Review: Gretsch G2622 Streamliner Center Block

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Review: Gretsch G2622 Streamliner Center Block

Gretsch G2622
Words by Christopher Hockey

Gretsch G2622 Streamliner™ Center Block Double-Cut with V-Stoptail | Fender Music Australia | RRP 899

For me, the Gretsch G2622 Streamliner, in this case with a V-Stoptail, is the one. It growls, it purrs, it sings and most importantly, its highly tweakable sound comes through loud and clear in any live situation.

As a guitarist, finding your place in a live mix can be a challenge. Cymbals eat up the top end, the kick and bass eat up the lows and god forbid your band includes a keyboard because those things eat up everything! So, in a live setting, it’s really the midrange in which a guitarist finds their home. It is absolutely essential then for us to find the right tool for the job, to find a guitar that sounds potent and sweet within the frequency range that will actually be heard by our audience, and I’ve finally found the one. 

Frankly, the Gretsch G2622 is a lethal rock and roll machine and I’m smitten. Gracefully blending classic design appointments with contemporary playability, the G2622 has that irresistible vintage Gretsch look and plays like an absolute dream. Its versatile and bold tonality sits right in that magical pocket that ensures you’ll never get lost in a mix again, making it a fantastic choice for any working musician.

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Featuring brand new Broad’Tron BT-3S humbucking pickups, Gretsch have really cranked the output on this one and I know what you’re thinking. A high output hollowbody guitar? That sounds like a feedback nightmare! Well, you’d be wrong. The G2622 is constructed with a centre block, technically making it a semi-hollow instrument. A centre block is 

designed to eliminate the issue of resonant-frequency feedback in hollow guitars whilst also dramatically improving sustain, and it works like a charm in this model.

Gretsch G2622 Streamliner

With a fiery finish to match its fiery sound, this guitar is also a looker. Its laminated maple body and Nato neck are adorned with a beautiful ‘Fireburst’ finish, a lovely and eye-catching blend of deep reds and incendiary oranges. This brash but classy colour is broken up with old school, aged white binding, elevating the instrument’s aesthetic to a new level. The inclusion of thumbnail inlays and the classic look of its Broad’Tron pickups ensures that nobody will be mistaking this guitar for anything other than a Gretsch. A brand that has always had its own identifiable style, Gretsch really nailed the design of this one. 

The Soft C shaped neck is incredibly ergonomic, feeling very fast and smooth in the hand. The 12” radius is perfect for both chord work and fast leads, providing that classic snappy, flat Gretsch feel. The rich brown Laurel fingerboard looks right at home against the guitar’s Fireburst finish, contributing greatly to its timeless look. 

When set clean, the sound of the Gretsch G2622 is warm, clear and full. The open, airy sound of a hollow body is definitely there, but it has a strong, firm backbone and longer sustain thanks to the guitar’s centre block. When pushed into overdrive, this guitar really roars. Get ready to be hit by a crunchy wall of midrange goodness, with plenty of bite and punch. The bridge pickup exhibits glistening, crystalline highs but never sounds shrill. Thanks to an excellent coil-tap feature, its output can be cut down to a traditional single coil level, giving it a spankier, thinner and more delicate sound when necessary. 

In the neck position, the BT-3S humbucker sounds thick, with a sweet top end and a throaty midrange. When distorted, this pickup really growls and has a liquid sustain perfect for smooth lead lines. When coil-tapped, this position generates some fantastic blues tones, remaining smooth but always with enough bite to cut through the mix. 

Combining the two pickups really brings the G2622 to life. Thanks to independent volume controls working in conjunction with a master volume, players are able to blend the two pickups to suit their own tastes, and more importantly to carve out a specific frequency pocket that suits their current situation. This technique can be used almost like a subtle cocked wah, ensuring you’ll be able to find a sweet spot in which your playing can shine through in any mix. 

These controls, along with a very usable master tone control, are adorned with groovy radio style knobs that really match the guitar’s retro aesthetic. The addition of a V-Stoptail behind the guitar’s Adjusto-Matic bridge not only looks cool but provides incredibly solid tuning stability. This means you can really dig into this guitar without worrying about knocking it out of tune, an invaluable quality for any working musician. 

Whilst certainly capable of providing the more country and jazz oriented tones that Gretschs first became famous for, the G2622 is undoubtedly built for rock and roll. Its fast neck, midrange growl and sturdy construction make it the perfect tool for rhythm players looking for that Malcolm Young crunch, as well as lead players looking for a slick speed machine. Whilst subtle visual features like the white binding and a tortoise pickguard certainly bring an element of class to the table, the G2622 would still look right at home on stage with the most rowdiest of bands, especially in its Fireburst finish. 

Finding your place in a mix can certainly be a challenge, but with this guitar I think I’ve finally found mine. There’s something about the semi-hollow construction of the G2622 combined with its powerful BT-3S pickups that really pushes through in any musical context. It’s an inspiring guitar to play and given its very modest price tag, I’m sure it will inspire many players across all skill levels to get excited about jumping on stage. 

The best thing about finding the right instrument for you isn’t just that it helps you find your place in a sonic context, it’s that it helps you find your place as an artist. So for those on a quest for both tonal and personal discovery, here’s my advice: if you want to be heard, look to the midrange. If you want to be really heard, look to the Gretsch G2622 Streamliner.

For more info, visit Gretsch Guitars.