Thread: Ease of play
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:24 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Not surprised about your experience with the Gretsch 2420 - the 2400/2600 Series Electromatics are nothing more than another run-of-the-mill Chinese/Indonesian import, with a few Gretsch styling cues and QC commensurate with their origins. If you're really hooked on "That Great Gretsch Sound" (I've been a Gretsch owner/player since 1964, and a fan long before that) and don't want to spring the big bucks for either a vintage original or one of the Japanese-made Professional Series, check out the Korean 5400/5600 Series E-matics: QC/playability is head-shoulders-and-navel above anything in its price range (every bit the equal of the big-buck models, and often exceeding the Brooklyn instruments of the '50s-60s), they have the unmistakable Gretsch tone (something the lower-line E-matics lack), and at under $1K they're arguably the most guitar you'll get at a Working Joe/Jane's price...

While Strats and LP's are fine guitars in their own right - FYI I presently own examples of both - Paul makes a good point about the shorter scale length of the Gretsch (typically 24.5" - 24.6") being easier to handle. Although I'm not sure whether Gretsch adopted this spec for the 2400/2600 E-matics, suffice it to say that they don't handle like a traditional Gretsch electric - as an ex-Brooklyn boy with 55+ years experience under his now-ample belt I've played a good few hundred from the '50s to the 2K-teens - whereas the MIK models do; I A/B'd my '16 5622T-CB against the '64 Double Annie I bought brand-new in sixth grade and, other than the expected weight difference (the 5622 is a semi-hollow, and mine scales in over nine pounds - similar to some of the early-70's Gibson ES-345/355 models) the feel and playing characteristics are uncannily similar - and as perviously stated, far better than many of the older ones I've played. Personally, I wouldn't go all the way down to 10's on such a short scale - you're going to lose a fair bit of tone in the process (voice of experience here - tried that in the early-70's and went right back to 12's) - but a set of 11's with a wound G should be a good compromise, and flatwounds will not only be easier on the fingers but will allow you to set the action even lower (an old Bop-era jazz players' trick, BTW)...

Finally, if you're looking for minimum reach Fender has several Jaguar and Mustang-based instruments in their lineup, at a variety of price points - the slimmer neck (1.625" - 1.65") coupled with the short 24" scale should allow for easier fingering, and IME action on a Fender can be set lower than many set-neck guitars. There's also the ultra-short-scale (21") - and ultra-pricey - Rickenbacker 325 favored by both John Lennon and John Fogerty which, while not exactly a modern "lead guitar" sound, might be worth considering if you want to explore some different options and/or extend your playing days in the event conditions worsen...

Hope this helps...
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