Impending NGD: 1960 Jet Fire Bird 6131

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by JAP09, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    Just purchased my first ever vintage guitar. Pretty excited! I've been looking around for the right old Gretsch player at a reasonable price. Initially I wanted a '57 or earlier Duo Jet and I kicked the tires on a few. It seems like those have drifted into the "serious money" category for problem free examples, and I'm okay with a few problems for a discount, I just didn't find the right situation for me. I also looked around at some Fire Birds and ended up buying this one from Jimmy's Vintage in Florida today. As luck would have it, a good friend is passing through Auburndale on his way back to Atlanta so it'll be hand delivered to my door by my buddy later this week! There's still some unanswered questions about it and it does have some issues, particularly binding rot. I was assured that the body and neck are straight with no neck reset and no need for a neck reset, so I took a chance at $3k out the door. There's 1 original pickup in it and the other original pickup is in the case after being replaced by a TV Jones. Other than that, I don't really know what is original and what isn't with regard to hardware and electronics. I'm gonna take some good pictures when it arrives and reach out to the educated lot here for further assistance on that. IMG_3545.JPG
     
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  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    My apologies first and I don't mean to be mean in any way … but am I correct in saying you're not sure what is and what isn't original on this guitar and you spent 3k sight unseen on this guitar ? What if it's not what you expected ?
     
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  3. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I'm sorry . I'm just saying that I would have waited to see the guitar before I spent 3k on it
    I do wish you the best my friend
     
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  4. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    No apologies needed! I understand that sentiment completely. You're correct, ultimately I'm taking a big risk. I have no feasible way of getting it in my hands to play it, so it's a situation where I either pass on it or buy it in good faith that shop is being up front about it. They've told me what they know, and (hopefully) been honest about what they don't know.
     
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  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Thanks for understanding . Did they give you a " return policy " just in case
     
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  6. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    Yes, inasmuch as if it’s not a 1960 6131 with a straight body and neck, with no structural repairs, and with a problem free neck joint, they will take the guitar back. It’s not necessarily a try it and send it back if you don’t like policy, so I’m not sure under which pretense you ask the question. I’m under no assumptions that the tailpiece, bridge, parts, and wiring is original and I felt like the price was good enough to move forward assuming they are not. I just don’t know for sure yet.
     
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  7. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Gotcha
     
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  8. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    935
    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Congrats on your new old jet, firebirds are pretty cool.
     
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  9. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    Thank you sir!
     
  10. Mr Swisher

    Mr Swisher Synchromatic

    513
    Jun 12, 2012
    England
    Firebirds rock!

    Hope it turns out to be a good one!
     
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  11. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    278
    Jan 25, 2016
    UK
    Well, it looks pretty badass so here’s hoping it’s all above board and you love it when it arrives!

    yes, yes ... more pics!!!
     
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  12. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    Thank you Mr. Swisher.! That’s a dandy looking 6131 in your avatar. How’s that thing been treatin’ ya?
     
  13. Mr Swisher

    Mr Swisher Synchromatic

    513
    Jun 12, 2012
    England
    Thanks. It's a great guitar, and will be going to the grave with me.

    I absolutely love it.
     
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  14. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    72
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Congrats!
     
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  15. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Externally, everything else looks to be original. Maybe not the nut. If some pots or caps were changed, no big deal. Anyway, I'd definitely get the original pickup rewound and reinstalled. Then you've got a pretty nearly original Jet with some binding issues at a reasonable price.

    Have you ever played a vintage Jet before? If not, I think you'll be in for a little bit of an eye opener.
     
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  16. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    215
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    09,

    Love it!

    What can be wrong, that you can't fix, and sometimes we have to apply trust from a distance.

    Have your friend give the guitar a close look, and call you before he leaves the shop.

    Looks like the case has done its job with this one.

    For me, I'd remove the metal letter stickers/glue, color sand the body front, re/re the tailpiece with a Gretsch ''V'' Bigsby, new strings of your choice and start playing.

    The only other thing I would carefully inspect is the harness/pots/switches, the quickest and easiest fix, utilizing the best components is to use a fully pre-wired TV Jones harness. installs in a few minutes, will work like magic, I swear by them. the only items you have to solder in are the pickups, and the tail for the bridge ground. These bodies are chambered, making a full harness installation super quick and easy. you end up with a professional installation, that will last a lifetime.

    All the best, enjoy your historical Gretsch, there are a few historic photos of George Harrison playing one of these, with your flat ''G'' tailpiece, and it doesn't get much better than that.

    BIB.


    George Harrison Gretsch Firebird.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  17. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    That’s awesome! Lifetime guitars are such a joy. I feel that way about my penguin.
     
  18. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    Thanks! I’ve already thought about getting that pickup rewound. I haven’t done any research yet though. Is there a preferred vender or pickup maker to rewind old filtertrons? For my money, TV Jones makes the best these days, I’m just not sure if they offer pickup restoration as a service.

    Edit to add: i’ve never played an old jet personally. I’ve fallen so much in love with my penguin that I caught the Gretsch bug and decided to search for an old jet. this will be my first in person experience with one.
     
  19. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    49
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Congrats!

    Was tempted by a Stern Custom Shop of that geet a year or so ago,couldn't make it happen though.
     
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  20. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    67
    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    Thanks BIB! I feel pretty confident that I’m going to have to redo some of the electronics. I know for a fact the mud switch isn’t working currently, and even if it were working I tend to prefer small cap values for a more subtle frequency roll of. I’m gonna give the fixed tailpiece a shot, but man a V cut bigsby is very tempting!
     
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