Gretsch Guitars

Jets

Early on, Gretsch Jet guitars are all virtually identical, other than color. The DuoJet was black, the FireBird was a deep red, and the SilverJet was, of course, capped in silver sparkle plastic drum material. Since those early days, the Jet family has come to encompass a dizzying array of guitars, yet all are still instantly identifiable as Gretsch’s premier “solidbody” guitars. Even though they’re typically nearly hollow.

Jets differ significantly from their competition in that their mahogany bodies are extensively routed, making them, in effect, semi-solids. It also makes them considerably lighter than similar guitars and adds a special resonance to the line.

The DuoJet and SilverJet were first released in 1954, alongside the 6130 Roundup, a 6126 baritone ukelele and a 6127 4-string tenor guitar, which promptly dropped off the market.

The early Jets had two DeArmond pickups and block markers. Some Duo-Jets were finished in Cadillac Green, but they’re pretty rare. Even more rare - the Bigsby B-3 tremolo that was an extra-cost option.

By the end of the ‘50s, Jets wore “neo-classic” semi-circular fret markers, had two FilterTron pickups, the optional Bigsby was far more common and a “zero fret” had been added.

The big change came in 1961, when the Jets became double cutaways. The first double cutaways are roughly equivalent to the earlier Jets, but shortly after the changeover Gretsch began to change the Jets.

Vibrato tailpieces became standard in ‘62, but they weren’t Bigsbys. Instead, a funky, Burns-sourced whammy was used. Other changes to ‘62 included gold hardware replacing chrome and other sparkle finishes, including gold, champagne, burgundy and tangerine being offered. Gretsch made few Jets with the special sparkle finishes, and they’re quite rare today. A standby switch was also added in ‘62.

In ‘68 a Bigsby was once again offered, and the Jets were fitted with Gretsch’s SuperTron pickups. This configuration lasted until the 1970, when Gretsch, spurred on by Duke Kramer and plant manager Bill Hagner, switched back to a single-cutaway body, hoping to rekindle past glories.

The new 6127 Porsche Pumpkin RocJet and the 6130 Mercedes Black RocJet had slightly differently shaped bodies than the ‘50s Jets, but they were definitely aimed at recapturing the classics. A Country Roc model, reminiscent of the Roundup was also introduced. All had chrome parts, SuperTron pickups and Les Paul-like controls with two volume and two tone controls, plus a master volume. A metal nameplate adorned the headstock. For a few years at least, in the mid-70s, the Jet line was again treated like a respected part of the Gretsch line instead of a cheap Les Paul knockoff.

The 6127 and 6130 were later redesignated 7611 and 7610, respectively, in 1972 and were joined by the walnut-topped 7613 and the Jet FireBird-like 7612.

By the late ‘70s, though, Baldwin had again taken over the day-to-day operations at Gretsch, and the Jets were again aimed squarely at Gibson’s Les Paul line with Les Paul-type switching, a BadAss bridge and two DiMarzio pickups. They were not successful, and as the ‘70s ended, so did the Jets. By this time they had little in common in shape, sound, feel or features with the classic Jets.

75 different models and 456 examples are in the Gretsch-GEAR database, including Billy Zoom Jet, Black Penguin, Chet Atkins Solidbody, Country Roc, CS, Double Neck, Duo Jet, Duo Jet Tenor, Duo-Jet, Duo-Jet Double Neck, Elliot Easton Jet, George Harrison, Gold Sparkle Jet, Green Sparkle Jet, Jet Firebird, Malcolm Young I, Malcolm Young II, Nashville Solidbody, New Jet, Pearl Sparkle Jet, Power Jet, Power Jet Firebird, Power Jet Flame Top, Pumpkin Jet, Roc Jet, Roundup, Silver Jet, Sparkle Jet and White Penguin models.
6114-A New Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Updating a classic is never easy, and the 6114 New Jet proved it. On paper, they looked great — take the classic Jet formula, add some hot TV ...
6114-R New Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Updating a classic is never easy, and the 6114 New Jet proved it. On paper, they looked great — take the classic Jet formula, add some hot TV ...
6114-B New Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Updating a classic is never easy, and the 6114 New Jet proved it. On paper, they looked great — take the classic Jet formula, add some hot TV ...
6114-AS New Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
New Jets were never particularly common, and the AS are easily the least common version. In fact, they may have never been an official offering at all. The ...
6121-FTW
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
A circa-2007 short run that married mid-50s 6121 Roundup specs -- leather tooling, cowboy kitsch and all -- with Filtertron pickups. So you got a tone-pot circuit, small ...
6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The 6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody is often confused with the 6130 Roundup. Both debuted in late 1954 alongside and were pretty similar, featuring the a Jet-style body with ...
6121-1955 Chet Atkins Solidbody
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
A modern era reissue of the original Dynasonic-equipped Chet Atkins Solidbody. Prior to 2007 it had been known as the 6130 Roundup, which had always been a bit ...
6121-1959 Chet Atkins Solidbody
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
A modern era reissue of the later, FilterTron-equipped Chet Atkins Solidbody.
6121-NAS Nashville Solidbody
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Introduced in January 2005, the NAS was a serious attempt at recreating the late-50s 6121 Chet Atkins soldbody, with just one little catch: Gretsch had not yet re-acquired ...
6121 Roundup
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The modern-era take on the classic 6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody, borrowing the vintage 6130 Roundup's model name, the 6121 Roundup was offered from 1989 until about 2007, when ...
6127 Duo Jet Tenor
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
Just like a 6128 Duo-Jet, only with a tenor neck, the 6127 was made in extremely limited qualities in the 50s.
6127 Roc Jet
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
Porsche Pumpkin orange
6128-CS
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Since around 2004, the Custom Shop has been pumping out quite a few Jet variations.
6128-T-QM
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Street Sounds commissioned a limited run of quilted-maple top Jets in late 2013. There were 32 made: 16 with a blue top and 16 with a red top.
6128-6/12 Double Neck
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
We're not exactly sure who was asking for Gretsch double-necks, and we've never seen one in the wild, but apparently someone in Savannah felt the world needed a ...
6128-DS Duo Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
With Dynasonics
6128-TCG Duo Jet
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The 6128-TCG Duo Jet was sort of a '57 reissue in Cadillac Green, with a Bigsby. Note the Melita-style Synchro-Sonic bridge and humped-block markers.
6128-TDS Duo Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
With Bigsby & Dynasonics
6128-TDS-R Duo Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Relic, with Bigsby & Dynasonics
6128-TSP Duo Jet
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The TSP was a short, special run of Jets made around 2004-2005. Features included Dynasonic pickups, a Space Control bridge, humped block markers a V-cutout B-3 Bigsby vibrato, ...
6128-TLH Duo Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The standard 6128T Duo Jet, in left-handed form.
6128 Duo-Jet
  • The jazz years: 1930s-1953
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The 6128 Duo-Jet has been the cornerstone of Gretsch's Jet line for more than 50 years.
6128-1957 Duo-Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
A modern-day reissue of the 1957 Jet, complete with humped block inlays.
6128-T Duo-Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The standard modern-era 6128 Duo Jet, with a B3 Bigsby.
6128-T-1957 Duo-Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Identical to the 6128-1957 reissue, with the addition of a B3 V-cutout Bigsby.
6128-T-1962 Duo-Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Double-cutaway, with Bigsby
6128-T-DSV Duo-Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
With fixed-arm Bigsby
6128-T-6/12 Duo-Jet Double Neck
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Just to make sure all the Jet double-neck needs were covered, the 6128T-6/12 threw a standard B3 Bigsby into the mix, too.
6128-EE Elliot Easton Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
The Elliot Easton Signature Jet was designed by Easton with one thing in mind: create a Jet that could --in his estimation -- do anything. Features included alnico ...
6128-LHEE Elliot Easton Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Left-handed
6128-TEE Elliot Easton Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
With Bigsby
6128-TLHEE Elliot Easton Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Left-handed, with Bigsby
6128-TBEE Elliot Easton Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
The Elliot Easton signature Jet is usually seen in Cadillac Green, but it was also available in black. With Bigsby tailpiece.
6128-TREE Elliot Easton Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
The Elliot Easton signature Jet is usually seen in Cadillac Green, but it was also available in red. With Bigsby tailpiece.
6128-GH George Harrison
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
In 2010 Gretsch released a limited edition Custom Shop model faithfully recreating George Harrison's famed '57 Duo Jet, with the model number 6128-GH. Only sixty were made, and ...
6128-T-TVP Power Jet
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
With Bigsby and TV Jones pickups
6128-TVP Power Jet
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The 6128-TVP kicked in the afterburners on the Jet with dual TV Jones PowerTron pickups.
6128-T-TV-TM Power Jet Flame Top
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
A limited edition Jet produced in late 2010 and 2011, the 6128T-TV-TM can be easily spotted by it's western stained flamed maple top. Other features include Sperzel locking ...
6128-PT Pumpkin Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
An orange-finished 6128 Jet with no western pretensions whatsoever, the 6128 was offered around 2000 for a brief period. It did not sell well.
6129-BZ Billy Zoom Jet
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Introduced in 2008, the Billy Zoom Jet was a limited edition custom shop effort to duplicate Billy's well-used classic Silver Jet as closely as humanly possible. The internal ...
6129-TAU Gold Sparkle Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The 6129-TAU used a gold sparkle top instead of the usual 6129 silver.
6129-TG Green Sparkle Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Introduced in 1995, the 6129-TG followed the standard Jet formula, only with an unusual bright breen sparkle top. Other than the unusual color it was identical to the ...
6129-TL Pearl Sparkle Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Silver sparkle not flashy enough for you? How about a pearloid drum covering? The 6129-TL aimed to please.
6129 Silver Jet
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Probably the most distinctive and unusual of the classic Jet family, the 6129 Silver Jet is easily spotted thanks to its silver sparkle top, made of Nitron drum ...
6129-1957 Silver Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
A modern-era reissue of the 1957-style Silver Jet.
6129-T Silver Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
With Bigsby
6129-T-1957 Silver Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
With Bigsby
6129-T-1962 Silver Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
With Bigsby
6129-TR Sparkle Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Red Sparkle Finish, pre-FMIC design, introduced circa 1995, Bigsby tailpiece
6129-TB Sparkle Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Black Sparkle finish, pre-FMIC design, introduced circa 1995, Bigsby tailpiece
6129-TC Sparkle Jet
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
Champagne Sparkle finish, pre-FMIC design, introduced circa 1995, Bigsby tailpiece
6130 Roc Jet
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
Mercedes Black
6130 Roundup
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
"Roundup" has always referred more to a style than any one guitar. Originally there was the 6130 Roundup and the very similar 6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody, which is ...
6130-KP Roundup
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
A faithful recreation of the original 6130 Roundup, right down to the knotty pine top, beltbuckle tailpiece, cactus/steerhead leather trim, the KP was a limited edition reissue in ...
6131 Jet Firebird
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Alongside the 6128 Duo Jet and the 6129 Silver Jet, the Oriental Red Jet Firebird filled out the trio of classic Gretsch Jet "solidbodies."
6131-T Jet Firebird
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
With Bigsby
6131-TDS Jet Firebird
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
With Bigsby & Dynasonics
6131-SMY Malcolm Young I
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Single pickup version of the Malcolm Young signature Jet.
6131-SMYF Malcolm Young I
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Flame maple
6131-SMYR Malcolm Young I
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Red
6131-MY Malcolm Young II
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Two pickup version of the Malcolm Young signature Jet.
6131-MYF Malcolm Young II
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Flame maple
6131-MYR Malcolm Young II
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Red
6131-T-TVP Power Jet Firebird
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
With Bigsby and TV Jones pickups
6131-TVP Power Jet Firebird
  • The rebirth years: 1988-2002
With TV Jones pickups
6134-B Black Penguin
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
When Gretsch revived the fabled White Penguin for the modern age, they upped the ante a little bit, introducing a Black Penguin companion.
6134 CS
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Custom Shop Penguins, which may or may not be white. Or black, for that matter.
6134 White Penguin
  • The golden years: 1954-1967
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
Original vintage White Penguins are among Gretsch's rarest and most sought after models. Based on the Duo-Jet, the Penguin was released alongside the White Falcon and featured similar ...
6134-LTV White Penguin
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
With Lacquer finish & TV Jones pickups
6134-LH White Penguin
  • The Fender years: 2003-present
The rare left-handed variation on the already uncommon 6134 White Penguin.
7610 Roc Jet
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
The Roc Jet was a '70s, Baldwin-era version of the venerable Duo-Jet, aimed squarely at Les Paul buyers.
7611 Roc Jet
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
Porsche Pumpkin orange
7612 Roc Jet
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
Cherry Red
7613 Roc Jet
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
Walnut finish
7620 Country Roc
  • The Baldwin years: 1968-1987
The 7620 Country Roc was sort of a '70s revival of the classic 6121/6130 countrified Jet theme. To a paraphrase a contemporary -- and infinitely more successful -- ...