Modern Gretsch Guitars

First Duo Jet Question

1

Hi Folks!

New here...new to Gretch guitars.

Going to look at a duo jet ...a 2009 Cadilac Green model....I see this has perhaps been discontinued and replaced with the Vintage Select series? Does anyone know what differences there are between the two guitars...if any?

Thanks!

2

I have both. I'd researched the differences, but wanted to see if they translated to an audible difference, or any difference in playability. I'm still undecided about that.

The Vintage Select's body is about 3/16" deeper, in keeping with 50s vintage practice, and is supposed to have more internal chambering. Nonetheless, it's still a little heavier than the older one. So apparently not MUCH more chambering.

The stain on the mahogany back and sides on the VS is either lighter or darker than the old one - I should know which, but I'm away from the guitars at the moment and forget. Again, it looks more like a 50s original.

The Cad Green on the VS is bluer and more metallic than on the old one, which is a little more olive, and without any metallic content.

As I recall, the Bigsbys are different (one V-cut, the other not), but I don't remember which is which. No difference in functionality.

Main functional difference is the pickups: Gretsch's Tokiwa-made standard DynaSonics in the older guitar, TV Jones T-Armonds in the VS. Between those two choices, I definitely prefer the T-Armonds in a Jet - but I replaced the stock pickups in my older Jet years ago, with Seymour Duncan Dynas, which I like as well as the T-Armonds. (Though the two sound slightly different. To hear that difference, here's a comparo between my old Jet w/Seymours and an identical old Jet w/T-Armonds: )

The VS has the banjo armrest. Some think it's cool. I think it's silly and removed it.

To play, and in sound, the two guitars are very very close. The VS sounds ever so slightly "woodier," but whether that's the T-Armonds or the body build, I don't know. Neither guitar is, overall, better than the other. I kinda prefer the Cad green color on the VS - because it better matches my Country Club (and the color of the roof on my '55 Cadillac). That doesn't mean I prefer the VS overall. I considered my old Jet The Best Guitar In the World, and wanted to see if the VS is better. In the end, I don't think it is (but it's also The Best Guitar In the World).

I can't justify having both, just haven't decided which to sell.

3

The newer vintage select model will have a body that is 1/4" deeper and the VS all have an armrest now I believe.

4

Thanks so much for the details

Nice sounding playing on the link....thanks for sending...I like that you mentioned the guitar colour tone differences ;)

The T-armond sounds nicer to my ears...I thought the older Duo Jet ( the 2009 ) had TV Jones in them...but maybe I was reading a link for the VS model

Either way it would be a boon to get one of these....I was looking at a Chet Atkins from around 2009...then I heard about this...they are both around the same price

Any idea on market value for the older ones?

Thanks again!

5

Thanks...can definitely notice the armrest

6

I like the armrests, my old 1958 6120 had the entire finish worn out in that spot! Half a century of wear can do that! Wife made me a needle point cloth to keep there when I play now days.

7

I don't know the market value, no. Somewhere between 1,300.00 and 1,800.00, I would think, depending on condition.


I don't mind the idea of the armrest - but the one Gretsch puts on the VS doesn't really match the radius of the body, so that the screws themselves bend it to shape (meaning it's under some tension when in place, not that that matters much). But because the screws have to hold that tension, they're longer than you might expect - and because they're round-head screws whose slots are invariably a little boogered up from the number of rotations required to sink them in the wood, they have sharp edges (which, yep, could be filed off, I suppose).

The upshot is that the screws dig into your arm while playing, making it uncomfortable. Thus, I took the thing off. And in any case, the gold finish is absolutely going to discolor, tarnish, deteriorate, wear off, and generally look unsightly (to me anyway) long before the finish would have degraded from one's arm resting on the guitar.

Taking the armrest off left two screwholes in the rim of the guitar, as well as a slight impression in the paint on the front from its contact - but those don't bother me as much as the armrest did.

IF the radius of the armrest matched the radius of the guitar's curve better, so that it didn't need the screws to draw it down, it could have been affixed with double-sided tape, for irritant-free play and evidence-free removal. Or they could have used flathead screws, countersunk into the mounting holes on the armrest.

ANYway. It's not a big deal either way.

9

Well...the brother bends tubular material, and isn't really equipped to deal with flat stock.

It does seem odd to me that I'm obsessed with radii.

10

Thanks. Going to try it this week. Cheers!

11

So Tim - the VS is heavier? That could be down to the timber used (and maybe the tiny bit extra timber used for the deeper body). My VS is of course the '59 and it is lighter than any previous Jet I've owned which I put down the the extra routing. In my case the VS with the extra routing sounds markedly different but then maybe the Dearmond Jets were always extra routed?

Anyway, mahogany can vary in weight dramatically. My Les Paul is around 8 1/2lbs but the one I had before it was around 10.


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