The Gretsch G5222 Electronmatic is a 5 watt single channel all tube guitar amp. It uses only two tubes and has a single volume knob and one input jack. It couldn't get any simplier and is great for recording or practice.
The volume knob acts more as a distortion control from about 10 o'clock and above. You can get a clean sound, gritty blues tone, and a distorted 'rock' tone. Using your guitar's volume control you can get a good range of tonal variations. Also use your guitar's tone control for more variation. The sound of the distortion reminds me of other small tube amps. You can get even more crank tone by adding a preamp stompbox like a "Blues Driver" or "Tube Screamer" Effects Pedal.
The 6V6 breaks up rather nicely with or without the extra gain. The G522 has two inputs (High, Low) It appears that the Low input is about -6dB or so lower in gain so if you are connecting a high output rackmount effect then you may want to try this one. Plugging into both inputs didn't seem to effect the sound other than make it a little less loud.
How loud is 5 watts? Watt for watt tubes are louder than solidstate. With five watts of tube power in to the 6 inch speaker is plenty loud for practice, and recording. The speaker is a "Special Design" 4 ohm driver with ceramic magnet. Not a lot of low end but there is an external 1/4 inch speaker jack inside the combo housing. Be careful not to burn your hands if you want to plug in a different speaker cabinet. The output is rated at 4 ohms so be sure what ever cabinet you use it's 4 ohms. If you want to get more low-end without using an externel speaker then try placing the amp in a corner of your room or place it at the front of a larger closed back box.
The tube complement is a 12AX7 preamp tube with a 6V6 power amp tube. This is same tubes used in the Fender tweed and blackfaced amps like the Champ and Princeton.
The look of the amp is pure vintage with it's tv cabinet, tweed covering, gold and brown speaker grille, and the red amp jewel (light). The amp is also very portable and only weighs 15 lbs. and is 11 inchs high, 12 inchs wide, and 7.5 inchs deep, and with its leather strap handle you can easily carry it around. Its better to let the tubes cool down before moving the amp.
6V6 power tube and 12AX7 preamp tube
High and Low Impedance Inputs
6 inch Special Design Speaker
Single Volume Control
Low output power 5W (Great for Recording)
Vintage Tweed Look