Having had much success with their Electromatic line, Gretsch continue to extend their stocks with additional models, features and specs. Offering players a Gretsch guitar with a mix of classic looks and feel as well as a handful of modern features and build decisions to limit overall cost, the Electromatic line opens up the brand to a whole new range of potential players.
A smaller sized cutaway guitar, the G5655TG is made from maple, with a chambered spruce centre block to keep things grounded. The neck is also maple with a 12” Laurel fingerboard, which seems to be a popular choice these days (due in part to its availability, cost and reliability I’ve been told). Finished in ‘Snow Crest’ white the instrument looks great, definitely in the slightly blingy Gretsch vein with the gold hardware and electronics providing a cool contrast.
A Gretsch guitar wouldn’t be complete without FilterTron pickups I hear you say? Indeed. ‘Black Top’ FliterTrons are the pickup of choice for the G5655TG, giving you the standard three position options of neck, bridge and both. Overall the guitar looks very much Gretsch and definitely hip, retaining its curviness and retro style but with a smaller body that might entice even more players.
Paul Bigsby’s tremolo design was an instant hit in the 1940s and has been a classic hardware item ever since. Almost synonymous with the Gretsch brand, its distinctive look, feel and tone has worked its way into the repertoire of hundreds of famous players and songs. I really like the weight and resistance on a Bigsby, which really lets you feel the tremolo. You can’t help but play with some deep dips and rapid flutters. And of course these aren’t limited to style or genre. The chambered body feels nice weight-wise while the combination of hollow and a block adds stability for louder settings. Warm neck pickup sounds, throaty in-between tones and brighter twang are just some of the possibilities with the G5655TG and I could see it working well in country, rock, blues, rockabilly and more.
Gretsch seem to be onto another winner here with the G5655TG. The smaller body feels good (solid yet smaller) and the chambering adds hollow traits while handling louder volumes without the worry of excessive feedback and resonance. Clean, jangly broken tones and heavier saturated distortion all work well and the combination of the FilterTron pickups, and the Bigsby helps to land you smack bang in the middle of Gretsch tone town. The price tag will also entice many players, and the fact that you can easily tweak the guitar further to your own liking makes it a nice, accessible entry into the Gretsch world/semi-hollow world/Bigsby world.
Hits and Misses
Smaller body, different style/design
Gretsch in style and sound at a reduced price
No case or gig bag included