Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Did the body size of Jets change?

1

I’m working on a rescue Silver Jet, and notice the width of the lower bought on my 55 is slightly smaller than this one. While I know these were hand sanded, this appears to be intentionally (not over or under sanded) the size it is.

So does anyone know or have a couple of different year jets to measure? I’m interested in 55, 56 and 57 but might be fun for 58-60 too.

2

What year is the Silver Jet Joe? I have a '53 and '59 and can check the width later tonight.

3

Not sure Ed. The Label was gone (and so much more). But its a 54-57 Dyna body.

If the width did change, it might be another way to determine the year etc. Similar to 6120 etc.

I'll start a new post on the Silver Jet project…if you want to call it that..

4

Joe... were you comparing widths using your ‘55 6121? I’m just wondering if the addition of leather trim on the edges might affect that metric? Now that I think about it I can compare my ‘53 and ‘59 Jets spec to my ‘55-57 6121 spec as well.

5

just the back or front side, so the leather doesn't come in to play.

6

So far, here is the widths of the jets at the lower bouts:

1955 6121 = 13 5/16" 195x Silver Jet = 13 9/16" strong (almost 13 5/8)

Once we have more data, I may be able to date the Silver Jet to a specific year within the 54-57 range.

7

Can I get a few of you to measure the body width of your jet and list year and size?

8

56 Jet Firebird (s/n 20xxx) - 13 1/2''

Measurement taken on the back side as the Bigsby is in the way on the front side.

9

I think your Silver Jet may be a '54-'56 example due to the dovetail joint. I got to try a Jet from the Harrison batch 211xx with humpblocks and it had (CS photos should confirm this) the later mortise/tenon joint. My own '57 (model, not calendar year, thanks Ed) Jet from the 217xx batch after Harrison's has the mortise/tenon joint. FWIW the bottom bout comes in at 13 3/8".

I've got to say I've seen many abused Gretsches (my Duo Jet being one) but your Silver Jet takes the "prize." Who are these monsters who pillage and abuse guitars? You did a great and methodical job of fixing her up and good luck with carving her the perfect neck. I'd go with the earlier "pointy" headstock, but that's just me. Looking forward to seeing the final work and hope yours is the Jet of your dreams as mine is to me.

10

So we have

1955 6121 = 13- 5/16

1956 Firebird = 13- 1/2

Unknown = 13- 9/16

1957 (tenon) 13- 3/8

Would be great to get a few more

11

Hi Joe, sorry I am late to this.

Both my '58 Jet Firebird and my '61 6121 are 34.2 cm wide which is 13.46”.

The only difference between those two is the width of the upper bout and the shape of the cutaway. There is a slight difference there. But I’m sure that has to do with the person using the sander that day….

Actually the trouble with things like this is that all household rulers are slightly different if they aren’t calibrated. So that will also cause some differences…


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