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.

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.

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.

The Gretsch-GEAR database includes 76 different models and 412 examples in the Jets family, 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.

Guitar models in the Jets group

6114-A New Jet
Documented years: 2001 to 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 Jones pickups, flamed maple tops and the kind of features that would lure Les Paul players away from their Gibsons, and watch ...

6114-AS New Jet
Documented years: 2001

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 AS stood for Antique or Amber Sunburst, depending on who you asked. In practice, that meant a very Les Paul-like cherry burst, ...

6114-B New Jet
Documented years: 2001 to 2001

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 Jones pickups, flamed maple tops and the kind of features that would lure Les Paul players away from their Gibsons, and watch ...

6114-R New Jet
Documented years: 2001 to 2001

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 Jones pickups, flamed maple tops and the kind of features that would lure Les Paul players away from their Gibsons, and watch ...

6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody
Documented years: 1955 to 2014

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 the usual western appointments — G brand, steer's head on the headstock, cactus inlays — plus recessed leather binding engraved with campfire ...

6121 Roundup
Documented years: 1989 to 2005

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 Chet Atkins came back into the fold.

6121-1955 Chet Atkins Solidbody
Documented years: 2009 to 2011

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 of a misnomer. About the only change from a late-model 6130 was the Bigsby Compensated Rocking bridge replacing the 6130s Melita.

6121-1959 Chet Atkins Solidbody
Documented years: 2005

A modern era reissue of the later, FilterTron-equipped Chet Atkins Solidbody.

6121-FTW
Documented years: 2007

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 headstock and all the other Dynasonic-era features, only with FilterTron pickups.

6121-NAS Nashville Solidbody
Documented years: 2004 to 2005

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 the rights to use the Chet Atkins name. It wasn't long until they did, and the NAS was phased out to make ...

6127 Duo Jet Tenor
Documented years: 1954

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
Documented years: 1972

Porsche Pumpkin orange

6128 Duo-Jet
Documented years: 1953 to 2012

The 6128 Duo-Jet has been the cornerstone of Gretsch's Jet line for more than 50 years.

6128-1957 Duo-Jet
Documented years: 1994 to 2006

A modern-day reissue of the 1957 Jet, complete with humped block inlays.

6128-6/12 Double Neck
Documented years: None

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 six-string/12-string Duo Jet in the '90s. Both sides used pre-Fender style ceramic Filtertrons and the unloved ABM adjustamatic roller bridge. The 12-string ...

6128-CS
Documented years: 2011 to 2013

Since around 2004, the Custom Shop has been pumping out quite a few Jet variations.

6128-DS Duo Jet
Documented years: 2007

With Dynasonics

6128-EE Elliot Easton Jet
Documented years: 2001

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 FilterTrons, a narrow headstock with Sperzel locking tuners and small vintage keys, a custom 25" scale, and graphite nut. EE Jets were ...

6128-GH George Harrison
Documented years: 2011 to 2012

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 they cost more than a decent car. In 2011, the one mere mortals had been waiting for arrived: and it was known ...

6128-LHEE Elliot Easton Jet
Documented years: None

Left-handed

6128-PT Pumpkin Jet
Documented years: None

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.

6128-T Duo-Jet
Documented years: 1969 to 2013

The standard modern-era 6128 Duo Jet, with a B3 Bigsby.

6128-T-1957 Duo-Jet
Documented years: 1993 to 2006

Identical to the 6128-1957 reissue, with the addition of a B3 V-cutout Bigsby.

6128-T-1962 Duo-Jet
Documented years: 1997 to 2011

Double-cutaway, with Bigsby

6128-T-6/12 Duo-Jet Double Neck
Documented years: 1997

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-T-DCM
Documented years: 2013

Take a '60s double-cutaway style Jet, cover it in Dark Cherry Metallic paint and you've got the 6128-T-DCM, a short-lived but gorgeous addition to the Jet line. Features included a bound headstock, bone nut, zero fret, HS Filtertrons, a B3C Bigsby and Schaller Strap locks.

6128-T-DSV Duo-Jet
Documented years: 1995 to 2013

With fixed-arm Bigsby

6128-T-QM
Documented years: 2012

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-T-TV-TM Power Jet Flame Top
Documented years: 2010 to 2010

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 tuners, TV Jones PowerTron pickups and a factory Tru-Arc aluminum bridge. Only 16 were produced.

6128-T-TVP Power Jet
Documented years: 2006 to 2012

With Bigsby and TV Jones pickups

6128-TBEE Elliot Easton Jet
Documented years: 2001

The Elliot Easton signature Jet is usually seen in Cadillac Green, but it was also available in black. With Bigsby tailpiece.

6128-TCG Duo Jet
Documented years: 2004 to 2013

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
Documented years: 1994 to 2009

With Bigsby & Dynasonics

6128-TDS-R Duo Jet
Documented years: 2007

Relic, with Bigsby & Dynasonics

6128-TEE Elliot Easton Jet
Documented years: 2000

With Bigsby

6128-TLH Duo Jet
Documented years: 2013

The standard 6128T Duo Jet, in left-handed form.

6128-TLHEE Elliot Easton Jet
Documented years: None

Left-handed, with Bigsby

6128-TREE Elliot Easton Jet
Documented years: 2005

The Elliot Easton signature Jet is usually seen in Cadillac Green, but it was also available in red. With Bigsby tailpiece.

6128-TSP Duo Jet
Documented years: 2004 to 2005

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, and it was generally considered the closest reissue at the time to George Harrison's '57 Duo Jet.

6128-TVP Power Jet
Documented years: 2005 to 2012

The 6128-TVP kicked in the afterburners on the Jet with dual TV Jones PowerTron pickups.

6129 Silver Jet
Documented years: 1954 to 2007

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 material

6129-1957 Silver Jet
Documented years: 1989 to 2005

A modern-era reissue of the 1957-style Silver Jet.

6129-BZ Billy Zoom Jet
Documented years: 2007 to 2008

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 chambering, for example, is identical to mid-'50s Jets, and it faithfully duplicates the changes Zoom made over the years. In fact, compared ...

6129-T Silver Jet
Documented years: 1956 to 2012

With Bigsby

6129-T-1957 Silver Jet
Documented years: 1999 to 2011

With Bigsby

6129-T-1962 Silver Jet
Documented years: 1996 to 2009

With Bigsby

6129-TAU Gold Sparkle Jet
Documented years: 1995 to 2011

The 6129-TAU used a gold sparkle top instead of the usual 6129 silver.

6129-TB Sparkle Jet
Documented years: 1995

Black Sparkle finish, pre-FMIC design, introduced circa 1995, Bigsby tailpiece

6129-TC Sparkle Jet
Documented years: 2001

Champagne Sparkle finish, pre-FMIC design, introduced circa 1995, Bigsby tailpiece

6129-TG Green Sparkle Jet
Documented years: 2005 to 2013

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 6129T of the time, right down to the Bigsby B3C V-cutout tremolo and ceramic Filtertrons.

6129-TL Pearl Sparkle Jet
Documented years: 2001 to 2010

Silver sparkle not flashy enough for you? How about a pearloid drum covering? The 6129-TL aimed to please.

6129-TR Sparkle Jet
Documented years: 1996 to 1997

Red Sparkle Finish, pre-FMIC design, introduced circa 1995, Bigsby tailpiece

6130 Roc Jet
Documented years: 1970 to 1972

Mercedes Black

6130 Roundup
Documented years: 1954 to 2006

"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 often mistaken for a Roundup. There have been several "cowboy jet" models since then, all of which have been called Roundups at ...

6130-KP Roundup
Documented years: 2007 to 2009

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 2008. Only 75 were produced.

6131 Jet Firebird
Documented years: 1955 to 2006

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-MY Malcolm Young II
Documented years: None

Two pickup version of the Malcolm Young signature Jet.

6131-MYF Malcolm Young II
Documented years: 1996 to 2007

Flame maple

6131-MYR Malcolm Young II
Documented years: 2006

Red

6131-SMY Malcolm Young I
Documented years: 2005 to 2007

Single pickup version of the Malcolm Young signature Jet.

6131-SMYF Malcolm Young I
Documented years: 1996

Flame maple

6131-SMYR Malcolm Young I
Documented years: 2009

Red

6131-T Jet Firebird
Documented years: 1961 to 2005

With Bigsby

6131-T-TVP Power Jet Firebird
Documented years: 2005

With Bigsby and TV Jones pickups

6131-TDS Jet Firebird
Documented years: 2004 to 2009

With Bigsby & Dynasonics

6131-TVP Power Jet Firebird
Documented years: 2005 to 2009

With TV Jones pickups

6134 CS
Documented years: 2011 to 2011

Custom Shop Penguins, which may or may not be white. Or black, for that matter.

6134 White Penguin
Documented years: 1993 to 2012

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 deluxe appointments, right down to the winged headstock and gold binding. Except it was never really released. It made one brief appearance ...

6134-B Black Penguin
Documented years: 2003 to 2011

When Gretsch revived the fabled White Penguin for the modern age, they upped the ante a little bit, introducing a Black Penguin companion.

6134-LH White Penguin
Documented years: 2012

The rare left-handed variation on the already uncommon 6134 White Penguin.

6134-LTV White Penguin
Documented years: 2007 to 2008

With Lacquer finish & TV Jones pickups

7610 Roc Jet
Documented years: 1973

The Roc Jet was a '70s, Baldwin-era version of the venerable Duo-Jet, aimed squarely at Les Paul buyers.

7611 Roc Jet
Documented years: 1977

Porsche Pumpkin orange

7612 Roc Jet
Documented years: 1974

Cherry Red

7613 Roc Jet
Documented years: 1977

Walnut finish

7620 Country Roc
Documented years: 1974

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 -- product of the '70s, "this is not the revival you're looking for."