Of all the Fender family of brands – which spans Jackson, Charvel and EVH – Gretsch has unveiled perhaps the most desirable electric guitar offerings of 2023 so far, including some dazzling 140th Anniversary models and the oh-so-cool striped Streamliner Rally II. And there are some exciting rumblings in its mid-priced Electromatic series, too.
Three new models have broken cover for 2023: a stunning quilted maple-bodied Center Block Jr. Single-Cut, plus a P-90-loaded Jet, which is available with a Bigsby vibrato or wraparound tailpiece.
All three models will land in stores come March, but for now, let’s explore what’s new.
Gretsch G5210T-P90 Electromatic Jet Two 90 Single-Cut with Bigsby ($699)
We’ve long rated Gretsch’s Electromatic Jets as among the best budget single-cuts you can buy, and now there's the option of a P-90 pickup configuration, which harks back to some of the earliest – whisper it – Les Paul configurations.
Of course, Gretsch is going to do things its own way, and its P-90E single coils are an all-new design that promises “wide, balanced, and transparent tone”, retaining note definition with overdriven or clean tones.
Elsewhere, you get the usual chambered mahogany body with maple top, which keeps weight and feedback down but tone up, plus a Thin U-shaped mahogany neck and 12”-radius laurel fingerboard.
Pleasingly, the master volume control is fitted with a treble bleed circuit, while the usual master tone and individual pickup volumes are onboard.
Finally, there’s that Gretsch staple, the Bigsby B50 vibrato, thrown into the bargain.
Four debonair finishes are available: Petrol, Vintage White, Amethyst, and Mako. But there’s also a non-vibrato version…
Gretsch G5210-P90 Electromatic Jet Two 90 Single-Cut with Wraparound Tailpiece ($599)
…and this here is it. Opting for a wraparound tailpiece saves you $100 on the asking price, but otherwise this Jet is spec’d exactly as its wobble-keen brother above.
The only exception is the finishes, which are different but similarly dashing, with the choice of Broadway Jade, Fairlane Blue, Cadillac Green, and Single Barrel Burst.
Gretsch G5655T-QM Electromatic Center Block Jr. Single-Cut Quilted Maple with Bigsby ($999)
Now, this is essentially an aesthetic upgrade for the regular G5655TG Electromatic Center Block Jr. yada yada yada, but what an aesthetic upgrade it is: the addition of a quilted maple body really classes up an already classy joint, and it extends across the top, back and sides.
Said top comes in four dashing colorways – Speyside, Sweet Tea, Mariana, and Hudson Sky – all of which come fitted with a gold pickguard.
Otherwise, this is the same excellent guitar as its plainer-bodied cousin, with a downsized single-cut body fitted with a chambered spruce center block.
The lower-set maple neck is teamed with a 12”-radius laurel fingerboard, while a pair of Black Top Broad’Tron humbuckers promise bold, contemporary tones.
Other additions include, yes, a Bigsby B70 vibrato, plus a Graph Tech NuBone nut, which is a nice tone-enhancing feature.
The only other thing to note is that all that lovely quilted maple will set you back an additional $100 over your common-or-garden G5655TG. But ain’t it purdy?