Gear Friday: Gretsch Electromatic

It had to happen at some point, right? I had to get a Gretsch. Well, I decided to start with an Electromatic and go from there, but it still says Gretsch.

It's certainly a pretty headstock, but I'm not real crazy about the way the strings are bent out from the center. This adds unnecessary tension to those middle few strings, but perhaps that's the point. That means those are less likely to bend when you're playing "normal". I suppose that could keep it more in tune when playing chords, but I've never heard anyone state that as being the reason. I just know I generally prefer straight paths so I can bend them as I want to with minimal effort.

As for the body, it's pretty. The bigsby took a bit to get used to. No divebombs, but a nice vibrato is no problem.

So what do I like about this one? It's certainly a different tone than most of my others. Between the weaker output from the pickups and the airy sound from the semi-hollow, it's a much different sound than most of my electrics. I also like the neck feel for playing chords, especially open chords. It's not a shred monster, but that's not what it was designed to be.

What don't I like about it? The strings like to fall off the saddles if I toy with the bigsby and it gets feedback really easily. Feedback is a common hollow problem, but the saddle issues drive me nuts. I've tried doing a little adjusting, but it just doesn't quite stay stable.

Overall, I like this one for recording, it would be fine in church, but most live settings I'll be grabbing something else. Good thing I have a few to choose from.


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