We recommend the Gretsch G5120 for anyone wanting to explore the rich, full tones of a well-made hollowbody guitar.
In a world dominated by Fender Stratocasters and Gibson Les Pauls, it’s easy to forget the power of a large, hollowbody guitar that offers some serious Duane Eddy-like twang. The Gretsch G5120 offers such a large sound at a price that won’t break the bank.
The G5120 features a laminated maple hollowbody with a gloss urethene finish, a laminated maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and 21 medium-jumbo frets, and 2 Gretsch chrome-covered Dual-Coil pickups. The bridge is an Adjusto-Matic on a rosewood base along with a Bigsby B60 vibrato tailpiece. Chrome-plated hardware completes the package.
The guitar you play can dictate the tunes you choose, and we couldn’t help breaking into Stray Cats/Brian Setzer, Duane Eddy, and Chet Atkins licks when we strapped on the G5120. This isn’t a shredder’s guitar, so don’t try to coax any Dimebag Darrell tones from this beauty, but what you do get is a clean, powerful, large sound that sounded simply amazing through our test amplifiers, a reissue Vox AC15 and a Fender Reissue Twin Reverb.
This guitar fills a room with such a huge, powerful sound that we found ourselves strumming and picking like kids on Christmas morning. We have zero complaints about the fit and finish, though some serious vibrato action did cause the Bigsby bridge to put us out of tune, but that’s what we get for playing “Eruption” on a Gretsch!
The biggest surprise we encountered was simply how easy this guitar was to play. We thought we would have to fight it a bit, but both chording and lead lines flowed with ease. This guitar is really a testimony to how far along Korean manufacturing has come.
With a street price of only $700, the Gretsch G5120 is quite a bargain when compared to its more expensive hollowbody brethren! We recommend the Gretsch G5120 for anyone wanting to explore the rich, full tones of a well-made hollowbody guitar.
Name of Gear: Gretsch G5120
List Price: $1,000
Manufacturer Info: Gretsch Musical Instruments; gretsch.com
Pros: Cool, retro tones; nice playability