘50s and early ‘60s. 

However, it’s hard to pin the Brooklyn guitar brand to just one genre considering the diverse range of players who took to the recording studios and stages since Atkins and Cochran. Remarkable talents spanning various musical realms have embraced Gretsch guitars throughout their careers. Icons like Malcolm Young from AC/DC, John Squire of The Stone Roses, Billy Duffy from The Cult, Pete Townshend of The Who and the legendary George Harrison each excelled in their distinct musical domains while remaining faithful to Gretsch guitars as their instrument of choice.

So if you’re looking to play country, rock‘n’roll, blues, indie, pop or hard rock, you’ll get there just fine using a Gretsch. The genre you might consider excluding a Gretsch from is metal, or any exceptionally heavy music, especially when it comes to the company's hollow-body models. Hollow-body guitars possess a notable susceptibility to feedback, a trait that becomes even more pronounced as gain levels are raised. Consequently, the combination of a Gretsch hollow body and a Boss MT-2 pedal could lead to piercing and unpleasant high-pitched feedback. Although there is certainly a place for feedback, it can get slightly annoying when it's unsolicited.

What’s the difference between Filter’Tron and Broad’Tron pickups?

The short answer is not that much! The Filter’Tron and Broad’Tron pickups are both original designs from Gretsch, both are humbuckers, and both are as iconic as the guitars themselves. However, these futuristic-looking pickups do have their own particular quirks. 

The Filter’Tron was the first humbucking pickup ever created. Gretsch introduced the Filter’Tron at the summer NAMM show back in 1957 as the company wanted to create an electric guitar pickup that would help eliminate the buzz Chet Atkins was experiencing in the studio. Featuring dual coils which eliminated hum, the Filter’Trons added more output and sustain than the traditional single coils that predated it. However, the Filter’Trons retained a high-end sparkle and smooth midrange that Gretsch was to become famous for. 

The Broad’Tron was to follow and, although the little brother looked very similar to its predecessor, it was loaded with a lot more output than the Filter’Tron. This extra punch is particularly prominent in the midrange and you can be sure you’re playing a Broad’Tron humbucker if your amp is working a little harder. Both are great options and you’ll usually find the Broad’Tron across the Electromatic range and the Filter’Trons saved for the Professional series. 

How we choose the best Gretsch guitars for this guide

Here at Guitar World, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything guitar related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides.

When choosing what we believe to be the best Gretsch guitars available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are guitarists, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best Gretsch guitars on the market right now.

Read more about our rating system, how we choose the gear we feature, and exactly how we test each product.

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