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6129 Silver Jet Guitars

1956 Gretsch 6129 Silver Jet

Color: Silver Sparkle, Rating: 9.25, $22,500.00 (ID# 02267)
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A Near Mint Early 1956 Gretsch 6129 Silver Jet
The Brightest, Flashiest Silver Sparkle Top That We Have Ever Seen… In Its Original Straw Case''

 

1956 Gretsch 6129 Silver Jet

 

This 13 1/4-inch-wide guitar weighs just 7.90 lbs. Chambered mahogany body, pressed arched top with silver sparkle plastic laminate. One-piece mahogany neck with a wide nut width of just under 1 3/4 inches, a scale length of 24 3/4 inches and a very comfortable profile rising gently from behind the 1st fret (0.83 inches), 0.87 behind the 3rd, 0.92 behind the 5th, 0.93 behind the 7th, 0.94 behind the 9th and 1.00 inches behind the 12th fret. Bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 22 original thin frets and inlaid pearloid block position markers. Headstock with inlaid pearl Gretsch "T-roof" logo. Four-ply binding white over black binding on the top of the guitar. Individual Grover StaTite open-back tuners with oval metal buttons. Two single-coil DeArmond Dynasonic pickups with outputs of 3.17k and 3.61k. Silver lucite pickguard. Four controls (two volume and one tone on the lower treble bout and one master volume control on the treble horn), plus a three-way pickup selector switch on upper bass bout. The pots are stamped "615 518" (ROC, May 1955). Chrome knobs with cross-hatch pattern on sides and unengraved flat tops. Black Melita Synchro-Sonic bridge with chrome saddles on ebony base and chrome cut-out "G-hole flat" tailpiece. The serial number "17856" printed on a label inside the control cavity with the model number "6129." The serial number is also engraved on the outside of the control cavity cover. This is an exceptionally clean and totally original example  in strong (9.50) near mint condition with one of the fattest "baseball bat" necks we have ever seen. There is light playing wear to the first six frets and one small 'divot' on the fretboard just below the first block marker. There are three tiny areas on the binding that show minimal shrinkage (no cracks) inside the treble horn and inside the treble and bass waists. The sparkle top is in absolutely perfect condition and is quite simply the brightest, flashiest top we have ever seen. Complete with lots of original case candy. Housed in the original straw-colored fitted case with maroon plush lining and the original "Gretsch" ribbon (9.25).

Gretsch serial numbers for 1956 began with "17000" -- this guitar was shipped from the factory in January of 1956.

"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).

"1954's 6128 Duo Jet and the Model 6129 Silver Jet were fraternal twins… The 6128's shiny sibling the Model 6129 Silver Jet bears precisely the same characteristics as its black brother with the obvious exception, of course, of its silver sparkle Nitron drum material top. Preeminently collectible on today's vintage guitar market, the Silver Jet occasionally appears with a factory-original, fixed-arm Bigsby B-3 aluminium vibrato tailpiece combined, not with a Bigsby bridge, but a chrome-plated Melita. Bigsby tailpieces were not standard on any Jet-series guitar (they were stock on the model 6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody) but could be custom-ordered at the player's request and at extra charge; this rarely occurred, however. Despite the fact that Gretsch had been making drums since the late-19th Century and offered a wide variety of sparkle, pearl and metallic finishes on them, no single cutaway Model 6129, or any other model number, with a sparkle top other than silver sparkle has been uncovered… Earliest pickguards for 1954 are white plastic without "Gretsch" inscribed on it… Duo Jets and Silver Jets for 1955 looked exactly the same as their 1954 counter parts with the exception of the aforementioned pickguard change: the white, unengraved, uncut 'guard is more globular, rounder than before, is clear Lucite painted silver from the underside, pantograph-engraved on a radius with a black "Gretsch" block letter logo, and is cut to fit around the DeArmond pickups' metal mounting rings." (Jay Scott, Gretsch: The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company, pp. 92-93).

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