You are currently viewing 5 Best Gretsch Guitars of 2024: Top Picks From Budget to Premium
Table of contents
Table of contents

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

I think this is why you are here: “The Gretsch has been the synonym for hollowbody and semi-hollow body guitars for decades. Their unique sound with distinctive bite paired with comfortable playability and stunning looks are why the Gretsch is what it is.”

Gretsch guitars are awesome and here, we reveal the best ones. Ready? I sure hope so.

Displays Tyler Connaghan - guitar player and writer

Author: Tyler Connaghan

Tyler Connaghan is a guitarist, singer, producer, composer & engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Tyler has been playing the guitar since 2007. In between writing for guitar publications, he produces music for film and television. His favorite axe is his custom Pelham Blue Fender Stratocaster.

Expertise: music industry, producing, acoustic & electric guitars, songwriting

Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies, Music Industry

displays Edward Bond and Gibson Guitar

Editor: Edward Bond

Edward has been playing the guitar since 2002. So Edward has over 20 years of experience as a guitarist, has authored 15 guitar books, has written for renowned music blogs, and spent a decade teaching music. He began merging his passion for writing and music in 2020 and has written for big guitar websites such as Guitar Head Publishing and KillerGuitarRigs.com.

Originally from Seattle, Edward moved to Norway in 2021 for a master’s in music. He’s studied at the Jazz Institute Berlin and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and currently resides in Trondheim. His education includes a European Jazz Master’s, a diploma in Film and Game Scoring from Sofia, and a Bachelor’s in Jazz from University of Oregon.

Edward has played in numerous bands and currently, Edward works on his own project Starship Infinity

Key Takeaways:

  • Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic is the Best Gretsch after considering several factors, such as sound, playability, versatility, hardware and value for the money.
  • Pay attention to he body style when choosing a Gretsch guitar. Choosing between semi-hollow and hollowbody designs can significantly affect the playability and sound.
  • For beginners we recommend Gretsch G2215-P90 because of it’s affordable price, versatility and easy playability.
  • If you have any questions about Gretsch or any other guitars, leave a comment down below, we are happy to chat with you!

5 Best Gretsch Guitars - Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut with Bigsby - Snowcrest White

Best Overall – Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut

Reviewer: Tyler Connaghan

Sound
Playability
Overall Quality
Value For Money
Versatility

Summary

Pros:
Design: Pays homage to the classic Gretsch design.
Tone: Beautiful hollowbody acoustic response.
Low Feedback: The new trestle block design reduces feedback when playing with high-gain amps.

Cons:
Large Body: Maybe a bit too big for some players.

Who is this guitar for?
The Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut is excellent for vintage hollowbody fans seeking a versatile Gretsch guitar without breaking the bank.

4.7

How the Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut sounds:

Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody

Check Today’s Price on

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂


The Next Best:

Don’t skip it.

Best for Beginners – Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • Intonation: Right out of the box, this guitar has excellent intonation.
  • Pickups: The P-90 and Broad’Tron humbucker mix makes it perfect for rock.
  • U-Neck Profile: The comfortable neck is ideal for players with smaller hands.

Cons:

  • Hardware: The tuners and nut are subpar and will likely call for an upgrade down the line.

Who is this guitar for?

The Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club is great for beginner and intermediate players who value simplicity and want a rock n’ roll tone.

 

Best Premium –
Gretsch G6136TG
Players Edition Falcon

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • Vintage Style: This white and gold axe is an absolute classic in terms of luxury vintage style.
  • Modern Playability: The neck, body, and hardware use modern enhancements to optimize playability.
  • Versatility: As the best-sounding Gretsch electric guitar, you can squeeze every sound imaginable out of this beauty.

Cons:

  • Expensive: The price might make you queasy.

Who is this guitar for?

The Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon is the ideal guitar for those seeking the best in tone, aesthetics, and versatility.

Best Budget –
Gretsch G2420 Streamliner

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • Build Quality: For a budget guitar, it feels very sturdy and high-quality.
  • Price: It’s the top Gretsch guitar under $500 and quite possibly the greatest Gretsch guitar for the money.
  • Look: Many great finish options are available, no matter your style.

Cons:

  • Mud: The pickups can sound a little muddy in some instances.

Who is this guitar for?

The Gretsch G2420 Streamliner is the perfect guitar for beginner or budget-conscious players who want the vintage aesthetics of a classic Gretsch guitar. 

Best for Smaller Players – Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Jr Double-Cut P-90

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • Small Body: Perfectly petite-sized for smaller players.
  • Unique Tone: FideliSonic P-90 pickups give it an exciting tone that works beautifully in high-gain situations.
  • Looks: There are tons of superb finishes to choose from.

Cons:

  • Imbalance: When playing with a strap, it feels a bit out of balance.

Who is this guitar for?

If you’re looking for a compact guitar with a vintage tone, the Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Jr Double-Cut P-90 is an excellent choice.

Compare the Key Specs

ModelPrice Range ($-$$$$)Body StyleNeckFretboardBodywoodsNut WidthNut MaterialBridgeScale-LengthPickupsControlsOur Rating
Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut$$$$Hollowbody Electromatic ClassicMaple Set Neck22, LaurelLaminated Maple1.6875″Graph Tech NuBoneAdjusto-Matic Bridge with Secured Laurel Base, Bigsby B60 Vibrato Tailpiece24.6″2 * FT-5E Filter’Tron Humbucker2 x volume
1 x master volume (Treble Bleed)
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
4.7
Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club$$Solidbody G2215-P90Nato Bolt-on22, LaurelNato1.6875″Synthetic BoneAnchored Compensated Wrap-around Bridge24.75″1 * P90 Soap Bar Single-coil
1 * Broad’Tron BT-2S Humbucker
1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
4.3
Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon$$$$$Hollowbody G6136TG Players Edition FalconMaple Set Neck22, Medium Jumbo, EbonyLaminated Maple1.687″Graph Tech TUSQ XLAdjusto-Matic Bridge with Pinned Ebony base, E6CP Bigsby Vibrato25.5″2 * FT-67 Filter’Tron Humbucker1 x master volume
2 x volume (neck/bridge)
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
4.9
Gretsch G2420 Streamliner$$Hollowbody G2420T StreamlinerNato Set Neck22, LaurelLaminated Maple1.6875″BoneAnchored Adjusto-matic with Bigsby String-thru Vibrato Tailpiece24.75″2 * Broad’Tron BT-3S Humbucker2 x volume
1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
4.4
Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Jr Double-Cut P-90$$Semi-hollowbody G2655T StreamlinerNato Set Neck22, LaurelLaminated Maple1.6875″BoneAnchored adjusto-matic with Bigsby string-thru vibrato tailpiece24.75″2 * FideliSonic P-90 Single-coil2 x volume
1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
4.4

Compare The Pickups:

image reveals How different electric guitar pickups sound

Pickups

Neck: FT-5E Filter’Tron Humbucker

Bridge: FT-5E Filter’Tron Humbucker

Pickups

Neck: P90 Soap Bar Single-coil

Bridge: Broad’Tron BT-2S Humbucker

Pickups

Neck:  FT-67 Filter’Tron Humbucker

Bridge:  FT-67 Filter’Tron Humbucker

Pickups

Neck: Broad’Tron BT-3S Humbucker

Bridge: Broad’Tron BT-3S Humbucker

Pickups

Neck: FideliSonic P-90 Single-coil

Bridge: FideliSonic P-90 Single-coil

Learn more about electric guitar pickup types here.

About Gretsch

Gretsch guitars have an undeniably classic character with their vintage, semi-hollow, solid body designs and iconic features, from their ‘Tron pickups to their signature Bigsby tremolos. 

For over 100 years, Gretsch has continued carving a space in various genres, from country to rock ‘n’ roll. But just what is it that makes these guitars so unmistakable, and how can you find the perfect Gretsch guitar to spice up your current arsenal? 

In this guide, we will take a deep dive and explore the 5 best Gretsch guitars and see what sets the brand apart from the competition!

Find out where Gretsch Guitars are made in this post!


Our Reviews of The Top 5

Keep These 3 Key Things In Mind When Choosing a Gretsch:

The first thing I’d consider is the body style. Choosing between semi-hollow and hollowbody designs can significantly affect the tonal character. There are also a few guitars in each of these categories that have stood the test of time more than others.

Next, it’s essential to consider the tone, which can be subjective depending on your musical preferences. I tried looking for the most versatile tones that would suit most playing styles.

Lastly, I wanted to consider how well the guitars hold up when played. I took several variables into account, from the neck to the fretboard material to the tuning stability.

How Did We Choose These Guitars?

After meticulously evaluating a wide range of Gretsch models, there were a few variables I used to pick my favorites. 

For starters, I considered tonal versatility.

While I’m certainly a fan of one-trick-pony guitars, I believe the “best” guitars cater to diversity. The top guitars on this list work just as well in 50s-style jazz as in twangy modern country. 

Next, I looked at comfort and playability

When you play a guitar, it should feel like an extension of you. I took the neck profile, fretboard radius, and overall ergonomics into account so that whether you’re strumming heavy chords or fingerpicking soft melodies, each guitar should feel good in your hands. 

Lastly, I looked at the iconic features.

Gretsch guitars have some of the most astounding and instantly recognizable features of all the major guitar brands. From Filter’Tron pickups to Bigsby vibratos, I wanted to showcase unique guitars.

Find out all about the “5 Best Gretsch Acoustic Guitars in 2023” in our conclusive guide

Most electric guitars we recommend are run through tests like these:

  • We check electronics (Basic measurements with multimeter, resistance, etc.)
  • We inspect the guitar carefully to get a good idea of the finish and built quality of the guitar.
  • We inspect the fretwork and edges of the fretboard to make sure there are no sharp edges.
  • We run the guitar usually through BOSS Katana 50 MK2 and test clean, crunch, and distorted tones with lead and rhythm playing.
  • We use different playing styles to get a good feel for the playability. We use fingerpicking, sweep picking, riffs from different genres, shredding, tapping, chord playing, etc.
  • We test all the possible pickup combinations and use different Volume and Tone settings from the guitar.
  • We measure and weight the guitar.
  • We test the guitar with drop tunings.

Learn more about GND’s testing and reviewing processes here.


Best Overall – Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut

Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut with Bigsby - Snowcrest White
Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut with Bigsby – Snowcrest White

Specs

Body StyleHollowbody Electromatic Classic
Body WoodLaminated Maple
NeckMaple Set Neck
Neck ShapeClassic C
Neck Radius12″
Fretboard22, Laurel
NutGraph Tech NuBone
Nut Width1.6875″
Pickups2 * FT-5E Filter’Tron Humbucker
Controls2 x volume
1 x master volume (Treble Bleed)
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
Scale-Length24.6″
BridgeAdjusto-Matic Bridge with Secured Laurel Base, Bigsby B60 Vibrato Tailpiece
TunersVintage-style Open Gear

The Gretsch Electromatic lineup is fantastic if you want a sub-$1,000 guitar without compromising the iconic features that define the brand. Still, it has some of the best and most versatile guitars in the lineup.

The G5422TG draws inspiration from the revered guitars of the ’50s and ’60s while incorporating a few contemporary features. The trestle block bracing is a modern addition that effectively combats the feedback issues commonly associated with hollow-bodied guitars. 

However, for me, the FT-5E Filter’Tron pickups make this guitar so alluring, giving it a rich and robust sound. 

You get plenty of attack in the mids and high-end and controlled bass response. It’s one of the best Gretsch guitars for worship players in big bands, as it really cuts. 

Aesthetically, the G5422TG embodies sophistication. You’ll find shiny golden hardware and the elegantly proportioned G6120 bound headstock styled in a 50s-style manner. 

Of course, it’s not just a pretty face. The G5422TG excels in playability, with comfort from the ‘C’-shaped maple neck, 12”-radius laurel fingerboard, and medium jumbo frets. The double-cut option takes the playability aspect even further.

When all is said and done, if you’re on the hunt for a Gretsch guitar that isn’t over-the-top expensive yet pays homage to its heritage while embracing modern innovation, the Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Double-Cut is a solid choice.
Check out our other article for the best hollowbody guitar for under $1,000!

How this guitar sounds:

Strings Quick Demo: Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Hollow Bodt

Summary

Pros:

  • Design: Pays homage to the classic Gretsch design.
  • Tone: Beautiful hollowbody acoustic response.
  • Low Feedback: The new trestle block design reduces feedback when playing with high-gain amps.

Cons:

  • Large Body: Maybe a bit too big for some players.

What others are saying:

“This has been my first Gretsch guitar and I’m beyond impressed. The tone, how it plays and the feel is just awesome. I’ve always played Fender Strats and a Telecaster but I have to admit that this G5442TG just feels like home.”

  • Elis Rivera, Sweetwater customer

Who is this guitar for?

The Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut is excellent for vintage hollowbody fans seeking a versatile Gretsch guitar without breaking the bank.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

I wouldn’t recommend the Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Classic Hollowbody Double-Cut for beginners or high-gain players.

Check Today’s Price on:


Best for Beginners – Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club

Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club P90 Electric Guitar - Ocean Turquoise
Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club P90 Electric Guitar – Ocean Turquoise

Specs

Body StyleSolidbody G2215-P90
Body WoodNato
NeckNato Bolt-on
Neck ShapeThin U
Neck Radius12″
Fretboard22, Laurel
NutSynthetic Bone
Nut Width1.6875″
Pickups1 * P90 Soap Bar Single-coil
1 * Broad’Tron BT-2S Humbucker
Controls1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
Scale-Length24.75″
BridgeAnchored Compensated Wrap-around Bridge
TunersDie-cast

The Junior Jet is a unique guitar in the Gretsch lineup, as it’s one of the few featuring a P90 pickup. Not only is it a fantastic guitar for rock n’ roll players, but it’s also an excellent choice for beginners who want to purchase their very first six-string. The smaller design makes it comfortable to play, yet you still get a high level of craftsmanship for everyday use.

The guitar boasts a thin U-shaped neck profile, compact enough for those with smaller hands who are getting used to playing barre chords yet substantial enough to cater to players with larger hands who often use a thumb-over technique. 

As for the tone, you get a P-90 soap bar single-coil pickup on the neck and a Broad’Tron humbucker on the bridge. Together, they deliver a tight and aggressive midrange, especially when pushed through high-gain amps with ultra-powerful lows, perfect for rocking rhythm playing.

As your skills evolve as a player, consider a few strategic upgrades, such as the standard tuning keys or a nut adjustment. Luckily, the guitar is super adaptable, so growing and evolving with it is no issue.

When it comes down to it, the Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club really hits the sweet spot in catering to beginner and intermediate players and those invested in heavy riff playing or soloing.

How this guitar sounds:

Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club, Featured Demo

Summary

Pros:

  • Intonation: Right out of the box, this guitar has excellent intonation.
  • Pickups: The P-90 and Broad’Tron humbucker mix makes it perfect for rock.
  • U-Neck Profile: The comfortable neck is ideal for players with smaller hands.

Cons:

  • Hardware: The tuners and nut are subpar and will likely call for an upgrade down the line.

What others are saying:

“After months of playing this $, it’s become one of my absolute favorites. The P90 sounds absolutely amazing! Clears to roaring, the tone is fantastic. The playability is better than my Made in USA Strat. It’s basic and inexpensive but a fantastic value. People I play with all comment on the sound, looks and playability. I have a hard time getting the guitar back in my hands.”

  • Kennard Yamada, Sweetwater customer

Who is this guitar for?

The Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club is great for beginner and intermediate players who value simplicity and want a rock n’ roll tone.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

I wouldn’t recommend the Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club to anyone searching for the classic Gretsch aesthetic, as it has an entirely different flavor.

Check Today’s Price on:


Best Premium – Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon

Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon with Bigsby - White
Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon with Bigsby – White

Specs

Body StyleHollowbody G6136TG Players Edition Falcon
Body WoodLaminated Maple
NeckMaple Set Neck
Neck ShapeStandard U
Neck Radius12″
Fretboard22, Medium Jumbo, Ebony
NutGraph Tech TUSQ XL
Nut Width1.687″
Pickups2 * FT-67 Filter’Tron Humbucker
Controls1 x master volume
2 x volume (neck/bridge)
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
Scale-Length25.5″
BridgeAdjusto-Matic Bridge with Pinned Ebony base, E6CP Bigsby Vibrato
TunersGrover Imperial Locking

The Falcon is a true legend in the guitar world. Throughout history, we’ve seen some of the most iconic players and performers wielding this one-of-a-kind axe, from John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats. And it’s easy to see why it’s seemingly reserved for top-notch players. 

Accompanying the Falcon’s captivating aesthetics is an unparalleled sound. The guitar beautifully balances presence and brightness, coupled with what might be the most incredibly satisfying bass response I’ve heard from any hollowbody. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that this instrument is the finest-sounding hollowbody in the world. 

The Players Edition Falcon retains the core essence of everything Gretsch while introducing contemporary enhancements that take its playability to the next level. Combining the U-shaped neck with the 12 “-radius ebony fingerboard and meticulously rolled edges provides an extra layer of comfort that feels like butter in your hands.

Pair that with the 22 medium jumbo frets, and executing wide bends becomes seamless. You never have to worry about notes choking out, which can be a significant issue on some cheaper hollowbodies. If you play out a lot, you’ll love the Luminlay side dots, as they provide extra visual guidance, even if you’re playing in the most dimly lit bar in history.

How this guitar sounds:

No Talking…Just Tones. Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon Hollow Body

Summary

Pros:

  • Vintage Style: This white and gold axe is an absolute classic in terms of luxury vintage style.
  • Modern Playability: The neck, body, and hardware use modern enhancements to optimize playability.
  • Versatility: As the best-sounding Gretsch electric guitar, you can squeeze every sound imaginable out of this beauty.

Cons:

  • Expensive: The price might make you queasy.

What others are saying:

“This Gretsch White falcon is definitely the best of the best. I fell in love with this thing the first time I took it out of the case. It has been my wish to have one since the mid-70s, more like a dream to have one. I finally got it, and I’m glad I did. I love it.”

  • Jim Sanford, Sweetwater customer

Who is this guitar for?

The Gretsch G6136TG Players Edition Falcon is the ideal guitar for those seeking the best in tone, aesthetics, and versatility.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

Beginners and budget-conscious players should look elsewhere.

Check Today’s Price on:


Best Budget – Gretsch G2420 Streamliner

Gretsch G2420T Streamliner - Riviera Blue
Gretsch G2420T Streamliner – Riviera Blue

Specs

Body StyleHollowbody G2420T Streamliner
Body WoodLaminated Maple
NeckNato Set Neck
Neck ShapeSoft C
Neck Radius12″
Fretboard22, Laurel
NutBone
Nut Width1.6875″
Pickups2 * Broad’Tron BT-3S Humbucker
Controls2 x volume
1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
Scale-Length24.75″
BridgeAnchored Adjusto-matic with Bigsby String-thru Vibrato Tailpiece
TunersDie-cast, Closed Gear

If you’re looking for an affordable way to get your hands on the Gretsch style and sound, look no further than the Gretsch G2420 Streamliner. 

The Streamliner range hit the market in 2016, instantly becoming the prime avenue for budding musicians and budget-conscious players to capture the essence of Gretsch without forking over thousands of dollars. 

Over the years, we’ve seen significant evolution in the Streamliner series, though it’s easy to see that the G2420, which embodies a more traditional aesthetic, is a clear favorite. 

What’s interesting about the Streamliner G2420 is that although it may exude the vintage Gretsch appearance, its sonic identity is decidedly contemporary. Its unique tone is thanks to the inclusion of the custom-designed Broad’Tron BT-2S humbuckers, which are slightly hotter pickups than your traditional Gretsch pickups, with pronounced midrange and a tighter low-end.

For the price, it’s one of the best Gretsch guitars for blues and rock players.

If you’re in the market for a guitar that infuses the trusted Gretsch formula with a modern twist, all at a price point that won’t make you dizzy, then the Gretsch G2420 Streamliner is a solid choice. 

How this guitar sounds:

Gretsch Streamliner G2420 Single Cutaway Hollow Body Guitar

Summary

Pros:

  • Build Quality: For a budget guitar, it feels very sturdy and high-quality.
  • Price: This guitar offers excellent value for the money.
  • Look: Many great finish options are available, no matter your style.

Cons:

  • Mud: The pickups can sound a little muddy in some instances.

What others are saying:

“Pro player, and guitar collector. Nicest guitar for the money I have bought. Plays so easy, and fast, it is incredible. Versatile sound. From clean jazz, blues to grunge rock. Finish, and fit ARE PERFECT. Set up…PERFECT. Look, and feel…AMAZING!”

  • Jack, Sweetwater customer

Who is this guitar for?

The Gretsch G2420 Streamliner is the perfect guitar for beginner or budget-conscious players who want the vintage aesthetics of a classic Gretsch guitar.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

I wouldn’t recommend the Gretsch G2420 Streamliner for advanced guitarists who want the best tone.

Check Today’s Price on:


Best for Smaller Players – Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Jr Double-Cut P-90

Displays Gretsch G2655T-P90 Streamliner Center Block Jr. Double-Cut P90
Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Center Block Jr. – Brandywine

Specs

Body StyleSemi-hollowbody G2655T Streamliner
Body WoodLaminated Maple
NeckNato Set Neck
Neck ShapeSoft C
Neck Radius12″
Fretboard22, Laurel
NutBone
Nut Width1.6875″
Pickups2 * FideliSonic P-90 Single-coil
Controls2 x volume
1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
Scale-Length24.75″
BridgeAnchored adjusto-matic with Bigsby string-thru vibrato tailpiece
TunersDie-cast, Closed Gear

Another one of my favorites in the Streamliner series is the Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Jr Double-Cut P-90. The name says it all, telling you precisely what you might expect to find on this guitar.

The body is resized from the conventional double-cut hollowbody design, mirroring the proportions of a Gibson SG or Les Paul. This compact size makes it an excellent choice for smaller players or those who find the larger form factor of other classic Gretsch guitars unwieldy.

Beyond its unconventional dimensions, this petite Streamliner model stands out in the Gretsch lineup by incorporating spankin’ P-90 pickups. These single-coil pickups deliver an unexpected potency, flaunting a lush midrange that truly sings when paired with an overdrive pedal. 

Luckily, because it can be pushed into overdrive, it also has a lovely spruce center block, which helps eliminate feedback at high volume. Of course, you also get subtle pitch control with the Bigsby B-50 vibrato for a bit more playing dimension.

If you’ve yet to experience the magic of this little thing, I highly recommend seeking the opportunity to do so.

How this guitar sounds:

Gretsch G2655T-P90 Streamliner Center Block Jr. Double-Cut P90

Summary

Pros:

  • Small Body: Perfectly petite-sized for smaller players.
  • Unique Tone: FideliSonic P-90 pickups give it an exciting tone that works beautifully in high-gain situations.
  • Looks: There are tons of superb finishes to choose from.

Cons:

  • Imbalance: When playing with a strap, it feels a bit out of balance.

What others are saying:

“I’ve only had my Gretsch for 2 days now but I can tell ya this thing has more precision than any guitar I have ever owned. It is easily the most beautiful. So far it is pure perfection. The tuners are as smooth to operate as the Bigsby tremolo.”

  • James Browning, Sweetwater customer

Who is this guitar for?

If you’re looking for a compact guitar with a vintage tone, the Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Jr Double-Cut P-90 is an excellent choice.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

I wouldn’t recommend the Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Jr Double-Cut P-90 to classic Gretsch tone lovers, as it uses P-90s.

Check Today’s Price on:


Runner-Ups That Just Missed The Top 5

Best BaritoneGretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet Baritone
Best Gretsch for RockGretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet
Best Vintage AestheticGretsch G6134T-58 Vintage Select ’58 Penguin
Best Gretsch for RockabillyGretsch G6120TFM-BSNV Brian Setzer Nashville
Best Solid-BodyGretsch G5210-P90 Electromatic Jet Two 90

A Brief History of Gretsch Guitars

The origins of Gretsch stretch all the way back to 1883 when Frederich Gretsch moved from Germany to Brooklyn, New York. Gretsch started a small music shop that sold numerous types of instruments beyond guitars. 

Though the guitar brand was mainly aimed at jazz musicians for several decades, primarily offering acoustic archtop models, it would eventually become a household name in the 1950s, thanks to famous guitarists like Eddie Cochran and Chet Atkins. By the 1960s, Gretsch saw a further resurgence with its Liverpudlian connection, a la the Beatles. 

Friedrich decided to retire near the end of the 1960s, selling the brand to Baldwin Piano. Over the next two decades, Baldwin Piano slowly sent the brand to its demise, and by the early 80s, Gretsch production ceased to exist. Luckily, Friedrich’s great-grandson, Fred W. Gretsch, would repurchase the company from Baldwin, putting the guitars into production again.

In 2002, Fred decided to make friends with its once arch nemesis, Fender, which would take over Gretsch manufacturing and distribution worldwide.


Buyer’s Guide

The Gretsch Range Explained

Streamliner Series

Though the Gretsch Streamliner series is the most budget-friendly among the three lineups, you can still find numerous iconic design elements synonymous with the esteemed heritage brand. Streamliner collection encompasses a diverse selection of guitars, all of which are produced in Indonesia.

From Junior models to vintage hollowbodies to simplified adaptations of the Jet series, the array of guitars in the Streamliner series is quite impressive, especially when you consider how modest of an investment you’d have to make to get your hands on one.

Electromatic Series

Progressing just beyond the Streamliner series, we have the Electromatic series, which boasts elevated components and enhanced craftsmanship. Manufactured in Korea, Electromatic series guitars are some of the most popular in the lineup, thanks to their remarkable construction standards and affordability.

You’ll find many hollowbody options and center block variants that accommodate diverse preferences. These guitars also benefit from a better tonal experience thanks to the higher-end Black Top Filter’Tron humbucker pickups, which have a more refined tonal palette and a more versatile sound.

Professional Series

The Professional series is the pinnacle of Gretsch guitar offerings, showcasing meticulously crafted guitars with some of the company’s best materials. The series is split into two categories: Vintage Select and Players Edition.

The Vintage Select models preserve the iconic enchantment of Gretsch models from the 50s and 60s, embracing vintage specs and features that authentically capture the essence of golden-era instruments.

On the other hand, we have the Players Edition guitars, which are tailored to the demands of working professionals. Every guitar in this lineup provides players with contemporary features and advanced manufacturing technologies, providing access to some of Gretsch’s finest offerings.

How to Choose The Right Gretsch Guitar For You?

Here are some suggestions to consider when choosing the right Gretsch guitar for yourself.

Body Styles

Here are some of the most popular electric guitar body shapes you can expect to find from Gretsch: 

HollowbodyWhile hollowbody guitars might deeply connect with jazz players, these resonant, acoustic-like bodies are great for various playing styles. 
Solidbody (Jet)Though you won’t find as many solid body Gretsch models as other guitar brands, they’re better for players who want added sustain and feedback resistance
Semi-HollowbodyIf you want the best of both worlds of the above body styles, go for a semi-hollow body design. You get more resonance and fewer feedback issues. 

Woods

Next, let’s talk tonewoods. Many players hardly consider them, though they can significantly impact how a guitar sounds and plays. Let’s check out a few of the most common tonewoods found on Gretsch models:

MapleIn the Gretsch universe, maple is a staple. It’s bright, it’s clear, and it’s crispy. However, you can go the laminated maple route for a bit of added warmth.
SpruceSpruce is often found on the tops of Gretsch guitars. It’s a wonderfully resonant tonewood, adding the perfect projection for fingerstyle players.
BasswoodBudget-friendly Gretsch guitars typically use lightweight basswood, which is a bit more midrange-heavy than its maple counterpart.

Pickups

Contributing more to the tone than anything else are the pickups. Let’s take a look at some of the most common pickup types you’ll find on Gretsch models:

Filter’Tron PickupsIf you’re looking for the iconic Gretsch guitar sound, look no further than the Filter’Tron pickups. They have all the crisp and twang any classic rock or rockabilly player could need.
Broad’Tron PickupsWith a high-output design, Broad’Tron pickups offer a more aggressive sound than their Filter’Tron counterparts.
P-90 PickupsP-90s are single-coil pickups, offering a warmer, fatter tone.
Dynasonic PickupsSmack dab in the middle of Gretsch’s pickup offerings are Dynasonics, which are vintage-style single coils known for their high-end sparkle.

Neck Profile

The type of neck profile you choose will come down to personal preference, as each has unique characteristics. Let’s explore some of the most common neck profiles you can expect to find on Gretsch guitars:

“U” ShapeVintage-style Gretsch guitars often use the “U”-shaped neck profile, which is excellent for players who want a more substantial feel. 
“C” ShapeIf you want a smoother and more accommodating feel, I’d recommend the modern “C” shape, as it’s super comfortable.
“V” ShapeThe “V”-shaped neck profile is unique, providing a secure grip thanks to the pronounced V-shaped contour. 

Hardware

With so many different hardware components to look out for, I could write an entire article on iconic Gretsch hardware. However, for the sake of keeping things short, let’s look at a few common elements to look out for:

Bridges and TailpiecesGretsch is best known for its stylishly iconic bridges and tailpieces, with different levels of tuning stability, sustain, and vibrato capability. 
TunersBecause many Gretsch bridges and tailpieces don’t provide the best tuning stability, it’s nice to know that most use high-end Gotoh or Grover tuners. If you want the best, go for Gotoh tuning machines.

Budget

If you’re on a serious budget or a beginner guitarist, I’d recommend the Streamliner series, as it has some of the most affordable guitars in the lineup. 

Skill Level

Your skill level can significantly impact the type of Gretsch guitar you choose.

I recommend:

  • Streamliner guitars for beginners.
  • Electromatic guitars for intermediate players.
  • Professional Series for experienced players.

How to Test

Head to your local guitar shop for the best and most personal testing experience possible. 

Find a few Gretsch models that look good and fit within your budget, and test them out by plugging them into a clean electric guitar amp. As you play riffs and chords, listen to the tonal characteristics of each guitar, including the clarity, sustain, and low-end. 

Once you know how they sound on a clean amplifier, start introducing some pedals to see how they react. I recommend trying overdrive and distortion pedals, as they’re a great way to determine how resistant your guitar is to feedback, which is especially important with hollowbody models. 

If you’re ever unsure about a guitar you’re playing, ask an experienced staff member for advice.


FAQ

Are Gretsch Guitars Any Good?

Absolutely! Gretsch guitars are often considered some of the best electric guitars in existence. 

Are Gretsch Guitars Good for Beginners?

While most Gretsch guitars might be above the budget threshold for entry-level players, the Gretsch Streamliner series offers some fantastic beginner-friendly guitars. 

Are Gretsch Guitars Easy to Play?

Several factors impact playability with any guitar, such as neck profile, fretboard radius, body size, action, and string length. So, whether or not a Gretsch guitar is easy to play for you will come down to personal preference. On average, however, a Gretsch guitar will be far more playable than a cheap guitar. 

Which Famous Guitarists Use Gretsch Guitars?

  • Brian Setzer – The Stray Cats
  • John Frusciante – The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Billy Duffy – The Cult
  • Jim James – My Morning Jacket
  • Neko Case – The New Pornographers
  • Patrick Stump – Fall Out Boy

Where Are Gretsch Guitars Made?

The higher-end, top-tier Gretsch models are manufactured in Japan, while the lower-end and mid-range guitars in the Streamliner and Electromatic series are produced in Indonesia.

Do Gretsch Guitars Come With A Case?

Most high-end Gretsch guitars will come with a hardshell case as part of the overall package, though when it comes to midrange and entry-level models, cases are typically optional. In actuality, it’ll depend on the store you buy from.

Who Owns Gretsch Guitars?

As of 2002, Gretsch is under the ownership of the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

What Makes The Price Differences In Different Gretsch Guitars?

Several factors can contribute to price differences between Gretsch guitars, including material quality, pickups, electronics, construction methods, hardware, finishes, and overall craftsmanship. 

What Music Gretsch Guitars Are Good For?

While Gretsch guitars can excel in a wide range of genres, they are best for jazz, country, and rockabilly. 


Conclusion

Gretsch guitars are some of the finest classic axes on the market today. The company has quite a rich history, and over the many decades it has been around, it has become renowned for sticking to its guns and churning out uniquely iconic designs.

In my eyes, no other guitar brand comes close to what Gretsch offers, and if you haven’t already gotten your hands on one for your arsenal, I’d highly recommend choosing from the list of the best Gretsch guitars above.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment down below. Happy strumming from all of us here at Guitaristnextdoor.com!

Tyler Connaghan

Tyler Connaghan is a guitarist, singer, producer, composer & engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Tyler has been playing the guitar since 2007. In between writing for guitar publications, he produces music for film and television. His favorite axe is his custom Pelham Blue Fender Stratocaster. You can connect with Tyler on LinkedIn or just email him.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Arnold

The Gretsch G2655T shown is model Brandywine with Broad’Tron BT-3S pickups, not Fidelisonic P90’s as the text says (the table mentions 3S correctly).
Also, the video is 7 years old and doesn’t show the BT-3S nor the P90, but an older model with the BT-2S.
Question: does the description of the sound stil apply, or should the text be revised?
I am considering a Gretsch streamliner, and seek advice whether to buy one with BT-3S (with split coil) or one with Fidelisonic P90. Any thoughts on that?

Teemu Suomala

Hi Arnold!
First, really sorry about this mistake from our part. Secondly, thank you for pointing this out!
Tyler meant Gretsch G2655T-P90 Streamliner Center Block Jr. Double-Cut P90 and all the review content and opinions he revealed are about that model. I just updated everything so all should be correct now.

About your question…Well, Tyler has come to the conclusion to recommend the one with Fidelisonic P90. It stands out from a Gretsch line-up since it offers brighter and crispier tone that still works with overdrive too. But I must say that this P90 version doesn’t exactly give you that full Gretsch sound that their guitars with humbuckers can. So basically both Fidelisonic P90s and T-3S (with split coil) are great options. It comes down to choosing between brighter and crisp sound of P90s or full sound of humbuckers. I would personally be happy with both, haha

I wish you all the best Arnold!