The Gretsch G2655 Streamliner is a perfect example why Gretsch remains the coolest guitar brand on the planet.
Made in Indonesia, this smaller-bodied Center Block Jr Double-Cut P90 is part of Gretsch’s entry-level Streamliner series, and while it is not a beginner electric guitar per se, it offers the vibe and tone of classic Gretsch at prices amenable to most budgets. And we are talking about a considerable amount of vibe and tone for less than 500 bucks street.
The G2655 looks the part in its Brownstone stain finish, with cream binding on the body, neck and headstock. It has a tidy Adjusto-Matic bridge with the distinctive V-Stoptail tailpiece that is thoroughly functional yet serves an aesthetic purpose by referencing the 1957 Cadillac logo.
Throughout its history, there’s been this aesthetic kinship between Gretsch and car culture – see the recent Electromatic Rat Rod models for a more explicit example – and even if you prefer the cycle lane for your morning commute, there’s no denying that ideas borrowed from Motor City’s design playbook work gangbusters on electric guitar design.
The build is semi-hollow, with a double-cut body of laminated mahogany given some backbone with a chambered spruce block that runs through the centre of its construction from bridge to neck, giving the guitar its name but more importantly allowing you to play the G2655 in high-volume, high-gain situations without it squealing with feedback.
A nato neck is glued to the body and carved in a Thin U profile that takes a Solomon-esque approach to neck feel, offering the rounded shoulders of a vintage U-shaped neck but a little shallower as not to alienate players more accustomed the skinnier contemporary neck profiles.
The unbound f-holes and oversized to offer a little more acoustic volume, and when having an introductory blast through Mystery Train in lieu of the amp heating up, there’s a lively full-bodied tone with the distinctive lip-curl of Gretsch twang. Yet, lo!
This is where we take the G2655 off road, with Gretsch swapping out its impressive Broad’Tron BT-2S humbuckers for a set of FideliSonic 90 single-coils that offer a neat balance between clarity and treble-rich detail and overwound heat. At the bridge there’s a nice slap of treble but it’s never too bracing, and carries with it plenty of midrange hot sauce.
The neck pickup is a little more sophisticated; it’d help you through a jazz set, but it, too is unafraid to let its hair down should you step on a fuzz. Dialling in some gain is like feeding a Gremlin a sausage roll at a quarter past midnight; the FideliSonics have plenty teeth, and a tone for mischief makers of all stripes. Yes, Gretsch. This is very cool.
- 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: Brownstone (as reviewed), Claret Burst
- CASE: Optional G2655T Gretsch Streamliner Hardshell (£79)
- CONTACT: Gretsch (opens in new tab)