The history of the Gretsch company stretches back over one hundred and thirty five years, which is a long time in any business, let alone instrument making. What started out as a small company making drums and banjos eventually became an industry giant that was synonymous with country music and rock ‘n roll, with early users including Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy and Eddie Cochran in the fifties, George Harrison and Stephen Stills in the sixties, Malcolm Young in the seventies and Brian Setzer from the eighties all the way to today.
Like many other instrument manufacturers, Gretsch saw a place in the market for guitars that were made with budget in mind while still retaining the sound, look, feel and quality of their more illustrious forebears, subsequently the Gretsch Electromatic models were introduced. These guitars were a huge success and in 2016 the Streamliner range of guitars were unveiled and since them with each model has gone from strength to strength.
The G2210 Streamliner Junior Jet Club is the latest addition to the range and it’s described as “a stripped-down workhorse that’s built to take a beating.” Starting with the body, it’s a single cut solid body made of solid Nato, which has a very similar look and characteristic to Honduras mahogany. The mahogany-esque vibe of the Nato also gives the G2210 great tone and sustain, a hallmark of all good guitars. It’s smooth and even, light and durable. I’m not about to see if it can take a beating, because I have to give this particular one back, but it sure feels good and strong. We’ll leave you to do the beating yourself.
The pickups are Gretsch’s own Dual Broad’Trons. They have a wider magnetic field than the traditional Filtertrons, translating to a fuller sound and higher output, edging the pickups a little bit closer to humbucker territory. In short, this thing is built to rock. The bolt-on neck (also constructed from Nato) comes equipped with a 12” radius Laurel fingerboard, giving the neck a heavy duty, heavy playing kind of feel, perfect for driving Eddie Cochran-style rhythm work and wrenching out double stops and staccato fills. The binding and Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays give it the touch of class which has always been part of the Gretsch look.
In stark contrast to some of the earlier Gretsch models which had more knobs and switches than you knew what to do with (see Brian Setzer’s “mud switch” as a classic example) the hardware on the Junior Jet Club couldn’t be simpler. A three-way toggle switch, master volume and master tone controls make dialling in a tone, a relative breeze.
A huge part of the guitar’s appeal lies in its decidedly “no frills” approach. To keep costs down, there is no Bigsby on this particular model, in its place is an anchored compensated wrap-around bridge, which definitely goes a long way to keeping it in tune when you’re really digging in. This will come as good news to some, especially rhythm players or those who have ever had a hard time battling to keep a Bigsby at concert pitch. The vintage style nickel hardware also gives the Junior Jet Club a timeless appeal, as does the tortoiseshell pickguard, all of which only add to the classic Gretsch stylings of the G2210.
All in all, the Streamliner Junior Jet Club is a great addition to the Gretsch line, as the company says “.. .designed for the down and dirt guitarist who demands no-nonsense tone at an affordable price” They certainly hit the nail on the head with this latest offering.
Hits and Misses
Quality control is flawless
Attention to detail superb, especially the frets, which are smooth as silk
A Bigsby option would be nice for some applications, but more than happy with what’s on offer here