Anyone know if this is preFMIC or FMIC?

fazeka

Electromatic
Aug 8, 2020
5
Here now
Trying to research this, I can't determine if this is a preFMIC or FMIC Gretsch as it is a 2003 serial build date, kinda in the era of the takeover.

Is there anyway to tell by the pics?

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Thanks,
Chris
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,692
Petaluma
Can you get a closer pic of the pickups, particularly the profile of the pole piece / screw heads. Pre and post had different styles of filtertrons which can be differentiated by the shape of the top of the pole pieces
 

fazeka

Electromatic
Aug 8, 2020
5
Here now
Can you get a closer pic of the pickups, particularly the profile of the pole piece / screw heads. Pre and post had different styles of filtertrons which can be differentiated by the shape of the top of the pole pieces
Sorry, no other pics. Guitar is not mine.
 

audept

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Dec 1, 2010
29,429
Sydney, Australia
My pre-FMIC Jet has the same rear covers with the serial number engraved on the control cavity one. With a 2003 date it may be a transitional model. Could be Ceramic Filtertrons or Alnico HS Filtertrons. As Henry says only a closeup look at the polepiece screws will tell.
Gretsch Ceramic vs Alnico magnets-page-001.jpg
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,999
Portland, OR
Yeah, call it "Transitional".

That it's sporting a "JT" serial number at all tells you its FMIC era, at least from a "legal" standpoint. But an early one like that is gonna have a lot of pre-FMIC features and specs.

I’d expect to find the ceramic filtertrons in there, and that wouldn’t really be such a bad thing! Despite what you may have read, they’re not junk. They’re pretty good pups, with some serious growl to them when cranked. Granted, a little less twangy than the Alnico ones that replaced them, but we’re talking a matter of degrees there. Imho, they still sound just like a Gretsch should!
 

DaddyDog

Country Gent
Sep 18, 2011
2,808
Mississauga, Canada
the era of the takeover
Not a takeover. An agreement regarding marketing, distribution, etc. Fender didn't buy Gretsch. It's not like the Terada factory in Japan suddenly had new management, and they changed all the parts on day one. Besides, Gretsch guitars are constantly in transition. Don't sweat it. Buy it and enjoy!
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,660
Montreal, Canada
So as others have said, it is a transition model.

Two piece neck and cavity covers are preFMIC. Grover Sta-tites, serial number format and Space Control are FMIC.

The pickups are in question and it might have preFMC mini pots but you can't tell from the photos.

If weight is a concern, I would ask the seller for the weight of the guitar. My preFMIC Red Sparkle Jet is 9.5 lbs while my 2005 Roundup weighs 6.8 lbs. Big difference.
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Mar 20, 2010
1,919
Michigan
My 1997 Pre-FMIC has the same neck, same access covers, neck, zero fret, head stock, and bigsby, they are both built at the Terada plant. I agree with @bluenote23, the easiest way to tell is by looking at pots, the small 250K pots are pre FMIC. To me the fit, finish, playability and guitar are identical. Upgrading the pots is a low cost simple upgrade. For me, if the price is attractive, I would not hesitate to buy the Pre-FMIC version. The weight of my 1997 pre-FMIC is 9.3#, my 2007 weighs in at 7.7#. Neck dive is not an issue for either one.
 

Shock

Synchromatic
Sep 7, 2020
530
Minnesota
Yeah, call it "Transitional".

That it's sporting a "JT" serial number at all tells you its FMIC era, at least from a "legal" standpoint. But an early one like that is gonna have a lot of pre-FMIC features and specs.

I’d expect to find the ceramic filtertrons in there, and that wouldn’t really be such a bad thing! Despite what you may have read, they’re not junk. They’re pretty good pups, with some serious growl to them when cranked. Granted, a little less twangy than the Alnico ones that replaced them, but we’re talking a matter of degrees there. Imho, they still sound just like a Gretsch should!
Matter of taste. I prefer the ceramic ones.
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,999
Portland, OR
Matter of taste. I prefer the ceramic ones.
Hehe, I'm kinda fond of them too. Does it show? ;)

One thing to realize is that - like DaddyDog says - Fender didn't change everything overnight. It took years to implement a lot of the changes. For example, as I recall it - they didn't "fix" the Nashville 5-ply bodies (changing them to 3-ply) until well into 2005.

People make a big fuss about 'pre" and "post" FMIC, like it was a line drawn in the sand. It wasn't. It was an ongoing process.

So as others have said, it is a transition model.

Two piece neck and cavity covers are preFMIC. Grover Sta-tites, serial number format and Space Control are FMIC ...

I dunno, the OP's Space Control looks pretty "Pre-FMIC" to me, about the same as both my late 90's models. A far cry from the round dome ones from that other "pre-FMIC" era - the 1950's.

I believe the thing with Space Controls is that Yes, they got updated, but it actually happened prior to FMIC's involvement. Started out as a revival era quirk and wound up sticking around.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,538
Where the action is!
The shape of the control cover says pre-FMIC to me, but as has been pointed out, it's not as though every detail changed on the same day.

Whatever it is, it's a well made Terada guitar. If one has a preference for ceramics over alnico, or vice versa, that's an easy enough mod. And if this was made before they started using more robust full-sized pots and switches, that's also an easy upgrade.
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,660
Montreal, Canada
...
I dunno, the OP's Space Control looks pretty "Pre-FMIC" to me, about the same as both my late 90's models. A far cry from the round dome ones from that other "pre-FMIC" era - the 1950's.

I believe the thing with Space Controls is that Yes, they got updated, but it actually happened prior to FMIC's involvement. Started out as a revival era quirk and wound up sticking around.
I may have been wrong there. I thought that all preFMIC Jets came with the awful preFMIC roller bearing bridge (my 1997 Jet has one of these) but maybe some models (like 62s) were exceptions.
 


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