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6131 Jet Firebird Guitars

1957 Gretsch 6131 Jet Firebird

Color: Red with black, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 01490)
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An All Original 1957 'DeArmond' Jet Firebird.

 

1957 Gretsch 6131 Jet Firebird.

 

This wonderful guitar weighs just 7.00 lbs. and has a 13 1/4 inch wide and just under 2 inch deep chambered mahogany body with three-ply binding and a pressed arched top with the Firebird red finish. The back and sides of the body and the back of the neck are finished in black. One-piece mahogany neck with a nice fat nut width of 1 9/16 inches, a wonderful thick profile and a scale length of 24 1/2 inches. Single-bound ebony fretboard with 22 original thin frets and neo-classic inlaid pearl thumbprint (half-moon) position markers. Single-bound, walnut veneer faced headstock with inlaid pearl Gretsch "T-roof" logo. Individual open-back Grover StaTite tuners with oval metal buttons. Two single-coil DeArmond pickups with original tortoiseshell spacers and plated metal surrounds with outputs of 3.01k and 2.99k. Original silver lucite pickguard with Gretsch "T-roof" logo engraved from the underside in black (small piece of original tape on the underside with the serial number written in pencil). Four controls (two volume and one tone on lower treble bout, one master volume on upper treble bout) plus one three-way pickup selector switch on upper bass bout. "Arrow-through-G" knobs with cross-hatch pattern on sides. Original Melita six-saddle bridge on ebony base and plated cut-out "G-hole flat" tailpiece secured to the edge od the body by three screws. The potentiometers are stamped "615 7033 542" & "615 7033 607" (ROC October 1955 & February 1956). The control cavity cover is etched with the serial number "21146". The Gretsch label on the inside of the control cavity is torn away with just a small remnant remaining. There is a very small amount of belt buckle rash on the back of the body (nothing through the finish) and just one very small and insignificant surface chip on the top just by the master volume control. There is a small area on the treble waist where the triple-binding has very slightly separated away from the body. Otherwise this fifty-five year old Firebird is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition with very little playing wear. Housed in the original Gretsch two-tone gray, five-latch, shaped hardshell case with burgundy plush lining (9.00).

"In early 1954, Gretsch premiered its single cutaway Jet series, a line of quasi-solidbodies 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...Model 6126 Duo Jet Bariton Uke and Model 6127 Duo Jet tenor guitar… In 1955 the Model 6131 Jet Firebird made its first appearance. Its vibrant, deep Oriental-red top and black, neck, back and sides offered another colorful option in the Jet series. The '55 Model 6131 has all the same characteristics as 1955 Models 6128 and 6129. The serial number, as for all Jets of this era, is scratched on the black plastic control cavity cover and printed on a "Fred Gretsch Mfg. Co." label glued to the cavity's inner wall. The Jet Firebird's contrasting black Lucite pickguard has white 'Gretsch' pantograph engraving" (Jay Scott, The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company, pp. 91-95).

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