Anyone know what a Pre FMIC Sparkle Jet is worth?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by amp360, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    377
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
    With two tours cancelled last year and nothing booked for this summer I'm moving some guitars.

    I have a 1999 Sparkle Jet that I can't find anything on Reverb, eBay, etc... to compare it to. I was wondering ballpark what they go for if anyone knows I would appreciate it.

    Thanks and I'm not posting this as a sale ad.
     
  2. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    You only need one person who really wants it that will pay the price you want.

    That said, Black, Champagne and Red ones can have a rarity premium. A Bigsby will also add to the price.

    In general, if you really want to sell it, you should be asking for less than a used FMIC G6129. I would suggest that if FMIC versions sell for $1500-$1600, you could ask $1000-$1250 for a similar.

    I paid $1500 Cdn for my red one 10 years ago and it was a little overpriced.
     
  3. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    May 31, 2018
    Central Florida
    I had a reply post but then saw bluenote's reply. He and I are miles apart on value so one of us is thinking of a different model. Post a pic or 2 if you can (body and headstock). Is there a small paper sticker label on the back of the headstock or neck?
     
  4. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I wlll say I am no expert. As I have a preFMIC Jet, I have always been interested in posts about them so my knowledge is based upon information gleaned from posts on Gretsch forums and sales offers I have seen (again, mostly on the two Gretsch sites).

    I bought my last used Gretsch in 2013 my real world current experience is limited (though it strikes me that used sales prices have not changed so much in the last 10 years).

    I know on Reverb, some are asking very high prices for Rare preFMIC Gretschs but I think that is just throwing a price out there and seeing what kind of offers they can get.
     
  5. dak55

    dak55 Country Gent

    May 31, 2018
    Central Florida
    I was thinking what are commonly called Jr. Jets or Jet II's. They are in the $200-300 range. Sparkles bring a bit more and the single f-hole version even more. I could just as easily be wrong on what the OP is asking. Pics would help.
     
  6. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Oh, I think the OP is talking about an MIJ G6129 of some description.
     
  7. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    377
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
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  8. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    Michigan
    Nice guitar. We have a Pre-FMIC G6129t-62, that I purchased for $875. I had the original case, and the guitar tag. Before some one wants to shoot me, tell me that I overpaid, let me qualify the rationale for the low price.

    It was used by a friend in a recording studio, and it was not working.
    The zero fret, 1st through 3rd frets needed replacing. (That also told me that they were worn out for good reason), it must have played well at one time for it to be worn.
    The 250K pots were worn out, the wiring was brittle, and broken in several places, the neck pickup did not work consistently.

    I did know the original owner who suffered a fatal heart attack. I purchased it from his widow who needed the money and only received offers in the $350 dollar range.

    After replacing the pick ups with T.V. Jones classics, upgraded the pots to 500K and a 1000K for the Master volume, replaced the wiring and installed four new frets, the guitar has become one of our "Go To" instruments, and let's Mike's legacy live on.

    I know there has been bad press on the Pre-FMIC Gretsch guitars, however, these are well made instrument from the Terada factory. When there are issues, in most cases you will find that the pots are the Achilles heel. Replacement is not difficult if you know how to solder, and use a wood reamer. In my opinion, this may be why their values tend to be lower than Post FMIC duo jets.
    It is probably worth between $1,000 to $1,400.
    As I said, if you are handy with a soldering iron and a wood reamer, these are a great value.
     
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  9. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    377
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
    Yeah I actually changed all the pots to CTS, changed to a Switchcraft jack and switch years ago. Honestly, despite the historically inaccurate headstock IMHO it's a really fantastic guitar. I tried TV Jones pickups in it at one point but thought the originals sounded way, way better (or more old school Gretsch like) so I swapped them back.
     
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  10. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    So if you want to sell it quick, I would put it at $1000 and you will surely get takers. Or you could ask $1500 and see what kind of offers you get.

    My 1997 Red Sparkle Jet sounds terrific and the only downside is that it weighs 9.5 lbs, around 2 lbs heavier than my FMIC Jets. If yours is more 7 lbs than 9 lbs then I would announce that as a plus and you could ask a little more for it.
     
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  11. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    That's actually a Silver Jet G6129T, a standard Gretsch model since the 50s, not a Sparkle Jet. Billy Zoom of X is the most famous player of that guitar. He had a signature model with DynaSonics. (And he's a member of the GDP.)

    [​IMG]

    Pricing will be similar to Duo Jets G6128 of the same era.

    Per the Blue Book, retail values for that model

    Mint $1,525
    EXC+ $1,225
    EXC $1,025
    VG+ $875
    VG $775
    G $675
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
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  12. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Synchromatic

    597
    May 1, 2018
    Philadelphia
    I’d buy this right now if I had the extra cash. Wait, I didn’t get my stimulus yet...

    Billy’s silver jet is a 1955 model that he modded with Grover tuners and a different bigsby.
     
    amp360 likes this.
  13. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    377
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
    Mine is 8.6lbs. I never knew this but a couple years back I was at a thrift store and got a postage scale for $4. Now I post a photo of the guitar on a scale whenever I sell so the people that aren't going to buy it don't have to ask the question.

    Basically, I'm trying to sell any combination of a few guitars to hit a number so I think I'll put it up high and see what I'm offered. Kind of a reverse eBay. If it doesn't sell I'm ok with that as it's very sentimental.

    Thanks for the help everyone!
     
    Henry likes this.
  14. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Not really a "different" Bigsby, since Jets weren't offered with Bigsby vibratos in the 50s (with the exception of the 6121 Chet solidbody)... but yes, Billy installed a Bigsby B11 unit in his famous Sliver Jet.
     
  15. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    377
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
    I'm more of a player than a person who knows a lot of specs. The model is indeed G6129T.
     
  16. Highroller

    Highroller Synchromatic

    997
    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    I just installed T-Armonds in my '99 Silver Jet 6129T-57 to replace the worn out Dynasonics just last week, so it's pretty fresh in my memory. Mine already had 500K pots in it, but admittedly they were those stupid mini-pots. I decided to leave 'em in there because (1) there was nothing wrong with them, and (2) I'd have to bore bigger holes to take CTS pots. Seemed like unnecessary work to me.

    I'm super happy with the results, although the tone is a bit different. The Dynasonics were very smooth and clean. These T-Armonds seem capable of a bit more growl. They're more "lively", if that makes sense.

    I think the estimates placing the OP's guitar between $1200-1500 are about on target. Should be no problem moving that one. They're very nice guitars!

    Good luck with it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  17. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    377
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
    When I replaced my pots drilling it wasn’t a big deal and that seemed to negate the need for new pickups. I guess I’m more into less growl and more twang.

    I just put a little tape over the holes and used a drill press. The minis were def choking things but the switch was just a piece of junk. The guitar itself is great I’m hoping to sell some other things so I can keep it
     
  18. Highroller

    Highroller Synchromatic

    997
    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Ha! A drill press?! You're more courageous than me, my friend. And I've got a drill press, so I could have tried that. I think basically, I just didn't want to buy a set of hand augers and technically, the mini-pots were functioning OK. If i had found 250k pots in there I would have gone ahead with replacing them.

    Tonewise, I'm still learning the T-Armonds. I've only had them for a few days. They're plenty clean and twangy if I dial back the volume a bit, the growl comes in when you go full-tilt. That's fundamentally different from the Dynas, which were clean no matter where you set them. In a way, the new pups might actually be more versatile than the old ones. I think it's mostly a matter of getting used to them.
     
  19. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I love the pre-FMIC Gretschs that I’ve seen and played.
    I bought a 1995 6120-60 for $1,500 last year, marked down from $2,000.
    I don’t think I overpaid.
    What money I saved on the bargain I ended up spending on new pickups and a new wiring harness.
    Truth be told, the stock ceramic filtertrons were awesome, but the wiring and controls had to go.
    Honestly, I really wanted to try the TV Jones Ray Butts Filter’Trons, and this was the best guitar I own to put them in.

    The guitar is built like a tank, but it’s beautiful. The fit and finish is every bit as comfortable and clean as my post-FMIC Falcon.
    The main difference is that the older models have a 5-ply top vs a 3-ply like they have these days.
     
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  20. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    377
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
    I agree. I think they're far superior to what they're making right now - as long as you change the switches and pots. I found mine really opened up and sounded great once that was done.

    This one sold really quickly. I got $1800 for it, so maybe that's good and maybe it's bad but I figured I would take the money and get it to FedEx because it's a guitar that was really sentimental to me and if I thought too long I would have kept it.

    I still have my old 50s 6120. I mostly used the DuoJet live over the past 8 or 9 years. The guy who bought it seems really excited so I'm glad it's going to someone who will enjoy it.
     
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