Modern Gretsch Guitars

Opinions wanted: Vintage Select ‘53 Duo-Jet w/ Bigsby and T-Armonds


I just purchased this very same guitar. My first recent production Gretsch. I was surprised at the how the TV-Armonds sounded with my otherwise clean-machine Bandmaster reverb amp, more bite and gain than I anticipated, but a more raw growl. Cleaner in the Deluxe Reverb. The guitar is very light in weight and is freeking beautiful. A lot of money for me (got mine second hand for $1750 shipped) but it is reasonably priced I suppose for what new guitars cost these days. Quality wise I think it is a hit, no complaints. Best wishes regardless


A duo Jet with Dyna's and a scripty logo? Where could you go wrong?


Number one guitar on my GAS list is a '53 Scripty Jet Reissue.


i don't love big block inlays, but i certainly wouldn't throw it out of bed for eating crackers.


Wanted a Jet with a “real” Bigsby, rosewood, bone but and single coils (T’Armonds should be really nice). The Black is growing on me. Can’t wait delivery is 3 weeks out). I like the ‘53 mojo as well though I was born in ‘61 (lol). I like the script logo and the inlays work well enough for me (period correct, except for the Bigsby and I think the reissue neck is better than the vintage neck).


I'm still absolutely delighted with mine about two years in. Looks great, sounds great, easy to play. Not only one of the best guitars I've ever owned, but one of the best I've ever played.

I only played two before I bought mine, so my sample set is very small, but I thought they were very consistent from one example to the next. They're hollower than most Jets and 1/4" thicker than all other Jets, so the weight seems to vary only by a few ounces. Timbre and attack don't vary that much either, although it's hard to say how much of that is attributable to set-up as opposed to intrinsic properties. And of course they're black on the front, so only the back, sides, and headstock can look different. That makes it a pretty safe guitar to order without a chance to see and play it in person first.

The pickups are full, clear, and a little loud, but I don't hear them as particularly aggressive. There's a lot of low end, though, and some amps will turn that into dirt at fairly low settings. They have a wide dynamic range. Riding just at the edge of breakup yields very satisfying and controllable results if that's your thing.


Is there a standardized neck shape/depth and nut width? I've been coveting a VS''s what inspired me to join GDP.


Seadevil gets it, and that thin top, floating from the back is very unique tone-wise. I won’t part with mine, with a full aluminum Embie, 3-ply pickguard, and hard T-A mounting shims, formed to the top :)


It sounds bigger than it is.

The nut on mine is 1 21/32", and the neck is ever so slightly on the beefy side, but nowhere near a baseball bat. No V at all, a modicum of shoulder. The best way to put it is that you will never, ever even think about what size or shape it is unless you normally play a Nocaster or a Charvel.


I very nearly bought one of those. I was tossing up between it and the '59VS and the '59 won. Things I like about both of these guitars are the colour schemes (the 'guards are white rather than silver, the headstocks are brown, etc) and especially the extra hollowness. It really makes a difference.

And I would still love to try a '53VS. I think it would be an incredible guitar judging by my '59.


Thanks, seadevil ! A local shop got one in today so I can finally try it out...heading over today...wish me luck. I may soon own my first Gretsch.


I've had my '53 reissue for several months. I was initially going to get a regular modern duo jet but I started to really like the dynasonic pickups over the filtertron. When a '53 came up on reverb, I snatched it up. I was disappointed a bit in the beefy vintage neck initially but then fell in love with it. The tuning stability solid. Everything feels like you can depend on it. I love the fidelity of the pickup when clean. My guitar was way mellower than the other guitarist in my band and he had a strat but a lot of that could be what was in the signal chain. Its a little unnerving at first to move the bridge to intone it but it worked out and intonation has been pretty good. overall, its been the perfect guitar for me.


This 53 reissue is calling to me. I haven't had a chance to try one yet, but I'd sure like to.

Beautiful guitar.


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