"The G5024E delivers a rich, resonant tone typical of dreadnought guitars but with a distinct clarity and brightness": Gretsch G5024E Rancher review

A dreadnought guitar with real, genuine character?

  • £439
  • €559
  • $449
Gretsch G5024E review
(Image: © Future/Chris Corfield)

MusicRadar Verdict

The G5024E continues the Rancher tradition of creating well-appointed, great-sounding acoustics that don't cost the earth. More importantly, however, is the fact that it has a character and style of its own, making it more than 'just another dreadnought'. 


  • +

    Looks great

  • +

    Well finished

  • +

    Great electronics


  • -

    Soundhole design might not appeal

  • -

    Lacks in bass response

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Gretsch G5024E review: What is it?

It's always nice when a distinctive guitar lands in the review studio. The Gretsch G5024E Rancher definitely stands out, with a bold design that certainly got my attention. 

Embracing Gretsch's classic Rancher series stylings, this model features a visually striking triangular soundhole, along with a luxurious Sunburst gloss finish that highlights its spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. Beautiful! 

The guitar is further adorned with a tortoiseshell pickguard that features the iconic Gretsch logo, lending it an air of vintage appeal - if the extra embellishment were even required. This guitar somehow combines high-class stylings with a retro, everyman charm, and it totally works. It's a guitar you'd go for a beer with. 

Gretsch G5024E review: Performance & verdict

Gretsch G5024E review

(Image credit: Future/Chris Corfield)

Now, looks are obviously important, but thankfully the G5024E does not disappoint when it comes to playability. The neck is crafted from mahogany, which is both sturdy and comfortable, accommodating a variety of hand sizes with its standard "C" profile. This makes it easy for players to form chords and navigate the fretboard smoothly. My fingers are long and spindly, for context, but I found it to be perfectly comfortable. 

Setup out of the box was generally spot-on, with a string action that struck a balance between comfort and playability, reducing hand fatigue during longer playing sessions.

The addition of the Fishman Isys III preamp and pickup system with an onboard tuner makes the G5024E particularly versatile and stage-ready, allowing for easy amplification without sacrificing tonal quality. This is a significant advantage for live performers or anyone who appreciates the convenience of an integrated electronic system.

Gretsch G5024E review

(Image credit: Future/Chris Corfield)

Sonically, the G5024E delivers a rich, resonant tone typical of dreadnought guitars but with a distinct clarity and brightness that can be attributed to its spruce top. This did have some effect on its bass sound, though, which, while perfectly commendable, didn't seem to resonate quite as much as I'd have liked. 

The mahogany back and sides do, however, contribute to an overall warm, rounded sound, making it suitable for a variety of musical genres. In my tests, it excelled in handling both strumming and fingerpicking styles, offering a balanced sound with good projection and sustain.

The amplified sound is equally impressive, with the Fishman electronics providing a natural, authentic acoustic tone when plugged in. This makes the G5024E a great choice for performers who need reliable, consistent sound quality in various settings.

In its price range, the Gretsch G5024E competes well with similarly spec'd offerings from brands like Yamaha and Taylor, but it can be argued that it offers a unique aesthetic and a more versatile sound - making it one of our top choices for the best acoustic guitars for beginners looking to step away from the mainstream options. Yes, it may not offer the same level of refinement in sound as some of the more pedestrian models, but we still think it provides exceptional value for its price.

Overall, the G5024E Rancher is particularly well-suited for genres that benefit from a bright, clear acoustic sound, such as country, folk, and bluegrass. However, its versatility would easily extend to rock and pop, where its robust dreadnought body can deliver superb projection for strummed sections.

Gretsch G5024E review: Final verdict

Gretsch G5024E review

(Image credit: Future/Chris Corfield)

The Gretsch G5024E Rancher dreadnought acoustic guitar offers a compelling blend of visual charm, playability, and versatile sound quality at a competitive price point. With its unique design and robust built-in electronics, it stands out both on stage and in the studio. 

In my eyes, it's particularly suited for players involved in country, folk, and similar genres, though its broad appeal extends to virtually any performer seeking a reliable and eye-catching acoustic guitar.

While it may have some limitations in terms of bass response, the overall playing experience and its distinctive characteristics make it a worthy consideration for both new and experienced players.

Gretsch G5024E review: Hands-on demos

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Gretsch G5024E review: Specifications

Gretsch G5024E review

(Image credit: Gretsch)
  • Top Wood: Spruce
  • Back and Sides Wood: Mahogany
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Radius: 12”
  • Fingerboard: Laurel
  • Frets: 21 Vintage-Style
  • Scale Length: 25”
  • Tuners: Deluxe Die-Cast
  • Pickup: Fishman Presys III Pickup System with Active Onboard Preamp and Tuner
  • Contact: Gretsch
Chris Corfield

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World, Total Guitar and Dawsons Music. Chris loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar and bass gear, to synths, microphones, DJ gear and music production hardware.