Gretsch or Gibson? Duo Jet vs. Les Paul

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by drmilktruck, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I think you can have both a Jet and LP. I didn't think Gibson had produced any kind of quality instrument in number of years, every one I picked up, LP or 335, was quite poor. Then I got a call from a dealer a couple of months ago that suggested I come in and try the 2012 LP Special they just got on trade. A freakishly good instrument and it went home with me so, I haven't lost all faith in Gibson. I like both guitars about the same, if I was shopping for a solid body single cut it would depend on which one spoke to me the loudest when I picked it up on that particular day. have to say, I do love the look of a good burst.
    Stencil and Waxhead like this.
  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    The Les Paul and the Duo Jet share a little more than just a body shape. The Jet was Gretsch's response to its rival's introduction of the single cut electric guitar. Just like the Guild M-75 Aristocrat was. So they are tied together from the start and lend themselves to comparison.

    It's true they have differences but that's the point of the exercise. The LP is truly solid, the Jet is chambered, the Aristocrat is truly hollow. All three have single coils initially - P90s, Dynas, Franz then later hum buckers.

    Each of those features (and others) can be used to compare and contrast and then you can decide which mix leads to your preferred guitar.
  3. gruffydd3

    gruffydd3 Electromatic

    Nov 3, 2018
    It would be more reasonable to compare the Duo Jet to the ES Les Paul.
  4. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    A person can compare anything they want to anything else. I don't see the big deal. Sometimes I don't know if I want apples or oranges so I will compare them to figure it out. When I got my BJP I was on the hunt for a surf green Strat and yes I compared them and decided this time around I wanted a Gretsch if I was only allowed to compare things that are apples to apples I would have never found a Gretsch.
    Robbie, wilblee and ponca like this.
  5. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    I must say, your post only reinforces the bad reputaction for me. The fact that you had to have a store specifically call you for a specific guitar that is decent produced 6byears ago means you have to be lucky and well connected to find a good one. I would prefer relying on the manufacturer to make good guitars consistently. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
    Robbie and Waxhead like this.
  6. MartyT

    MartyT Gretschie

    Apr 8, 2010
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    I agree 100% and I don't think I can say it any better, so I won't even try!
  7. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    I'm sitting here with a fake lawsuit Les Paul (Aspen) in my lap, its pretty excellent, nice and light semi hollow...kinda more Jet like, maybe that's why i love these.
  8. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    they aren't for me :)
    Depends on the kinda music you play and what amps/pedals you have.

    I did own 2 LPs and ditched them for an SG and then a Jet.
    My Jet with TVJ filtertrons covers everything the old LP did plus lot's more. The fat overdrive/distortion tones the LP excelled in is covered equally well by the Jet and it's much better for everything else.
    new6659 likes this.
  9. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I don't disagree, it's unfortunate it has to be that way...but I'll take it when the opportunity presents.
    new6659 and Henry like this.
  10. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Never could bond with the L.P.s i had, still got two SG's though.
    Waxhead likes this.
  11. JumpinJagFlash

    JumpinJagFlash Gretschie

    Apr 26, 2016
    Tabernacle NJ USA
    I had exactly the reverse experience in 1971. Got a Rosewood Tele to replace my '64 Strat (what was I thinking?) but the Tele's pickups squealed thru my Ovation amp's horn. Had to make a quick replacement as I was working 6 days a week, so traded the Tele for a goldtop LP.

    What a mistake! The LP was so heavy and different sounding in a way I was not used to, but the humbuckers were compatible with that horn, so I stuck with it. I never got used to their somewhat muddy sound, and ultimately moved to Gretsch and never looked back.
    CatTones likes this.
  12. Chris MC

    Chris MC Gretschie

    Oct 27, 2014
    Orange, Aus
    They bothsound great
  13. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I never owned a les paul and I never missed one. Call it "physical incompatibility" if you want (same with the Strats, but I had some of them...). I played some for recording purpose with different setups (a '74 with mini humbuckers, a Goldtop reissue with p90) and I think they have a sound on their own that only partially depends on electronics. The body influences the sound a lot, it's a heavy sustain guitar that clashes with the more "open" sound of a Jet, still for some genre (I think hard rock, or others where you need endless notes) it's unbeatable. To me, every Les Paul just sounded too dark, with only one excetion: I played a 70's Standard with Bigsby that sounded a lot like my SG Special (so I liked it more...;)).
    Other than that, there's Les Pauls and Les Pauls. A Custom it's a dark and heavy beast that screams Metal even unmplugged. A Standard is a Classic Rock machine in all her configuration. A Special and a Junior are punk rock to their bones.
    Personally, a '57 Les Paul Junior on a 60' AC30 at the right volume it's the best guitar sound I've ever heard.
    And I'm a Gretsch man all my life.
  14. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    The only "real" Gibson Les Paul i own:D Screenshot_2018-12-03-03-59-23-1.png
    drmilktruck likes this.
  15. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    that's mine.jpg
    Here's my old lady.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  16. RocknRollShakeUp

    RocknRollShakeUp Synchromatic

    Jun 20, 2017
    Fair enough. I guess you could interpret this comparison as one that addresses which guitar is the more versatile overall. Since I am humbly and thankfully not limited to one guitar I use them not as do it all instruments, but rather as specific tools for specific tones and styles.

    If you could only choose one guitar between a LP and Duo Jet, to do most things, then arguably I could see how some would see the Duo Jet as the more versatile guitar compared to the Les Paul, and I may as well.

    But, a 50's style Historic, with 50's wiring and vintage correct lower wind and bright PAF pickups could surprise you with some awesome clean, chimey, even twangy tones, if you set the knobs right and have the right amp. I think I could get more twang out of my Historic 57 reissue (R7) LP in the wound strings then with Filtertrons in a Gretsch in many cases.

    Now if you are talking about a Historic Les Paul Reissue with P90's, then I personally think it would win the versatility battle with a Duo Jet for most players, unless they were particular Gretsch Lovers, which is easy to be. I have a Historic R4 (54 reissue) with a wrap around bridge and p90's that I think is right up there with a Telecaster as the most versatile guitar one can play. It will literally do anything, from Twang to Jazz, to Johnny Thunders to melt your face gain if you were so afflicted :eek:. A good P90 Les Paul is just hard to beat as a RocknRoll instrument in my humble opinion.

    But, again, for those that say you are one guitar cats, yeah, I can see how you contend that you can't go wrong with a good Duo Jet. But then, what kind of Duo Jet? One with Filtertrons or with DeArmonds? What kind of Filtertrons? So even within the Duo Jet range, there isn't necessarily a one size fits all answers type of Jet arguably, and Duo Jets with Powertrons, Vintage Filtertrons, DeArmonds, can also be pretty specific tools for specific tonal needs. For me, a do it all Jet may be one with TV Classics, or even some Ray Butts pickups possibly. Do the Brian Setzers sound good in Duo Jets? They may also be a good "most versatile" choice. Powertrons are too dark for me and don't do clean, chimey and twangy well enough.

    So to come full circle, even in the "most versatile" department there are Jets that would be less versatile for me then my Historic 57 and 54 Les Pauls, depending on what pickups they had.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    Waxhead likes this.
  17. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    It’s not a Gibson, just a 15 yr old Epi but it has the single coil pickups I’m currently in love with, p90’s.
    I would take a Gibson Classic with P90’s because the classic has the slim taper neck...yum.

    However, p90’s in a Japanese Jet, I could go for that.

    RocknRollShakeUp likes this.
  18. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    and i say fair enough to you also - each to their own :)
    We all are different.

    I have never played a Historic 54 - I owned 2 LPs - a standard and a Studio with PAF humbuckers and have played many others with P-90s and burstbuckers. All LPs have 1 major flaw for me - they're too heavy and not comfy on stage.

    I think SGs sound just as great and are pounds lighter. So I sold my LPs are settled on an SG for 10 years for that great Gibson sound.

    P-90's - well I play lot's of hard rock and blues with mid/high gain and P-90s are way too noisy for me. When you use mid/high gain often P-90 limitations become apparent.

    As to which Jet is most versatile - I'm talking Jet with filtertrons & bigsby - either Gretsch HS filtertrons, TVJ Classics or Setzers. Dynasonics are no more versatile than a single coil Tele imo.

    On versatility there's also the trem system to consider.
    I don't think any guitar is particularly versatile if it lacks one.
    So Jet wins again there imo :)

    I have a Tele with 2 humbuckers which is more versatile than LPs I've played but it falls well short of a Jet with filtertrons & bigsby imo.

    It's nice we are all different - it would be a boring world if we were not :)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  19. RocknRollShakeUp

    RocknRollShakeUp Synchromatic

    Jun 20, 2017
    Yeah, absolutely, and let's remember, I'm one of the people that is not even interested in comparing the two since I would use them in different applications :) I don't want my LP to be versatile actually! I use it for what it is particularly strong in!

    I only have one Gretsch, a Black Falcon, that I don't want to be versatile either, I use it for what I consider needs "Gretschy" tones! I want to get a Duo Jet, and I'll likely get it with either Filters or Dynas, but very vintage sounding ones, for other particular type of Gretschy tones that I want to achieve. I certainly won't want to make it sound like a Les Paul.

    My point was that if versatility is the game, then the right LP can be amazingly versatile, much more so than what some may believe, and even more so than some Duo Jets, depending on how things are set up.

    With regards to the weight issue, yeah, the Duo Jet usually wins big time. Actually this is why I got Wildwood spec. featherweight LP's, because I'm forever done playing 9-10 lb Les Pauls! My R7 weighs 7.9 lbs and my R4 7.8 lbs, with no chambering whatsoever, but especially selected lightweight mahogany. There was a premium to be payed for these guitars, spec'ed as they were, but to me it was worth it. They also both have Wildwood spec. slightly underwound pickups so they sound fantastic played with clean tones.
    Still these days it is somewhat easy to find a Custom Shop Les Paul that is under 8.5 lbs, and Chambered Les Pauls (that are much more reasonably priced than the Wildwood featherweights, which have been discontinued and very hard to find used) that are in the mid 7 lb range.
    Moreover, you can get mid 7 lb Les Paul Juniors and Specials with p90's all day long.

    You could also put a Bigsby on a Les Paul.

    Actually, here's a mind bender: you can get a Chambered Historic Les Paul, with a bigsby, and use an English mount to put some TV Classics in there...and...ooops, you have a Duo Jet of sorts :D. Well, I would just get a Duo Jet at that point, because again, I don't want a Duo Jet that sounds like a Les Paul or a Les Paul that sounds like a Duo Jet.

    Regarding the P90 noise issue, I never struggled with that. I played 70's punk for a long time using P90 Les Paul Specials with Stooges, Pistols and Ramones level of gain and beyond. It sounded absolutely killer. There are few things on this earth that sound as bad ass as a P90 on full volume, through a cranked JMP or JCM 800, driven a bit more at key points with a tube screamer....with a Sovtek bubble font Big Muff kicked in for some of the was glorious. I just rolled the volume off when not playing, noise issue solved.

    But ultimately as you implied, different strokes for different folks. Heck..for a truly most versatile guitar, I'd probably go for some kind of telecaster :)

    edit: gratuitous shot of my Les Pauls...I'm hoping to have a nice Duo Jet one of these days too
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    Veritas0Aequtias and Waxhead like this.
  20. sixlicks

    sixlicks Electromatic

    Oct 16, 2014
    I have a duo jet and a les paul standard . I think both are great guitars . Glad to have them .
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