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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


To the uninitiated, all big-bodied, single-cutaway Gretsch archtops look pretty similar in appearance. But Gretsch offers three distinct ranges – Streamliner, Electromatic and Professional Collection – with pricing to match. If twang is your thang, should you opt for a more affordable instrument and upgrade later, or jump in at the deep end? Let us be your guide as we put a trio of Gretsch hollowbodies through their paces…

Gretsch’s historic home was in Brooklyn, New York but it has long-since left NYC and like most large-volume guitar manufacturers, the company now has production facilities all over the world. Streamliner models are made in Indonesia, Electromatics in Korea and the highend models are built in the Terada factory in Japan. At the very top of the tree are the mouthwatering Masterbuilt Custom Shop models made by Stephen Stern and his team in Corona, California.

When it comes to getting the best twang for your buck, it’s not necessarily about spending as much cash as you can. Modifications and hot-rodding have been part of Gretsch culture for years: the Electromatic models – and more recently the Streamliners – are popular platforms for upgrades.

To help find the right Gretsch hollowbody for you, we’ve chosen three similarly spec’d production guitars to put under the microscope. The affordable end of the catalogue is represented here by a Rivera Blue G2420T Streamliner (£485).

Next up is a G5420T (£989), from the Electromatic Series, with an iconic Orange Stain finish and chrome-plated hardware. Finally, we make the substantial leap to the G6120T Players Edition Nashville (£2,609), with its mellower orange finish and gold-plated hardware.

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