Gretsch has launched its new 2022 Electromatic range and it sees the rock ’n’ roll guitar institution debut an all-new electric guitar pickup, revise the build of its hollowbody electric guitars, and give some classic designs a fresh paint job for the new year.
There is something for Gretsch fans of all stripes: refreshed baritone guitars in smart new finishes, modernised Jets equipped with Broad’Tron pickups, and Classic Hollow Body models that debut the new FT-5E Filter’Tron pickup.
Hardware choices vary. You can have upscale gold or old-school nickel. There are hardtail designs such as Gretsch’s G-Cutout tailpieces on left-handed models, and V-Stoptails on Jet models, with plenty of options should you want to accent that Gretsch twang ’n’ growl with Bigsby wobble.
One model that is sure to pull focus is the G5422g-12, a double-cut hollowbody 12-string guitar whose cup positively overflows with jangle and vintage mojo. But, if electric guitar isn’t your speed, well, there’s always the G5700 lap steel and a super-cute short-scale Junior Jet II bass guitar, too.
Let’s take it from the top, with a quartet of G5420s, Bigsby vibratos as standard, and a left-handed model with a G-Cutout.
G5420 Electromatic Classic Hollow Body Single-Cut with Bigsby
A Gretsch hollowbody electric guitar is a wonderful thing, and these Electromatic models make an ideal choice for the serious amateur and jobbing player whose budget might not stretch to the Professional Collection.
Offered in a choice of Airline Silver, Midnight Sapphire, Orange Stain and Walnut Stain, the G5420 keeps its headline updates under the hood in the shape of a newly engineered trestle block bracing pattern.
The trestle block increases the contact between the guitar's top and back, which Gretsch says will make for a snappier sound and speedier attack, not to mention less feedback should you drive your guitar amp a little too far.
The body comprises laminated maple, to which a maple neck is glued. The neck is carved into a classic C profile and topped with a laurel fingerboard. The 12” fingerboard radius and 24.6” scale length should present a familiar feel, and while we have a new pickup in the FT-5E Filter’Tron, we’d expect ‘that great Gretsch sound’ to be instantly recognisable, with the company promising a little more presence and note separation.
Elsewhere, we have all the little details that have made the Electromatic models so popular, including master volume with treble bleed, the late-‘50s G6120 bound headstock and open-gear tuners, and, of course, the Bigsby B60 vibrato on all right-handed models, with the southpaw option featuring a tidy G-Cutout tailpiece.
The G5420 Electromatic Classic Hollow Body is available from March, priced £919, €1059, $799, with the left-handed model retailing at $899 in the US.
G5422T Electromatic Classic Hollow Body Double-Cut with Bigsby and Gold Hardware
The G5422TG is a close cousin of the above G5420, save a few choice details; it’s a doublecut, and the hardware is gold. Here the finish options are Snowcrest White, Walnut Stain and Orange Stain, with the left-handed model offered in Snowcrest White only.
Again, there are the new FT-5E Filter’Tron pickups and trestle block bracing, and tone-wise it should similarly curl its upper lip as you kick out a Cochran lick.
The G5422TG is available from March and priced £1039, €1199, $899.
G5422G-12 Electromatic Classic Hollow Body Double-Cut 12-String
With its gold hardware and stately finish options of Walnut Stain and Single Barrel Burst, the G5422G-12 is a real eye-catcher. It comprises a laminated maple body with a set maple neck, and Gretsch’s claims of extra definition and not detail from the FT-5E Filter’Tron will be put to the test here in articulating all that heady chime and jangle.
Like the other hollowbodies in the series, it has the new trestle block design. In many respects it’s the same guitar. But it has an ever-so-slightly longer 24.72” scale length, and it’ll take you twice as long to tune it, and maybe longer to put it down? We shall see.
It is available from March for all the British Invasion and Laurel Canyon tones you could wish for, and it will set you back £1039, €1199, $899.
G5700 Electromatic Lap Steel
Available in Broadway Jade, Tahiti Red and Vintage White, the G5700 lap steel has a mahogany slab body, a 28-fret plastic fingerboard and a comfortable 22.5” scale length.
A lap steel might be a change of pace from the above but with the G-arrow control knobs for volume and tone and the super-stylish art deco control plate, this is 100 per cent recognisably Gretsch, and very cool.
As Robert Randolph told us, its the ideal gateway into the world of pedal steel and a super expressive vocal sound that’s can be used across soul, country, blues, rock ’n’ roll and more. The G5700 is priced £495, €569, $499, and is available from March.
G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone with V-stoptail or Bigsby
The Electromatic Jet Baritone is an exceptional guitar and a welcome alternative to some of the hyper-modern high-output models that are designed for metal.
This takes the Jet singlecut format and stretches it, all the way out to a 29.75” scale. It feels long at first but an afternoon is all you need to acclimatise, and hearing that twang in a lower register is quite the experience.
The Jet Baritone has a bound, solid mahogany body and a bolt-on maple neck in an accessible Thin-U profile, and it has a pair of mini-humbuckers to best articulate that low-end power.
Available with or without a Bigsby, with the new V-stoptail models in Bristol Fog or Imperial Stain finishes, and the Bigsby model available in Midnight Sapphire. The Jet Baritone is priced £609, €699, $649 for the V-stoptail models, with the Bigsby models retailing for £709, €819, $749.
G5220 Electromatic Jet BT
Are you “sophisticated and sensible”? Well, maybe the Jet BT is for you. This is how Gretsch describes this update to the classic chambered-body singlecut. Perhaps, when the rest of the range is all rockabilly rebel all of the time, maybe the Jet is the one you can settle down with, spending happy evenings together playing blues, rock, jazz, and whatever else takes your fancy.
The BT in the name pertains to the Broad’Tron pickups, which should pair nicely with the maple top and mahogany backed Jet build, offering a bit of oomph with plenty of detail.
The G5220 arrives in Bristol Fog and Midnight Sapphire – now, that is sophisticated – and is priced £529, €609, $599, while the left-handed model is finished in Jade Grey Metallic, priced £589, €679, $699. These hit stores in March.
G2220 Electromatic Junior Jet Bass II Short-Scale
Finally, we have a short-scale Junior Jet bass that’s now available in Shell Pink, Bristol Fog and Imperial Stain, and the G2200 wears these new looks well. It has a solid basswood body, a bolt-on maple neck, and a pair of mini-humbuckers.
The short 30.3” scale will not only make it accommodating for those new to the bass, but a good fit for vintage plummy bass tones. Stick a set of flatwounds on this and it’s soul night every night.
The new look Junior Jet is available from March and priced £395, €455, $299.
For more details and pics of all of these and other new 2022 models, head on over to Gretsch.