General tech questions

Can anyone ID this Gretsch made around 2003

1

I am thinking about buying this guitar used in the next 24 hours for about $200. Can anyone tell me which Gretsch it is and offer any background on it. Thanks for any feedback. I am new to this forum......

2

Fender/FMIC era G5225 Junior Jet II. Pre-Fender versions had full-size humbuckers instead of mini-hums. Could be made in either China or Korea-- Pre-Fender models were usually made in Korea, while FMIC is usually China with this model. 2003 was a transitional year, so it's difficult to tell from just that one picture. If there's a serial number on the back of the headstock, that would help.

$200 is about right for this one.

3

Thanks Tartan. Here is another picture ... of the headstock. Perhaps that adds more clarity.

4

Welcome to the forum!

I've played a few of these, and they would make a good intro to Gretsch, or a good cheap rocking machine. With a few mods they can be really great, as is they are pretty decent for the money. I say go buy it, then start savong for your next Gretsch, you can't have just one.

5

Ripley: What got me super interested is that I played a Gretsch that a friend of mine bought in the mid 1990's (and it looked exactly like the one I am thinking about buying) and it was simply amazing. The tone was out of this world. It was a Gretsch Electromatic that was black with a silver pick guard and a single volume and a single tone control knob. I am trying to decide if I need to keep looking for an exact 1990's copy of his or whether the post 2000 versions will sound just the same. Tartan's observation about the mini humbucker versus the full sized ones from the 1990's is a bit disconcerting.

6

To me the minis in the one posted sound better than the full size Gretschbuckers, but depends on what you're looking for.

If you really want the full size HBs they still sell basically the same guitar with those and an arch top for $300 new.

7

I admit that I am a little confused on this humbucker v mini humbucker deal. I would swear that my friend had the exact same pickups as the ones in the guitar I am thinking about buying -- he even looked at the pictures and said that it looked like the exact same guitar. And as I said, his guitar sounded amazing. So I am totally confused about which way to go on buying this guitar through ebay -- hence I cannot listen to it first.

8

The modern version is available, The G5425 Jet Club-- it has full-size humbuckers, and street price is around $299 brand new!

Link

9

There's a very similar Junior model with DeArmond 2000s, a favorite pickup of mine. A walnut slab with single coils can't be beat.

10

There's a very similar Junior model with DeArmond 2000s, a favorite pickup of mine. A walnut slab with single coils can't be beat.

– wabash slim

I think the Jet Club has a bolt-on neck while the no longer available guitar with the DA2000s is called Special Jet and has a set neck. I have one for sale but I'm in Europe.

11

I feel kinda sorry for anyone just breaking into the Gretsch 'scene' and trying to figure out what's what.

After many years in Gretschdom, I'm still Gretschdumb.

13

There's no such thing as a bad Gretsch.

14

Yeh, I have just started looking into the Gretsch guitars and I gotta tell ya..... it is really confusing... more so than any other brand I've researched. At first, I could not really understand how a guy could own a guitar (I am referring to the one I am still considering buying) and not know the model or the year it was made or really anything. But after looking into this for a few days I now 'get it.'

15

Yeh, I have just started looking into the Gretsch guitars and I gotta tell ya..... it is really confusing... more so than any other brand I've researched. At first, I could not really understand how a guy could own a guitar (I am referring to the one I am still considering buying) and not know the model or the year it was made or really anything. But after looking into this for a few days I now 'get it.'

– rdj

One of the biggest problems is that the Pre-Fender Korean-maded Electromatics and Synchromatics had a serial number printed on a simple adhesive paper label, generally located close to the neck heel.

Over the years, folks either peeled them off, or they fell off themselves when the adhesive dried up. Hence, it's pretty rare to find one of these with an actual original serial number label. After things transitioned to FMIC, the serial numbers were printed on the back of the headstock. Even so, there was new-old stock guitars made before FMIC, but sold after the FMIC transition-- some as late as 2003-2004.

16

Guys, I just bought my first Gretsch. Not exactly sure which one it is though it does appear to be a 5225. I paid $153 with original HSC. I think it was a good deal but you never know until you get it and give it a whirl. See pic attached.

17

The case alone is worth that. Great deal, and enjoy your first, of many.

18

And now welcome to the addiction... lol

Congrats and happy new guitar day. Let us know what you think, and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

19

Yeh, once I get it in my hands, I will want to definitively determine whether it is pre or post the Fender era. Lots of opinions on which one is better.

20

Thanks Tartan. After looking at all the pics, is it still your opinion that this is a post Fender takeover guitar?

21

Thanks Tartan. After looking at all the pics, is it still your opinion that this is a post Fender takeover guitar?

– rdj

Not exactly. I think it is a transitional model-- which is just about right for the time frame from late 2002-early 2004, evidenced by a mixture of features-- the headstock is pre-FMIC, but the pickups indicate FMIC... not saying that the pickups didn't exist before 2003, but in general they were not predominant on this model at that time. Keep in mind that during the transition to FMIC-era instruments, changes on various models were made gradually throughout the entire line... there was no "instant" changeover from one tooling to the next. By operating this way, Gretsch could ensure a steady supply of product availability while various guitars were re-vamped along the way.

22

Thanks Tartan. Appreciate your insights.

23

One last thing .. and I know i am getting ahead of myself on this question .... but I would love to hear thoughts from any of you regarding things you might do with this guitar if it was yours..... I am speaking of suggested mods/changes.

24

I'd get Gretsch metal pot knobs and switch tip. See if you like the pickups. A set of used DeArmond 2000s or 2Ks should drop in with minor modifications. Or mix, my favourite would be a DA2000 at the neck and a Filtertron at the bridge (mod tips on TV Jones website). But be aware: If you ever decide to sell the guitar you won't get the money for mods back. So don't spend too much on it. You'll look around for more Gretsches anyway.

25

Thanks much. Yes, clearly I will need to give this a good hard listen. It is entirely possible that I might be fine with it as it is. But I figure you guys in this forum have been around the Gretsch block a few times and so you certainly have a far more educated perspective on things Gretsch related. Hence, I just thought I'd take the opportunity to solicit your thoughts.


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