Gretsch G5122 Review - Is It Up to Gretsch Standards?

By R. S. Rasnick

The Gretsch G5122 is yet another low-cost offering from Gretsch who in recent years have really stepped up their game in offering quality instruments thanks to their tightly-controlled Korean manufacturing. If you're interested in a guitar with serious "twang-factor" and offers something a little different than the typical Les Paul and Stratocaster inspired offerings, the Gretsch G5122 might be up your alley.

Let's start with the basic of the guitar's materials. The top, body, and neck are all made of laminated maple. The 22-fret rosewood fretboard is outfitted with medium jumbo frets, and the guitar is powered by a couple of chrome-covered Dual Coil pickups. It has a 24.56" scale length and a nut width of 1-11/16" (43mm).

The hardware definitely adds to the guitar's style. The G5122 features G-Arrow Knobs, standard Gretsch strap knobs, chrome hardware, and vintage-style machine heads. A Bigsby B60 vibrato (hey, this is a Gretsch after all, right?) and an Adjusto-Matic bridge complete the picture.

We tested the G5122 through a Dr. Z MAZ-18 NR combo and a Fender Twin Reverb. Through both amplifiers, the Gretsch just oozed vintage twang. We couldn't help but playing some of our favorite Beatles, Chet Atkins, and even Brian Setzer licks. The stock pickups did a fine job of translating the naturally large sound of the guitar.

Through our test amplifiers, the tones were clear and shimmering on clean settings and provided just the right amount of "bite" on overdriven tones. Shredders should probably stay away from the G5122, but all other players could find something useful with this offering from Gretsch, and that's saying something. The guitar could easily be used for everything from a jazz trio to a blues jam session.

Few guitars are perfect, however, so we did have some niggles here and there. The tuners, though keeping the tuning well, still felt cheap and could stand to be upgraded. The floating bridge felt a bit odd, but it didn't affect the intonation.

We have no complaints with the G5122's fit, finish, and action. The Walnut Stain urethane finish is beautiful and gives the guitar a classy vibe that few others can match in this price range. Chording and lead work alike flowed with ease once we adjusted the bridge to our liking (and adjusted the truss rod properly).

The neck felt comfortable with very good action. Couple the ease of play with the guitar's lightweight design, and you've got an instrument that you could keep strapped on all night comfortably. With a street price of around $700, the Gretsch G5122 is a great deal on guitar with classic vintage-vibe. - 31840

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