In recent weeks we have ran the rule over a pair of beauties from Gretsch - the ’57 Duo Jet and ’58 Penguin.
However, there’s another, way more affordable, guitar that may be worthy of attention. If our Penguin and Cadillac Green Duo Jet were kicking it back in first class with a glass of Dom Perignon and a plateful of vol-au-vents, the Chinese-made Electromatic G5435T Pro Jet might be slumming it in economy with complimentary nuts and a plastic cup full of Tizer.
So, how did this budget Jet manoeuvre its way into such esteemed company? Well, the Electromatic range has picked up a cult following over the past few years. ’Matic fans love pimping these things.
Electromatic tweakers can also be somewhat cynical of the price tags on the Professional Series guitars, which includes our Vintage Select Editions. In recent years, it’s the sub-£1,000 guitar sector that has seen the biggest shift in build quality, and bang for your buck, with the Electromatic range playing an important role in that growth by offering iconic designs at affordable prices. Our G5435T Pro Jet features the same scale length, fingerboard radius and fret count as the Vintage Select guitars.
Costs are kept in check with a chambered basswood body but you get the laminated maple top, a pair of Black Top Filter’Tron pickups and a licensed Bigsby.
The question is, how well will our Pro Jet hold its own in this illustrious company? There’s only one way to find out...
Sounds and feel
The Electromatic Pro Jet has a super slim neck that’s obviously aimed at modern players.
Despite its more modest price tag, the Pro Jet can swing from classic 50s rock ‘n’ roll to hard rock and just about anything else. These Black Top FilterTrons are not just generic humbuckers. You actually get some Gretsch mojo wrapped around those bobbins, boosted no doubt by the chambered body.
The Electomatic Pro Jet is a solid bit of kit. It looks the part, punches above its weight in terms of build quality versus price, and it puts out some convincing tones. It’s actually more versatile than the Vintage Select ’57 Duo Jet simply because it can straddle the old school and modern tonal divide.