NGD landed a Nick13 jet for $400 and the top is solid maple


Dec 18, 2020
As far as I know all the Electromatic 'solid bodies' have a solid maple top. My G5220 did. I think it is only the players edition equivalents that use arched laminated tops.

TV the Wired Turtle

Jul 25, 2009
Sandy Eggo
upload_2022-1-13_15-27-20.png ok she is finished. My objective was to upgrade a floor model Nick13 Gretsch Jet, using parts I have laying around in draws. I'm not too fond of electros and still feel its a better value to save up for a good used pro series or purchase a new one for a great price. My experience with electros (and its been from the get go when they first started offering stuff like the pearl neck hawaiian and first sparkle 5022) has always been either of disappointment or deep sighs with a "here we go again" followed by extensive elbow grease and funding to bring it up to snuff be it fret leveling, nut replacement, hardware replacement or refabrication to make it a gig worthy guitar. Such was the case w my early sparkle top 5022, as I ripped out the plywood tone rails and fabbed some oak ones ..anywayzzzzz Gretsch has stepped up there game in recent years as we know but the cost cutting still exists on these instruments in the way of poorly dressed frets, hyper cheap hardware and electronics or super thick clear coats in one or two passes. etc..

In the case of this $500 Jet bearing the signature of Nick13, as a downline of his extremely limited signature pro model. It has some really fun features like the batt inlays and matching truss cover and tiger army vibed scratch plate not to mention the creme top "black top" pickups some feel are worthy filtertrons.

Out of the box this guitar played fine, it had a nice clean sound from the stock pickups and also good crunch w overdrive. Tuning was dismal. When I removed the neck pickup there was a lump underneath the pickup that was covered in a really thick layer of black paint and gloss overspray. When I attempted to chisel it out of the pickup cavity I was met by an explosion of dust as they had sprayed over a clump of sawdust or some finishing powder of sorts. Dont think it was a mule for cocaine, haha. This is a side note btw.. the guitars fit and finish was perfect except for some fret sprout. Complaining anymore than that on a $500 import guitar is stupid because this guitar is a quality instrument at its core, albeit it short on that rich organic gretsch sound we get from higher end pro models. You get what you pay for and what I paid for was a really cool rock n roll machine to fart around on.

The bigsby wasnt mounted straight but that isnt as bad as the fact that these diecast licensed bigsbys are wonky to start with. My Tim armstrong model's bigsby straight cracked off at the hinge FWIW. What I had in the drawer was an american sand cast bigsby B-7 that took a bit of work to get on the instrument and required a 1/4" shim on the hinge to place it at a proper break angle for the strings off the back of the bridge saddles, but that was a labor of love.
Its smooth and feels 2x better than the faux b5 it came with, mind you I'm not a fan of these B7 and B7 models to begin with so its really easy to moan about the licensed versions.

I also pulled the cheap zinc metric bridge posts and pot metal bridge off the guitar. replaced w SAE steel bridge post adapters and an ABR-1 w brass saddles. I still may put a low rider alum 12" truarc serpentune if I can find a used one. I have a 10" stainless steel but thats a bit too cadillac.

The tuners were trashed for a set of butterbean Grovers, and I swapped out the cheap greenie .022uf tone cap for a quality wax paper vintage .015uf tone cap.

The greatest delight was pulling out the blacktop pickups and dropping in a set of Tvjones T'90 pickups. They are articulate and are matched to the solid maple capped routed mahog. body, adding nice fat lows and bark without sounding like horrible modern hot soap bars. Plenty of sweet high end and mids snarl once you get them dialed in. a radical departure from the clinical blacktop pickups it came with. Strange that these blacktops come on this guitar when Nick13 uses T-armonds.

Kids this guitar is a player and now I've got a set of schaller strap locks on it for a favorite simple black horsehide strap. I plugged it straight into my strymon iridium w plexi mode to my nocturne raygun'59. Little bit of reverb and I couldnt stop playing. Worth ever bit of work and pesos to get this Xmas birthday gift in shape that I'll keep forever. That says something because I sold off my $$ George Foreman beetlejuice jet after a month of owning it especially once I watched Get Back and realized what a little brat Foreman was. The nick13 is a keeper!
(ps. I'll check grammar and spelling later, I've got a new puppy I've got to keep an eye on)


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