1948 Jet 21

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by G Steven, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. G Steven

    G Steven Newbie

    Jun 13, 2021
    Came across this beauty about six months ago and just finished it up this morning. Serial # is 3540. I've been told there were fewer than 50 of these made? She plays like a dream and is a very good looking specimen! Anyone know what the story is on these? Are there really only 50?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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  2. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Pretty cool.... too bad they made it backwards!
  3. Merc

    Merc Friend of Fred

    May 6, 2017
    I don’t know much about that Gretsch era. But the aged sunken lacquer gives it a cool vibe.

    Welcome to the forum!
  4. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    I only want to know one thing: does it sound as good as it looks?

  5. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    That is a real beauty!
  6. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Simply awesome.
  7. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    Backwards is fine by me!
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  8. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I think that number would be idle speculation. Gretsch's records were lost in fires. So, generally the only was to even hazard a guess is to look at serial numbers of existing examples. A quick survey of easily available examples out there shows a serial number span of 3500-3628, suggesting that there was a batch of at least 150 units. And then there's another one out there with a SN of 1759, so evidently there was more than one batch. It would take more digging to answer the question of whether 3500-3650 (and this 1759 batch) were all Jet 21s, or if they were mixed batches including Jet 21s and the nearly identical New Yorkers. But Ed/Wayne may already have enough SNs in those ranges to answer that question. I'm thinking they were all Jet 21s. I've spotted 4 examples in that 3500-3650 batch, and they're distributed across that range. I'm not 100% certain on this, but I think Ed has found that like models within a mixed batch tended to be grouped together? So, if it's correct that there were two batches, one of which was at least 150 units, then I would think there were 200-300 made. But if the batches were mixed, that estimate could be high. If there were more batches, then it could be too low.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  9. knavel

    knavel Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Or that Bettie's Records guy could be asked. He always had interesting views (and prices to match) on production numbers and rarity. I recall a Jet 21 was one of his feature eBay items for a number of years.

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  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I can't look at a Jet 21 without immediately thinking of bettysrecords/bevete. I think at one point he had his priced at something like $15,000.
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  11. knavel

    knavel Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Same here. It's the first thing I thought of when I saw this topic.

    Though I thought his was north of $20k. I miss the narratives he would write. I wish I had one of them now.
  12. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    I agree with much of what Afire shares (as usual!). It's not clear to me if the Jet 21 models were made all as a group (2 batches) of if they were intermingled within the batches with the New Yorker (6050). For instance, it appears that #4200-4299 could have been a group of 100 New Yorkers, and #4300-4350 were a group of 50 Jet 21 units. With the data points I have now they seem like they are just adjacent batches, which makes sense from a manufacturing perspective (tooling set-ups). But with more data points it may well turn out that this was one big 150 units batch with both New Yorkers and Jet 21 guitars.
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