Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: New Guitar!! Gretsch Power Jet Firebird

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Guitar!! Gretsch Power Jet Firebird

Yes!! I finally got a Gretsch. :) I have been wanting one for some time now and recently, for some reason, I was really craving a Duo Jet. So I did some research and finally decided on the Power Jet Firebird instead. Basically the same guitar with a few more appointments... and it's red. :)

The Power Jet is a single cutaway Mahogany set-necked guitar with a chambered Mahogany body. With the awesome TV Jones Power'Tron pickups the tone is unreal. I opted for the Bigsby Vibrato tremolo ('cause I love trems) and the Bigsby also has another distinct advantage on this guitar... it adds more coupling and mass to the guitar top thus increasing sustain and resonance (as compared to the fixed trapeze string retainer, which is an option on this guitar). The neck is a nice profile, (not too thick/not too thin) and it has an Ebony board with a 12" radius which is perfect for getting the action low. The 22 frets are medium jumbo and are very close to a Dunlop 6105 profile. I have it strung with D'Addario 10s, but I am considering switching to 9.5s to see if I like them on this guitar. The 10s are a tad stiff for me, but I may be able to get used to it.

The switching controls are pretty bizarre if you're not familiar with Gretsch. First, there are no tone knobs. Tone is controlled via a three-way switch on the top bout, and (looking down at the guitar in playing position) to the left of the Tone Switch is the three-way Pickup Switch. The knob on the lower bout at the cutaway is the Master Volume and the two knobs on the lower bottom are individual pickup Volume Knobs. The Tone Switch works very well, surprisingly. In the middle position (called pos. 1) the switch is "on" or the equivalent of your Tone Knob on 10. The switch in the down position (called pos. 2) is like having your Tone Knob rolled off slightly... and the up position (pos. 3) is a more aggressive Tone Knob setting similar to it being turned almost all the way down. Very effective feature and much faster than having to use a knob to dial in these settings. Otherwise, the rest of the controls are pretty straightforward.

In my next post I'll detail what I had to do to get all the factory "new-ness" off the guitar and what I had to do to set it up. Not an easy task if you've never done a setup on a Gretsch before. ;) But for now let's just say I have it setup like a speed demon and this thing kicks ass! Super low action, good tuning stability (which will get better as all the new parts begin to settle) and even the Bigsby works beautifully without going out of tune. I still have more to learn about fine tuning Bigsbys and stabilizing floating Gretsch bridges (more on that in my follow-up post to come).

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this guitar and it fills a big gap in my collection. The tone is incredible, fit and finish much better than I expected, good fretwork and a beautifully shaped bone nut! I'm not going to be able to put this thing down for a long time. :)


  1. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Tone knobs are for the weak :-)

    And you'll probably want to stick with 10s (or 11s).

    Congrats on your new Jet!

  2. Yes baxter, tone knobs are for the weak! ;) Love it!

    Yeah, I think I'll be staying with at least 10s... the more I play it the more I'm getting used them. I can see where 9s or 9.5s would be little too thin for this guitar.

    Thank you for visiting the blog, man! Hope to hear from you again.


  3. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Hey Ryan, My wife pasted me along to you site today. She had told me that you found her through blogcatalog.

    Nice axes there sir! We are just leaving for a meeting and I will look much closer when we get home tonight.

    I'm a lover of the 80's music but I lean towards the progressive rock style and Jazz influences. I also play some John Mayer(I love the guys progressions, very refreshing for a pop like player, very under rated as well) and Bruce Cockburn approaches to finger picking.

    Keep on Jammin'


  4. Where's the hollowbodies? :)

    I really like this blog, and can't wait to read more. Keep up the good work!

  5. Thanks for coming to my blog, guys! I have a lot more stuff coming... just trying to find the time to get it up there. ;)

    Chris, you can email me by going to my Ryan's Guitars profile and clicking the Email link under my photo. I'd be happy to exchange links with you!