“That great Gretsch sound“ remained a beloved marketing slogan by Gretsch for several decades now. That “sound” previously encompassed everything from the rip-roaring twang of a full-size hollowbody electric guitar with Filter’Tron humbuckers to the sizzling spank of a chambered Duo Jet with DeArmond/DynaSonic single-coils.
However, in recent times, Gretsch has expanded the range of tones its instruments offer guitarists significantly enough that maybe the slogan should be changed to “Those great Gretsch sounds”.
Several recent additions to Gretsch’s Streamliner collection are a great example of how Gretsch has expanded its tonal range without sacrificing the je ne sais quoi that makes a Gretsch a Gretsch. With its thinline semi-hollow body and pair of P90-style FideliSonic 90 single-coil pickups, the new Gretsch G2622-P90 Streamliner pushes beyond classic Gretsch parameters, offering a unique new voice that will still please even the most die-hard Gretsch aficionado.
From the front, the body of the Gretsch G2622-P90 has the same curvaceous, 16-inch-wide double-cutaway shape of the early '60s 6120, but that’s pretty much where the resemblance starts and stops. The body features an arched top and back made of laminated mahogany, slim 1.75-inch depth, enlarged f-holes, aged white top and back binding with black/white/black purfling and a chambered spruce center block, which makes the guitar a true semi-hollow model.
The nato set neck has a 24.75-inch scale length and features a laurel fingerboard with a 12-inch radius, 22 medium jumbo frets, synthetic bone nut with 1.6875-inch width, single-layer aged white binding surrounding the fingerboard and headstock, pearloid oval fretboard marker inlays and a thin, U-shaped profile.
The most important detail is the brand-new Gretsch FideliSonic 90 single-coil pick-ups, which resemble mid-'50s “staple” P90s but have their own distinct character that’s different from both “staple” and regular P90s. Each pickup has a chrome-plated cover and is mounted in a classy-look-ing cream bezel attached to the top with four screws.
Height is adjusted via screws between the A/D and G/B strings. The controls are the classic Gretsch configuration of a master volume on the upper bout and individual pickup volume and master tone controls in a triangular configuration on the lower bout, with a three-way pickup toggle on the upper bout above the low E string.
The “radio arrow” control knobs are also a new design, made of cream plastic and featuring a gold metal insert with arrow indicators. The hardware is nickel plated and consists of a V stoptail, anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge and die-cast tuning machines. There’s also a black single-ply floating pickguard on the treble bout. Finish options are the red Claret Burst and brown Havana Burst, apparently named to appease wine-drinking, cigar-smoking Gretsch players.
With a tone crunchier than a two-ton bag of pork rinds, the Gretsch G2622-P90 Streamliner delivers a satisfying snarl that’s more aggressive than the usual Gretsch twang. The treble is enhanced, so these pickups also provide more bite and snap than a P90.
Equipped stock with .010-.046 strings, this guitar can punch the front end of an amp quite aggressively. Its thick midrange rocks hard with the guitar’s master volume up full, while backing down the master volume cleans up the tone with a gorgeous treble sparkle.
Construction, playability and com-fort is astounding for an instrument that streets for less than $500. The wood grain visible under the transparent sunburst finish shows that Gretsch didn’t skimp on material quality either.
At this price, the Gretsch G2622-P90 Streamliner is a no-brainer for anyone seeking a semi-hollow model that can rock hard and stand out in a crowd. I also highly recommend the G2655-P90 Streamliner Jr., which has a body that measures two inches smaller but delivers similar tones and performance.
- PRICE: $499 / £469 street
- BODY: Laminated mahogany with chambered spruce centre block
- NECK: Nato, Thin U
- SCALE: 629 mm (24.75”)
- FINGERBOARD: Indian laurel
- FRETS: 22, medium jumbo
- PICKUPS: 2 x Gretsch FideliSonic 90 single-coils
- CONTROLS: 1 x master volume, 1 x tone, 2 x volume, 3-way toggle selector switch
- HARDWARE: Nickel Adjusto-Matic bridge with V-Stoptail, sealed die-cast tuners,
- FINISH: Havana Burst (as reviewed), Claret Burst
- CONTACT: Gretsch