Fender Australia | RRP: A$1149
Hollow body guitars aren’t everyone’s game – and that’s fine. But as another tool in your toolkit, there’s something about the acoustic resonance and chime of a hollow or semi-hollow guitar. The boominess of a full-sized hollow body electric can be overwhelming and unusable in certain situations, so how about a smaller bodied electric with a centre block? Enter the G2655-P90 Streamliner Center Block Jr. Double-Cut with Gretsch’s new FideliSonic P90s.
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The G2655 has a standard electric guitar scale length, sitting pretty at 24.75” and an Adjusto-Matic bridge with Gretsch’s stylish V-Stoptail. The G2655 is available in a tremolo version as well in the G2655T, but here we’re focused on the hard tail version. This particular model is finished in Claret Burst, a subtle, but deep brown hue with a hint of wine red. The dual P90s are new for Gretsch, but they’ve made them their own with their design, tone and the with the addition of the new “radio arrow” control knobs.
This model is, overall, a smaller version of Gretsch’s bigger bodied guitars, and it successfully straddles the line between solid body and hollow body—no mean feat when there are a bunch of players using either style religiously. What hollow body players are missing from solid bodied guitars, the G2655 delivers, and what solid body players can’t find within their instruments of choice, the G2655 offers in spades.
Gretsch’s G2655-P90 Streamliner Center Block Jr. Double-Cut is a semi-hollow electric guitar with a solid piece of spruce running up the centre of the body to divide the otherwise hollow cavity. The body is just 14” wide, so it’s similar in physical feel to a Les Paul, but at a fraction of the weight. What the G2655 offers is chimney tones and acoustic resonance, without the need to fight the feedback that more traditional hollow bodies are prone to. That in itself is where the G2655-P90 really shines – it’s a modern guitar with traditional aesthetic and design.
The body is made from mostly laminated mahogany, and the neck is Nato with a Laurel fretboard, an increasingly common staple for fretboards due to its aesthetic and structural similarity to rosewood, but without the costly effect on the environment. The frets are medium jumbo, so you can really grab hold of notes and wail, keeping track of your position on the fretboard thanks to pearloid oval fret markers and side dots in the classy aged white binding.
The FideliSonic P90s are a great addition, bucking the trend of traditional plastic covers for metal covers, and opting for the ‘staple’ style bobbins for a wider magnetic field and a different feel. The controls feature an independent volume for each of the pickups, as well as a master volume and a three way switch to toggle between neck, both and bridge pickup. There’s a handy master tone as well!
As a guitar player, the G2655 feels great. Due to the hollow wings, you can feel big chords and lead playing resonate against you, and when amplified, there’s an acoustic quality that helps with note definition, even when strumming across all six strings. The die-cast tunings machines and Adjusto-Matic bridge keep everything in tune, the latter allowing you to fine tune more accurately than Gretsch’s more traditional rocking bar style bridge. Even unplugged this guitar is loud enough to noodle on, and this volume translates well through the P90s.
The pickups feature the classic warmth and fatness of the P90, but with a subtle twang that is inherently ‘that great Gretsch sound’. Leads and solos beyond the 12th fret benefit from this too, your notes remaining articulate and clear no matter which pickup you’re on. A subtle blend of the two thanks to the independent volumes really opens up the doors to new sounds. While at first glance this is a guitar harkening back to the rock and roll era of the 50s and 60s, with it’s subtle burst finish, F-holes and P90 pickups, the design and construction, as well as layout and wiring make it really something for the modern day.
Gretsch’s Streamliner range is their most accessible, but they continue to make these instruments affordable for every player without skimping on quality, design and sound. The G2655 is admittedly smaller than what Gretsch is most famous for, but it blurs the line between solid body and hollow body guitars, taking the best of both worlds and combining it into something entirely new with a retro aesthetic. P90s are some of the original electric guitar pickups, and there’s a reason they’re still widely used today.
What’s more impressive though, is Gretsch’s ability to re-invent something so traditional and retain what made them famous. Overall the body of this guitar is well constructed as designed, matched only by the crafty wiring, great pickups and top-notch assembly. If the hardtail and P90 design isn’t your vibe, then Gretsch offers a bunch of options from humbuckers to tremolos and varying sizes of bodies and build materials. If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the world of hollow bodies as a solid body player, or vice versa, the G2655 might very well be the best place to dive right in.
Head to Gretsch to find out more about this guitar.