Duo Jet Guitars

1954 Gretsch Duo Jet

Color: Black Top with Mahogany Body, Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 00003)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

One of the Very First Duo Jets

This 13 1/4-inch-wide guitar weighs in at 7.80 lbs. and has a nice, fat nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 24 1/2 inches. Chambered mahogany body, pressed arched top with black plastic laminate, mahogany neck, and white-bound rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and inlaid pearloid block position markers. Headstock with inlaid pearl Gretsch "T-roof" logo. Individual Grover StaTite open-back tuners with oval metal buttons. Two single-coil DeArmond pickups with outputs of 13.43k and 10.92k. Four-layer (white/black/white/black) plastic pickguard. Four controls (three volume, one tone) and one three-way selector switch. Chrome knobs with cross-hatched pattern on sides. Melita Synchro-Sonic bridge and chrome cut-out "G-hole flat" tailpiece. This is one of the very first Duo Jets, with a silver cut-out Gretsch logo above the tailpiece, the Melita bridge anchored directly into the body, and, as with the very early Gibson Les Paul's, no printed Gretsch identification label in the control cavity. Apart from some minor belt buckle wear on the back of the body, this is an exceptionally clean and totally original example. Housed in the original straw-colored fitted case lined with velvet.

"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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