The Gretsch Streamliner series is the only full line of affordable guitars that you can buy in most music stores. These are suggested for anyone who wants to start playing (especially country-style players). Some of these models also come with a Bigsby, which looks really cool and classy on these instruments. After finishing my review on the Gretsch Electromatic, I can say it’s definitely one of the best guitars available under $500
I was able to borrow this guitar from a friend so I could do a nice review for everyone here. I must warn you though: these guitars usually have some minor problems at first because they are made in China… But if you want an honest opinion about these, read on 🙂
I was expecting this to be a completely laminated body guitar because it has a somewhat cheap price tag. However, I was surprised that it is actually made of solid wood (laminated flame/ veneer top) and features a thick cut-away for better access to high registers. The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard and the headstock features a similar color combination. It also has inlaid position marks and standard medium jumbo frets, which makes me think it’s quite comfortable to play. Tune-O-Matic bridge and sealed tuners contribute to tuning stability while die-cast tuners provide accurate tuning. Gretsch Streamliner series use short length necks (24.6″ instead of 25.5″ or longer) which are perfect for performing or recording in the studio.
I wasn’t really expecting anything special from the electronics section, but this guitar actually has a nice modern humbucker at each position (not sure if it’s made by Gretsch themselves), along with master volume and tone controls. I also found out that these come with a 3-way blade switch which is great for switching between single-coil modes. These pickups are not your typical low to mid-end ones… They’re good enough for hard rock or even jazz! You can definitely hear sustain on high notes, especially when using distortion boxes. The only problem I heard was that this guitar buzzes a bit on middle positions without any effects (like amp distortion) but it’s much better when you’re using something like VSTs.
Conclusion, PROS: – Overall great construction (flame top, mahogany back & sides), especially for the price tag – Good pickups for this range of prices – Premium set-up out of the box – Short neck which is perfect for studio work CONS: – not so great tone without effects… But if you ask me, every guitar sounds better with amps and pedals 😉