Red Duo-Jet Fire Bird

Hell, From Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
My name is Tom. I'm looking for a couple things. First do any of you know how I can contact Ed Ball, The Gretsch Guy?
Second...I had a 1950's Red ( which is usually a model 6131 ), but the one I gave to my son in law is labeled 6128R , sn 16554.
I understand the 6128 Duo-Jets (Black), The 6131 Firebird (Red) and the 6128CS Duo ( Cadillac Green), all were made beginning 1953 and forward.
Would anyone of you folks have information on identifying the year my son in laws Gretsch guitar was made?
Regards,
Tom


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afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,724
Where the action is!
Ed Ball is "Wayne Gretschky" here. Below is his profile page. Click the "Start a Conversation" button to contact him:

I understand the 6128 Duo-Jets (Black), The 6131 Firebird (Red) and the 6128CS Duo ( Cadillac Green), all were made beginning 1953 and forward.
Not quite. The Duo Jet was the only Jet model introduced in 1953. The Jet Firebird and Silver Jet came later. What I can say is that they were definitely codified into separate models by the time the 1955 catalog was issued. But, we have seen early Silver Jets that carried 6128 labels, so it's not terribly unexpected to see an early Firebird with a 6128 label. That said, I've never seen one before. Ed could verify this, but judging by the label, I'm guessing that your serial number 16554 makes it one of the earliest Firebirds. And I'm guessing that would put it in very late 1954 or early 1955.
 

BuddyHollywood

Synchromatic
Sep 11, 2009
539
Venice, CA
Amazing guitar. I would say judging from what I learned in Ed's book that the specs are 1955. I'm not sure why it's a model 6128 but again, amazing guitar.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,724
Where the action is!
Oh, the specs are definitely '55, but what might be interesting to know is where it falls in the timeline of known red Jets, since the 6128R labeling would seem to suggest that it may predate Gretsch designating red Jets as 6131 Jet Firebirds.
 

tartanphantom

Friend of Fred
Jul 30, 2008
5,966
Murfreesboro, TN
Based on the information that Ed Ball has compiled (@Wayne Gretschzky ), This guitar is from the very first batch of Oriental Red Jets-- making it one of the first Jet "Firebirds" ever. Based on the serial number, it's likely that it's actually the 4th or 5th Firebird ever produced. The pot codes should date to Oct. or Nov. 1954, but the actual production build date is likely between Nov. 1954-Jan. 1955. The red bullet truss rod cover is also another clue to this time frame. The later elongated truss rod cover didn't show up until some time in 1956.

How's that for info?
 
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TV the Wired Turtle

Gretschified
Jul 25, 2009
14,660
Sandy Eggo
Bo Diddley in 1959 w red jet. ..I know I know.. black pickguard and block inlay doesnt match. :)

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senojnad

Synchromatic
Jul 13, 2008
778
Lehigh Valley, PA
That model -- in the 1950's -- was one of many things that hooked me on guitars in general and Gretsch guitars specifically. Ironically the only Jet Firebird that I ever actually played and loved belonged to a friend (during the late 1950's) who would NOT part with it.
 
Ed Ball is "Wayne Gretschky" here. Below is his profile page. Click the "Start a Conversation" button to contact him:


Not quite. The Duo Jet was the only Jet model introduced in 1953. The Jet Firebird and Silver Jet came later. What I can say is that they were definitely codified into separate models by the time the 1955 catalog was issued. But, we have seen early Silver Jets that carried 6128 labels, so it's not terribly unexpected to see an early Firebird with a 6128 label. That said, I've never seen one before. Ed could verify this, but judging by the label, I'm guessing that your serial number 16554 makes it one of the earliest Firebirds. And I'm guessing that would put it in very late 1954 or early 1955.
Thank you for your comments...I appreciate any information about this guitar.
 


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