Other Guitars

Starting a new build


(Already posted word-for-word on the TDPRI)

This is going to be a great guitar. Fully hollow mahogany body (no center block, just a bit of wood around the pickups and under the Bigsby) with 1/4" maple cap, 4-ply binding, and a custom pickguard of my own design (beveled clear with silver painted back). Other unique features are the Rutters control plate with angled switch and the narrow vintage Bigsby handle. It will probably have Gretsch strap buttons as well, but that's a ridiculously minor point. The pickups will be a Duncan Broadcaster and a TV Jones T-Armond in a soapbar mount.

In case it's not obvious, this is essentially a combination of features from the early Gretsch Duo-Jet and a standard Tele body shape. I've been thinking about this for a very long time. Alex Crane will be making the body and I will do all of the finishing and assembly myself. I may just take a neck from another guitar for now, but I will eventually get a mahogany and ebony Musikraft neck with a compound radius and a "Fat C" profile.


That's going to be sweet! Suggestions on the guard: Take it a step further in the Jet realm by using the teardrop shape that hugs the pickup(notched) and goes down into the switch plate but is cut out around it. Your guard idea does look good though.


Can't wait to see it! I've been lusting for a Tele' for a while. Why hollow, if you don't mind me asking?


Great project! Looking forward to seeing it step by step.


Why hollow? like it! I have four solid-body Teles already, and one that's heavily chambered, and I wanted one that would be constructed like the old Duo-Jets and Silver Jets. The x-rays of Billy Zoom's Jet were a major inspiration.


Very Impressive! Should be a tone monster! Great idea8-)!


i really like the way you pick up the Gretsch elements without doing the kind of obvious Bright Orange Guitar thing that folks usually do when carrying the Gretsch vibe into other designs. very subtle and effective. i'd keep your original pickguard design for this reason; better not to club people over the head with the Jet stuff, i think.

now you've got me thinking about this idea sans Bigsby as an idealized thinline Tele alternative. i'll bet that a version strung through the body would have sustain on the bass strings for DAYS.


I've often thought it odd that very dense solid bodies and totally hollow bodies are both very conducive to sustain, albeit in different ways.

Anyway, I think that these pickups will get along well together. The hollow body should add a nice "thunk" to the sound.


I like the Rutters angled switch. I always bend my Tele switches down and put a strat tip on them because otherwise you can hardly get at them when they are in the bridge position.

One thing you should think about is that your pots will not be matched well to both pick ups. The Bridge would need a 250k and I like 500k for P90s. If you use 250k the P90 will sound a little dark and be a big difference in sound from the bridge pu. And if you use 500k the bridge would be pretty bright. I think there is a way to make the P90 a bit brighter, with a cap. But would have to look it up again.

Edit: Oops sorry. See below......


He said the neck is a t'armond in a soapbar mount. don't they play nice with 250k pots?

I really like the pickguard too.


Ah yes, you're right. Ha, sorry about that. Don't mind me.... It's early and last night was late.......8-)

I'm just very P90 oriented and built a Tele with P90s. So anything rectangular is a P90 to me.......:D


No worries. BZ argues that they are almost the same anyway.


Ha ha, yes and I don't agree with him there........


Me neither. But I love 'em both. Filters too. And HiLos as well.


Yes, I love them both too. And yes filters as well. HiLos not so..... But P90s really are my favourites. I'd put them in everything if I could. Even in my coffee......:D


Just don't dare put them in that Jet in your avatar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The lines are nice. The pickguard compliments the shape. The more I look at it, the more I like it.


The pickguard embodies the 1950s Jetsons kidney-shaped coffee-table aesthetic, which works well with a Tele. A bit reminiscent of a reverse Firebird, also.


Love it! That's one of the most tasteful Fender/Gretsch mashups I've seen.

Danman - I used to put P-90s in my coffee, but the extra fat gave me diabetes. :|


Agree about the pickguard. The idea of a teardrop is a good one, but the way it would need to be shaped to the plate would make it look like a bit of a strained reference. This one is lovely as it integrates with the lines of the body and enhances them. Looks plenty Jetty and yet it's own thing. A Jet shaped headstock might be another way to go. Maybe a scripty logo?

Regardless, really nice vision here. It's gonna be a great instrument, an original twist on two great traditions.

Once this one is done, how about a sparkle-tele-dyna-jet!


With having the control plate arranged like a traditional tele, particularly given that the pickup selector switch is angled, don't you think that could become problematic with the Bigsby? Those tele switches are pretty tall. I think it would work better if you reversed the control plate to have the pickup selector towards the lower bout and volume and tone knobs under the Bigsby arm's arc....


Love it! That's one of the most tasteful Fender/Gretsch mashups I've seen.

Danman - I used to put P-90s in my coffee, but the extra fat gave me diabetes. :|

– Dignan

Love it! That's one of the most tasteful Fender/Gretsch mashups I've seen.

Danman - I used to put P-90s in my coffee, but the extra fat gave me diabetes. :|

– dignan

Really? But it's the best kind of saturated fat you can get.......:D

Register Sign in to join the conversation