The big review: Gretsch G6129T-89 Vintage Select ’89 Sparkle Jet –


Although most guitarists come to Gretsch via Chet Atkins, Eddie Cochran, George Harrison and Brian Setzer – or even Malcolm Young and Billy Duffy – those of us who were teenagers in the 1990s might quote Chris Cornell from Soundgarden or Tim. Ash’s Wheeler as their gateway drug to the brand. And it’s the Cornell and Wheeler Sparkle Jets that serve as the model for this new Vintage Select model, which pays homage to the reintroduction of the 6129 in the late 1980s.

The enlarged black headstock, horseshoe inlay, and pearloid bump block markers are all present and correct – even the internal chambering pattern of the mahogany body is believed to match that of the era – but the Gretsch aficionados among you will instantly notice that the bridge and pickups have received a substantial upgrade for this reissue. The original models were fitted with a six-saddle bridge known for its rattling, but here it has been aptly replaced by a more stable Adjusto-Matic. The hot ceramic pickups, meanwhile, have been abandoned in favor of the Filter’Tron TV Jones Classic Plus (bridge) and Classic (neck) types.

Gretsch G6129T '89 Vintage Select Sparkle Jet
Time Machine: The combination of G-Arrow buttons and shimmering drum-shaped top dates back to the 1950s

Available in Silver and Gold Sparkle finishes, aside from being one of the finest instruments on the planet, the Vintage Select ’89 Sparkle Jet is also a testament to the sorting quality of modern Gretsch instruments compared to pre-FMIC models. from the 1990s or the instruments of the pre-Baldwin era. Look as closely as you like; the construction, fit and finish here are fundamentally flawless. Plus, stealth features like pinned bridge and treble bleed circuitry on the volume control make this a professional Gretsch that you can play with confidence right out of the box without the need for any modifications – which doesn’t. was not always easy!

Gretsch G6129T '89 Vintage Select Sparkle Jet


It’s tempting to suggest that you could screw a few TV classics and a Bigsby onto a kitchen counter and get some great sound, but even by the high standards of modern Japanese Gretsch builds, there is more going on here than the simple sum of a few good coins. Plugged into an old 5E3 or similar, it’s Neil Young snapshot. The Sparkle Jet sings softly when you lie down and when you dig, it braille. While there’s no shortage of power, the clarity, harmonic complexity and articulation here offer a notable improvement over the High Sensitive Filter’Trons from our 2013 Gretsch Panther.

Gretsch G6129T '89 Vintage Select Sparkle Jet

At 8.6 lbs, our test guitar might be a bit heavy but definitely not as heavy as some 1990’s models we’ve come across. And the user-friendly neck profile and superb balance make this an instrument you can strap on for long rehearsals or live performances with minimal fatigue. There are a lot of naysayers when it comes to combining a Bigsby and a tune-o-matic, but it works perfectly here, with a frictionless feel that is some of the best Bigsby factory setups that we have. have met.

Gretsch G6129T '89 Vintage Select Sparkle Jet

It’s obviously one of those visually stunning designs that’s hard to get past without picking it up, but when you do, you won’t want to let go of it either. The only change that could improve the recipe would be to add one of Gretsch’s String-Thru Bigsby Anchor Bars to make stringing easier, but honestly everything works so well on this particular instrument that we’d be reluctant to change a thing. .

Gretsch G6129T '89 Vintage Select Sparkle Jet

Main characteristics

  • THE PRICE £ 2,759 (hard case included)
  • THE DESCRIPTION 6-string cutaway electric guitar, made in Japan
  • TO BUILD Chambered mahogany body and arched laminated maple top with white binding and b / w / w threads, glued maple neck, rosewood fingerboard with 12 “radius, pearloid bump block inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Walnut back
  • EQUIPMENT Adjusto-Matic bridge, Bigsby B3C tremolo tailpiece, Gotoh die-cast tuners, strap retention knobs
  • ELECTRONIC TV Jones TV Classic Plus (bridge) and TV Classic (neck) humbucking pickups, master volume with treble purge circuit, master tone, individual mic volume controls, 3-position rocker pickup selector
  • LENGTH OF LADDER 24.6 “/ 625 mm
  • NECK WIDTH 42.6mm at nut, 52.6mm at 12th fret
  • NECK DEPTH 21.2mm at first fret, 23.6mm at 12th fret
  • STRING SPACING 35.2mm at nut, 51.1mm at bridge
  • WEIGHT 8.6 lbs / 3.9 kg
  • TO END Gloss urethane with Gold Sparkle top. Also available in Silver Sparkle and Black as G6128T-89 Vintage Select ’89 Duo Jet

Like that? Try these

  • HH Aristocrat Guild € 795
  • Duesenberg Starplayer TV 2 € 145
  • Fender Parallel Universe Volume II Maverick Dorado 2,419 €

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