Modern Gretsch Guitars

Pro” vs. “Special”?

1

I just saw a guitar I really like the look of; an Electromatic Special Jet with D'Armond 2000s. I can't find one, but I did find an Electromatic PRO Jet, that looks very similar.

Anybody know the diff? Physically, the only diff I can see is the pickups seem to have mounting rings instead of being screwed right to the body.

Also...I wouldn't want to get stuck with 2K pickups...I'm dedicated to 2000s. Anybody know if these models ever came with 2k's.

Does anybody know how to tell the difference without looking underneath?

2

I believe "Special" in the Jet domain has, at least in the modern era, denoted something like it does in the Les Paul lineage: a more basic/stripped-down version of the build, sometimes (but not always) with different pickups than the rest of the line, and - someone check me on this - at least sometimes a bolt-on neck rather than set. (At the moment the entry-level Jet is the Jet Club, with Broad'Tron/Gretschbuckers and bolt-neck.)

I don't remember there being an Electromatic Jet with full-on Dynasonics 2000s. I think I do recall one with 2Ks. But that would have been over 10 years ago. As I recall it, the Electromatic Pro Jet, so designated, went from having the Gretsch mini-buckers (routed into the tops) to getting blacktops.

On the pre-2014 Jet (and earlier Synchromatic) models, I'd always want to see front and back of the guitar to know whether it was set or bolt neck. There's probably a magic decoder ring (and Tartan Phantom probably has it), but I'd just take the practical approach of looking.

I would think that between used/aftermarket Dynas, TV Jones' offerings, and devoted ingenuity, there would be a way to get 2000-sounding pickups onto any Jet - though they may not look like conventional 2000s.

3

Special Jets, G525X series, are Electromatic flat top solid bodies with DeArmond 2000 pickups. Others had mini humbuckers. Three different colors. As Proteus said, they're very LP, Jr.-ish. Early Pro Jets have carved tops, semi solid, and usually had mini humbuckers. Later Pros had blacktop pickups.

4

Special Jets, G525X series, are Electromatic solid bodies with DeArmond 2000 pickups. Three different colors.

When were those? They're not in the line now. Got pics or references anywhere? Not arguing, I just don't remember them.

6

Man, that's killer. Mahogany slab Gretsch Special with Dynas! Gotta have snarl for days. Was I asleep or something?

Are they bolt-on, though?

8

Wow. Never seen this special Jet before, but now I‘m looking!

9

Gretsch G5259 Electromatic Special Jet. I‘m afraid they‘re pretty hard to get, at least in europe. Found this video, this guy put a Bigsby on it:

10

Not Dynas, Tim. DeArmond 2000's... the modern ones that were on the 512x series. You know the ones-- always being confused with the DeArmond 2K's-- which were similar in appearance but different in tone-- The 2K's were found on the DeArmond guitars of the early 2000's.

Here's an example in the database.

11

I thought those WERE 2Ks on the early Electros - and 2000 was the actual number for vintage Dynas.

Gotta wait for BZ to jump in and yell at me for forgetting again. He has (and you probably have - and shoot, I probably have) the pic of a DeArmond magazine ad showing it as a ... 200? Or 2000?

ANYway, Dynasonic greatest pickup known to man. 2000 (if that what was on 512x series) nice pickup, but not greatest pickup known to man. Crisp and clean and with a bit of gnarl - but not as authoritative as Dyna.

I had those on my first Gretsch hollerbody, and they’re not enough pickup to squeeze the juice out of a mahogany plank. Special Jet still great idea, but needs more pickup than that Dynalite thing, whatever its number.

Guess we need a disambiguation stickie on Dynasonics, 2Ks, and 2000s.

12

Special Jets, G525X series, are Electromatic solid bodies with DeArmond 2000 pickups. Three different colors.

When were those? They're not in the line now. Got pics or references anywhere? Not arguing, I just don't remember them.

– Proteus

In the data base here on the GDP. To be honest, I'd swap my Pro Jet for one of those (the wine red especially) as it'd be a whole lot better on my back, and I really like the 2000s.

13

I've got a burst 5259. Great little guitar. Definitely wouldn't swap for a Pro-jet.

14

i've had the hots for a red Special Jet for ages...i just missed them when they were current. i love mahogany slab guitars above all other electrics, so it would be right up my street.

15

Theres locally for sale the 2nd version of the guitar. Has bolt on neck and Mini HBs. Otherwise its the same guitar. The Mini HBs have same diameter like soapbar P90 and Dearmond 2000s or Dearmond 2Ks.

16

I've got a burst 5259. Great little guitar. Definitely wouldn't swap for a Pro-jet.

– NJBob

Couldn't find a Special Jet when I got my Pro. Nothing wrong with the Pro Jet, but the 10 pounds is a killer on an old man's back.

17

It seems to me that these guitars were part of the "Historic Series" guitars that were accepted from many Asian manufactures and almost anything got on the list. Mostly good ideas, but some were not. Be careful.

Lee

18

It seems to me that these guitars were part of the "Historic Series" guitars that were accepted from many Asian manufactures and almost anything got on the list. Mostly good ideas, but some were not. Be careful.

Lee

– Lee Erickson

Which models were ‘not’?

19

Mahogany, Dynas, wraptail, 2 knobs... That there is rock and roll.

20

Guess we need a disambiguation stickie on Dynasonics, 2Ks, and 2000s. Proteus

You are partially correct, Tim. The original DeArmonds were the 2000s. Gretsch came up with the name Dynasonic.

In the 1990s, Fender decided to make DeArmond guitars to be the Epiphone to Fender's Guild. (How's that for a metaphor). A Dynasonic type would cost more than the rest of the guitar so they made a look-alike, made like a P90. They called it a 2K. The reviews were by and large positive. At this time, no one had any DeArmond style unless it was S. Duncan's custom shop.

Then Gretsch came a-calling (remember we are still in the '90s so it is before any relationship) and asked if they could use it on some guitars they were going to release (the historic series). Fender pointed out that the pickups did not have That Great Gretsch Sound and indicated that their designers had come up with another version that was closer to the DeArmond sound. They called it the 2000, No, not the original 2000 that some have even erroneously called the 200, but a totally new 2000. Gretsch started putting them on a lot of guitars. They put them on the Historics, they put them on these, then they started putting them on the 512X series.

Along the way, Guild started putting them on some guitars, most notably the X-160 Rockabilly and Fender put them on a mahogany Telecaster whose name escapes me. I think that one was a rare 24.75" scale Fender but I may be confusing that with another.

So yes, the originals were the DeArmond 2000.

These are also the DeArmond 2000, even tho' they're different.

And they are different still from the DeArmond 2K which, of course, stands for 2000.

EDIT:

I did some searching and found an old post from the Fender Discussion Page: http://www.fenderforum.com/...

Here is the real story from Bill Turner, the designer of the 2K and the newer 2000 pickups for Fender.

Ranger,

Here`s the story.

The De Armond 2K and 2000 are wholly different animals. The 2K is configured like a P-90. Marketing wanted to create a jazz style pickup for the DeArmond guitars, and wanted to use the 2000 format. Personally, I would have liked to seen us release a RI 2000 to the market on a MIA guitar initially. This would have avoided some of the confusion that now exists between the models.

The De Armond guitar line took priority, and that meant that the 2K was developed first. There were no plans from marketing at the time to further develop the 2000.

As the 2k model began to come together, I and a good friend in R&D went ahead and designed parts for the 2000, and added these to the final set of drawings. Although there were no plans to use the parts that were designed for the 2000, they would be there when the time came.

The opportunity came last year when Gretsch approached Fender about using the 2K on thier guitars. Gretsch assumed that the pickup we were making for De Armond was a 2000 type model, and yes, it looks like one, but we knew that the 2K would not compliment the original Gretsch sound. This gave us the chance to to push for the production of the 2000 and deliver it to Gretsch in the original 2000 config. The distiguishing feature for the Gretsch`s is that the 2000 does not sport the De Armond logo.

As we began to produce the 2000, interest grew to include the Guild Custom Shop, The Fender Custom Shop, and Guild guitars. So far, the exposure for the 2000 has been limited, but we are trying to expand it`s role on the guitar.

As I said, the 2K is configured like a P-90. The pole pieces and pole adjust screws are steel. The poles extend through the bobbin where they are trapped between a pair of like pole Alnico 5 bar magnets. The bobbin is surrounded by a thin steel U channel from below the bobbin to enhance the pickups inductance.

DC resistance: 7.4K Inductance: 6 Henries 43 gage magnet wire

The sound is like a P-90, in that it is a very fat single coil, but not quite as heavy as a P-90.

The 2000 uses only 1/4 inch Alnico 5 pole pieces in the bobbin, the sound is bright with that great rockabilly snap.

DC resistance: 8.85K Inductance: 3.55 Henries 44 gage magnet wire

Bill Turner - Fender R&D USA

21

That clears the waters completely.

I knew all that chronology, but had forgotten there were two versions of 2000s geez. Where were the head examiners when they were needed?

I guess there's the DA-FT2000D-AHtGDS(oTA)-ANS (the DeArmond Fideli-Tone 2000-Derived Actual Honest-to-Gawd DynaSonic (or T-Armond) Accept No Subtitute, and then everything else (Modern 2000 and 2K). (Which are substitutes, however nice they may be. Nice. That's the word. Real DynaSonics are not "nice.")

Just be careful out there.

22

Guess we need a disambiguation stickie on Dynasonics, 2Ks, and 2000s. Proteus

You are partially correct, Tim. The original DeArmonds were the 2000s. Gretsch came up with the name Dynasonic.

In the 1990s, Fender decided to make DeArmond guitars to be the Epiphone to Fender's Guild. (How's that for a metaphor). A Dynasonic type would cost more than the rest of the guitar so they made a look-alike, made like a P90. They called it a 2K. The reviews were by and large positive. At this time, no one had any DeArmond style unless it was S. Duncan's custom shop.

Then Gretsch came a-calling (remember we are still in the '90s so it is before any relationship) and asked if they could use it on some guitars they were going to release (the historic series). Fender pointed out that the pickups did not have That Great Gretsch Sound and indicated that their designers had come up with another version that was closer to the DeArmond sound. They called it the 2000, No, not the original 2000 that some have even erroneously called the 200, but a totally new 2000. Gretsch started putting them on a lot of guitars. They put them on the Historics, they put them on these, then they started putting them on the 512X series.

Along the way, Guild started putting them on some guitars, most notably the X-160 Rockabilly and Fender put them on a mahogany Telecaster whose name escapes me. I think that one was a rare 24.75" scale Fender but I may be confusing that with another.

So yes, the originals were the DeArmond 2000.

These are also the DeArmond 2000, even tho' they're different.

And they are different still from the DeArmond 2K which, of course, stands for 2000.

EDIT:

I did some searching and found an old post from the Fender Discussion Page: http://www.fenderforum.com/...

Here is the real story from Bill Turner, the designer of the 2K and the newer 2000 pickups for Fender.

Ranger,

Here`s the story.

The De Armond 2K and 2000 are wholly different animals. The 2K is configured like a P-90. Marketing wanted to create a jazz style pickup for the DeArmond guitars, and wanted to use the 2000 format. Personally, I would have liked to seen us release a RI 2000 to the market on a MIA guitar initially. This would have avoided some of the confusion that now exists between the models.

The De Armond guitar line took priority, and that meant that the 2K was developed first. There were no plans from marketing at the time to further develop the 2000.

As the 2k model began to come together, I and a good friend in R&D went ahead and designed parts for the 2000, and added these to the final set of drawings. Although there were no plans to use the parts that were designed for the 2000, they would be there when the time came.

The opportunity came last year when Gretsch approached Fender about using the 2K on thier guitars. Gretsch assumed that the pickup we were making for De Armond was a 2000 type model, and yes, it looks like one, but we knew that the 2K would not compliment the original Gretsch sound. This gave us the chance to to push for the production of the 2000 and deliver it to Gretsch in the original 2000 config. The distiguishing feature for the Gretsch`s is that the 2000 does not sport the De Armond logo.

As we began to produce the 2000, interest grew to include the Guild Custom Shop, The Fender Custom Shop, and Guild guitars. So far, the exposure for the 2000 has been limited, but we are trying to expand it`s role on the guitar.

As I said, the 2K is configured like a P-90. The pole pieces and pole adjust screws are steel. The poles extend through the bobbin where they are trapped between a pair of like pole Alnico 5 bar magnets. The bobbin is surrounded by a thin steel U channel from below the bobbin to enhance the pickups inductance.

DC resistance: 7.4K Inductance: 6 Henries 43 gage magnet wire

The sound is like a P-90, in that it is a very fat single coil, but not quite as heavy as a P-90.

The 2000 uses only 1/4 inch Alnico 5 pole pieces in the bobbin, the sound is bright with that great rockabilly snap.

DC resistance: 8.85K Inductance: 3.55 Henries 44 gage magnet wire

Bill Turner - Fender R&D USA

– Don Birchett

Don, several years ago, you reprinted a post from Fender's Bill Turner regarding the history behind the differences of the two pickups. I saved it, and will re-post it here, with your permission-- it really clears up the confusion between the modern DeArmond 2000 and the DeArmond 2K models.

In the meantime-- here's a pic I've had for years-- I also have about 15 detailed pictures of both the 2000 & 2K in disassembled state to show the distinct internal differences.

Top left-- DeArmond 2K, Top right-- DeArmond 2000, and Bottom-- modern Tokiwa-made Dynasonic. (yes, I know that the original DeArmond Dynasonic was THE first model 2000, and later erroneously called the 200)

23

Dang it Don! I was just about to post that, and while posting about asking permission to reprint that, YOU went back and edited and included it!

24

Dang it Don! I was just about to post that, and while posting about asking permission to reprint that, YOU went back and edited and included it!

– Tartan Phantom

Well, evidently fine minds think alike. And evidently, so do ours.

25

The 2ks have the word DeArmond etched on the side; on the 2000s it's underneath.


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