In the not-too-distant past, buying a decent Gretsch electric guitar used to require a pretty decent financial investment. When Gretsch introduced the Electromatic series a while back, they significantly reduced the entry level price and offered models that delivered the legendary “great Gretsch sound”, albeit with a little more reserved and conservative style.
Lately, the Electromatic series has narrowed the gap between Gretsch’s higher end models by adding models with more flash and panache as well as upgrades like genuine Filter’Tron pickups.
The new G5232T Electromatic Double Jet FT with Bigsby is a great example of this development. Offered with different dazzling metalflake finish options like Broadway Jade, Fairlane Blue, Firestick Red and more, this model oozes style and class.
Its beauty is more than skin-deep thanks to features like its Black Top Filter’Tron humbuckers and licensed Bigsby B50 vibrato. Whether you’re seeking a cool first ax or want to add Gretsch flavor to your collection without breaking the bank, the G5232T Electromatic Double Jet FT is a worthy contender.
The G5232T Electromatic Double Jet FT is based upon the classic double cutaway Duo Jet model from the early Sixties. Like the original, it has a 1.75-inch deep chambered mahogany body with arched maple top and set mahogany neck.
The top is bound with aged white black and white purfling, while the laurel fretboard and headstock are bound with single-layer aged white binding. Neck attributes include a 24.6-inch scale length, 12-inch fretboard radius, 22 medium jumbo frets, pearloid Neo-Classic Thumbnail fretboard inlays and a thin “U” profile. The synthetic nut measures a comfortably wide 1.6875 inches.
The excellent-quality hardware and electronics include an anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge, Bigsby-licensed B50 vibrato tailpiece, metal G-Arrow knobs, knurled metal strap retainer knobs, die-cast tuners and a pair of Black Top Filter’Tron humbucking pickups. Controls consist of a three-position pickup toggle switch (bridge/both/neck), individual volume controls for the bridge and neck pickups, master volume with treble bleed circuit and master tone.
The Black Top Filter’Tron pickups now included with Gretsch Electromatic models means that upgrades are no longer essential if you demand authentic classic Gretsch tones.
These pickups have the proper tonal character, with the bridge pickup delivering bite and twang, the neck pickup offering round, smooth jazzy tones with percussive spank and both together pumping out howling midrange bark that sounds great for everything from retro rockabilly to classic hard rock.
The playability is dialed in right out of the box. Dare I say it, but this Electromatic Double Jet actually plays better than probably 75 percent of the vintage Duo Jets I’ve played, thanks to its solid feel, fast action and outstanding fret work.
Construction quality is impressive as well, particularly the expertly applied finish – our Firestick Red example is a stunner that will certainly attract attention on stage. The other finish options are extremely cool as well, giving the model classy style evocative of a much more high-end electric guitar.
The chambered body gives the guitar excellent natural acoustic resonance that translates to even better tone when it’s plugged in. There’s notable midrange depth similar to a semi-hollow guitar, but the solidbody-style design keeps feedback at bay when cranking up the gain and volume.
This helps the G5232T cover the bases from Cliff Gallup and George Harrison to Malcolm Young and beyond. At a street price less than $700, true Gretsch sound and style has never been more affordable.
- PRICE: $699 / £599
- TYPE: Solid-body electric guitar with chambered body
- BODY: Mahogany with arched maple top
- NECK: Mahogany, Thin U, glued-in
- SCALE LENGTH: 24.6"
- FINGERBOARD: Laurel, 12"
- PICKUPS: 2x Black Top Filter'Tron
- CONTROLS: 3-way pickup selector, individual pickup volume, master tone, master volume with treble bleed
- HARDWARE: Bigsby-Licensed B50 Vibrato, sealed die-cast tuners
- FINISH: Firestick Red [as reviewed], Broadway Jade, Casino Gold, Dark Cherry Metallic, Fairlaine Blue, Midnight Sapphire, Tahiti Red
- CONTACT: Gretsch