Modern Gretsch Guitars

NGD! “Used” 2017 1953 Duo Jet RI

1

I played two of these at Sam Ash a couple weeks ago and was very impressed by both. They were within an ounce of the same weight and played equally well. I saw this one at The Music Zoo on Long Island, made a deal for the price over the phone, and picked it up in person. The OK card is dated September 4; the plastic was still on the pick guard and the strings showed no signs of having been played.

I put a set of DR Pure Blues .011s on it and they intonated well, with only the D string requiring a little filing of the aluminum bridge and nut slot (the latter for tuning stability only). I think it looks better without the pick guard, and it’s superfluous anyway. The strings are 3/4” above the body, so there’s no chance of hitting the finish while playing.

It’s an absolutely top-notch instrument. I set it up with .009” of relief and action at 4/64” (a hair higher on the bass side) and it doesn’t buzz anywhere. The nut, unlike every other new guitar, is not cut too high at all, so the lower frets are in tune and it takes a capo well. It stayed in tune through a three-and-a-half-hour practice with plenty of Bigsby abuse and sounded glorious throughout. Jazz chords and aggressive rock solos sounded equally good. A Blackstone Appliances MOSFET overdrive sounded terrific in all pickup positions. The TV Jones pickups are lush, loud, and virtually noise-free; you have to try to find a spot to stand to bring out the 60-cycle hum, even on the same circuit as fluorescent lights, a computer, and a space heater. The treble-bleed circuit functions exactly as intended. I used the master volume a lot as a result. I also found that the pickups responded incredibly well to right-hand attack, and that I could easily go from rhythm to lead levels without using the master volume on a lot of songs.

The pickups, greater body depth (2” instead of 1.75”), lack of first fret block marker, and script logo are the only things that distinguish this from a 1955 model. The fret marker doesn’t matter one way or the other, but the other features do; the logo is classy and understated, and the body/pickup combo really enhances the overall liveliness of the guitar, especially the bass response.

I’m very, very happy with this guitar. I don’t think I would be willing to pay the asking price for a new one, but that’s just me. Highly recommended!

This photo is from the Music Zoo, pre-purchase.

2

Here it is in its new home, sans pick guard.

4

Looks great; now you only need a Duane Eddy handle on the Bigsby.

5

Ooooh...Ahhhh.

7

Sweet ax! Play 'er in good health!

8

Congrats seadevil,classy geet sir!

9

These are absolutely beautiful !

11

Congratulations, that is a killer!!! I think I'm going over to the Music Zoo tomorrow to look at their Eastman semi-hollow bodies and the LP style SB59 and goof on a few Gretsches. I see they have an Aspen green G5420t!

12

Looks great; now you only need a Duane Eddy handle on the Bigsby.

– lx

Maybe a “Vintage handle assembly, narrow” instead.

13

Congratulations, that is a killer!!! I think I'm going over to the Music Zoo tomorrow to look at their Eastman semi-hollow bodies and the LP style SB59 and goof on a few Gretsches. I see they have an Aspen green G5420t!

– NJDevil

If you do, play the Swart!

14

That’s a great guitar, many congratulations! It has ALL the right appointments.

15

Beautiful guitar, congrats! It's one of my favorite Gretsch models. The different body routing makes a difference in the VS Jets, IMHO. I made mine a little more vintage "accurate" with a bridge and Bigsby arm change.

16

I had my eyes on these but ended up with a CS jet. Mine has the SD pups but I think I prefer the TArmonds, which come on those vintage select models. Hard to tell cause the TArmonds are on my DSW, so not an exact comparison.

I concur with recommendations for the "vintage arm". It looks right and is the most comfortable - at least for my style. Anyhow, congrats that is simply awesome!!!

17

I have that arm on a Duo Jet/Tele hybrid I put together and I concur. Ergonomic and pleasing to the eye! Maybe in a week or so.

Meanwhile, I put the pick guard back on, and I think it’s going to stay.

18

Very cool, beautiful guitar. How would you describe the neck shape?

19

Very nice, congrats! One of my bucket-list Jets. I'm also curious about the neck shape.

20

The neck is a fairly substantial C shape with relatively little shoulder. It seems to be about .85” at the first fret and .95” at the 12th. It doesn’t feel big or small; it’s just there.


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