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Gretsch Duojet owners - pipe up!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by daddyo, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I watched David Gilmour's Royal Albert DVD last night and I was blown away by his tone with his Gretsch Duojet. What are the in and outs of this guitar? I understand that like many classic guitars, it's been reissued in several variations. I assume Gilmour was playing an original 57 but I don't know. Do they all sound this good? It had a very sophisticated, thick sound with just the right amount of edge.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Drew816

    Drew816 Supporting Member

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    Go to the Gretsch Discussion Pages and be prepared to read endlessly on this subject and debates... They are great guitars, highly under-rated and valued IMHO and can still be hand for a reasonable amount of dough considering you're buying a '50's or 60's Gretsch for the same amount as a lot of people pay for a new limited edition Les Paul, PRS, Lentz, etc, etc. Not to bash those guitars, but come on already, $5k for a 1955 Dyna Jet with Bigsby?!?!

    I think it was 1957 (maybe 58?) that Jet's switched to Filltertron pickups (think mini-humbucker) and so the tone changed as a result. Dynas are fat single coils, think P-90s and a Tele mixed together. Great pickups and they can pretty much do it all, Billy Zoom of X played 'punk rock' with a vintage Dyna Jet all during his career (and rumor has it he may soon have a signature model, we'll see). I prefer Filltertron's myself, I already have the singles covered so Dyna Jet's are a heck of a guitar and value. The single cut bodies switch to double cuts as some point in the early 60's (like Gibson did as well though not sure who was first!) w/ Filltertrons and they switched to a Burns vibrato for a while there too.

    M Breinin here on the forums has a '64 double cut Silver Jet and used to own one of the first 100 Jets built, a '53 "Script Jet" (the Gretsch logo was in script); he kept the Silver and sold off the Script Jet but probably regrets the decision.

    Ok, not exactly the 'tone' of David Gilmore doing vintage Floyd but it shows you that Dyna Jet's can flipping ROCK with the best of them. Well I LIKE it and Billy's an under-rated guitarist (and supposed to be a very cool guy as well).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wmGiDfcTnc
     
  3. MBreinin

    MBreinin Supporting Member

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    Jets are really some of the best kept secrets out there. A good Dyna Jet will give you that raunchy sound that just oozes early rock and roll, especially when you plug it into a tweed amp. And, yes, Drew is correct. I regret selling my '53, but I needed a car....

    The Filtertron Jets are a different animal. They don't twang as well as a DeArmond Jet, but they have some of the raunchiest, midrange laden, low output humbuckers ever slapped into a guitar. Ray Butts designed the Filtertron and it is the first humbucker. Gibson gets all of the glory for that but the fact is that Ray Butts designed the humbucker before Seth Lover. My '64 Jet is simply a sublime guitar. It will do Rockabilly, it will do blues, it will doo jazz and it will rock the house with the best of them. I have never owned a guitar that would produce such explosive pinch harmomics under gain...and all of this through a set of really low power buckers, a floating bridge and a top that is 50% drum material (plastic!). That guitar slays every other guitar that attempts to hang, it has tone like nothing I have ever heard. From AC/DC to ZZ Top to mild chord comping. I will not play it for a week or so and focus on a Les Paul or a Strat and then pick it up and just be floored, because it is just a cut above everything. I don't know what it is, but a good Jet is a must own!

    Mike
     
  4. rastus

    rastus Member

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    I own a Jet Firebird reissue, basically a duo jet with a red paint job. Miine is an early Japan one with the wide headstock and horseshoe inlay. It has a set of Filtertrons from a 65 Nashville, big improvement over the stock units. I replaced the tuners with Waverlys, and put on a Schaller roller bridge and long travel spring in the Bigsby. The filtertrons and dynasonics make these guitars 2 entirely different animals, so make sure and try both. What most people don't realize is that a gretsch can do much more than the sounds that we all associate them with. Mine never fails to impress me with great action, awesome feel and soaring, powerful tone that works great clean or dirty.

    As a neat aside, I was involved in a car accident that required a lengthy stay in a physical rehab wing at a local hospital. The lady in the room next to me was Anne Butts, Ray's wife. He came to visit with her and she told him how big a fan I was of his designs (Eccophonic amps, filtertrons). The day I left for home, his wife gave me a little velvet bag, told me it was a gift from Ray. It was the first 2 Filtertron pickups ever to be produced after Ray had approval on the prototypes. I have them in a safe-deposit box, but I have had them in my Jet Firebird, and they sounded just great. I'll always treasure meeting such a forward thinking inventor.
     
  5. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    For those who have the David Gilmour Royal Albert "Remember That Night" DVD, its track 14, "Where We Start." Definately and incredible jazzy rock tone with the perfect amount of high end zingl with fat but smooth mid range with no hint of mud. It has filtertons. Gilmourish.com says it is a 50s Duo Jet with a bigsby. Thumbnail inlays. If that is what a Duo Jet can do, I want one.
     
  6. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

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    [​IMG]

    1958 Duo Jet with DeArmonds--one of the last before the Switchover to Filtertrons. Purchased in mid-2007 for about the price of a new Gibson R9. I found two at that price without breaking a sweat. Think about that for a moment.

    I always thought I wanted a Gretsch with Filtertrons because of Townsend on Who's Next, but when I tried both back to back, I decided that DeArmonds were for me given that I mostly am a blues player. Drew 816 is right--DeArmonds/Dynasonics sound like a sweet set of P90s but also get great Twang--it can play Tele parts and I just go slack-jawed to hear those sounds coming from this guitar.

    Be forewarned that a lot of the old Gretsches have neck issues. Due diligence is a must. For what it's worth, the new ones sound pretty darned good, and quality is very consistent.
     
  7. readymade

    readymade Supporting Member

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    I've got one of the newer 62 reissue Duo Jets, and it's a wonderful, wonderful guitar. The only thing I've done to it is put TV Jones classic Filtertrons in it, and the difference was worth the price--the stock pups were just lacking that liveliness that good Filtertrons seem to have. Even if I had the money for a vintage Jet, I'd probably stick with the reissues, simply to avoid some of the potential problems that seem to arise sometimes with older Gretsches.
     
  8. Samba

    Samba Member

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  9. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    I always thought Crowded House was 80's pap pop.
    Never gave them a second thought...'til now.
    They ROCK, and great song on this youtube.

    S.
    j
     
  10. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Fantastic guitars - I've got a couple. An original 67 Duo Jet with Supertron pickups (a thicker/raunchier Filtertron) and a Malcolm Young Sig model - which is basically a Duo Jet in a natural finish with a "Bad A**" wrap around bridge. Both are the double cut versions.

    They do sound different from each other - but, both are absolutely AMAZING guitars. I'm mainly a rock, rockabilly, and punk player so they really fit my style. I don't have a lot of experience with a De Armond versions.

    Anyway - Jets - highly recommended in my book!
     
  11. fieldhdj

    fieldhdj Member

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    I've got three... a 2005 6121 Nashville - TV Classics, rocking bar bridge, a 2008 "Firebird" 6131TVP - Powertrons, Sperzel locking tuners, and a 2004 6128TCG - Dynasonics, Caddy green.

    I couldn't decide between Classics (Filtertrons) and Dynas, so I eventually got both. And the Powetrons make for a flat out great rock guitar. Why these guitars are so overlooked is a mystery to me too. They are light, affordable, quality instruments and sound great.
     
  12. revgsmall

    revgsmall Member

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    You City Slickers, got it all wrong, this is what ya' gotta play if you want to gun sling in ol Wyoming....
    [​IMG]

    Actually I just got it. I'm taking it (6121 Roundup) to its first reheasal in a few hours.
     
  13. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

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  14. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    Here's my 2003 made Jet Firebird 6131. Filtertron PUP's. Same as the Duo Jet except red. Got it used from Daves Guitars of Wisconsin for $900 and had it shipped to Australia.

    Great guitar & super versatile. It'll do any style you want, except heavy metal. I've gigged with it in rock, blues and jazz bands. Great for all.
    I got mine after seeing Neil Finn of Crowded House play one live and then saw the Gilmour DVD. It's a keeper - will never sell this baby.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    I have a mid 90's gold Sparkle Jet. It's really the bomb, but I'm selling it to fund another purchase. A friend has a real 56 Jet Firebird with DeArmonds and the Melita bridge. Very cool guitar.
     
  16. fieldhdj

    fieldhdj Member

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    If you get it, I'd really like to hear your impressions on how it compares to the more modern Jets.
     
  17. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

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    My old '55. Wish I still had it. Along with the Hofner, The SJ-200, the AC-30.......
    [​IMG]
     
  18. hendo

    hendo Member

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    Here is my 04' 6128T, great tone out of these guitars! I am amazed on how I can get a nice acoustic feel in the rhythm and it will produce an amazing lead tones on an overdriven amp. I can see why a lot of guys use these.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. lefty kwan

    lefty kwan Member

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    I have a 6128EE Duojet Firebird Red. Fantastic guitar that's no longer produced. I cut out the stock treble bleed mod which made the guitar sound even better to my ears.
     
  20. brianrb100

    brianrb100 Member

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    My grandfather had a black DuoJet with a Bigsby that he played the hell out of. Sadly he got rid of all his gear not long before I started playing (an early Jazz Bass, Blonde Bassman, wide panel Deluxe). He only kept his Gretsch and a Fender acoustic. I have the Fender, but he gave the Gretsch to his nephew who never learned to play. I've tried and tried to get it from him, but he won't part with it. I know for a fact that the case is at my Aunts house. Where the guitar is now is anyone's guess.
     

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