The Duo Jet is one of Gretsch's most iconic guitars ever, and certainly its most famous solid body. The Duo Jet is closely associated with George Harrison who played a 1957 version in the early Beatles era and throughout his later career. While not as expensive as its Gibson or Fender counterparts, vintage Duo Jets are amongst the most prized Gretsch guitars.
From “The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company” by Jay Scott --
"In early 1954, Gretsch premiered its single cutaway Jet series, a line of quasi solid-bodies that persisted in one form or another until the end of the Baldwin era. Intended to imitate and compete with Gibson's Les Paul "goldtop" Standard Model, the Jet guitars differed, in a structural sense, in that they were not true solid bodies but semi-solids with top, back and sides formed from separate pieces.
Their arched tops were laminated from several plies of pine, maple, mahogany, spruce or sheets of Nitron plastic drum material. 1954's 6128 Duo Jet and Model 6129 Silver Jet were fraternal twins. The ebony-topped Duo Jet is finished in natural-mahogany back, sides and neck… [the] earliest pickguards for 1954 are white plastic without "Gretsch" inscribed on it. The pickguard is not cut to fit around the pickups and instead butts against the treble end of the DeArmonds' surrounds.”
Body - 13 ¼ inch-wide, 2 inch deep chambered mahogany body
Top - triple-bound pressed arched top with black plastic laminate
One-piece mahogany neck
Nut width - 1 11/16 inches
Medium-to-thick neck profile
Scale length - 24 1/2 inches
Single-bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard
22 tall vintage frets
Inlaid pearloid block position markers
Single-bound, dark brown maple faced headstock with inlaid pearl Gretsch "T-roof" logo
Bullet shaped two-layer black over white plastic truss-rod cover
Individual open-back Grover StaTite tuners with oval metal buttons
Two single-coil DeArmond pickups with outputs of 9.43k and 9.30k
Off white Lucite pickguard
Four controls (individual pickup volume, plus master volume, one tone)
Three-way selector switch
Chrome-plated control knobs
Melita Synchro-Sonic bridge with six individually adjustable saddles on height-adjustable base and chrome cut-out "G-hole flat" tailpiece.
This very rare ’55 Jet is in excellent condition for a 67 year old guitar. And it appears to be in original vintage condition – no modifications or changes that we can see apart from an excellent pro refret with tall vintage fretwire.
Inside the control cavity is the original Gretsch label with Model "6128" stamped in blue and Serial No. "130xxx" stamped in red. The pots, capacitors & wiring all look to be original and the solder joints appear undisturbed.
It has no structural issues and plays great in all neck positions. The frets show no wear, the neck is straight, truss rod works fine & tuners are strong.
There is expected player wear evident, because this Jet has definitely been played – a lot. But you know the reason some guitars get played more than others, don’t you?
There is some good old buckle rash on the back, a few dings and dents on the sides, but the neck and top are quite clean.
The original DeArmond pickups are a sonic delight. They are thick and punchy with a bright edge and plenty of whallop sometimes not found in single coil designs. They can be clean and jangly in that wonderful Gretsch way, or burn with best when you turn ‘em up. They sit comfortably in P-90 style territory but have a sonic character all of their own.
Weight is 7.87 lbs
In spite of their great sound and exceptional visual appeal, the original Gretsch Jet series guitars were produced in fairly small numbers, and sold modestly – not surprising given Gretsch’s focus on their hollow body guitars. In spite of this, a lot of famous players have used a Jet during their careers – including Pete Townsend, Bo Diddley, Cliff Gallup, Chet Atkins, George Harrison, Hank Garland, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, Dan Fogelberg and David Gilmour.
If you’re looking for a classic vintage Gretsch, it doesn’t get much better than this one. A true rarity, a great player, and one for the collection.
Comes in its original Gretsch hard shell case in good condition.