Tell me about 5129's with the big F holes...

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,691
Montreal, Canada
AKA Mickey Mouse f holes. Made by Peerless. Tension bar bigsby and a stud fixed bridge. I had one for a while and it was a fine guitar.

Not Dynasonics but DeArmond 2Ks (I think, if not, then DeArmond 2000s). It was a long time ago but the neck was not clubby nor super thin. Pretty much a standard feeling C. Parallel bracing with a soundpost.

For the price a good guitar but I traded it away as soon as I touched my first proline.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,260
PNW
AKA Mickey Mouse f holes. Made by Peerless. Tension bar bigsby and a stud fixed bridge. I had one for a while and it was a fine guitar.

Not Dynasonics but DeArmond 2Ks (I think, if not, then DeArmond 2000s). It was a long time ago but the neck was not clubby nor super thin. Pretty much a standard feeling C. Parallel bracing with a soundpost.

For the price a good guitar but I traded it away as soon as I touched my first proline.
So what was it about the Proline you preferred?
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,691
Montreal, Canada
My first proline (I have a few) was a 1997 Red Sparkle Jet. It has a C profile, similar to the 5129 but it just fit perfectly in my hands. It is a 'solidbody' but super resonant and the hollow Electromatic was dead by comparison. Plugged in, the single coil DeArmonds are interesting but the humbucking filtertrons sounded just fabulous, gritty powerful crunch but not dark Gibson-like.

I don't think you can compare the two though. While some may find that a $500 and $1700 guitar sound and feel the same, that has not been my personal experience. In its category, the 5129 delivers beyond expectations.
 

JeffreyLeePierre

Country Gent
20220306_125736.jpg 20220306_125739.jpg





G5120-G5129a.png

There are two versions of the 5129.

Mine is the first one with DeArmond 2000 pickups and B60 - then non tension bar Bigsby. It's a full hollow. It sounds epic!
The neck is not that big (e.g. less chunky than the neck of the G3140).

As far as I remember, the second version has smaller f-holes, a tension bar Bigsby and possibly the dual coil humbucker pickups that were used for the G5120.
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Feb 17, 2010
308
new jersey
I have a 5125 and used to joke that Gretsch must’ve used my hand when designing the neck. Very comfortable; has some chunk and definitely is not super thin. My 5122‘s neck is thinner in comparison. The specs changed around 2005 regarding the Bigsby, bridge and pickups. It looks like mine might be the same as Marv666’s and JeffreyLeePierre’s except for my interpretation of thin vs chunky. Great guitar. I think that the majority of the 512x series owners have been happy with them.
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,691
Montreal, Canada
...

There are two versions of the 5129.

Mine is the first one with DeArmond 2000 pickups and B60 - then non tension bar Bigsby. It's a full hollow. It sounds epic!
The neck is not that big (e.g. less chunky than the neck of the G3140).

As far as I remember, the second version has smaller f-holes, a tension bar Bigsby and possibly the dual coil humbucker pickups that were used for the G5120.
What I remember is that the first 512x's were made by Peerless with the tension bar bigsby, Mickey Mouse holes and a fixed adjustomatic bridge. Gretsch did not like the work Peerless did and changed factory (Samick, I think) where they made the smaller f-holes, regular bigsby and adjustable bridge, though jefferyLeePierre's guitar contradicts this. It is the first time I have seen a Mickey Mouse 512x with a regular bigsby and adjustable bridge (though admittedly, I was looking at these 14 years ago and not really noticed that much since).

I'm pretty sure that all 512x's had DeArmonds and the Gretschbuckers showed up when the line was changed to the 5120's.
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
2,190
Albuquerque
FWIU, Samick made many more G5129s than Peerless. Those with B60s and floating bridges are Samick (like mine). Personally, I much prefer the B60.

There must be differences in internal construction and bracing for the screwed-on B70 and fixed bridge on the peerless (normally only found on centerblock models).
I've never even seen one so can't comment on sound or neck feel but I am one of many who lovvvve the KS model and will keep mine forever.

And BTW, my Samick was made in late 2004 (first year for that model). When the Gretsch Pages were active I registered mine with a pic and there were lots more Samick than Peerless at that time.
 
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bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,691
Montreal, Canada
I just looked back at my old posts (It's fantastic you can do this. Mine go back to 2010!). While I keep records about my guitars now, I didn't back then so I only have my memories about my old G5129 left. But in one of my posts back then, I said my Mickey Mouse Peerless made B70 and fixed bridge equipped G5129 was made in 2005.

So it appears that Samick and Peerless were making the guitars at the same time (based on Rand99CL's guitar). Could be. I do remember how someone from Gretsch (not Joe C. I don't think) was complaining about the Peerless guitars.
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Feb 17, 2010
308
new jersey
My 5125 is from late 2005 and has a KP designation but the bridge, Bigsby and f holes are like JLP’s above. I never really checked, but have always believed the pickups to be Dearmond 2000s, not Dearmond 2Ks. (No plans to pull them to check and think that the 2Ks might be more P-90ish?). Maybe it was just some of the stuff that Gretsch was going through, but mine’s a keeper.

I also just compared necks with my 6122-1962 and they are quite similar regarding chunk although I keep thinking that something is slightly different. The guitars are apples vs oranges in total comparison although I would say that they both hold their own very well.
 
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Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
2,190
Albuquerque
And I think some of us are confused as to the size of the F-holes. Those on my Samick look big to me (compared to many other models) but the Peerless are even bigger??
Mine:
00U0U_dOSVjtHnC6a_1200x900.jpg
Actually, from the pics here I think all the G5129s can be seen with Mickey Mouse Ears F-holes. Compare those on my G2622T-P90 (same body size).
Gretsch G2622 P-90 3.2.jpg
 
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NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,528
Commack, NY
My first proline (I have a few) was a 1997 Red Sparkle Jet. It has a C profile, similar to the 5129 but it just fit perfectly in my hands. It is a 'solidbody' but super resonant and the hollow Electromatic was dead by comparison. Plugged in, the single coil DeArmonds are interesting but the humbucking filtertrons sounded just fabulous, gritty powerful crunch but not dark Gibson-like.

I don't think you can compare the two though. While some may find that a $500 and $1700 guitar sound and feel the same, that has not been my personal experience. In its category, the 5129 delivers beyond expectations.
The late '90s Sparkle Jets were solid...not weight relieved and the Filtertrons were ceramic magnets. I've been seeking one 2 years now but they are rare. @Sid Nitzerglobin has one and remember him saying that it was over 10 lbs.

To compare it to a 512x? 2 different guitars but sounds you got a dud if yours was not resonant. I'll admit my 5126 is less resonant than my Black Phoenix but the formula is simple....you either like a guitar or you don't. To bring price in as a major point of comparison between 2 guitars of completely different construction is a bad start at evaluating the quality of either instrument. My $1200 Tele from small builder 9 Point Guitars plays better than any of the Custom Shop Telecasters I have tried with a price far north of $3k. And even then, I'm not sure of the connection in trying to evaluate the quality of it vs. something completely different like a the hollow LP-style Heritage Hollow SB QM by Prestige guitars with Seymour Duncan '59 humbuckers......2 different animals. It is a sweet guitar though.... https://www.prestigeguitars.com/product/heritage-hollow-sb-qm/

I have to say my '08 5126 has a medium neck profile, very comfortable and love the Dearmond 2000 pickups.......I have to check again but they are the same as the Dynasonics currently in the Guild X-175 Manhattan Specials.
 

JeffreyLeePierre

Country Gent
What I remember is that the first 512x's were made by Peerless with the tension bar bigsby, Mickey Mouse holes and a fixed adjustomatic bridge. Gretsch did not like the work Peerless did and changed factory (Samick, I think) where they made the smaller f-holes, regular bigsby and adjustable bridge, though jefferyLeePierre's guitar contradicts this. It is the first time I have seen a Mickey Mouse 512x with a regular bigsby and adjustable bridge (though admittedly, I was looking at these 14 years ago and not really noticed that much since).

I'm pretty sure that all 512x's had DeArmonds and the Gretschbuckers showed up when the line was changed to the 5120's.

FWIU, Samick made many more G5129s than Peerless. Those with B60s and floating bridges are Samick (like mine). Personally, I much prefer the B60.

There must be differences in internal construction and bracing for the screwed-on B70 and fixed bridge on the peerless (normally only found on centerblock models).
I've never even seen one so can't comment on sound or neck feel but I am one of many who lovvvve the KS model and will keep mine forever.

And BTW, my Samick was made in late 2004 (first year for that model). When the Gretsch Pages were active I registered mine with a pic and there were lots more Samick than Peerless at that time.
Another valid assumption is that I made a mistake and own the second version, the Samick one 🤪😄

I'm on holiday far from home but I will check the serial number as soon as I get back home.
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,691
Montreal, Canada
@NJDevil.
My 1997 weighs in at 9.5 lbs. It is slightly chambered (so they say) but nothing like FMIC models (my 2005 Roundup weighs 6.8 lbs).

I made the price comparison because I feel that to make inexpensive production line models, certain compromises in terms of construction and material need to be made and in my personal experience, I feel like these compromises can be heard. Of course, generalizations will always have inherent inaccuracies.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,528
Commack, NY
@NJDevil.
My 1997 weighs in at 9.5 lbs. It is slightly chambered (so they say) but nothing like FMIC models (my 2005 Roundup weighs 6.8 lbs).

I made the price comparison because I feel that to make inexpensive production line models, certain compromises in terms of construction and material needs to be made and in my personal experience, I feel like these compromises can be heard. Of course, generalizations will always have inherent inaccuracies.
Cool. That Jet of yours really is a special run in my opinion. I know I don't need any new guitars but would pull the trigger for a used model if the price was right.

I agree.....the current models really aren't a true reissue as the pickups are different and completely chambered.
 

bluenote23

Country Gent
Oct 17, 2009
1,691
Montreal, Canada
Well, I'm pretty mixed up now. I just did a google search for G5129 and looked at the different images that came up. There were a lot of Mickey Mouse f-holes with B60s and adjustable bridges (though the majority had B70s) so it looks like production was all over the map.

There were some pics with guitars with very clearly smaller, thinner f-holes.
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
2,190
Albuquerque
Where are the Gretsch Pages when we need them?

I'm no expert but researched this model quite a bit when I bought mine. TGP were invaluable as many owners registered theirs and we had concrete info and pics to work with.
AFAIK Samick models only came with the B60 and Peerless were only made with the B70, no exceptions.

Part of the reason why I researched mine is because the serial number starts with "S" and not "KS" as it should.
 


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