Electromatic Duo Jet vs a Penguin?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by rburleson1, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. rburleson1

    rburleson1 Electromatic

    Jun 26, 2017
    Oklahoma City
    can someone tell me why a Penguin is 10 times the price of a duo jet?
    And... is it worth the price difference?

    What is the difference in construction?
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    It is a much better guitar . IMO , I had an Electromatic Jet and it was a great guitar . You can't go wrong with either but best to go out and try them both
    Waxhead likes this.
  3. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    You'll have to play both and decide on the worth.

    Best of luck.
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    ahh a Penguin is not x10 price of an E Jet, it's less than x4 more.
    Btw there are no E Duo Jets - the "Duo" part only applies to the black proline models.

    Penguin is basically a proline Jet with different finish/aesthetics.
    While Penquins look great I actually prefer looks of a Jet Firebird or Duo Jet myself.
    Finish/aesthetic differences are never worth the $$ to me but they are to some people :)

    I've only played 1 Penquin and thought it sounded same as a proline Jet myself.
    And all the proline Jets sound and look much better than E Jets imo.
    Here's the inside of a Duo Jet

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  5. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Ok so I can weigh in on this as I have both.

    Is the Penguin better then an Electro jet, yes with out a doubt 100% better, it's the whole pro line vs electro, the Penguin has a thicker neck then my 5230, the finish is a bit thinner on the penguin so it doesn't have the 'plasticy' feel of the 5230, all electronics a are much better on the penguin, the overall look fit/finish and bling of the penguin is better (that is subjective to the person of course), the woods/materials are better, the penguin is a little bit heavier then the 5230 but not much more and the 'feel' of the penguin IMO is much better and by that I mean I feel like I'm playing a professional instrument where the 5230 feels like I'm playing a great bang for buck guitar (again this is not really a measure of anything and just my opinion)

    The biggest difference though is unplugged, the penguin/pro line duo jets have a resonance about them that isn't in the electro jets, yes the electro jets are chambered but they don't have the 'openness' that the penguin/duo jet has, they really give a semi solid feel to them and just have a certain character about them, let me put it this way, if you had both on hand and played one after the other you would understand why they are priced differently.

    If you mean though the different between a Penguin and a proline duo jet, then it's as @Waxhead said, it's all cosmetics (specs being the same of course), the same as a country club and a falcon.
    MrBurnside, new6659, audept and 3 others like this.
  6. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yeah I agree with Stefan.
    Of the Gretsch models I think there's a bigger difference between a 5230 and any proline Jet or Penquin than there is between the 54 and 56 series E hollowbodies and the proline hollowbodies :)
    audept and Stefan87 like this.
  7. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    I don't have a Penguin, but I do have a 6129 Silver (Sparkle) Jet, also a 5435 Pro Jet. Got a great deal on the Silver Jet (year end closeout), and a decent deal on the Pro Jet (Cream City Music Special Run). The Silver Jet cost me about 4 × the Pro Jet (less if you add the cost of the hard case and the Bigsby I installed on the Pro Jet).

    I like the Pro Jet. It's well made, fun, and a decent guitar to knock around with.

    I love the Silver Jet, it's a professional quality instrument (deserves better than me) and a joy to play.

    The two are not in the same league at all, though nothing wrong with either. Value is of course subjective, but I can't even imagine anyone saying the two of them are equals.
    Waxhead and new6659 like this.
  8. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Yeah I agree, the hollowbody electro's I've played are great and don't feel like such a jump to the prolines like the jets do, nothing wrong with the electro jets on that note either.
    Waxhead likes this.
  9. Ashley1983

    Ashley1983 Gretschie

    Aug 9, 2020

    I don’t think this is even a discussion… I’ve owned a 5230 I didn’t rate it. the pick ups were decent and I quite liked the neck but I don’t believe the build quality is up there with a MIM telecasters and I wouldn’t feel confident playing one live But to be fair it did have a bit of character

    If you are in the UK there is a power Jet on eBay for £900 everyone seems to be having to do work on the 5230 replacing parts and to me that’s just a poor product from the start.
  10. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I’m the odd guy out, almost all of my guitar purchases were on gut feel and never layingnhanfs on them first. My Penguin was mine because of the name and color then when I saw the specs and a couple you tube vids, a conversation with a guy who had some vids of of it and my daughter and I were sold. Never looked back it is a spectacular guitar visually and tonally. A Penguin or Pro Jet are killer guitars. The Electro’s are a solid step down, wether the differences are ok with you only you will know. They tend to be in the stores more so play a few, decide how you want to mod it and then figure the cost after mods. Then compare the cost to a proline or used proline.
    Waxhead likes this.
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