Value of 1958 Duo Jet

Madnessbd

Gretschie
Jan 12, 2012
110
Raleigh, NC
I need all you experts to give me some guidance on a late 1958 Duo Jet and an approximate value? I understand there are so many aspects that go into the value, but I will give the criteria I know and we can go from there.

Serial Number is correct for period and the guitar body has been professional authenticated. The current owner bought it from a nationally recognized dealer.
Original Hardcase
Original Filtertron pups (not verified)
Original Electronics (not verified)
Original Pickguard and knobs (not verified)
Non-Original bigsby and bridge
Slight damage to neck (not broken), but professionally repaired
Binding is in good condition
Typical body wear
Guitar is said to be playable


I have always wanted a true vintage, but I do not yet have the knowledge to determine what is most important and what the approximate value should be. I haven't seen the guitar yet, but before I make a road trip, I am looking for some guidance. I want to take a risk, but it has to be calculated. Any suggestions???

Thanks in advance!!!
 

Madnessbd

Gretschie
Jan 12, 2012
110
Raleigh, NC
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Madnessbd

Gretschie
Jan 12, 2012
110
Raleigh, NC
May I ask why?

I should back that up by saying I am a skeptic.

In response to above, I am generally drawn to vintage items...not limited to guitars at all. I am an engineer by trade and I truly appreciate early original designs that I often replicate in my trade today.

I currently have a Duo Jet that I love, but I've always wanted to compare it to an earlier model. I certainly don't have funds to buy one in pristine condition, so I thought I'd take a look at one that had several authentic pieces. Before I let myself go down that path, I wanted a reality check on what the price may be "if" this were a legit 1958 model.

Thanks everyone!
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
6,184
Where the action is!
As to vintage skeptics, it's like being skeptical about somebody's taste in whiskey...or ketchup. Love it or hate it, the difference is real.

This is just one guy's opinion, but I'd rate a '58 Duo Jet in clean original condition as about a $3500-$4000 guitar. "Slight damage to neck" and "said to be playable" are worrisome. Posting pictures would really help.
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 27, 2008
3,771
East Coast
If it's a Filtertron model (w/ tone-switch) then it's a 1959 model year example. The Jets lagged behind all the other models and were the very last to be granted the Filtertrons. So with Jets... neoclassic inlays = '58... Filtertrons = '59... and zero frets = '60.

If you can share the serial number, or even the batch (first 3 digits) we can be more specific. So who "authenticated" it for you????

I concur with Afire's assessment of value, and share his concern about the condition.
 

Straight6DOHC

Gretschie
Aug 18, 2012
446
Lanark, Scotland.
In response to above, I am generally drawn to vintage items...not limited to guitars at all. I am an engineer by trade and I truly appreciate early original designs that I often replicate in my trade today.

Now I get some of that statement. For example, I totally love classic cars. User name Straight6DOHC wasn't just plucked from the air. I had a classic car previously and I have a 'modern classic' now. Their aesthetic pleases me and I could/can fix just about anything on them. They've been a great source of learning for me. However, car design has changed. The mechanics and electrics are far superior, but, IMHO, their visual appearance has not changed for the better. Designers are restricted by various laws now, that weren't around decades ago.
The (Gretsch) guitar made today, is pretty much a faithful reproduction of the 50's Gretsch. Granted, the finish is different and the manufacturing process is different. Will it sound different and play different? (because for me, those are the two most important things in a guitar). I don't know. I'm sure there are lots of people who buy old guitars and say they sound and play better than the modern version. The value might also increase as time passes.
Is it a better guitar that plays and sounds better than a modern version? Only you can decide that. I'd be A-B-ing it with your modern Duo Jet.

So back to the classic cars. They have many endearing attractions, but as an owner, I can tell you that a modern version is infinitely 'better' in almost every way (the old still ones look best).
Are guitars the same? Are Duo Jets the same? Unless I'm mistaken, they really are pretty much the same guitar barring a couple of points I mentioned previously.


I wish you luck Madnessdb in finding an older guitar if that's what you really want. To me, a 50's Duo Jet looks the same as today's Duo Jet. The 50's one will might have a few more knocks, bumps, sctatches etc. The argument that vintage design is more appealing doesn't work on Duo Jets from 50's and today. (Unless we like the 50's finish over the modern finish).

The odd thing is, I'm currently bidding on an older guitar at present, but, it's at around $150 and might go to $500 tops. The stakes are low.

From your description alone, this Gretsch has too many alarm bells ringing for me.
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 27, 2008
3,771
East Coast
In my experience the 50's Jets are often more light weight than the modern one's, and of course are more vintage correct aesthetically (tuners, lacquer, etc). Things like ebony wood (fretboards) just aren't the same grade/quality of wood as they were in 50s. And with some Jet models, you absolutely can tell the difference between 50s and modern just by looking at them. Here's my authentic '59 6121 and the 2005 reissue "59 6121". Guess which one is the reissue... (by the way I added vintage pickup covers, control knobs, and Bigsby to try and add some character to the reissue).
 

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johsonrod

Country Gent
Apr 14, 2010
1,702
Toronto
Wayne remember that '59 I repaired about a year ago? It had the 6128/9 label?I bet this one has a close serial number.
 

Straight6DOHC

Gretschie
Aug 18, 2012
446
Lanark, Scotland.
In my experience the 50's Jets are often more light weight than the modern one's, and of course are more vintage correct aesthetically (tuners, lacquer, etc). Things like ebony wood (fretboards) just aren't the same grade/quality of wood as they were in 50s. And with some Jet models, you absolutely can tell the difference between 50s and modern just by looking at them. Here's my authentic '59 6121 and the 2005 reissue "59 6121". Guess which one is the reissue... (by the way I added vintage pickup covers, control knobs, and Bigsby to try and add some character to the reissue).

If the 50's one's are lighter, that's a good selling point for me. I'm guessing the top guitar is the reissue. I'm basing that on the smaller headstock and the toggle switches being wider apart, and the tuners look like the modern ones. The headstock and tuners look the same as my 2005 6128 Dyna Jet.
I'm enjoying hearing the views in this thread and it's good to hear that some older guitars have certain advantages over the modern ones.
I'm sure they are also regarded as an investment and as a custodian of such a guitar, it must be thrilling to be part, big or small, of it's history.
I realise the importance of preserving older items, and it's nice to think they will be used as well.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
6,184
Where the action is!
Madnessbd, I'm guessing the blank posts above were attempts to post pics? Maybe just link to pictures instead of trying to imbed them might be easier?
 

Madnessbd

Gretschie
Jan 12, 2012
110
Raleigh, NC
Thanks everyone for the comments so far. Let me start off by providing a few repsonses:

Gretsch6120 - You are correct, this guitar is currently listed on ebay. The owner doesn't live too far from me though.

Wayne - I have a photo above showing the serial number. It is 29422. He has shown me a copy of the written letter from Gruhn Guitars authenticating the guitar.

afire - I misquoted him in regards to saying "it's playable". He actually said the the guitar plays very well and could be used as an everyday player if so desired.

He is sending me photos later showing the back of the pups and all the wiring cavaties. I'll post them once I get them. Thanks again everyone!
 

Straight6DOHC

Gretschie
Aug 18, 2012
446
Lanark, Scotland.
Wow, it looks tasty. Might just be the angle or the bridge placement but the strings look over to the bass side of the fretboard. It's worth going to see even just for experience I guess.
 

Madnessbd

Gretschie
Jan 12, 2012
110
Raleigh, NC
Thanks for posting the pics Englishman! I can see them on my screen, so I am not sure why they aren't showing up for you guys. I may not have the privacy settings correct. I'll try to fix it.
 


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