Most Important Guitar Decision Of my Life. Cabronita Thinline vs Gretsch G5655T-CB

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SirStarreveld, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. SirStarreveld

    SirStarreveld Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Hey dudes and dalls,

    Ok so the story goes, i play ambient/alt rock and i've never been fully satisfied with my stratocaster (although after finding the right lindy frail pickups it's better :banana)

    I'm looking for something that would be able to give me those twangy single-coil like cleans yet crunch up and take big open chords nicely. I'm also keen on a semi-hollow like tone.

    The gretsch has me sold on the pickups, the feel of the neck, the semi-hollow tone with centre block for high-gain (much needed).

    But the cabronita also looks like a diamond and seems to get very good ratings on here. It would also have a similar feel to my stratocaster which might be a good thing.

    Right now i'm leaning towards the gretsch, but if there's something i'm missing about it or the cabronita please let me know!
    Your advice is greatly appreciated :beer
  2. jklotz

    jklotz Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    Between those two, I'd go gretsch any day. Better yet, get one that already has some TV Jones in it, and you'll be set.
  3. wwit

    wwit Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    New Hampsha
    I have owned a MIM Fender Cab Thinline is Shorline Gold for a few years now and I love it. But from day 1 of ownership, It has slowly evolved a little. I still haven't upgraded the Fideli'trons, but its just a matter of time. TV Jones will be my choice, but I haven't yet chosen which flavor pickup yet.

    Even though I see 'upgraded bridge' in some ad's it seems that the saddles are still a problem with new owners as it was for me. So doing like some do, I replaced the rattle stricken factory bridge with a Rutters La Burritto with great results.

    Also I wasn't a fan of the maple neck, which to me felt like I was playing a matchstick. At first using a Warmoth Strat replacement neck and eventually installing an American Standard RW.

    Playing thru my Mustang III I can get some nice Gretsch-y tone from it. Which is one of my reasons for not getting TVJ's yet, which has the 'Kerang' tone I want from this guitar. But in my new tube amp, it loses that 'kerang' articulation altogether and just sounds like a weak import humbucker...which essentially is exactly what they are.

    After playing the CB and hollow body Electromatics a few times, If I had to pick just 1 of the 2 and be happy with it, Id choose the Gretsch center block every time.

    This is my Cabronita as I play it today.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  4. SirStarreveld

    SirStarreveld Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Oh man that cabronita is real nice. I was looking at the shoreline gold also, I was gonna keep the maple neck and go with a black pickguard.

    I'm similar to you when I prefer the feel of a RW neck, flatter and generally RW appeals more to me. Especially when the guitar I write my songs on is a Martin OM-1. Which has such a lovely neck.

    The only thing with these Gretsch's it seems like a 'non-expensive' case is hard to come by and ive heard some double jets can be neck heavy? I'm not sure if this applies for centre block versions.

    I guess a new question springs to mind. This is my perfect guitar, it's a fairly expensive guitar also.. I'm tempted to sell my Strat in order to fund it. As I have a feeling when I get this guitar the Strat won't see much action. Question is: Would/could you sell your first guitar? Even under this circumstance?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  5. dgallina

    dgallina Member

    Mar 12, 2013
    I have an American standard strat an American telebration Cabronita, and a Japanese gretsch center block semi hollow Panther.

    For starters, I wouldn't sell the strat. It's quite different from the other two and I think you'd miss it (unless you hate strats to begin with).

    The cabronita and gretsch can do some of the same sounds but the feel is very different. The cabronita feels like a maple necked & more narrow fender, while the gretsch is wider, rosewood, generally bigger. A bit like a 335.

    Which you prefer depends very much on which style & body you are more comfortable with. They don't get the exact same sounds / styles, but I'm not sure that most people would want both,
  6. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    PNW, USA
    I owned a Gretsch 5655T-CB for a short time. I was playing the role of Malcolm in an AC/DC tribute band, and bought it as a backup. It was a huge disappointment. I hated the pickups, it didn't play all that well....and it was ridiculously neck-heavy. I own a Malcolm Young model that is none of those things.
  7. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    Hills of WV
    I had a 5655t for a day. The pickups were great for Gretsch twang, the fit and finish were great. I can't stand neck heavy guitars & it certainly was, so I exchanged it. Also, with the B-50 Bigsby right up against the bridge it went out of tune if i even looked at it wrong.
    Try one for balance before you buy if you can.
  8. Twangcat

    Twangcat Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    I own and play a '13 MIM Cab. I liked the FideliTron pups a lot and hadn't really considered replacing them until I put a TV Jones Classic in a one pickup partscaster I built recently. That sounded so rich that I decided to go ahead and spring for a set of TVJ Classics for the Cab. I'm thrilled with the tone! The first time I played it I spent quite a while just playing harmonized scales in 3rds and 6ths all over the neck to a jam track because the harmonics are so rich. I would jump on a used Cab with the TVJ pups already in place as a first choice, and otherwise buy a new one stock (recently on sale) and invest in the Jones pups eventually. I was able to sell the FideliTrons for a fair price that helped soften the TVJ purchase.
  9. Turi

    Turi Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    First up, absolutely under no circumstances should you sell the Strat - it's your first guitar. Whether it's a chinese knock off, or the real deal Am Std, DO NOT SELL YOUR STRAT YOU WILL REGRET IT.

    Also, "semi-hollow" tone is a damn myth.. you just can't tell me that from between the pickups to the strings, somehow, magically, the acoustics of the guitar account for ****.
    There's no way they do. No way.

    I should note here, that I play a Gretsch G5420T - a fully hollow guitar. The way it reacts with feedback is awesome, and something solid bodies can't do, but I don't believe there'd be a very large tonal difference, if ANY AT ALL, were these same pickups dropped into a solid body guitar, and set to the right heights etc etc.
    To support my argument here - do a little Tele solid v semi-hollow research, some people will say the attack responds slightly differently in the semi-hollows, but by far, the general consensus is there's barely, if any, discernible tonal differences between the two.

    If you really NEED to choose between those two, well, play both and pick one that speaks to you. If that's the Gretsch, cool, if not, cool.
    If neither speak to you, then buy neither.

    Please don't sell your Strat. Everywhere I read, people who sell their first guitars regret it, each and every time. Don't sell it.

    I've still got mine, and it's beat up, the pickguard has aged, it's just a chinese knock-off Strat, the middle pickup hasn't worked for about 3 years, but I still whip it out every so often because it's my first guitar.
    Could never part with it.

    Don't sell your Strat.

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