Gretsch G2622 Streamliner Center Block Single Barrel Stain w/V-Stoptail & Broad’Tron Pickups
If you’re considering buying your first semi hollow-bodied guitar, this is a great place to start.
The Gretsch G2622 guitar is an affordable entry-level guitar that comes from a brand with a strong reputation for being synonymous with country music and rockabilly. But, it also gives you a versatile guitar that can turn its hand to jazz, rock, funk, punk, blues, or just about anywhere your mood takes you on the day.
So, is this affordable version good enough to get you reaching for your wallet?
Let’s get the Gretsch G2622 Streamliner review underway and find out…
We’re going to cut straight to the chase. This guitar looks amazing. It’s got all the classic Gretsch 6120 design cues and looks every inch a guitar that would have been completely at home in Chet Atkins’s lap.
What is also amazing is that they can make such a good guitar for so little.
Seriously, how do they do that?
We sort of know. These are made in the far east, which is where a lot of entry to mid-level guitars are currently manufactured, and that, to a large extent, explains the low cost. However, the quality of the finishing, in all respects, looks and feels much more expensive than its price point.
The Gretsch G2622 Streamliner undoubtedly punches above its weight in the price to quality equation.
This is a semi-hollow body guitar with two ‘f’ holes and laminate maple back and sides. It has a newly designed spruce center block running through the body of the guitar. The choice of spruce helps to reduce the weight of the guitar and also helps to dampen down vibration and feedback.
More of that later…
The back, sides, neck, and headstock all feature vintage white binding. It goes well with the vibe of the guitar. What’s more, like the rest of the guitar, the build is well-executed.
The Gretsch G2622 Streamliner has a 12” ‘U’ profile Nato neck. Nato is a dense Asian hardwood that shares many for the same tonal qualities as mahogany. It’s a good choice. More of that later too.
Now let’s look at some of the shiny bits.
Specifications and Hardware
The G2622 is equipped with high-output Broad’Tron humbucker pickups with chrome covers. The pickups are linked to a three-way toggle switch positioned on the bass side shoulder. There are three control knobs by the ‘f’ hole on the treble side.
There are two volume controls, one for each pickup, and a master tone control. Additionally, there is a master control volume, which is below the fretboard and just above the pickguard.
Master Control mastery…
At first, having a master volume seems a bit unnecessary. However, being able to dial in the perfect combination of volume between the two pickups, and then having the capability to control it with just one knob is a great feature. So much so that when you switch to another electric guitar, you’ll be sure to miss it.
Despite the low price-point of the Gretsch G2622, on the whole, it comes with some very nice hardware. This includes a laurel fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and some eye-catching block Pearloid inlays.
Jumbo or medium jumbo?
At this point, we have to point out that the so-called named jumbo frets measure 2mm wide and .09mm high. This compares to the Electromatic frets that measure 2.65mm wide with the same height. Gretsch seems to think they can label the Gretsch G2622 as having medium jumbo frets. If you feel the same is entirely your call.
The Gretsch G2622 also has diecast nickel-plated tuners, an anchored Adjustomatic tailpiece, and Gretsch’s V stop tailpiece. Since this is the hardtail version, there is no Bigsby B-70 tremolo system. If you want a tremolo, and fancy yourself as a bit of a Dave (sorry David) Gilmour, go and take a look at the Gretsch G2622T.
The fact is that for all its classic Gretsch looks, there is a couple of areas where we think Gretsch has gone a little too far in their cost-containment measure. The first can be seen with the volume and tone controls. The second is evident with the pickguard.
The volume and control knobs are made from black plastic whereas the Electromatic, and more expensive guitars in the Gretsch series, use chromed knurled knobs etched with a ‘G’. This is a much classier finish and does a lot to elevate the feel and look of quality.
Similarly. We’re not a fan of the tortoiseshell pickguard. We much prefer the clear white pickguard found on the more expensive models. If, however, you like a very understated look, then you’ll be happy. If not it’s a quick search on the internet for some replacement parts and get your screwdriver ready.
So, how does it sound?
There’s no doubt that the Broad’Tron pickups have plenty of power and output. It’s surprising just how much growl and fire you can get out of this mellow looking guitar. In many ways, the pickups sound more like something you’d find in a Les Paul than a Gretsch. Or maybe something somewhere between the two.
The neck pickup is overall balanced and precise. It has a warmth about it without sounding muffled. The bridge pickup can produce classic rockabilly style tones, but with extra fire and fury. Add some distortion into the mix, and the G2622 responds brilliantly.
A touch of creaminess…
The Broad’Tron pickups produce a highly saturated tone akin to a PAF humbucker. You get plenty of dirt and grit but a with a touch of creaminess thrown into the mix. You also get a ton of sustain. Not as much as with a fully hollow body guitar but enough to open up more than a few possibilities.
Along with the ton of sustain, you get a fair amount of feedback, too, if you’re not careful. This, of course, can be your friend or foe, depending on how you choose to embrace it.
So, do you get that true ‘Gretsch sound’?
On balance, we’d probably say not. Don’t get us wrong, this is still a great sounding guitar, but it just doesn’t have the distinctive complex, full and resonant tones of the Filter’Tron pickups found in something like the Gretsch 5420.
There just isn’t that twangy, chimey, and mellow tone we’ve come to associate with Gretsch guitars.
If this is the kind of sound you crave, you’ll need to put your hand in your pocket and pony up for an Electromatic or any of the more expensive guitars in the series. Alternatively, you could, of course, change your pickups to a set of Filter’Trons.
Want some fizz?
The bottom line is that this is a great guitar choice if you’re playing Roots, Rockabilly, Jazz, Country, or Rock. If you want a guitar with more output and fizz than a traditional Gretsch, this would be an excellent choice. Just be aware of a couple of the classic sound characteristics you’d expect from this kind of Gretsch guitar that will be absent.
This is a fairly large guitar but is happily still relatively easy to play. The U-shaped thin line neck is easy to get your hand around. The fretboard and the fret edges are nice and smooth, which helps to make it effortless to play anywhere up and down the neck.
The action straight out of the box is a little bit high, but it can be quickly dialed in for a low set-up if that’s what you prefer. Regardless, playing higher up the neck is a pleasant experience. The only caveat to this being that there is no cutaway, so access much beyond the 19th fret can be challenging for any prolonged period.
Nice and stable…
The Gretsch G2622 holds its tuning relatively well. Since there is no Bigsby, this makes for much more stable tuning. It is, however, still worth giving the nut a slight amount of lubrication to stop the friction prematurely pushing it out of tune.
In summary, for a big guitar, this is very playable.
Gretsch G2622 Streamliner Review Pros and Cons
- High-quality finish.
- Classic Gretsch looks.
- Cool tailpiece.
- Great sustain.
- Lack of a Bigsby gives it stable tuning.
- Not the nicest of pickguards.
- Plastic knobs.
- Pickups don’t produce the classic Gretsch sound.
Looking for more Options?
You may also be interested in our reviews of other excellent semi-hollow guitar choices – the Gretsch G2655T Streamliner, the Ibanez AM93AYS Artcore Expressionist, the Ibanez Talman Series TCM50NT, our Oscar Schmidt OE30CG review, the Ibanez AS73 Artcore Semi Hollow, and our favorite in this price range, the Epiphone Limited Edition ES 335 Pro.
Our review of the Best Electric Guitar Strings is also well worth a read.
Gretsch G2622 Streamliner Review – Final Thoughts
So, there we have it: a great looking and great sounding guitar for not a lot of money.
Whist the G2622 may not have that classic Gretsch sound we’ve come to expect from their hollow-body guitars, without doubt, it still has the classic Gretsch looks. It also has excellent finishing and build-quality, and with a strong culture of these guitars being customized, it offers plenty of possibilities for it to be updated and personalized down the line.
In short, this is a great value entry-level semi-hollow bodied guitar.