Rancher Falcon Jumbo compared to general jumbo guitars like Yahama in the same price range?

BatmansGretsch

Gretschie
Dec 3, 2019
211
Earth
I own a Gretsch Streamliner and have been giving thought to getting a good acoustic. I was looking first at Gibson-inspired Epiphone acoustics. I want an affordable dreadnaught that sounds great with a cutaway and some electronics for a line out.

I was advised that if tone was my priority to consider a Yamaha in the same price range. Another person recommended Guild could do the same thing.

The G5022CWFE Rancher Falcon Jumbo is in that same price range, and it meets many parameters I want but isn't a dreadnaught. I don't think the triangular sound hole will make a difference compared to a circular one?

I know Gretch and the 'tron pickup sound can be quite unique but does that same thing also happen with this Rancher Falcon Jumbo tone or will it play like a Yamaha Jumbo would sound?

Also, would you recommend I stick with a Yamaha Dreadnaught for now and then go for the Rancher Falcon Jumbo when I want to specialize on certain songs as you would a Gretsch with 'trons?

I hope that makes sense. 😁 I probably will get one at some stage because of the price tag but I would hold back if the Yamaha would be a better choice for general dreadnaught acoustic tones.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
722
New York
The only way to know “what sounds great with a cutaway and a line out…” is to play it. Start shopping. And bring a friend who can play the guitar for you. You’ll hear the guitar’s true sound amplified but you’ll never hear it acoustically as an audience will with your ear over the sound hole. That’s why you need a friend with you.

The second bit of advice is not to focus too much on brand. The one that plays and sounds good to you is the one to buy, no matter the brand. Don’t believe me? The picture below is my acoustic. I’d never heard of Simon and Patrick until I found this Showcase Rosewood. I found it on the wall in a folk center visiting family in California. The used wall. You’ll get a lot more for your money with very good condition used and it may be in better shape than new off the wall from GC. FWIW, mine is Adirondack spruce over solid rosewood and still was well under $1000.
94182E67-5F16-4F05-9CF6-6DD9BB2E1112.jpeg
 
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TSims1

Gretschified
Jun 18, 2013
12,786
Atlanta
Budget matters here. But good guitars can be found in lots of price brackets. I would personally be quicker to spend more on an acoustic than an electric. It’s like cheap furniture vs quality high end furniture - there is a real palpable difference. A good(great)acoustic guitar is just a wonderful, wonderful thing. I ponied up and bought a Collings this year, which is one of the best things I’ve done. I also have a Gibson Hummingbird I’m in love with. I DO own a Gretsch Rancher Jr that is my “office guitar”. It is pretty unremarkable and underwhelming acoustically. But it sounds GREAT plugged in for live stuff/stage use.

And yes - imo Yamaha makes really good sounding affordable acoustics.
 

1adam12

Electromatic
Feb 25, 2022
82
Atlantic City
Try as many different guitars as possible. As much as I like Gretsches, I'm sold on Guild acoustics. Thunder is a Martin fan. There are myriad acoustic builders. Someone will have one you love at a price you'll love as well.
They...(well, except for Ovations and many others) are wood. Each guitar has its own voice/personality. I have played D18's that have sounded better than D45's. An ultra fancy wartime J200 that didnt sound as good as my J-100. Recently at GC, I happened to pick up a Peavey that was 2-300 bucks and it sounded fantastic...believe it or not, yikes! Some guitars are dense, good lookin' and built like tanks and don't resonate, some light with vibrant tops that will age poorly, warp or need constant adjustment with every barometer change.... Sometimes you can find the balance, those are the best ones imho. I am the guy that goes into an acoustic room and twinks the A string on as many as I can reach, and then sit down with one/couple when I feel one resonate my bone marrow! Then it becomes...do I have to think about it, like some playability distraction? or just play what comes out...pure conduit.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
22,767
Monkey Island
What anyone will say. Try before you buy. The better acoustic makes will have their own voice which might appeal to you or not. But there’s a whole gamut of brands, builds and budgets other than Gibson or Martin. Fact is Gretsch are not and never were, known for their acoustics.
Epiphone Masterbilts on the other hand have a great reputation. When I upgraded my beater Yamaha I looked at a new Furch, but decided on a Larrivee.
 

6187LX

Gretschie
Aug 11, 2022
213
Up Around the Bend
I was pleasantly surprised by a Gretsch Rancher with the Fidelitron. I've never had much luck with Gretsch flat-tops but this sounded great and played quite well. This one didn't have the Bigsby. I'd also keep a look out for the Gretsch Historic series from around 20 years ago. My first acoustic was a Yamaha that sounded better than a few Martins in the shop.
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2015
2,206
Portland, OR
Keep in mind that any kind of Jumbo might not be the best choice if you're primarily a finger style player. These things are designed for strummers and flatpickers that want the extra projection a Jumbo provides in a group setting. That's where they really shine.

But if that's what you want, and unless you're absolutely sold on the extra bling that comes with the Falcon version of it, don't pass up any chance you get to try a regular Rancher Jumbo G5022CE.

I've had mine since 2012, and it's been one of my go-to acoustics since the day I brought it home. Maybe (imho) the best sounding guitar in the Rancher line, it's got its own thing going on - bright, clear and loud. Sounds extremely good plugged in!

I've always found Yamahas to be a bit on the bland side myself. Well made guitars for sure, but just another in a sea of many trying to sound like a Martin. You'll never confuse a Rancher Jumbo for a Martin! LoL! Whole different animal!

Anyway, something to chew on. As others above have said, I think with acoustics it's a really good idea to buy in person if you can. Let your ears do the deciding.

RancherJumbo.jpg
 
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S.R.Cash

Gretschie
Aug 29, 2019
445
Ontario, Canada
I was absolutely astonished to come across a Fender PM-1 Mahogany that has now become my usual player! I've always hated almost everything Fender offered but hey, they nailed that one. Ya just never know! ... Like others say, play every single one that grabs your eye then go across the room and listen to it played.
 

scrimmer

Gretschie
Apr 6, 2019
225
North Carolina
As stated above, if possible go out, shop and play as many as you can get your hands on before buying. And yes, totally agree with Wabash Slim - Guilds are great acoustics and even their budget line, to me, is just about the best bang for the buck out there I’ve ever played for the small money they cost. If budget allows and you want a fairly higher end acoustic for little $$$? Find an Eastman dealer and try some of their offerings if you can. Stellar instruments! I do own a nice Guild that I love. I do not own any Eastmans…yet.
Oh, and if budget isn’t really an issue, get a Collings!
Good luck.
 

rcboals

Country Gent
Nov 21, 2008
4,885
Springfield Oregon
Budget matters here. But good guitars can be found in lots of price brackets. I would personally be quicker to spend more on an acoustic than an electric. It’s like cheap furniture vs quality high end furniture - there is a real palpable difference. A good(great)acoustic guitar is just a wonderful, wonderful thing. I ponied up and bought a Collings this year, which is one of the best things I’ve done. I also have a Gibson Hummingbird I’m in love with. I DO own a Gretsch Rancher Jr that is my “office guitar”. It is pretty unremarkable and underwhelming acoustically. But it sounds GREAT plugged in for live stuff/stage use.

And yes - imo Yamaha makes really good sounding affordable acoustics.
I love Gretsch electric guitars but their accoustics are as Tony said, "underwhelming". I would use a Gretsch Rancher accoustic for a photo shoot because they look cool. ;) An accoustic plugged in ireally doesn't matter what it is. I realize budget does matter. That being said, you can get some great sounding Martins or Taylors for under 1200 new and less used. Like Tony, I ponied up and bought a Collings CJ35 several years ago. It was the most expensive guitar I ever bought. I remember as I was counting off 34 $100.00 bills at McKenzie River Music in Eugene, Oregon, I was thinking am I making a big mistake? It has been one of the best guitar purchases ever, it makes mme smile everytime I play it.
 

BatmansGretsch

Gretschie
Dec 3, 2019
211
Earth
Keep in mind that any kind of Jumbo might not be the best choice if you're primarily a finger style player. These things are designed for strummers and flatpickers that want the extra projection a Jumbo provides in a group setting. That's where they really shine.

But if that's what you want, and unless you're absolutely sold on the extra bling that comes with the Falcon version of it, don't pass up any chance you get to try a regular Rancher Jumbo G5022CE.
Very nice looking guitar.

I play much more with a plectrum so maybe the Jumbo isn't a bad idea. I don't think I want to do much finger style like Chet Atkins or I would probably try my Gretsch Broadtrons for that.


I was absolutely astonished to come across a Fender PM-1 Mahogany that has now become my usual player! I've always hated almost everything Fender offered but hey, they nailed that one. Ya just never know! ... Like others say, play every single one that grabs your eye then go across the room and listen to it played.
Those Fender PMs come with a nice case too it seems. They look amazing. I am glad they sounded amazing for you.
 

Rock Lajoint

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2014
634
Sussex, England
I wanted a jumbo guitar for reasons of coolness. I looked at Gretsch because I'm a Gretsch guy and I really wanted a jumbo as cool as the Gretsch ones are.

But after trying them, and bearing in mind I had my annual bonus heavy in my hip pocket, I tried Gibson and Guild, I ended up buying a Guild F40 Traditional. But even at the Gretsch acoustic price point, the Guilds were 'better' to my hands and ears.

I also have a Blueridge slope shouldered dread and for the money you'd struggle to find a nicer sounding guitar.
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 20, 2010
2,009
Michigan
@BatmansGretsch

You are asking great questions, which did yield great answers.
We own(ed) four of the "lower" priced acoustics. I made the mistake of saying that a guitar is uninspiring once in my life, and when the Kay acoustic I was whining about, was handed over to Eric Clapton in the "green room" and will never say that again. That Kay sounded like nothing I ever played out of it. It was just not a good fit for me. What may be uninspiring to one, may be a wonderful player in someone else's hands. Do yourself a favor and play them, do not buy one unless you can play it. It is true that there is less of a risk with a lower/medium priced guitar, but if you find it doesn't fit your playing or sounds "uninspiring" or "underwhelming" you will still take a price hit when you resell it. If you are considering a guitar in the $500 - $700 price range, you can find a wonderful guitar. I would not expect a G5022 to compete with a $2,500 Guild. Our Gretsch Falcon Rancher is the 12-string model, due to the thick finish it had a very "thin" sound for the first 6 months. It has really opened up over time, as with most Guitars. We also own a Guild F2512, it was lower in cost than the gretsch, without the bling of the Gretsch, it required the most time to set up properly, but after working on it was worth the effort. It was not as loud plugged in as the Gretsch, but to be honest, the bridge needed to be reset due to the sloppy gluing, after fixing it, the sound improved substantially, it does play/sound well. Our Yamaha APX700-12, played well out of the box, the set up was 90% there, the only complaint is that the tuners are ok, and the nut needed minor help, but understanding that to make that price point, something has to give, and the tuner upgrade was simple. The last one that no one had mentioned is the Taylor E150. They used to retail for $699, now are $999, we had one when they first came out, it was as good as they get out of the box, but to me this is now in a different price league. The preamp went bad after 6 years of hard use. Even though this was well out of warranty, but Taylor's excellent customer service helped us on the parts. I replaced the preamp, we ended up selling it to a friend who loved it, when we decided to upgrade to a Taylor V-class to help offset the upgrade. Please note that the Taylor V-Class is not in the same price range as the Rancher. The conclusion is to play them before you buy them. If you feel that doubling or tripling your investment is worth it, only you can determine the correct answer, but please play them first. We still own the Rancher and love it, but you need to be patient until the guitar opens up. Guitars with thin finishes will open up sooner. Good luck my friend.
 

Freshy

Country Gent
Sep 30, 2017
1,094
Homosassa FLA
Just to add to Used Yamaha's..........
Used Alvarez Dreads (AD80SSB) are lovely if you can find one, Paid $150 for mine and have been offered $500. Told him Im way too old to find a new favorite acoustic. Also if you find any used acoustic that sings and plays to your liking you can add a Baggs M1A for amplification. Lots of good pedals for EQ & Boost too.
I bought a Martin X1AE for less than $500 at GC and like it alot but 90% of the time I grab the Alvarez. Super skinny neck on the Martin.


 
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LesB3

Gretschie
Silver Member
Aug 17, 2021
373
Philadelphia, PA
I too bought a 5022CE for the "aesthetics" and for years was not very happy with the sound (too thin). I took it in for a setup and when I got it back, the difference was night and day. I don't know if its down to the strings or lower action (or both), but I no longer feel the way I used to.

I have not played an Epiphone acoustic that I have liked, no matter the style (or where it has been made). I have two Chinese-made Guilds that look nice, and sound OK. Not great, but OK, and as has been stated previously, are pretty good bang for the buck. I would buy one of those over an Epiphone any day.

Another suggestion might be to take a look at Takamine. I have an older Jumbo / Dread that I bought for $130 (new, 1997) that still sounds amazing (I got lucky). Their mid to high level guitars are even better.

Money will go a lot further in the USED section, I've scored a nice U.S.-made Martin (GPC4A) for $800, as well as a Gibson CL-20 (basically a Gibson dread that is built like a Guild) for less than $1200.

Good luck!
 

Seamus

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 25, 2011
1,141
New England
I'll chime in with a couple of others in saying that Yamaha acoustics can be remarkable for the money in the same price range. I played one in a band for several years, and it held up to extreme abuse. Sounded great, was easy to play, and only ever needed some shimming of the tuners (I cannot begin to explain that weirdness -- something wore unevenly).
 

aanstadt

Gretschie
May 13, 2021
123
Atlanta
I own a Gretsch Streamliner and have been giving thought to getting a good acoustic. I was looking first at Gibson-inspired Epiphone acoustics. I want an affordable dreadnaught that sounds great with a cutaway and some electronics for a line out.

I was advised that if tone was my priority to consider a Yamaha in the same price range. Another person recommended Guild could do the same thing.

The G5022CWFE Rancher Falcon Jumbo is in that same price range, and it meets many parameters I want but isn't a dreadnaught. I don't think the triangular sound hole will make a difference compared to a circular one?

I know Gretch and the 'tron pickup sound can be quite unique but does that same thing also happen with this Rancher Falcon Jumbo tone or will it play like a Yamaha Jumbo would sound?

Also, would you recommend I stick with a Yamaha Dreadnaught for now and then go for the Rancher Falcon Jumbo when I want to specialize on certain songs as you would a Gretsch with 'trons?

I hope that makes sense. 😁 I probably will get one at some stage because of the price tag but I would hold back if the Yamaha would be a better choice for general dreadnaught acoustic tones.
I have a Gretsch Jumbo Falcon Rancher and an Epiphone Inspired by Gibson Hummingbird. The Hummingbird blows the Rancher out of the water in my opinion.
 


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