An affordable and well furnished single cut from Gretsch has rapidly become a favorite of mine.
Overview & Final Score: 8.3 out of 10
Added to the Electromatic lineup in 2021, the G5230T is bigsby-loaded take on the popular Gretsch Jet design. Featuring a chambered Mahogany body, two blacktop Filter’tron Gretsch pickups power this vintage-style single cut. Master tone and volume knobs are joined by a treble bleed circuit with individual volume knobs for each pickup. A standard 3-way selector switch wraps up the electronic feature set.
The Bigsby unit is a B50, with an adjusto-matic bridge that holds the strings opposite the bound headstock and closed back tuners. 22 medium-jumbo frets sit on the 12″ radius neck with a 24.6″ scale length. A thin “U” neck is finished with gloss poly on top of the Mahogany neck and Black Walnut fretboard as well.
If classic Gretsch tone is what you wish for, you will not be disappointed one bit by the G5230T. The blacktop Filter’trons are full of that chime that we all expect from a guitar like this. While of course the rockabilly and classic rock riffs sounded great, I was surprised by the versatility of this Electromatic Jet. From punk to shoegaze, I could really sculpt these pickups to suit a variety of styles, through both a traditional tube amplifier and my go-to amp/cab sims. The ability to control the volume of both pickups when using the middle position of the three way selector is a great tool, something I wish was far more common on guitars.
While the sound of these pickups is obviously not quite as crisp as the real deal TV Jones versions, they are about 70-80% of the way there and come at a much more affordable price point. It’s a perfectly suitable guitar for pros, beginners, or anyone looking for the classic Gretsch sound. It’s a pick up swap away from being a near 10/10 if you’re really picky.
The feel of this neck is superb with surprisingly good tuning stability after some bigsby abuse. The binding on the neck is comfortable, not just flashy. It’s a slimmer neck than I expected (in terms of width) but makes for a very easy player. It took a few days for the guitar to settle in, but it is definitely built to feel far more premium than it is. Which I appreciate because it is far easier to upgrade electronics or pickups in most cases than it is to add a Bigsby or do a thorough set up.
Finish & Construction: 9
I kept the playability section short and sweet because everything is very nice, nothing to complain about. But I want to expand on how premium the G5230T looks and feels in this section. The finish, hardware, and overall quality control was very impressive. While it isn’t a distinctly “cheap” guitar, it feels far more expensive than what it is. Gretsch has really gotten this Electromatic line down to a science and I have a lot of confidence in this G5230T standing the test of time. It’s well built, well equipped, and is a true player’s guitar.
This Electromatic G5230T is probably my go-to choice for a budget Gretsch right now. So major points are in order in the value section. It’s got a loaded spec sheet, beautiful appearance and appointments, and sounds just as good as you want it to. Gretsch has just made an overall solid guitar that crosses a lot of genres, sounds killer, and could be easily upgraded if necessary. Especially when you consider how inflated many guitars’ prices have become, this still felt like indistinguishable from some $1000+ models I’ve reviewed and demo’d.
Good for: Punk Rock, Rockabilly, Country, Garage Rock, Pop