Modern Gretsch Guitars

Well, they went and did it (Sparkle Jet 2021)

26

I think I remember there being multiple sparkle Jets in the line when I started paying close attention in 2005: gold, green, and the blue pearloid at least, if not also red. I don't know whether those were all left over from the FG era - maybe re-worked as possible for FMIC-ier specs - or whether FMIC retained the lineup for a few years. Maybe Rob has catalogs which would help clarify.

27

I know there was at least one special run of red sparkle, only 70-some made. Someone on the other Gretsch forum owns one.

28

There were a line of different sparkle guitars up to about four years ago, I assume they just weren’t popular. They were always on the gretsch website. They all had the filtertron/mud switch setup and came in gold, green, silver and the pearl finish. This was when they also had the 57 silver jet reissue, which I had.

29

I have one! Joe C. told me there were only 50 made total. It is a great playing and sounding guitar.

30

I have one! Joe C. told me there were only 50 made total. It is a great playing and sounding guitar.

– Hoot Owl

Nice. Congrats

31

That sure is a pretty Red Sparkle Jet, Hoot Owl! It's the only Sparkle Jet that I long for. I hope that they run out a few more of these beauties. I'd break the "no new guitars" moratorium in a heartbeat!

32

Yep, that's the one I should have gotten.

33

I believe the red sparkle, along with the George Harrison, were the only two at the time to have the 2” body depth before the VS line came out

34

My 12 year old daughter told me the other day that 1990s nostalgia is in. This is a marketing decision to capitalize on that. Chris Cornell is the player these are a tribute model for without his name attached. I’m happy as a Gretsch guitar enthusiast that they decided to build these with good specs while only aesthetically appearing like the 1989 Jets.

35

According to UPS, my gold sparkle '89 "Cornell" jet will be here tomorrow.

Bought it because I wanted a Jet that wasn't black or silver, had the "right" Bigsby on it, and had the pickups I wanted. Less than $2,400 shipped, which I considered a deal. I like Soundgarden, but that wasn't a factor for me.

According to the Fender guy I spoke to last week, it should be one of the first off the boat...

Will post more when I actually get it, but if there is anything anyone wants to know, drop a comment in this thread and I'll try to accomodate!

36

So...you went and did it!

I heartily approve, and look forward to the pictographic evidence, and your impressions and overall review.

37

I think the weight will be the most interesting factor for me. Congrats! Great guitar!

38

in the words of the great Muddy Waters, "well, well, well."

39

It's here! Nothing fancy here, standard TKL case, standard Gretsch "paperwork."

40

...this pic is with the flash in an attempt to show the "real" color. Most of the online stuff (Gretsch website, GC, etc.) makes it look like an Orange sparkle, but it is definitely more Gold in real person...

41

...I could find only one thing wrong with the guitar, some sort of scratch around fret 12. Everything else looks / feels perfect, no sharp frets, everything is clean and setup fairly well. I think there is a plastic cover on the pickguard, but damned if I can get it off...

42

...and I don't know if this jack is "standard" on these models, but I think it is especially slick.

43

I don't have a proper scale for this, and the bathroom scale was useless in this endeavor... but my first thought was that it was lighter than I expected. Compared to a few other guitars...

  • VS89 vs. Gibson LP Classic: VS89 feels lighter

  • VS89 vs. Gibson LP Special: About the same

  • VS89 vs. Fender Telecaster Nashville: VS89 feels lighter

44

Gorgeous!! WANT!!!

I think the scratch would bother me, it's supposed to be NEW, right? If I had bought it used (for a lower price), it wouldn't bother me at all... but NEW? Should be flawless.

45

Pluggin it in and playing it, my first impressions are that, sonically, it fits right exactly where I wanted it to fit, between my 6120 and a Les Paul. The cleans are extra chimey and it (almost) gets as dirty as the LP Classic. Its definitely darker sounding than my '03 6120 (regular FMIC FIlters) but I suppose that should be expected.

It pairs especially well with my Fender Princeton Reverb and with my Peavey Classic 410 stack. It does not pair as well (Caveat: I have yet to tweak stuff yet) with the Marshall Origin 50. Through the Marshall, cleans are ice-picky and distorted sounds are a mess. I'm honestly surprised.

Sounds great with my three OD's / Distortions: TS-9DX, OCD, and Rat. In fact, it is probably the best guitar so far that I've heard through the Rat, a pedal I've had a love/hate relationship with since I bought it 25 years ago...

I found the "middle" and bridge positions to be best for cleans, with neck the hands-down winner for overdriven tones. In fact, though the "middle" was usable, the bridge pickup seemed to be complete mush when used with anything but the clean channel.

I'm going to play with it some more and see if any of my opinions change!

46

Gorgeous!! WANT!!!

I think the scratch would bother me, it's supposed to be NEW, right? If I had bought it used (for a lower price), it wouldn't bother me at all... but NEW? Should be flawless.

– ruger9

AGREE. They'll be getting an email (and I'll be expecting some sort of refund). Its kinda weird as it isn't really a scratch that you can feel!

47

" sonically, it fits right exactly where I wanted it to fit, between my 6120 and a Les Paul."

Stop! Stop! I can't hear yooooooo. lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala

48

That guitar checks all the boxes! Congratulations! I claim first dibs if you ever want to sell it!

49

...this pic is with the flash in an attempt to show the "real" color. Most of the online stuff (Gretsch website, GC, etc.) makes it look like an Orange sparkle, but it is definitely more Gold in real person...

– Berry

You know, I always wanted a RED sparkle... but I could definitely get behind that gold!! (silver is a non-starter with me)

50

A day later, a few more observations...

The area under the neck was pretty rough (looks like it was only rough sanded) so I fixed myself with a plastic knife as best I could. There was also a bit of glue (or something) on the top; it's a fairly sloppy job if you ask me...

The action is a little high but it looks like the pickups are at the right distance (7/32 neck, 5/32 bridge) but from what I'm hearing, the bridge pup seems too close to the strings. I'm going to see if lowering the bridge height a hair and the bridge pup a little bit more improves the sound any. Right now, the bridge pup sounds like it is being run thru a mud-switch. Cleans are fine but any kind of dirt turns the tone to s***.

Lastly, the serial number on mine dates to November 2020 which would be a full 2 months before these models were even announced, and a full 6 months before they were even available. The box it shipped in was pretty beat up and obviously re-sealed so I'm guessing this one might have been an early camera model or something, especially considering the damage.


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