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Gretsch Jet w/ Dynasonic pups, Players Edition vs Vintage Select?

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
I'm pretty much set on a Japanese made Gretsch Jet as my next guitar. And pretty much set on Dynasonic pickups, partly because I already have a Gretsch with TV Jones Classics, and partly because I just love the sound of Dynasonics.

I'd like your opinions (pros and cons) about these two models I've narrowed it down to:

G6128T '53 Vintage Select
G6128T DS Players Edition

Even if I was near a store that had both of these, not sure I'd be allowed to handle them right now (my state has a COVID-19 lockdown). I've read that the Players Edition has a no-load tone pot and treble bleed circuit on the master volume, both of which I like. The '53 doesn't have these, in an attempt to stay closer to the original?

What about neck profile differences? Looks like they're both gloss poly finishes.

Any opinions on the Bigsby B3 on the '53 versus the B7 on the Players Edition? I've read people don't like the tension bar on the B7. Still not clear why, unless it causes tuning issues or too much string tension in playing feel. Guess they used the B7 on the PE due to the lower fretboard position (closer to the top, not raised as high as the VS), though that doesn't make sense to me.

Any other features that would make you choose one over the other?
 

Tritone

Member
Messages
1,117
I have a '53 Vintage Select. I haven't played the new DS models. Besides the differences you listed, the '53 has a deeper body with less internal wood. It's almost entirely hollow outside of a a couple posts. It's super loud acoustically. The tension bar on the Bigsby allows the neck to be set more parallel with the body, which might feel a little more natural for some people. It also changes the feel and sound a bit (think of the feel and attack differences in a Jazzmaster vs a Telecaster), and the tension on the Bigsby bar. I prefer the loose feel of no-tension Bigsbys over tension bar versions, but that's just a personal thing. Another small bonus is the string-through bar on the Player's Edition makes changing strings easier.

I think I would have been just as happy with the Player's Edition over the '53. My guess based on all the specs is the PE has more of a solidbody focus in the sound, a faster attack, and a more modern feel all around.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
I have a '53 Vintage Select. I haven't played the new DS models. Besides the differences you listed, the '53 has a deeper body with less internal wood. It's almost entirely hollow outside of a a couple posts. It's super loud acoustically. The tension bar on the Bigsby allows the neck to be set more parallel with the body, which might feel a little more natural for some people. It also changes the feel and sound a bit (think of the feel and attack differences in a Jazzmaster vs a Telecaster), and the tension on the Bigsby bar. I prefer the loose feel of no-tension Bigsbys over tension bar versions, but that's just a personal thing. Another small bonus is the string-through bar on the Player's Edition makes changing strings easier.

I think I would have been just as happy with the Player's Edition over the '53. My guess based on all the specs is the PE has more of a solidbody focus in the sound, a faster attack, and a more modern feel all around.
Thanks, Tritone. I appreciate that. Hmm... I like the idea of more and deeper routing/chambering and I'm like you, I like less string tension. Enough to choose the Vintage Select? I don't know... I want something different from my Gretsch hollowbody, so maybe a more solid body response is a good thing.
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,612
I love my G6128T '57 Duo Jet - however, I did replace the stock Synchro-Sonic bridge with a generic roller bridge because I could not effectively palm mute with the locking screws on. The TV Jones T-Armonds are very nice, and I see the 53 model has the TV Jones pickups.

I think you would enjoy and be happy with either, and the Players Editions are nice instruments. The Bigsby will be stiffer with the tension bar, but I have not observed any notable tuning problems with my Gretsches so equipped.

If you plan to gig with the guitar, I would go with the Players Edition.
 

Drew816

Chupacabra Psychiatrist and Meme Thief
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,794
I have played neither. But have more than just a couple of years of experience with Gretsch guitars, Bigsby's, etc. I own a '55 Round-Up with a B3, a '62 DuoJet with a Burns and on another track a vintage 335 with a B7. The B7 is as described above, it's tighter, it will fight for vibrato a bit more. That keeps more tension on the bridge (which can move around after all!) so the tone translation is probably more "big." But I prefer the B3, it's just easier to make use of, I don't notice a tone difference though at big volumes it may be there; it's just more comfortable and dare I say "useable," to me.

My '55 is very loud acoustically, but ya know, so is my '62. These vintage Gretsch's really "ring," but I'll bet the '53 is pretty similar. And it's not an issue, think Billy Zoom of X with his collection of '55 Jets, you can really wind these things up and they'll produce!

Script Jets rule too, so keep that in mind! And well Dyna's are a no brainer, they are highly under-rated pickups IMHO.

All this probably doesn't help much, but I thought I'd write and talk Bigsby's at least. It would probably be hard to find both of those models in the same shop, but it would be worth doing that and trying them back to back to really know what's what, for your style and tone.

Good luck!
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
I love my G6128T '57 Duo Jet - however, I did replace the stock Synchro-Sonic bridge with a generic roller bridge because I could not effectively palm mute with the locking screws on. The TV Jones T-Armonds are very nice, and I see the 53 model has the TV Jones pickups.

I think you would enjoy and be happy with either, and the Players Editions are nice instruments. The Bigsby will be stiffer with the tension bar, but I have not observed any notable tuning problems with my Gretsches so equipped.

If you plan to gig with the guitar, I would go with the Players Edition.
Thanks Big Doug, good advice.

I just noticed the Players Edition has "Dynasonic" brand pickups, rather than TV Jones (which you said the '53 has). So that's another comparison to listen to, if I can find it. Not a deal breaker as pickups can be changed easy enough.

Yes, I'm a big palm muter, so I'd probably have to change out the bridge as you did.

You're right, since I won't be able to play both side-by-side, there probably won't be any buyer's remorse since they both seem like great guitars.
 

The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
Messages
3,646
I actually got a chance to play a pre-Fender Duosonic with [what I was told were] ceramic Dynasonics. It sounded bold and clear. The guitar played perfectly too. I was suprised! I've owned/played many vintage and newer variants, and that particular pre-Fender example with was just right for me. I must have been an AlNiCo snob.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
All this probably doesn't help much, but I thought I'd write and talk Bigsby's at least. It would probably be hard to find both of those models in the same shop, but it would be worth doing that and trying them back to back to really know what's what, for your style and tone.
Oh it does help, and I appreciate the response. I agree about Dynasonics, especially straight into a clean tube amp. There's something very musical about them.

I've seen mods for a B7 that use an adjustable height tension bar. That makes me feel a little more comfortable with the Players Edition. In other words, if it's a problem, it could be resolved.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
I actually got a chance to play a pre-Fender Duosonic with [what I was told were] ceramic Dynasonics. It sounded bold and clear. The guitar played perfectly too. I was suprised! I've owned/played many vintage and newer variants, and that particular pre-Fender example with was just right for me. I must have been an AlNiCo snob.
Ha ha! I am definitely an AlNiCo snob! I had a G&L S500 and loved it, but couldn't get used to the MFD pickups, which had ceramic magnets. I also changed out the ceramic speaker in my Princeton Reverb RI and love the Jensen AlNiCo speaker so much more! I listen with an open mind, but I choose AlNiCo pickups or speakers almost every time.
 

Drew816

Chupacabra Psychiatrist and Meme Thief
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,794
That and looser springs can help, I think there's a 1" and 3/4" version? You can loosen them up, but they have a different "feel" for sure.

But the PE maybe a better fit for you and your tones.

But, Script Jet, just saying... ;) I love the looks of the vintage script logo and it is all about "the looks" after all. Well, a bit anyway.

Good luck!

And yes, CERAMIC pickups in Gretsch's, sacrilege!!! Makes them hotter, more modern, and cheaper to manufacture; and they sound nothing like the originals...
 

The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
Messages
3,646
Ha ha! I am definitely an AlNiCo snob! I had a G&L S500 and loved it, but couldn't get used to the MFD pickups, which had ceramic magnets. I also changed out the ceramic speaker in my Princeton Reverb RI and love the Jensen AlNiCo speaker so much more! I listen with an open mind, but I choose AlNiCo pickups or speakers almost every time.
Perhaps before most of the TGP younger members' were in-the-know, there was a time when many "pros" changed from addled, low-wind/output AlNiCo pickups (and speakers for that matter) for the know much maligned ceramic equivalents -- and the fans spinning their records or hitting the dance floor never knew the difference.
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,612
@Jutaika - I do have a G3156 Historic Streamliner with the Gretsch Dynasonics, and they sound great too. They are both copies of the DeArmonds. TV Jones pickups have an "aura" among Gretschies. You might pose your questions to the Gretsch-Talk.org forum, and get their input...
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
And yes, CERAMIC pickups in Gretsch's, sacrilege!!! Makes them hotter, more modern, and cheaper to manufacture; and they sound nothing like the originals...
Agreed! So do we know the magnet material in modern Dynasonics (not TV Jones) have? Pickups are changeable but I'm still curious.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
Perhaps before most of the TGP younger members' were in-the-know, there was a time when many "pros" changed from addled, low-wind/output AlNiCo pickups (and speakers for that matter) for the know much maligned ceramic equivalents -- and the fans spinning their records or hitting the dance floor never knew the difference.
What do they know, anyway? We guitarists are way more picky with tone than the audience for sure! But we can't help what we like to hear.

All the fans/listeners care about is if the tune had a good groove and they can identify with the lyrics.
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,338
I'm pretty much set on a Japanese made Gretsch Jet as my next guitar. And pretty much set on Dynasonic pickups, partly because I already have a Gretsch with TV Jones Classics, and partly because I just love the sound of Dynasonics.

I'd like your opinions (pros and cons) about these two models I've narrowed it down to:

G6128T '53 Vintage Select
G6128T DS Players Edition

Even if I was near a store that had both of these, not sure I'd be allowed to handle them right now (my state has a COVID-19 lockdown). I've read that the Players Edition has a no-load tone pot and treble bleed circuit on the master volume, both of which I like. The '53 doesn't have these, in an attempt to stay closer to the original?

What about neck profile differences? Looks like they're both gloss poly finishes.

Any opinions on the Bigsby B3 on the '53 versus the B7 on the Players Edition? I've read people don't like the tension bar on the B7. Still not clear why, unless it causes tuning issues or too much string tension in playing feel. Guess they used the B7 on the PE due to the lower fretboard position (closer to the top, not raised as high as the VS), though that doesn't make sense to me.

Any other features that would make you choose one over the other?

Steer clear of tension bar bigsby's

a) they make re-stringing more time consuming and difficult.
b) they don't bounce back to correct tuning as well as one without tension bar because they increase the break angle.

Tone pot with Treble bleed is much better imo.
I find mud switches useless.
 

The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
Messages
3,646
What do they know, anyway? We guitarists are way more picky with tone than the audience for sure! But we can't help what we like to hear.

All the fans/listeners care about is if the tune had a good groove and they can identify with the lyrics.
To be honest, I do not think I have any guitars with ceramic magnet pickups (maybe a Jackson?), but I was quite surprised by that above mentioned Duosonic (it was perfect to me).


nv0iIA3.jpg


mTDd3ZN.jpg


HIwYSAc.jpg
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
To be honest, I do not think I have any guitars with ceramic magnet pickups (maybe a Jackson?), but I was quite surprised by that above mentioned Duosonic (it was perfect to me).


nv0iIA3.jpg


mTDd3ZN.jpg


HIwYSAc.jpg
LOL! My wife is very supportive of my GAS, but she needs to see these photos! Talk about a guitar player's dream man-cave! *Wipes drool off of chin*

If I found a ceramic pickup-guitar combination that sounded great, I'm not enough of a snob to reject it. I just know that I almost always prefer AlNiCo magnets in an A/B comparison. I also know that I've sold every guitar I've had which had ceramic magnets, then found out LATER about the magnet material. "So that's why I didn't enjoy the sound!" Example; a Mexican strat.

But I play almost exclusively clean, and I think if you're adding a lot of effects, OD, distortion, it's going to be a LOT harder to tell the difference.

So... I am looking for info on Dynasonics, both old and modern, to see what they used. Evidently there are some bar magnets and some pole magnet Dynasonic style pickups.
 
Messages
971
Any opinions on the Bigsby B3 on the '53 versus the B7 on the Players Edition? I've read people don't like the tension bar on the B7. Still not clear why, unless it causes tuning issues or too much string tension in playing feel. Guess they used the B7 on the PE due to the lower fretboard position (closer to the top, not raised as high as the VS), though that doesn't make sense to me.

Any other features that would make you choose one over the other?


Regarding the tension bar Bigsby, Gretsch guys tend not to like them because they have a stiffer feel and they change the attack (similar to the effect of a buzz stop on a Jazzmaster). Also in my experience the tension bar makes it so the strings don't always return exactly to pitch. Gretsches already have enough string angle behind the bridge that the tension bar really isn't needed for sustain purposes.
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
617
Regarding the tension bar Bigsby, Gretsch guys tend not to like them because they have a stiffer feel and they change the attack (similar to the effect of a buzz stop on a Jazzmaster). Also in my experience the tension bar makes it so the strings don't always return exactly to pitch. Gretsches already have enough string angle behind the bridge that the tension bar really isn't needed for sustain purposes.
That's interesting, I've read that the tension bar was intended to create more downward pressure on the bridge for the purpose of increasing sustain. Not necessarily something I want in a Gretsch. I'm after the chambered body and Bigsby combo to get a different sound from an LP or similar solid body with a vibrato. But you say it isn't necessary? Wonder how easy it would be to change to a different Bigsby... Might as well get an Electromatic then and mod it.
 




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