Modern Gretsch Guitars

Looking for 89-94 Gold sparkle jet

1

Long time reader but I've decided to finally register and post. I had always wanted a Sparkle Jet because I have been a huge Sound Garden fan and one of my favorite albums of all time was SuperUnknown. Anyways I always wanted a gold sparkle with Bigsby or fixed bridge made from 89-94, you know with the horseshoe on the headstock with the big percoid fret markers. I understand these were made in Japan and I just picked up a SilverJet from 90. I got to say it is amazing. Were the gold sparkles common from this era? Will I have any luck finding one from this era, also if this is inappropriate mods please delete.

2

Welcome!

Since you've been a longtime lurker, you should be familiar with the term "Pics or it never happened"!!!

I'm a massive Soundgarden fan as well, and especially Superunknown. Gold Sparkle Jets are pretty rare but not super unknown (see what I did there?) to be found, and very occasionally see them on reverb, ebay, gbase,...the typical places.

Good luck finding it.

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I'm a little surprised gold sparkle isn't a regular option....

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Gold comes up occasionally, however you'll probably see more FMIC gold sparkle jets than pre-FMIC. Good luck on the hunt!

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BIG Soundgarden fan here (been listening to them since the "Louder Than Love" album was released, and I saw them live when they were opening for Skid Row, and touring for the "Bad Motorfinger" album) - I knew that Chris Cornell played Jets, but I didn't know that he was already playing them in 1993, when the "Superunknown" album as released. I thought he was still playing those slimmer Les Pauls (I forgot what the model name was) was with the gut cuts on the back of the body. Still, in retrospect, it does make sense, since none of the guitar tones sound overtly like a Les Paul.

Good luck in finding a pre-FMIC Gold Sparkle Jet. Like a lot of pre-FMIC Gretsches, those aren't very common on the ground.

6

Before FMIC came in and rationalized product offerings (which they do on an ongoing basis, come to think of it), sparkle Jets came in ever so many freez-pop flavors.

But "modern" Jets (FMIC 2003-present) do have a menu of refinements and tweaks to the Jet formula, small and large, that add up to guitars that are closer to vintage spec in build, with more chambering, less weight, better pickups (to most ears), and more traditionally Gretsch cosmetic appointments.

Which is not to say there's anything wrong with pre-FMIC Jets. They're still distinctively what they are, and nobody's Les Paul. Just that it wouldn't be wrong of you to try examples of all series to see if you markedly prefer the tone, feel, and playability of one over the other.

Because - and this is the roundabout point of this post - bear in mind that if the gold sparkle is the primary aesthetic driver of your passion (and not the other cosmetic differences from current practice), you can pretty affordably have the silver top of any Jet oversprayed with a transparent to get any color you want. The results look great, indistinguishable from factory work.

A thing to keep in mind if you have trouble finding this particular unicorn.

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Chris Cornell with one of a couple Jets he's played. This one's in the Black Hole Sun video.


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