Modern Gretsch Guitars

What to do with 2009 Pro Jet 5235?


Kind of up in the air on this one. I did have the guitar for sale for a while and didn't get any bites. Perhaps I paid too much at $350 w/ohsc and shipping BUT I'm thinking of hanging on to it.

The dilemma is that I don't like heavy guitars and this weighs 9lbs. while the upside is that this guitar plays SO SO GOOD that I'm afraid I'll regret selling it. Honestly it plays as well as my custom guitar that cost almost $3K.

The pickups sound like garbage and once in a while you get a slight string buzz from the bridge but other than that it really is in great condition and is a super player. It's Mahogany as well, not Basswood, and has a very nice acoustic tone/resonance.

So, upgrade the bridge (to what?) and put some Rick Hi Gain pups (sacrilege ? LOL) and have a great sit down second guitar ( I have other guitars as well) or …..??

My wife doesn't care. I told her " I'm almost thinking of keeping this guitar it plays so well" her response was…."so keep it".

Undecided……mainly because of the weight (was never a fan of heavy guitars in the Les Paul style) but…….LOL??????


Do you have any woodworking skills? The pre-2011 Pro Jets need material removed from the pickup cavities before they can accept a filtertron sized pickup. It's not that hard, and TVJ has a blog post about doing it. Lots of people on this forum over the years have reported their projects (but for that era of Jet, the forum crash has erased a lot of that information unfortunately.

I have a similar Pro Jet I started down that road on but wound up getting a 2015 Pro Jet which distracted me. The newer Jet is a breeze to upgrade pickups in - and sounds great with the Supertron neck and Magnatron bridge.

Both of my Jets, but the newer one especially - played and sounded decently right out of the box. I almost didn't upgrade the new Jet because I was having so much fun playing it. But the difference after Tru Arc, new pots/wiring, and the TVJs is substantial. I think of the Pro Jets as a great first good guitar for a new player, or after upgrades - a great guitar that you don't have to worry about as much as a $2-$3K vintage or pro-line investment.


Yeah, put some new pickups in it and rock it! I would love to hear what Ric pickups sound like in a Pro Jet. I also feel mahogany is a better sounding wood than basswood.

Can you post some pictures? It helps to get a visual.


I haven't checked yet, but from what I've read the Rick pups are a direct fit in the Pro Jet.

Which Tru Arc?

Here are some pics if I've done this correctly. Gretsch 5235 Body photo ProJet Body.jpg

Pro Jet 5235 photo Pro Jet.jpg

 photo ProJetBack1.jpg


I've tried the stainless steel and aluminum Tru-Arc Serpentunes for my Duo Jet with Dynasonics. They were both great but I'm sticking with the aluminum Serpentune. The stainless steel one brought out a solid, overall great even tone with great sustain but it wasn't quite what I was going for. I wanted more of a clear spank more on the Fender side of the tonal spectrum so the aluminum is perfect for that. The differences are very subtle though and I would have been happy with the stainless steel if that was the only option.


You can do this to it. A Bigsby B3C V cut, a pair of DeArmond 2000s (it took a year of searching to find these cheap) and a TrueArc Serpintune bridge. Tim makes one specifically for this guitar and it intonates perfectly.


I didn't like the heaviness of mine either, but I liked the way it plays and sounds so much that I got a very comfortable, padded strap, a Pete Schmidt Strap and it helped considerably.


Here's mine, with Lollar p90s (direct drop in), changed tune-o-matic, Grover statites, and home made guard.


Thanks for the info so far. It really is impressive how well this guitar plays and the resonance it has even without considering the price tag.

So if I read the chart correctly this would be a TruArc AL-120/ES1 ?

I'm thinking perhaps a Rick pup in the bridge position and some type of HB in the neck that would fit and also match pretty close in volume.

Perhaps a mini hum? Yes I can do some woodworking but would not want to enlarge the pup cavity, problem as I do have a router.


Oooo….so if P90's drop in then maybe I could do a Fralin Hum P90?

I never checked, is the tune-o-matic a standard Gibson width or the Asian Epiphone width?


So if I read the chart correctly this would be a TruArc AL-120/ES1

Yes, that's the right model bridge for your guitar. (Personally, I prefer the SS-120/ES1, but some want more twang than do I, and the ALuminum is lighter.)


Here is one of my jets refinned by Curt with Ric higains installed


Here is one of my jets refinned by Curt with Ric higains installed

– Twom

That's a purty guitar.


Close up


THis double Jet projet has T90s in it, and I replaced the saddles on the bridge with graphite saddles. I think it cost about 10 bucks for the saddles, I don't remember. I also have a '05 projet with a set of T'armonds in the soapbar mount, and a less popular roller bridge on it. The soapbar mounts seem to fit well. I did have to graft a pencil in the neck pickup slot in the '05. There was a routing for wires right where the screw on the left side of the pup wanted to bight. Pencil and wood glue is all it took. The '05 is my main gigging guitar right now.


Nice examples……!


I found the receipt for the saddles. It was 38 bucks for the graphite saddles...


I installed a very cheap roller bridge and that works for me. You can get these around 8 dollar from China. The first pickup modification were GFS NYII pickups. They sounded very good but i wanted a more modern sounding guitar so i installed Seymour Duncan P90’s. They fit without to much modification. To be honest, I had a duo jet G8128T from 2004 and I can tell you that the Chinese made Pro Jet is really a better sounding guitar and playability is equal. The duo jet was not as heavey as the Pro Jet. They are both made of mahogany and despite the better hardware of the Duo Jet there is no reason what makes the huge price difference right.

Roller bridge link:


ProJet with Bare Knuckle P90 at the neck and P90-size TV Jones Filtertron at the bridge. No routing required — just a little bit of wood as a 'bridge' for the inboard P90 fixing screws to bite into. If I ever want to sell the guitar (unlikely, since my stepkids bought it for me) I can put the original mini 'buckers back without leaving any tell-tale marks on the guitar body. The pickguard (actually silver although it looks white in the photo) is a Paul Setzer replacement — excellent.


I have an '08 5235T. It's pretty much stock with the exception of a Tru-Arc SS and straplocks. I haven't changed out pickups yet, but I'm planning on something P-90-ish. It's the only humbucker guitar that I own, so I'm not in too much of a hurry to change them. Mine's almost 10 pounds---thankfully, I play sitting down these days.


Reviving my older thread.

I played this last night at band practice. The pups are much lower output that other guitars I own but does have some jangle.

Here's a question bound to raise the hair on some. LOL

Mine even with a 2.5" strap is a bit heavy at 10 lbs. I've got my guitar gear plus PA to lug around so I really don't want to bring more than 1 electric to a gig.

This is a chambered guitar. Does anyone know how much and where it's chambered. It plays SUPER but weight is an issue so I'm giving serious consideration to planning the back and doing a tummy cut to relieve some weight and also because I wear my guitars higher than most and a squared off back digs into my ribs.

Anyone ever take a bit off the back?


Sell it and buy a guitar that suits your purposes.


I was going to do that but I received ridiculous low ball offers before anyone even played it, and it is a super player. And any other guitar would still need to be modded to fit a Rick pup in the bridge position.


I was going to do that but I received ridiculous low ball offers before anyone even played it, and it is a super player. And any other guitar would still need to be modded to fit a Rick pup in the bridge position.

– Naquat

I have a ProJet myself,and I agree with you that it really is a very fine playing guitar regardless of price.

I'll give you my car analogy, You can buy yourself a Big Ol' truck and it works great for what it is,but you wanna go fast so you add a performance chip, modify the suspension the rearend and driveline,drop in some nitrous, install bucket seats, add some racing tires..and what do you got,,a very Very expensive truck that goes almost as fast as a Chevy Corvette that you could have bought in the first place without all the headaches involved.

My ProJet sits in the garage next to a small amp that is ready for playing at any time I wish.


I thought I was a member here but it has been quite awhile so I just signed up and will update my profile soon. That said i have a 2008 Pro Jet and bought the guitar in 2009 new in the local shop. I was faced with the same concerns regarding the mini-humbucker pups which I found rather muddy and low output. I looked at options shared here and on the other Gretsch forum. After careful thought I opted for a different approach. I sent the pickups to a winder that I have bought many pups from. I gave the guy instructions to make them more clear and bump up the output. He did tell me the materials in these pickups were OK and not sub-par in any way. While I waited for the work to be done I gutted all the innards replacing everything with CTS pots, Orange caps, switchcraft jacks and 3-way quality stuff. I did notice while peeking inside this guitar was pretty hollowed out. Got curious so i weighed it last night and mine is 8 lbs a few oz's, so lighter than the OP's. Got the pickups back and noticed quite a difference for the better. I didn't have them wound too hot so they are still a bit low output compared to most of my regular Humbucker equipped guitars. The other upgrades played into this some but I feel for around 50 bucks a pickup this was a very wise and satisfactory investment. I would recommend considering this option. There are some reputable winder and pickup guys that would perform such a service, perhaps ask around and I could share who did mine. I do enjoy this guitar, it is so resonate seems like I can feel the top vibrations while playing and I am getting such a nice tone plugged in. I really don't see me parting with it. Good luck on whatever path you choose.

Register Sign in to join the conversation