Modern Gretsch Guitars

Is a G6228 “Players’ Edition” Jet too different?

1

I have mentioned in a couple of other threads about my Players' Edition Jet but I thought it deserved it's own thread because I think it's a wonderful guitar which a lot of you guys would love.

To be honest when it first arrived i wasn't too sure about it. The neck was almost too slick and shiny so it felt a bit unforgiving or something. But that didn't last long. After a day or so of playing it feels perfectly snug in my hands and like it wants to be played. The neck has a little more shoulder than the SSLVO I am used to but once I start playing I soon forget about it.

I guess the key differences between this Jet and a '59 RI Jet is the way the neck is set. On the 6228 the neck is a lot lower against the body - not with a flush fingerboard like a Les Paul but not far from it. So it feels a bit more like playing a Les Paul than a traditional Jet. I had to slightly loosen the truss rod to get the strings really moving freely but then the guitar has travelled a long way to get here and this is something I almost always have to do. The action is still lower than I usually manage - it's very well made.

In fact the finish is flawless. I like the stain they are using on the mahogany back and neck these days. It's a lovely shade of mud which actually looks kind of old and "right". Restringing is fast with the locking tuners. The master volume has a treble bleed cap (or is there something else in there??) which works better than any treble bleed I have used before. Incredibly useful for getting lovely chimey tones from a dirty sound. The tone pot has a detent when fully ON so that you know it's out of circuit - it's a zero-load thing when on full. All the electronics work well - it's a bit weird being able to use all the pots so effectively!

I have mentioned before that I like these "Broad'tron" pickups. I think they are full HB sized to make swapping pickups out easier for those who want to rock. but you really don't need to swap them out because they have plenty of Filter'tron in them while being fat and full and well capable of higher gain stuff. They are possibly a little less brittle sounding than a classic Filter'tron but have plenty of high-end detail. So much so that I can get a decent Duane sound from the neck pickup.

But the bridge pickup is amazing. It has all the wonderful cluck of a great Filter'tron but more mass to the sound. Dial in a bitey dirty sound and then roll it back on the master volume to get clearer, chimey sounds - it's got so much more to it than a regular HB tone. The trebles never get shrill as they can with regular HBs and the lows can still twang.

The body is significantly chambered. It feels alive and acoustically it is a lot of fun to play. No rattles or creaks.

Thing is that this guitar is very much a Duo Jet. It sounds like one but with more grunt on tap as well as possibly more sparkle than you might typically get from a Filter'tron Jet. The one downside is that the lower neck mean a bar is necessary on a Bigsby - that's why I got the stop-tail version. I figured that most people here wouldn't seriously consider this guitar because it veers too far from the traditional Gretsch specs. Maybe you should consider it - if you want "that great Gretsch sound" with a lot of versatility this is it. As someone who has owned a few Jets in my time i am shocked at just how much I like this one!

2

I haven't played one yet, but I'm looking forward to trying one. Thanks for the review.

3

Seems like the changes to neck-set on many of the newer Gretsch creations which then require a vibrato to have a restraining bar (i.e. B7) is a bit of a turn-off for what are otherwise really compelling guitars. I suppose for players who live on their Bigsby chops that this could be a real issue as the feel, range, and affect is clearly different from what Gretsch players have come to expect. My issue (not being a regular player and only lightly using the vibrato) is the aesthetic.

I suppose FMIC is gambling that after the initial grousing from the purist community about the departure in feel and looks of these restraining bar Bigsby units, time will soften those opinions and we’ll all wake up sometime down the road and it will have become a non-issue for most. I dunno... I guess we’ll see about that.

4

Great review, you have made the want for one of these grow! Lol. I think its a good thing that there aren't any here in my town because I think it would be coming home with me.

5

Congrats on a great new guitar. Thanks for a great review.

6

Excellent and very informative review JimmyR! Thank you!! Congratulations on your gorgeous guitar!

Now I need to go try one of these.... and we all know what often happens after that..... Damnyou JimmyR .....

7

Seems like the changes to neck-set on many of the newer Gretsch creations which then require a vibrato to have a restraining bar (i.e. B7) is a bit of a turn-off for what are otherwise really compelling guitars. kc_eddie_b

The B7's performance can be GREATLY IMPROVED by swapping the stock spring for a Reverend Soft Spring or BricksBiggFix Squishy Spring. Either one makes the Bigsby much more responsive.

The other issue with a B7 on a small body guitar (Jet, JR, etc.) is that the short span between the roller bar and the bridge creates a very steep break angle which can and has result in tuning instability. A BricksBiggsFix Tuning Stabilizer cures this problem.

Personally, the B7's appearance is not an issue for me. In the past I found the performance and tuning problems to be a fatal flaw. The mods cited above provide quick and easy solutions.

8

It looks like an excellent Jet to gig regularly with. I have recently discovered that I now prefer stop tailpieces over Bigsbys even on Gretsch guitars so I'm with you on that.

If I was in the market and wanted a new Jet I would definitely check this one out.

I'm curious if the new Broad'tron pickups are similar to the TV Jones Power'trons. If they are then they would be perfect for me.

9

Congrats. Good looking guitar. FWIW, I believe that Senojnad’s comments in post #7 address the Bigsby concern.

10

I do like that guitar. I like the fact that it has the FilterTron pups and the Mv, Nv, Bv, Mt and 3 way pup selector vs. the mud switch. I’m also digging the idea of that v shaped tail piece.

11

Great review of a great guitar, I'm seriously considering getting a Pro Jet myself, and your review makes me even more sure that I need one!

12

Jimmy, I'll believe you're very happy with it, and that it's a great guitar for your purposes.

As for "too different"....perhaps "not different enough"? It definitely is more like a Les Paul than a traditional Jet is (neck angle, stop tail, Gibson size pickups, etc..), and the idea of a stop-tail dual humbucker Les Paul doesn't really turn me on all that much - nor does a new Gretsch that goes in that direction. Semihollow oddball with an archtop bridge, two crazy loud and twangy singlecoils and an oversized hunk of alumunium for a twang bar? Yes Please!
So I guess I'm not the target audience.

13

I hear you! I didn't think I would have been the target audience either. I bought it thinking that I could basically change it into a Les Paul if I didn't like the pickups - I love chambered Les Pauls! But I was surprised at how "Gretsch" it sounded. In fact it sounds closer to my 6120 than my other Duo Jets ever did. How does that work??

You could argue that it's just a Gretsch which has been Gibsonised. That's what I thought before I got it. You would think that would dilute the Gretschiness but it hasn't. If anything I think the Payers' Edition Jet would suit a single coil player better than a regular Filter'tron Jet. To me it has more sparkle and range. I have been mostly playing my ES-225 for the past few years so the single coil thing is in my head.

I guess my point is that this is not the guitar you would think it is. I would love to get another one to try Gibson PAFs in because I think it could be amazing but I'm not swapping out the pickups in this one!

For the record I did change the bridge. I found that on Ebay Philadelphia Luthier Supplies sell an inexpensive USA ABR-1 without the wire - it has brass saddles and is much like the Gibson Historic ABR-1. SO I tried that and it smoothed out some of the harshness of the stock Gotoh/Gretsch Adjustomatic. The stock bridge doesn't sound bad, I just like the brass saddles better.

14

I wonder how those Broadtrons compare to Shawbuckers. They're both designed by Tim Shaw so I wonder about what similarities and differences they have.

15

For the record I did change the bridge. I found that on Ebay Philadelphia Luthier Supplies sell an inexpensive USA ABR-1 without the wire - it has brass saddles and is much like the Gibson Historic ABR-1. SO I tried that and it smoothed out some of the harshness of the stock Gotoh/Gretsch Adjustomatic.

Hey, I use the same bridges on my guitars - have three brass, three nylon saddles (plain strings) on the one on my main player. Funny how there seems to be quite a bit of difference between versions of such a generic bridge.

16

Ger - I wondered that too. I suspect there is a healthy dose of Filter'tron in the Broad'trons but I have no idea how that all works. They don't seem to sound much like a Gibson pickup, but is that the pickup or the guitar? Probably both.

Walter - I agree - there is a world of difference in the various iterations of ABR-1. I'm really happy with the Philadelphia Luthery version. The Gretsch/Gotoh version is fine but sounds a tad clunky compared with the brass saddle version from PL, and rattles too. The PL version is tight and precise and sounds wonderful. So pleased I'm not the only one!

17

I'm a fan of stop tailpieces, but I must say I'm having a hard time getting used to the Gretsch stop V tailpiece.

Not sure why, but for some reason it bothers me...

18

I'm having a hard time getting used to the Gretsch stop V tailpiece. Not sure why, but for some reason it bothers me...

Me too.

Maybe because, for most of Gretsch's traditional unique/distinctive hardware, there's a functional reason for it. This is just cosmetic. It seems unnecessary - different for the sake of being different. And maybe it's because I'm used to what I'm used to - but it also seems jarringly out of place to me aesthetically.

(Not that it could become an issue for me, because a Gretsch without a Bigsby doesn't compute in the first place.)

19

Me too. But I'm slowly getting used to it. It seem to be an oversimplified Cadillac tailpiece. Well, sort of...

20

I'm having a hard time getting used to the Gretsch stop V tailpiece. Not sure why, but for some reason it bothers me...

Me too.

Maybe because, for most of Gretsch's traditional unique/distinctive hardware, there's a functional reason for it. This is just cosmetic. It seems unnecessary - different for the sake of being different. And maybe it's because I'm used to what I'm used to - but it also seems jarringly out of place to me aesthetically.

(Not that it could become an issue for me, because a Gretsch without a Bigsby doesn't compute in the first place.)

– Proteus

I've been in the same camp too. If it's a Gretsch, it should have a Bigsby.

That said, when I saw this new tailpiece, the "V" shape reminded me of "V" cutout on a Bigsby.

The clouds parted, the sky cleared, and this tailpiece looked "right."

21

I've thought about it.

Yep. Too different.

But if you want to send me yours, I'll try to adjust.

Actually, one thing does bother me, and that's the reduced (as in zero) neck angle. This smacks to me of cost cutting. As in it's so much easier to slap in the necks with less angle and put in a stop tail or bar bigs. Not saying it won't work on this guitar--it prolly dos, but I see this as a trend with other new Gretches I've tried. Older ones seem to have more neck angle and string tension and acoustic zing.

I haven't gotten a ruler out, but it sure seems this way. I know it's easier to build using a flat cut like a strat, but I think you lose a lot like this.

But I'd still probably really like this guitar.

K

22

I think that v stop piece in gold on a red guitar is pretty.

23

I doubt that the lower neck is much of a cost-cutting measure. It's not flush and would probably take just as much skill to install as a regular Jet neck. And the V-shape tail piece was never an issue for me. It seems just as cool as a V-cut Bigsby to me - and I LOVE V-cut Bigsbys.

It would be easy to see this guitar as a Gretsch Les Paul and in some ways I guess it is. But having recently got a pretty decent Les Paul I find many, many differences. The Players' Edition Jet still sounds very much like a Jet. It can get close to doing what a Les Paul can do but still sounds twangier and cluckier. It's easier to get a big fat sound out of than a Les Paul. The sound might not have quite the mass that a Les Paul can get but to me it's got more character and and versatility.

I love my Les Paul but it just doesn't twang. The new Jet is a great guitar and I think I like it better than any other Jet I've played. The Power Jets I've had - even when I put standard TV Jones Classics in them - didn't have the sparkle or sustain of this one. It's pretty much the sound I wanted to get out of my other Jets.

I would LOVE to hear one not only with Gibson PAFs, but with P90s or Dearmonds. I think it could be spectacular with Dearmonds!

24

From my experience I think a new Bigsby needs to happen, maybe a B7.1 that offers a higher exit point. Keep in mind the mod Mr. Zoom did on his SilverJet. It doesn’t have to me much different maybe just a thinner down bar.

25

Actually I have a few ideas about Bigsby mods I would like to share with Mr Proteus... The ideas i have would be a piece of cake for someone who can make amazing Tru Arc bridges.


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