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Gretsch G5438T Pro Jet with Bigsby - Gold Reviews

5.0 stars based on 5 customer reviews
Questions about the Gretsch G5438T Pro Jet with Bigsby - Gold?

Questions about the Gretsch G5438T Pro Jet with Bigsby - Gold?

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  • from Shingle Springs, CA April 8, 2017Music Background:
    43 years on guitar.


    I picked one up on e..y with it's original HC for 470 diablos. Dumb luck for a guitar I'd pay double for in new condition. I have all kinds of oriental guitars because they're affordable and sound great. It wasn't until I bought this Chinese Gretsch that I realized their workmanship blows Fen, Gib, which ever, right out of the water. It's so good it may as well be a USA model. I plugged it into my Line 6 D-25: a boutique amp but didn't know the setting I had on the A channel. I started to laugh because identical Neil Young tone came crashing out. Just dead nuts. Then jazzed it up on the neck pup. Very nice! Then a bit of country twang with both pups. Then switched to the B channel and bridge pup and ran the gain up to about 6. No more needed, it was AC\DC right on the money. I own 5K guitars that don't sound or look like they should cost that much. With guitars like this, why spend a fortune unless you're loaded? I could go on, but I'll finish with this: go to your local Gretcsh dealer and try out...well, anything Gretcsh. Everyone I've tried since my purchase has been outstanding, so this will not be my last Gretcsh

  • from Olympia, WA December 24, 2015

    Incredible guitar for any price.

    Apparently the sound in my head since I was 15 is in Gretsches, they just didn't make anything decent I could afford when I started playing. I'm still amazed at how good intermediate and low end guitars have gotten in the last 25+ years. Like I found with another model manufactured in Southeast Asia, the range from $500-$1000 is as good as what $2000-$2500 guitars were when I started playing in the 1980s.

    This is a phenomenal value. Perfectly finished with exceptionally well manicured vintage sized frets. It's visually stunning, and everything feels solid. The metal knobs and switch tips are unique and well made, has a great feel to the controls and they're nicely out of your way when playing, but still accessible.

    This is my first Bigsby, and I never was a big vibrato bar user (always got Strats with one for the resonance but put extra springs on and screwed it down). This one feels very intuitive and comfortable, just right for an accent on chords or spaghetti Western sound effects.

    The sound. Oh, the sound...rich, clear, crisp, crunches up beautifully. Billy Gibbons squeals come right out with some tube amp distortion, it's glorious with tremelo or chorus on a clean amp. Works for fingerpicking too despite the relatively slim neck width.

    The Sweetwater setup was perfect out of the box as always, and the factory placement of the bridge was close to perfect already. I almost thought they'd forgotten to intonate it since the bridge saddles were nearly in a straight line, but it's dead on accurate. Even the vintage style machine heads are smooth and as stable as you can get with non-locking. That was another surprise, when I saw what came on it I already had plans to replace them, but won't need to now.

  • from Toms River, NJ October 30, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Student, Producer, Electronic Composer,


    Before you start reading, keep in mind that this is my very first guitar, so take this with a grain of salt.
    I went to my local music store to pick up a copy of Komplete 10 (I produce a lot of electronic music). I decided to walt around the store a little, and I found this. I stuck up a conversation with a guy who's been playing for 30+ years, with a collection of 50+ high-end guitars. He started playing, and said it was as playable, and sounded as good as a $2000+ guitar. I was sold, and as I continue to learn the ins and outs of playing this instrument, I keep falling in love over and over again. This is an excellent first guitar, and an excellent guitar for the seasoned player as well. The price is simply unbeatable, well worth every penny.

  • from western PA August 27, 2013Music Background:

    My Favorite

    This guitar blows me away. I'm an older guy that just likes to play and after 40 years of playing you play alot of guitars, I think this is the best sound to money guitar I have ever played. Beatles, Stones, U2, Stain, Eagles it's got them and alot more. If you can only have one guitar this is the one to buy, and if you have a bunch of them you still need this guitar.Play it once and you'll get hooked just like I did.
    P.S. Derrick is the best. ext 1243

  • from Hawaii March 25, 2015

    Gretsch 5438T

    I've owned my specimen of this exact guitar for 2 yrs. or so. In that time, I've had ups and downs with it, but mostly growing pains of a new guitar. The tone is really really nice, somewhere between a Tele and a Paul, but with more chime and clarity.

    Fit and finish is excellent for a guitar in this price range. The gold/bronze paint is stunning and flawless. No overuns, no mistakes, perfect. The back, I wish the back was the actual mahogany color of the higher end Jets, but it's the back so there is really no concern.

    Frets are finished very nicely, very polished, and most important, especially for an import, the fret ends are smooth and bound. That's not a cheap touch. The tuners are good, I say good because there is a little movement in them and they are completely sealed with bean buttons, so there is no end adjustment screw to tighten them so slightly. Tuning is fairly stable but lubricant is in order at string changes.

    The nut.... Well it is synthetic bone instead of cheap plastic, but QC could be better in the cut. The angles from the nut to the tuner are fine and well done, but they leave a lot of debris in the slots that has to be cleaned out to prevent binding. I simply did it with a string one size larger and it cleaned it right out. Mine came with some annoying black tool marks.

    The Bigsby... if there is a hang to this guitar, it's the placement location of the Bigsby. It is far too close to the bridge and if you properly engage the down tension bar, the angle is so steep to the bridge, you have very little response. I chose to string over the bar and not use it at all, but then you have great response and warble, but with a rattling roller, so some hard as nails polish on the ends works wonders to silence the rattle.

    The Bridge.. It's a standard TOM, so there can be some retainer spring rattle also, again intonate the guitar perfectly and put some hard as nails polish on the intonation screws and spring and let it sit over night to harden, and that noise is gone.

    I love the strap buttons, classy of Gretsch then, and classy of Gretsch now. I was at first kind of put off by all the bling on the guitar, chrome everything but you get used to it.

    The control Layout... can be intimidating and confusing at first, but you learn to set your pickup volumes and use the master. The beauty of this guitar is there are many tones in the volume knobs of the pickups, each one slightly rolled off or on gives a completely different character to the guitar. I love that aspect. The master tone, I'm not sure of, it has no treble bleed so it reduces volume as it reduces tone.

    The block inlays in the neck are well done, no crookedness, no gaps, beautiful work. Overall, you get a lot of handsome guitar for the money paid.

    The Blacktop Filtertrons... are really an amazing sounding pickup, cranked, they rattle your heart like a Paul, and moving from the very warm neck pickup to the bridge is a definate difference, but not that ice pick or loss of volume you experience with some humbuckers. Behind the bridge in the string pull area are lots of little chirps and harp sounds not really mentioned in most reviews. I like to use those for effect. My most beloved aspect is the controlled feedback you get at the end of passages or runs..verges on out of control, and then you can make it disappear. At no time has it ever fed back unwantedly even at volume.

    Again, overall, a great guitar for the money and an excellent player.

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