The bass guitar does not attract many beginners.
Most would rather play the regular guitar. It just seems more fun.
But a bass guitar like the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II can change that.
It looks great and is a ton of fun to play.
It also sounds great and is very affordable.
In fact, it’s one of the best values you’ll find on the market.
Read the rest of this review to find out if the Gretsch G2220 is the right bass for you.
Table of Contents
Gretsch Junior Jet Bass Review: Overview And Features
The Gretsch G2220 features the company’s classic Jet bass guitar shape, found on a lot of their 6-string guitars. The unique shape is one of its most appealing features.
The others are the dual humbucking pickups and the three-way pickup selector switch, which is highly unusual on a bass guitar. The humbuckers give this instrument a wonderful beefy tone.
Additionally, the instrument features a shorter scale length of 30.3 inches, which is noticeably smaller than the standard 34 inches.
Given the shorter scale length and the lower price, this is a pretty great bass for beginners. But it’s also a great choice for more experienced players who prefer smaller basses.
The only thing that could be better is the design of the body and neck joint. It makes playing feel a bit weird in higher fret areas, but this is not really an instrument that is meant to be played in those areas.
We should also point out that the guitar is a bit neck-heavy, meaning it is not balanced. Thanks to Bob for pointing out in the comments that this may be a deal-breaker for some guitarists.
Overall, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal. That’s why we voted it the best bass guitar under $300.
- Single-cutaway body design, Gretsch’s classic “Jet” shape
- Basswood body
- Maple neck with a walnut fretboard
- 20 medium-jumbo frets
- 30.3-inch scale length
- Standard 4-saddle bridge
- Two Gretsch Mini Bass humbucker pickups
- Volume and tone controls
- 3-way pickup selector switch
Design And Construction
It’s a single-cutaway design that’s similar to the classic Les Paul shape, but with Gretsch’s own twist.
The aesthetic features of these guitars go well with classic rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, or punk music, and that’s essentially the idea behind this bass.
It comes with some pretty interesting finish options, like walnut and Torino green. It’s all accompanied by a black pickguard below the neck pickup.
But this instrument’s appeal is not only skin deep.
The body is made out of basswood, with a bolt-on maple neck. What’s more, the neck features a walnut fretboard, which you don’t see that often with cheaper basses.
The G2220 model has 20 medium-jumbo frets and the fretboard has a radius of 12 inches, which is pretty flat for a bass guitar.
Pickups And Hardware
Looking at the electronics, we have two of Gretsch’s Mini Bass humbucker pickups in the standard bridge and neck positions.
They’re fairly decent, especially within this price range, and they give some pretty “beefy” tones.
But what’s really interesting here is the control layout. Instead of individual volume pots or a balance knob, we have a 3-way toggle switch for the pickups, which you don’t see that often on a bass guitar.
This is accompanied by regular master volume and master tone knobs for basic tone-shaping.
Advantages And Disadvantages
- Great deal for the price
- Unique design, fits well with classic rock and punk genres
- Mini Bass Humbuckers give a pretty beefy tone
- Shorter scale length works well for beginners or players with smaller hands
- Access to higher frets feels a bit weird due to the body and neck joint design
- Not balanced (neck heavy)
Gretsch G2220 Vs Yamaha TRBX504
Gretsch’s G2220 Electromatic Jet II is a great bass guitar at an affordable price. But it’s not the only. Luckily, there are a few great choices within the lower-priced categories these days.
Another excellent choice is the Yamaha TRBX504. It is a bit more expensive, but still priced affordably enough for most people.
It takes no more than a glance to realize that this is a different type of bass guitar. The instrument’s design was conceived to bring a pleasing modern-style aesthetic, as well as some ergonomic features.
Its body and neck joint is designed in such a way to allow easier access to higher frets. Speaking of frets, there are 24 of them.
This makes the Yamaha more versatile and a great choice for more virtuosic players. The special double-cutaway design helps too, along with body contours that finalize an overall great playing experience.
While the body is made of mahogany, the neck is a 5-piece maple one with a rosewood fretboard. The fretboard radius is relatively flat, measuring 10 inches. It has a full-sized scale length of 34 inches.
While both basses come with two humbucker pickups, they’re one tier higher on the Yamaha TRBX504 model. They are the company’s H5 pickups which are more expressive.
This is enhanced by active electronics and more detailed controls. There’s a switch that lets you choose between active and passive modes, a 3-band EQ, a volume knob, and a balance control that lets you set the ratio of neck and bridge pickups in your tone.
With active electronics, you can even plug it in directly into a mixer and get some decent tones.
The final result is a bass guitar that’s useful for pretty much any genre. Although it is still a relatively cheap instrument, the TRBX504 punches far above its weight and provides you with an overall great playing experience.
Looking at these two instruments, the Yamaha TRBX504 is objectively the better choice. But the Gretsch G2220 costs less and is also the better option for those who favor smaller and simpler bass guitars. It is also the better choice for beginners. In the end, it all comes down to what you need.
Learn more in our full Yamaha TRBX 504 review.
Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass: Conclusion And Rating
As we already mentioned, it’s not hard to find a cheap bass guitar. These days, it’s not even that hard to find one that’s also good. The Gretsch G2220 Electromatic Junior Jet II is one of the best.
It is especially good if you need something simple and reliable for rock and punk music. It’s a bit unconventional for a bass guitar, with its body shape and the 3-way pickup switch.
But that’s part of its appeal. You’ll look cool and unique holding it and it manages to pull off some pretty great tones.
With such a simple and compact instrument, all you have to do is hold those groovy, strong, and steady bass lines. We give the G2220 a Musicaroo rating of 4.4 out of 5.