Gretsch Garage Sale

1959 gretsch rock jet

2

...Hold on while I grab the popcorn...

3

This gon' be good.

4

I've never seen a Jet with binding on the back. It looks more like some kind of hollow body Jr. with a Jet neck attached.

5

Al, did this belong to Tom Hampton?

He had one that looked a lot like this.

6

Modded Chet Jet (Chet Atkins solidbody 6121) from '58, from a mixed batch of 6120s and 6121s. The fake f-holes look too sloppy and weird for factory Gretsch. Note the overspray in the control cavity. But I do like the idea of an all black Jet with binding on the back.

7

I remember this one, it belongs to someone on here. My gut feeling is this “could” be Gretsch factory work. The f-holes are very much in the Gent style and execution, and the white guard without signpost looks very right. All of this may well have been done after the original guitar was shipped, however it doesn’t look like a refin? All speculation of course. I do remember thinking it could be a jet Dark Eyes workup of sorts.

8

Yeah, I was thinking of the Dark Eyes on the second look. Somebody did go to a lot of trouble if it's a mod. The label is pasted over the overspray and the finish shows no traces of orange, but that could have been removed. I'm seeing some "orange-peel" on the finish too. Gretsch should make something like this with 5-ply body binding and 3-ply neck and headstock binding. And for fun a 4-ply heel cap. And use that pearly-looking worn gold for hardware. And a scripty logo and ..... Yup, I keep thinking of this. Call it the Deluxe Jet. Humpblock with Dynas, thumbs with Filters.

9

Why would anyone think this is a real unmodified Gretsch? Mudswitch/master volume and Les Paul style 4 knob control? Awful fake f-holes? 6121 model number? Can't even spell Roc Jet right?

10

Giveaway's to the original identity (over and above the model number on the label) is the horseshoe headstock, double-bound body, brass nut, and original Bigsby B3. Assuming this is the original neck, this is the earliest 6121 with neo markers I've documented. Three other earlier examples from this batch (27626, 27629, and 27655) all have hump-block fretboard inlays. This is also the batch where the stamped steel handle took over from the cast-arm Duane handle B3 on this model. So this black Duo-Jet imposter is plausibly one of the first '58 model year 6121's. The mods make it a quirky cool player... but it's not priced as that unfortunately.

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Why would anyone think this is a real unmodified Gretsch? Mudswitch/master volume and Les Paul style 4 knob control? Awful fake f-holes? 6121 model number? Can't even spell Roc Jet right?

– drmilktruck

Some of the weirdness is more in line with Gretsch practices of the time than you might think at first blush. The fact that the effort was gone to to inlay the f-holes, which Gretsch was doing at the time, rather than just stenciling them seems plausibly done by the factory. The black finish isn't that extraordinary. If a customer asked for it, then the factory would do it. Not sure whether the black in the cavity is an issue. The chrome hardware...I guess if it's a custom black finish, the why not custom chrome hardware? The wiring really doesn't feel right to me, switch placement seems odd too (though you'd expect two switches anyway if it started stock, and these things vary a little). But alpep says the pots match. What's the date code?

Anyway, I'm not saying I think it is or isn't partially, totally, or not at all a factory made custom 6121. All I'm saying is it's not as far fetched as one might think.

And even leaving aside the SN, this one screams '58 with that first generation bar bridge and flat handle/slotted screw Bigsby.

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There was an interesting thread about this black 6121 w/F-holes when it first popped up years ago. Cant remember if it was pre or post GDP crash.

Speaking of odd 6121s, GDPer MikeG123's had a black 6121, and I think was looking for info on another 6121 he spotted with a (black?) sparkle top.

"I believe the comment about being able to order whatever you want from Gretsch so long as you paid an upcharge is helpful. The hardware is gold plated and original to the guitar. The top is an original Delmar drum wrap, with the exact flake pattern that was used in the 50's. The 6121 is black. I have a 1958 6121 that is original black."

14

well..... first let me tell you that I have been dealing playing guitars most of my life. and that I have owned a ton of strange guitars and many gretsches

I also had articles published in many magazines and am not a newbie when it comes to guitars.

This particular guitar passed the black light test and to seems to be all correct.

the f holes are not crude. they look symmetric and similar to ones you see.

the label was not taken off and reattached. as for the pots I will have to take them all out again and photograph them but only for some one that is a serious buyer.

I have no reason to believe that it is not original.

I've seen some strange stuff

15

I did not mean to be rude in my first post, but there are things about your Jet that beg for better photos. The knob arrangement is quite unusual -- you could even say deviant -- from factory specs. Better photos of the whole control cavity where you could clearly see the undisturbed grain pattern under the black overspray (which we've seen on some Jet Firebirds) would be a start. If it was modded after factory the patch holes would be quite evident. Also better photos of the f-hole inlay; there are examples of this from back then that do exist -- but no-one before has ever seen them on a Jet. Also, a shot of one of the pickups removed showing where the (black sparkle? -- also a first) drum wrap material hits the edge of the pup cavity would be good. If this Jet is everything you claim it to be, then it deserves better photos.

I realize that there are constraints on how many pics reverb or anyone will allow, but your shop has a website where you could post more photos. Lastly, you do yourself no favors by calling it a "Rock Jet." The Gretsch RocJets debuted in 1970. If this sounds picky, it is, but is not meant to be a put-down of you. Would you call a Les Paul Special an SG?

I can say with total confidence that everyone here loves to see an interesting old Gretsch, especially some factory custom job. However, given the many frauds, mods and conversions out there (and I'm speaking from personal experience) it is incumbent upon you to make the sale by providing better photographs to document your pitch. Looking forward to more, and better photos.

16

I would have thought they would have used the Rambler F-hole template. Black lighting tells nothing, other than if it's a partial re-fin...and it won't even tell that if the refin's more than 20 years old or so, assuming it's nitro.

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To bring more confusion in: A few years back the Gretsch Custom Shop built a small batch of what for some reason they called the '1955 Roc Jet'. (Basically a scripty RI.) So there is a chance the name might be older than the Baldwin model.

https://reverb.com/item/301...

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So there is a chance the name might be older than the Baldwin model.

No, that was a definitely a flub on the Custom Shop's part. I have no idea why that happened.

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So there is a chance the name might be older than the Baldwin model.

No, that was a definitely a flub on the Custom Shop's part. I have no idea why that happened.

– Afire

Yep!

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Thanks for clearing, guys. Though, I still wonder whose idea this was and why.

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I've known the last two owners, both friends of mine. I spent some time with this on New Year's Eve, and it looks legit, but modified, but man, some of you guys are brutal and dismiss a guitar's validity based on a typo, or not too good a picture for your discerning eyes. This isn't the first time this has happened, either.

If any of you remember the 1956 6120 an old farmer had in the breadbasket was raked over the GDP coals because he spelled Gretsch incorrectly.

Don't make the assumption that it's a bogus guitar based on simple mistakes like that, you know what they say about assumptions...

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Who are you to lecture me/us? No one has dismissed anything. What is your point?

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Who are you to lecture me/us? No one has dismissed anything. What is your point?

– knavel

My point is that some of us can get a bit of a stuck up our butts when things aren't presented "just so", and in doing so, come off as dismissive of the guitar's originality that's being offered for sale.

Read some of the posts, and prrhaps you'll see that. If you were doing that, then it was directed at you, amongst others. If not, then don't sweat it.

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I still want to see better pics. Double body binding on an all black Jet is just too cool.


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