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Just got a Gretsch Double Jet


Riffster

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Yes, it is very slim, meaning flat from front to back however the first frets have enough meat. Basically the neck profile does not have a lot of taper throughout.

 

The neck joint at the 16th fret is kind of a bummer, the heel starts at the 14th fret, kind of silly for a double cut guitar. I think the USA version of this body style has one or two more frets with better access.

 

This guitar is heavy as f*** and it is chambered. I wonder how heavy the newer model is being basswood.

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I have one, only it's silver.

 

Kind of torn up. I took off the Bigsby and put a homemade tailpiece on it (it was actually the bridge plate from an old Squier Mini Strat).

 

But I love it!

 

I'm planning on putting on new hardware (yes, with a new Bigsby!), as well as new electronics, as I don't care too much for the pickups. I actually think I can squeeze some P-90s in there!

And it needs a refret. It's a keeper! A

 

And yes, mine is heavy too. But I like it like that!

 

HAPPY NGD!

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yea I just looked at the control cavity and it has the dime-sized pots, I'll be yanking those out.

 

A paper in oil cap will be in order and the neck pickup is a mile away from the strings, needs a shim for sure.

 

I bought this model for tone diversity and because it seems I can't stop buying guitars. For what I read P90s are a direct drop on these, when I rewire it I will use connectors so I can swap the pickups with P90's now and then.

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... it seems I can't stop buying guitars. For what I read P90s are a direct drop on these, when I rewire it I will use connectors so I can swap the pickups with P90's now and then.

 

Aw, man, you're on a roll. Just buy another for P90s! [biggrin]

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  • 3 weeks later...

So in closer inspection I realized just how neglected this axe has been,

 

I was going to set it up and noticed the neck had a lot of bow, I found that the truss rod was not tightened at all!

 

So I was going to install new strings and clean the nasty fingerboard, took off the strings and the nut fell off! right off just like Petey's head.

 

I became suspicious that the radius on the bridge was a little off, measured it and shure enough the bridge was collapsed, lost its radius, the body of this guitar is so banged up that it does not surprise me this Nashville style bridge gave in.

 

So, time to bring back this poor dog in from the rain.

 

First phase (will get the guitar back to playing condition):

- Fret Doctor application to the fingerboard, 3 applications that is. The board looks so much better now.

- Wilkinson roller bridge. I figured this bridge style would not look out of place on a Gretsch, much nicer than a Nashville roller bridge.

- Tusq XL permanently lubricated nut. Nice light material, the Gibson-sized version is a perfect fit for this guitar.

 

Second phase:

- Replace the volume pot with an Alpha push/pull so I can wire the pickups out of phase/paralell.

- Replace the tone pot with a full-size Alpha pot, these are a direct drop in on import guitars without having to enlarge the holes for the shafts and having to buy new knobs.

- I bought a Gretsch single coil for the neck position, the stock mini sounded therrible but it was too low, so if that does not work I'll be installing this single, maybe will add a connector so I can swap them easily.

- the stock pickups are not that great I'd like to experiment with magnets but the trick will be to find the right size. Searcy? do you have a source?

 

Sorry for the crappy pics but hey better than no pics.

 

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How about that tolerance on the volume pot? right on the money 500K. Eat your heart out CTS!

 

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The Volume pot is not that bad either

 

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The bridge is a direct drop in, 74mm spacing, I am leaving in the stock studs, they are tighter than the ones that came with the bridge.

 

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Permanently lubricated nuts, no innuendo meant.

 

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And a pinup strap to top it all off.

 

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I love Jets to bits [thumbup]

 

Personal preference is for Dynasonics...single coils...

 

Just like George Harrison's and some of the Chet Atkins models

 

IMO Jets make a great counterpoint to all the Les Pauls and Strats people choose first....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Definitely get yourself a pair of TV Jones pickups for that Jet. I just put a MagnaTron and a Classic Plus in my 5120beard and made it come to life.

 

Yeah, I'm with 98SSG and surfpup on this one. As much as I love P-90s, I think you gotta stick with something closer to that great Gretsch sound.

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I have been gassing for a guitar with TV Jones pickups but I feel strange about spending the same cash on pickups than what I paid for the guitar. This is a decent guitar but I think I'll give the mini humbuckers a chance, if this guitar turns out to be a keeper then I msy fork out the cash for TV Jones pickups.

 

the thing is that the mounting rings for a conversion require drilling so there is no going back if I want to sell the guitar and keep the pickups.

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Roller bridge and new nut installed!

 

The guitar stays in tune even with new strings, I am impressed considering that I have not fully stretched the strings and that the two top tuners are pretty beat up, bent shafts and all.

 

I gave the bigsby some normal use and heavy dive bombing and I am quite pleased with the result.

 

The nut is a pretty nice fit using 10's, for $15 and a little elbow grease.

 

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My daughter approves

 

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If you are looking for good single coil sound that is not a P-90,

I highly recommend the TV Jones T-Armond's, got there own thing going on.

I would also recommend getting the TV Jones wiring harness as well, but you have Pots already.

the are a much better quality over stock.

[thumbup]

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there is no going back if I want to sell the guitar and keep the pickups.

 

I understand your reasoning but I do have to say that when you go to the TVJ pickups and do whatever other mod you do to that guitar you will never consider selling it.

I also added the emblem from my old car (Dodge Dart Swinger) to the guitar which I'm sure adds 40dB to my level. It started as a joke but the more I looked at the emblem mocked on my guitar the more and more it seemed that it fit. So I mounted it and now everybody thinks I play a Gretsch Swinger haha pretty funny

 

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Yea, I am definitely considering it, I plugged in last night cranked up my amp and these minis on the Gretsch are pretty lackluster, dirty or clean they don't quite deliver.

 

The neck pickup is pretty useless.

 

I was thinking that I could do the TV Jones mod and if I ever sell the guitar I can buy a set of Gretsch Filtertrons and install them in there, a set of Filtertrons cost $110.

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these minis on the Gretsch are pretty lackluster, dirty or clean they don't quite deliver.

 

How far are they from the strings??? I know the 5120s were nowhere close to the strings and I had to cut six coils off the springs to get them anywhere close. That did help my volume with that guitar but I had to take the .47 capacitor off the tone. Put a .005 on there and it made it come alive. With the jones installed I put a .22uF cap in there since it was too bright.

 

So for now I suggest a different capacitor and see what that does for you. And if you can't get your pickups near your strings then cut of some of the spring.

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Yea I had already adjusted the pickup height, the previous owner had the pickups all the way down. The neck pickup is just terrible, I read that many folks replace them on these guitars and for good reason, I am going to try that single coil pictured above next time I change strings.

 

I am going to replace the pots for the ones shown above in my previous posts, I have another import guitar where I used these Alpha pots and the work very well. The taper on the tone pots is quite good.

 

 

And yea I actually have several Russian PIO caps ready for this guitar, most likely will use a 0.033uF

 

And I will add a treble bleed on the volume pot.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not a lot of progress but I got an engraved truss rod cover in pearl to match the pickguard.

 

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I also decided that I will add an extra knob for two reasons, add an extra tone pot to have separate controls for each pickup and also to drill the control cavity a lot larger and relieve some of the weight of the guitar [wink] I have a cover plate in the mail, the largest I found. This guitar is just too heavy for my taste.

 

Here is a mock up of the extra knob which will control the volume, it will also be located closer for better reach.

 

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Happy New Guitar Day!! And it's a Gold top too!!

 

Just love the Electro-Jets esp. for the $$$. I have to say some of the Gretsch Forum guys steered me to the GFS pups and I put them (single coil) onto the Pro-Jet. I really like them and they were $39 each went right in too. I know the TV Jones would be nicer or the Dynasonics but that's cutting and big $$ for what I've got in the git. They work for me anyway. I play the Duo-Jet for the Dynas & love them.

 

Aster

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  • 4 months later...

Ok my project is not moving much but with a 1-year old at home and being my busiest time of the year at work it takes me time.

 

New control cavity routed, I am adding a push-pull volume pot and the guitar will have two tone controls. You can see the original outline of the control cavity.

 

Turns out routing a guitar with an arched top is kind of tough, I was hoping for weight relief but I ran into weight relief holes, damned.

 

The paint is flacking right off, that's OK the back of the guitar is pretty beat up, this finish chips off big time.

 

Still have to route the flange of the control cavity, that will clean up the look.

 

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Routed the pickup cavity for Filtertron's, I was careful not to mess the gold finish around the pickup opening just in case I want to install P90s one day.

 

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There is the two cavities, the neck route is not as clean because the fretboard is on the way, I did not use a template so I am just glad I did not ruin the guitar.

 

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This has not been an easy modification, at all especially without especialized tools....and knowledge.

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  • 1 month later...

Damn, what did I get myself into?

 

Well, this project is now into the second half so I feel good that the most difficult part, which is the routing is done.

 

Here is the cavity fully routed including the ledge, it is all free-hand as I found making a template very challenging from the start, it was not worth it. The cavity ledge came out just about perfect.

 

Ironically all of the stain that flaked off was when I scoured the cavity location with a blade, I was trying to do this precisely to not crack the stain, turns out that the router is so fast that it does a very precise cut right over the stain as it can be seen in this pic. No biggie, the back of the guitar is full of chips, pretty beat up.

 

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Using the TV Jones inserts, to my surpise they did not fit at all, I had to sand them for width, length and height to conform to the slopping top, that's $15 I did not need to spend.

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Mock up of the bridge pickup setting, I would have made more progress if the neck pickup did not have metal tabs at the bottom that I will have to trim out.

 

9C578240-6C41-4C2E-854F-3496CDA4872C-6563-0000093A32103B29.jpg

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