Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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  • Decent build quality
  • Eye-pleasing color selection
  • Amazing pickups


  • Could have had better tuners
  • Not perfectly stable

No matter how hard we try to avoid judging the books by their covers, we can’t deny the fact that our eyes are the first judges when we encounter various electric guitars. Though they aren’t enough, they are still an essential part of any model. Even if you find the guitar that has the perfect package, if you don’t like the appearance, the chances are you’ll be reluctant to purchase it. That’s the truth we should all accept, whether we like it or not. The reason why I emphasized the looks is simple – I’m about to introduce a model that has a stunning appearance. I keep falling in love with it every time I see it. Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet FT is a spectacular electric guitar not only in its price range, but in general. It has a lot to offer be it the design or the sonic qualities. Let’s get down to business and discuss everything this beast has to offer! Are you ready to get intrigued?  


I really don’t want you to get the idea that appearance is the only thing Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet FT has to offer. That’s definitely not the case here, as this bad boy has a number of interesting and intriguing features. But as it’s my favorite part of the guitar, I’ll still start with the design. This bad boy comes in four different colors: Airline Silver, Aleutian Blue, Black and Firebird Red. A single cutaway, glossy finish and colored headstock complete the beautiful, eye-pleasing package.

The body is made from solid, chambered mahogany. Since it’s chambered, it is really lightweight and won’t cause any pain even if you hold it for a long time. Plus, such a configuration adds acoustic qualities to its sound and makes it fuller and richer. G5230T Electromatic Jet FT has a laminated maple top that compliments the mahogany back and sides really well. The mahogany neck and black walnut fingerboard are so smooth to the touch you won’t believe they are real. The thin U profile increases the playability and makes this one suitable for beginners, as well. The scale length is 24.6 inches – a bit smaller than what we’re used to, but that’s nothing to complain about. Needless to say that construction is spot-on here!


G5230T has a lot to offer in terms of hardware. It features an anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge with a Bigsby B50 tailpiece. Its tremolo arm has a nice quality to the point where you won’t be afraid to break it every time you touch it. Knobs and tuners have a chrome finish, which goes extremely well with all the colors. It has a Silver Plexi pickguard with Gretsch and Electromatic logos, adding an expensive touch to the design. The nut width is 1.6875 inches, offering the essential space between the strings.


The beauty of the guitar continues with electronics. We have two pickups here: Black Top Filter’Tron on the neck and bridge positions. They have individual Volume controls, as well as Master Volume and Master Tone knobs. Of course, it wouldn’t have been complete with a three-way toggle, so we also have a switch that makes it possible to experiment with different pickup combinations.  

Gretsch G5230T Sound

Before we move onto the virtues, I’ll get the flaws out of the way. G5230T might have the stability issues, but it’s worth taking your time and finding solutions to that problem. This bad boy has found a nice way of combining acoustic and electric qualities with its chambered body. Highs are spiky and sparkly, mid-range is expressive, while the low-end is well-defined. You can go completely nuts and unveil its Jet qualities, or go subtle and enjoy the clarity. The tremolo bridge enhances your options even more and lets you add extra dimension to the tone.


All in all, Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet Ft is one of the best electric guitars under 500. It’s powerful, it’s beautiful, it’s durable – what else could you possibly want from such a guitar? If I were you, I would purchase this fella immediately. This handsome beast will be a loud addition to any collection, regardless of the level of craftsmanship you have. In other words, G5230T is a real treat, which is why I can’t understand what you’re waiting for. Good luck! 

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  1. I absolutely agree.
    I’m about to buy one cos I already own the top Streamliner which is beautifully made. This wont be the first Jet cos I sold my electromatic 2yrs ago to fund a high-end Strat but concede that I shouldn’t have. It was amazing so now I’m gonna go to the higher-spec solid-body. Your review is totally accurate. Thank you very much.
    Cant wait!

  2. Ugh.

    I found a newsed one in airline silver at a local pawn shop. It seems new, because it still has the protective plastic on the pickguard and cavity covers, but has clearly been played a little, with very minor buckle rash on the back. I believe it may have been hanging on the wall in a guitar center, but why it is in a local pawn shop now is strange.

    In addition to the buckle rash, the neck pickup is mounted very low and crooked. Super low on the high side, as if it has been struck and maybe the pickup ring is broken, but those screws are underneath the pickguard and so I can’t really tell without some screwdriver time.

    It comes with the case and they are wanting $450 for it. I’m going to go down this afternoon and see if I can get it for ~$300.

    I was reviewing the online reviews of this guitar in hopes that I could disabuse myself of the notion that I needed a new guitar, but that seems now to be pure folly.

    • I recently found this review of mine and thought I’d update it. I ended up getting it for $225 as the neck was badly bowed and all of the strings were resting on the frets. The “buckle rash” on the back was just some dust smudges and came right off.

      After I got it home, I adjusted the truss rod and the neck went right back to where it should have been. How it got so mal-adjusted is a mystery but I presume someone may have somehow gotten to it with a screwdriver and allen wrench in hopes of messing it up so they could negotiate a better price on it. I also presume that it backfired on them, but worked out for me.

      The neck pickup was also fine, just adjusted waaaay out of alignment so as to appear broken.

      After I gave it a good setup, some minor fretwork, a polishing and new strings – and removed the ugly pickguard – it came out perfect. It plays very well and stays in tune better than most guitars I’ve ever played. It certainly was worth the $225 I paid for it. It was a few months ago and it might have been more. I might have paid $275 for it but my brain keeps telling me it was $225 so I’m going with that.

  3. I bought one of these. When it arrived I was very impressed, that was until I noticed that the strings after leaving the trem touched on the sharp edge of the bridge before they reached the saddles.I sent it back.


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