Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Scripty Jet - with Badge

1

NFI.

Seeing two of these within a couple of months apart is a rarity. A little while ago we saw #11961 and here is it's batch mate #11967. The scripty logo looks to be a high contrast MOP -- bet it really pops under passing lights. Nice grain on the mahogany back and sides. Also check out the Dynas: these are the earliest kind having a clear plastic bobbin half on the back allowing you to see into the pickup, which have both sets of polepieces oriented to the neck.

2

Wow... that one just has it all. It's always been a grail-level guitar for me. Talk about rare features... scripty logo (~150 examples)... fixed-Melia bridge (~75 examples)... drum badge (~ 20 examples... maybe??). All it lacks is a proper tweed case, as far as I'm concerned!

3

Binding rot on a '53? That's unusual. I've seen it on a '54 Silver Jet, but that's the only other time I've seen it that early.

4

It's not binding rot. Pretty sure that's the clear coat faded to a brown-ish (both my '57 jet and clipper have this) and a couple of cracks in the binding.

5

I don't think so. Check an inch north of the pickguard bracket and in the cutaway. Those aren't stress cracks (like fret ends). There's no reason for the binding to be cracked in those spots. Looks like rot to me.

6

And to be clear, that wouldn't keep me away from this sweet piece of guitar. It happens. And it can be fixed. The vintage guitar world got over the fixation with neck resets (if well done) and, IMO, can now get over rebinding (if well done). I only mention it because you almost never see it on one this early.

7

Not one to disagree with Afire, but I have a 55 on my bench right now with similar issues. The guitar on my bench has same brown coloration on the binding that I have confirmed is in the clear coat. It also has binding shrinkage in similar areas. While my bench guitar's binding has started to pull away (like they do), it has also stretched the binding to the point of cracking.

I would think an in hand inspection of this sweet girl is in order to confirm what the binding issue is or is not rot.

Cheers! Joe

8

Wow, that Mahogany neck wood is flatsawn with runout, not exactly choice wood selection there.

9

I ended up with 11961- arrived yesterday.

Is anybody keeping track of the drum badge examples? The badge on 11961 is slightly different than the others I've seen, as there's only one line that connects the letters & it goes all the way across...

I'd never noticed that there were variations before.

10

...compared to 11967:

11

...and regarding the possible binding rot in 11967- could be rebound???

The close-up shots I posted of the badges shows thick single-ply binding on 11967 vs. multi-layer white-black-white on 11961.

Looking at other early examples, the multi-ply binding seems to be the norm.

12

Interesting observation of the differences in the "drum" badge! I LOVE this stuff!

It would also appear that 11961 is adhered with adhesive(?)... while there are two small rivets on the other's baseline.

13

The repops Frank did have the bars above and below but with no holes.

Mount holes added later:

 photo 1281368319.jpg

14

Not one to disagree with Afire, but I have a 55 on my bench right now with similar issues. The guitar on my bench has same brown coloration on the binding that I have confirmed is in the clear coat. It also has binding shrinkage in similar areas. While my bench guitar's binding has started to pull away (like they do), it has also stretched the binding to the point of cracking.

I would think an in hand inspection of this sweet girl is in order to confirm what the binding issue is or is not rot.

Cheers! Joe

– Joe Desperado (aka: Jack Daniels)

Good point. I get that the brown may just be the clear coat, but I was just pointing out that the cracks aren't in locations where cracks might naturally happen without some form of binding deterioration. But you may well be right that it's shrinkage rather than the usual rot. You can see in some of the picture that the binding has definitely shrunk, to the point that wood is peeking out from the binding channel.

Again, not dissing this guitar. Worst case scenario, I would think a Duo Jet would be about the easiest Gretsch there is to rebind. No top finish to damage or touch up, stained sides, and no binding on the back.

15

I spoke with the seller today... and he confirmed that the binding is sound, just stained brown in areas.

16

I know I say it every time, but damn’ I miss my Scripty...

If memory serves correctly I had 11983. I think mine was originally a fixed Melita, but it has suffered the ravages of time and ignorant abuse before I bought it so there was not much originality left to save, although the wood was complete and sound. My plan was to convert it to a Scripty Round Up. I had it shipped straight to Cad who put it in the hands of Jack Pimenter in WA. Between the three of us we decided a full-on resto was the way to go.

The results were stunning and I couldn’t have been happier with the work Jack did. He even sourced some original black Nitron to refinish the top (he said he could’ve used new stuff, but it was thinner and while it wouldn’t show we’d all still know it wasn’t right).

My only slight regret is that I didn’t see the restoration process in person so I can’t say for sure if a) it had the stud holes from the original fixed bridge (rumour had it that it did, but I would have liked to have seen it to be sure), or b) if there was any sign it’d had a drum badge.

I sold that guitar to buy Texarock’s ‘56 6120, so all came out well, but it was a dream Jet and I really wish I still had it.

17

The repops Frank did have the bars above and below but with no holes.

Mount holes added later:

 photo 1281368319.jpg

– Setzer

That’s pretty, Do you have anymore?

18

I owned a post mount round up. It was serial #119XX. I cant remember the exact number.

It was super cool.

It appears that Jets from the 119XX series are where we find the post mount tops.

here's a nice old picture.

19

How'd you let that one get away Fred?!

20

I know I say it every time, but damn’ I miss my Scripty...

If memory serves correctly I had 11983. I think mine was originally a fixed Melita, but it has suffered the ravages of time and ignorant abuse before I bought it so there was not much originality left to save, although the wood was complete and sound. My plan was to convert it to a Scripty Round Up. I had it shipped straight to Cad who put it in the hands of Jack Pimenter in WA. Between the three of us we decided a full-on resto was the way to go.

The results were stunning and I couldn’t have been happier with the work Jack did. He even sourced some original black Nitron to refinish the top (he said he could’ve used new stuff, but it was thinner and while it wouldn’t show we’d all still know it wasn’t right).

My only slight regret is that I didn’t see the restoration process in person so I can’t say for sure if a) it had the stud holes from the original fixed bridge (rumour had it that it did, but I would have liked to have seen it to be sure), or b) if there was any sign it’d had a drum badge.

I sold that guitar to buy Texarock’s ‘56 6120, so all came out well, but it was a dream Jet and I really wish I still had it.

– Deke Martin

My regret was not making you a better offer in trade for my Harley. The one that got away.

21

How'd you let that one get away Fred?!

– kc_eddie_b

I didn't bond with it.

No "love connection". The neck was a beefcake and it simply did'nt have a bigsby.

Sure was good to look at. But there are others good to look at AND enjoy playing...

I sold it to Sonny.

22

Is there specific years or batches with larger necks? I like beefy necks. The 57s I have played had thin and skinny necks. My newest addition, a 55 is probably more 59-ish in size.

One of these days I will find a monster neck Jet and fall in love.

23

My '53 Duo Jet had the beefiest neck I've owned on a Gretsch. And what I thought was a '55 Roundup, but in retrospect was probably a '54, wasn't far behind. If the '55 is on the thinner side, then it seems like '53-'54 is what you should be looking for.

24

Tried a '55 silver jet once; total baseball bat. Felt like a Supro.

25

My '53 Duo Jet had the beefiest neck I've owned on a Gretsch. And what I thought was a '55 Roundup, but in retrospect was probably a '54, wasn't far behind. If the '55 is on the thinner side, then it seems like '53-'54 is what you should be looking for.

– Afire

As the current custodian of Afire's Scripty Jet, I can attest to his description of the neck. I also have another from earlier in the batch (with fixed-Melita) and it too has quite a beefy neck. If I recall Proteus got to play that guitar at a KC-based GDP Round-up many moons ago, and commented on that fact.

I'd agree that '53/54 Jet necks are probably more substantial than the later model year Jets in most cases.


Register Sign in to join the conversation