Modern Gretsch Guitars

1953 Vintage Series Duo Jet

1

Any info on this guitar's specs? I'm told it's made very close to the original but I'm doubting that the finish is nitro. Any help would be appreciated.

2

I think the back and neck are nitro lacquer, but if it's true to spec I believe the black top should be the black nitron drum wrap, like a silver jet

3

Interesting. Also I heard the fretboard radius were flatter and the necks back then we're chunky.

A friend is visiting next week for a possible trade. He's got a mint one and I'm trading an Epiphone Elite Broadway with Fralin Unbuckers

4

Interesting. Also I heard the fretboard radius were flatter and the necks back then we're chunky.

A friend is visiting next week for a possible trade. He's got a mint one and I'm trading an Epiphone Elite Broadway with Fralin Unbuckers

– guitarcapo

I think the neck profile is a thicker D shape, and I know the body is a little thicker at 2", but the fretboard radius is the same I'm pretty sure at 12". That's a great trade!

5

Well I might have to sweeten the deal a bit with some cash or a tiny amp. I'm figuring his guitar is worth about 2 grand and mine about $1,650.....

6

Well I might have to sweeten the deal a bit with some cash or a tiny amp. I'm figuring his guitar is worth about 2 grand and mine about $1,650.....

– guitarcapo

Reverb estimates the value at +$5K.

7

Reverb estimates the value at +$5K.

– NJBob

NJBob, that would be for a real 1953 Jet, right?

8

NJBob, that would be for a real 1953 Jet, right?

– Ric12string

Oh. This isn't a real one but a Reissue? I sit corrected.

9

It is one of the new Vintage Series models. "I sit corrected." That is so you, Bob!

10

I believe the Cliff Gallup signature Jet has a nitro finish, but not the '53 Vintage Select.

11

These look great! Surprised to hear of one turning up second hand this early. Says they have a u shape neck 12" radius but nothing on the finish

12

Interesting. Also I heard the fretboard radius were flatter and the necks back then we're chunky.

The '53 I used to own had a 12" fretboard radius. And the neck was quite chunky.

13

This is a great guitar and on my wishlist too. You'll find gorgeous TV-Jones pkups and close to vintage specs but a "gloss" finish which means "gloss urethan" for sure.

15

That elitist Broadway has a higher trade/sale than you think. I wouldn't accept less than $2k cash for a stock one.

Neat jet, though. Love the script logo and block inlay, and the white pick guard adds a lot. Hope other finishes are made.

16

I have been surprised at the value of the Epiphone Elitist Broadways too. They are seriously great guitars, so maybe that's why! They are holding their value extremely well.

17

I see new Elite/Elitist Broadways on Ebay for $2,000 but they don't actually move at that price.

....Just like I see these Gretsch reissues selling for $2,500 and not moving.

I think in the real world a 10 year old Elite/Elitist Broadway would sell (with real money exchanging hands for $1400). I value the Fralin pickups at $250. They really were an improvement over the Epiphone pickups in there.

I'm probably going to value his used-twice-new/mint Gretsch at $2,000 in real money and maybe toss him a little cash in trade or some other gear.

The Broadway is this huge luscious jazz box. It sound great but I'm not a jazz guy. The solid spruce top is over the top on this one because it was when they were just starting the Elite line of guitars and they wanted to show off the difference. If each line is a year the top must have come from a 400 year old tree. You literally can't count the lines because they are so tightly close together. It really sounds great played unplugged as well.

It's really a guitar you sit down to play. Like a Rolls Royce more than a sports car.

18

If I didn't already own the DSV Duo Jet which is based on the 1955 model I would be all over this one.

20

Sweetwater's ad describes this Jet as a "spot on recreation", but of course it isn't. The presence of the Bigsby alone makes these different than the original factory release of the Duo Jet. But if they are going to add one, they should really endeavor to make the Bigsby period correct to '53 as well. This one is just the modern reissue of the 60's style B3 with the black lacquer paint missing. The tuners are also (still) incorrect to the 50's Wavery open-back style. Not sure why, I personally sent Stephen Stern a vintage example of a Waverly tuner 2 years ago. I was hoping that meant they were working on an accurate repro set. Guess not.

Having said all that, and not wanting to be the vintage snob who's never satisfied with reissue models... I must admit that these guitars are pretty gorgeous! The '53 scripty is one of my fav Gretsch models ever, but with only 150 made in '53, these reissues will allow a lot of devotees to finally get into that scripty vibe! Kudos to FMIC for recognizing this unique version of their flag-ship solid body, and doing such a nice job making it right (even if it's not perfect).

21

If we're picking nits, I don't understand why they didn't use multi-ply white and black for the pickguard instead of plain white. Easily remedied, but even easier for them to have used the right material in the first place.

22

That's not a 'short review' JC

The ongoing absence of vintage accurate tuners is a bit of a frustration. Especially given Epiphone/Gibson's efforts in that regard. Did Mr Stern return the tuner to you Ed?

Could just be a case of getting the ok from the bean counters. After all, if they take the view that vintage correct tuners won't actually increase sales, then it's hard to make the economic case for tooling up to make them again.

23

That's not a 'short review' JC

The ongoing absence of vintage accurate tuners is a bit of a frustration. Especially given Epiphone/Gibson's efforts in that regard. Did Mr Stern return the tuner to you Ed?

Could just be a case of getting the ok from the bean counters. After all, if they take the view that vintage correct tuners won't actually increase sales, then it's hard to make the economic case for tooling up to make them again.

– Shuggie

Steven asked me for a Waverly sample (I sent two, and early one and a later 60s example). My understanding was that he was working with another company to create the repros. Maybe he's still working on that deal, I dunno. He still has the samples I sent, but no biggie. I didn't expect to get them back. I really appreciate Steven's efforts to get things "right", and his CS work really shows that diligence. Plus... he's a really good guy!

24

Looking at the script headstock logo on the Sweetwater example of this new reissue, the text looks thinner than the original beefier logo depicted here (from one of my scripty's). Is the reissue inlaid or a decal?

25

As long as FMIC was going to do a '53 scripty Jet reissue, I feel like they should have taken the opportunity add some (period correct) uniqueness... such as a fixed Melita bridge, as found on about half the original batch from '53 (but precluded here from the presence of the Bigsby and Bigsby bridge). Or... an even cooler addition would have been the uber-awesome "drum badge", found on the lower body bout on some of the original debut batch scripty Jets. All they had to do was call Paul Setzer!


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