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6128 Duo Jet Guitars

1956 Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet

Color: Black, Rating: 9.25, $11,500.00 (ID# 02047)
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A Near Mint ++ All Original "DeArmond" Duo Jet… By Far The Best We Have Ever Seen…

 

1956 Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet

 

This early 1956 Duo Jet has a 13 1/4-inch-wide, 2 inch deep chambered mahogany body and a triple-bound pressed arched top with black plastic laminate, weighs just 7.70 lbs. One-piece mahogany neck with a fat fat nut width of just over 1 11/16 inches, a wonderful medium-to-thick neck profile and a scale length of 24 1/2 inches. Single-bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 22 original 'medium' frets and inlaid pearloid block position markers. Single-bound, dark brown maple faced headstock with inlaid pearl Gretsch "T-roof" logo. Original 'Bullet" shaped two-layer black over white plastic truss-rod cover with three screws. Individual open-back Grover StaTite tuners with oval metal buttons and hexagonal bushings. Two single-coil DeArmond pickups with outputs of 9.43k and 9.30k with original tortoise-shell plastic spacers. Clear Lucite pickguard painted silver on the underneath and engraved in black from the underneath with Gretsch "T-roof" logo. Four controls (three volume, one tone) and one three-way selector switch. The potentiometers are stamped "615 7033 534" (IOC August 1955). "Arrow-through-G" chrome-plated control knobs with cross-hatch pattern on sides. Melita Synchro-Sonic bridge with six individually adjustable saddles on height-adjustable base and chrome cut-out "G-hole flat" tailpiece. Original two-layer white on black plastic neck heel cover. Original two-layer black over white plastic control cover secured by three screws. Inside the control cavity is the original Gretsch label with Model "6128" stamped in blue and Serial No. "18077" stamped in red. One circular three layer black over white plastic and one two-layer black over white plastic switch/potentiometer covers, each secured by two screws. This very rare guitar is in near mint and totally original (9.25++) condition with absolutely no belt-buckle rash on the back - just the bare minimum of lower edge wear on the mahogany body and some light finish checking on the laminated maple face of the headstock. Complete with the original (slightly worn) "Gretsch Guitar Guarantee" with matching model and serial numbers in blue ink. Housed in the original Gretsch five-latch, two-tone gray, shaped hardshell case with dark burgundy velvet lining (9.25+). Without question the finest example we have ever seen…

"In early 1954 [actually August 1953], 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 solidbodies 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. The 1954 models issued were the Gretsch Electromatic solidbody Model 6128; Duo Jet in black; 6129 Silver Jet with silver sparkle top; Model 6130 Western-outfitted Round Up; similarly appointed Model 6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody, companion to the Model 6120 Chet Atkins Hollowbody, and, apparently hearkening back to the Gretsch-Bacon banjo days, Model 6126 Duo Jet Baritone Uke and Model 6127 Duo Jet tenor guitar. 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. (Jay Scott. The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company, pp. 91-92).

"In 1953 Gretsch launched its first solidbody, the single-cutaway Duo Jet. In fact, the guitar was a semi-solid with routed channels and pockets inside, but the visual effect was certainly of a solidbody instrument. In its early years the new Duo Jet had, unusually, a body front covered in a black plastic material, as used on some Gretsch drums. It also had Gretsch's unique two-piece strap buttons (an early take on the idea of locking strap buttons) and the Melita Synchro-Sonic Bridge" (Tony Bacon, Electric Guitars: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, pp. 163-165).

George Harrison bought a 1957 Gretsch Duo Jet early in 1961. "Harrison used the Duo Jet throughout the group's rise to fame, only retiring it when he acquired a double-cutaway Gretsch Country Gentleman in summer 1963" (Tony Bacon, Electric Guitars: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, p. 164).

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