1963 Gretsch Jet FireBird

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09 Aug 1963 Gretsch Jet FireBird

Author’s note: this article is WIP (work in progress). Being written as you read it! :D

I bought this one a long time ago. It was in NYC, 48th Street, I remember. I was there on business I think, and was looking around during a break. I always go to 48ths street to look at guitars when in NYC 😀

So, I entered one of the shops there and saw her: was love at first sight.

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Note of the author for the more ‘particular’ reader: these articles on  SoloDallas’ gear are not intended to be egotistical, neither am I intending to show off. They are for passion, documentation/information and sharing pleasure with those who have a similar interest.  Thanks for your trust and understanding, SD

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

I like Geetars!

38 Comments
  • avatar
    Malcolmyoungacdc
    Posted at 16:57h, 17 May

    Hi Pil,
    Cam here from Western Australia! Greetings!
    I have a question about your Firebird (very nice by the way) and you are the only person I know who has one.
    Could you share with us the body depth? I ask because the MY Signature model is around 46mm deep but I have read that the new Grestch Custom Shop Malcolm Young Salute is “2 inches” which is 51mm
    I would love to know the body depth measurement of your original Jet?
    Kind regards
    Cam (YouTube name “malcolmyoungacdc”)

    • avatar
      brannyman
      Posted at 15:17h, 22 October

      Hey Malcolm,
      The depth of the body on mine is af follows:
      The Mahogany is 1 3/4″
      The laminated maple top is 3/32″ thick and pressed into shape with the highest point being approximately
      1/2″ above the Mahogany. I measured this height by taking the bridge pickup out, there is a Mahogany shelf just accessible where the pickup screws into, it is 1 3/4″ in height therefore the top of the Mahogany blank.
      With calipers I could measure the height of the maple there and it seems to be the highest point.
      In total it adds up to 2 1/4″ , hope that helps.


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    Posted at 12:40h, 15 February

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  • avatar
    NathanBrazil
    Posted at 23:44h, 31 January

    Hey Fil , Im in NYC right now , and in the 48th St. with which Av. guitar stores are? Im planning to buy a vintage SG here but I haven’t found cool guitar shops.
    Thanks,
    Nathan

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 16:07h, 23 June

    Want a Jet Firebird from 63 sooo much, doesn’t have to be the same color, black would be great as well but same year and model would be soooo nice :)

  • avatar
    BionicSammich
    Posted at 06:06h, 12 June

    Hey Fil, i have been searching for one of these guitars for about 3 or 4 years. i tried Gbase and ebay a lot. can’t find one. if you ever come across let me know or if you decide to sell yours (i doubt that will ever happen) tell me. i will pay anything. also have you ever seen a black gibson sg with a tail piece. i have only seen it in the its a long way to the top video and on ebay. i couldn’t find any pictures on google either, keep rockin, Jamie

    http://cgi.ebay.com/1970-GIBSON-SG-STANDARD-w-CASE-LYRE-VIBROLA-RARE-BLACK-/120730737228

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 17:52h, 12 June

      WIll help you find one or sell you mine.
      That black SG Standard I had offered something to the seller, but he refused. Still unsold 😉 I think it’s the original finish, a rare bird indeed (custom color, custom order). What you have seen in Angus hands in the old times was a Custom, not a standard. He removed the middle pickup and the vibrola. Black color might have been either a custom color or a refinish. What you seem him with recently is a ’64 standard, black. Again, either a refinish job or an original custom color 😉

    • avatar
      brannyman
      Posted at 14:23h, 22 October

      Hi
      Did you ever find a 63 Firebird to buy?
      I ask as I may be selling mine.

      Regards

      Branny

  • avatar
    headwhop26
    Posted at 07:46h, 17 January

    Fil, I was wondering if you could take a couple more up-close photos of this guitar and send them to me. Specifically of the nut and the height of the strings above the bridge pickup. Only if you have time, though. Thanks :)

    jyergert@gmail.com

  • avatar
    imarebel
    Posted at 08:06h, 19 December

    Would that be a good lead guitar?

    • avatar
      headwhop26
      Posted at 07:47h, 17 January

      I have the electromatic version of this guitar, and its certainly not built for speed. The joint up to the 12th fret is HUGE and its kind of like grabbing a baseball bat down by the nut, so I wouldnt reallllly recommend it.

      Hope that helps

  • avatar
    headwhop26
    Posted at 20:38h, 14 September

    Hey, Fil, I was wondering what you thought of the Electromatic series Gretsch does. The link below is the only double cutaway that I can find that I can afford. I don’t know if you’ve ever played one, but if you could share your thoughts, that would be great.

    http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gretsch-Guitars-Electromatic-Double-Jet-Electric-Guitar?sku=511589

    • avatar
      LeroyKincaid
      Posted at 22:50h, 14 September

      Those Electromatics don’t sound great. But if you spend a bit to change things up (pickups, etc) you should be able to get a nice sound.

      Maybe a used double cut Duo Jet from Ebay?

      • avatar
        headwhop26
        Posted at 23:15h, 14 September

        I was thinking maybe get D’Armonds or Filtertrons to put in there? I guess the problem is that the Double Jet there has mini-humbuckers on there, and I don’t know if the filtertrons or what not fit.

  • avatar
    livewire
    Posted at 20:23h, 14 September

    it’s sad to start seeing such nostalgic gretsch’s being so few, and not enough modern jets like that to do it justice, im a total classic gretsch jet firebird man all the way

  • avatar
    SchoolofRocknRoll
    Posted at 16:28h, 16 August

    hey Fil, i have a really off topic question here, don’t know where else to post this question so I just picked one of your vids. I know someone already asked this but can’t find that answer of yours: what audio interface do you use for your Guitar Rig, because i saw a pic of your ‘office'(don’t know if you call it that way yourself) but i saw a some kind of blue-ish interface.

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 17:04h, 16 August

      Do never worry if you’re off topic, it’s all good. It’s a “digidesign Mbox 2 Pro”. I REALLY suggest that one. VERT good card, external, not too expensive. Nowadays, digidesign has been bought by Avid, so you may look into “avid Mbox 2 pro”. Either way, you’ll find it.

      • avatar
        SchoolofRocknRoll
        Posted at 07:35h, 17 August

        Thanks mate ! 😀

  • avatar
    Tyler
    Posted at 20:47h, 15 August

    Fil, what do all the switches do on that gretsch? I think I see 3 switches.

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 14:56h, 16 August

      They do little useful lol I think they really put those mostly for marketing reasons, to impress by the looks of them. One is a regular pickup switch selector. Another will commute the tone of the pickups, I seem to remember that there is no tone knob, so that is achieved by a switch that will make one or the other pickups darker at a set point. Poor choice. One of the knobs is a master volume. Nothing really special or too useful imho

  • avatar
    Alex
    Posted at 17:41h, 15 August

    Hey Fil, do you know what gauge strings Malcolm uses?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 17:43h, 15 August

      Sure do: 12-56!!!

      • avatar
        Alex
        Posted at 17:47h, 15 August

        Thanks, thinking of getting a spare guitar and putting Malcolm’s gauge on it as a rhythm/slide guitar.

  • avatar
    Hyce777
    Posted at 17:24h, 15 August

    That sure is a great sounding guitar. I liked the sound of it in the original song you put up on youtube. Is that song uploaded on here somewhere?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 17:26h, 15 August

      Thank you. You mean – I guess – one of those two originals I had posted of myself, the clone thing and the original song? Nope, I lost those videos forever (not a big loss I shall say). I do have though the MP3s for those, I’ll upload them somewhere here, if that can please you? :)

      • avatar
        Hyce777
        Posted at 17:37h, 15 August

        Well I wasn’t talking about the jail break one, I was talking about the one that sounded sort of like rock and roll singer. That was stuck in my head today so I went to youtube to find it, but couldn’t, and then realized your account was taken down. That’s a real shame. That’d be great to hear it again, I’m trying to figure out that run the rhythm guitar does. :)

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 17:44h, 15 August

          Will try and find a way to post it here as a soundclick song (a link to a player) OR will simply send it to you via email, your choice

          • avatar
            Hyce777
            Posted at 18:02h, 15 August

            Whatever is easiest for you, you probably have lots of things to do.

  • avatar
    ttam
    Posted at 14:05h, 13 August

    Hi,
    It’s really great guitar. Today I saw a video of AC/DC with Dave Evans, title: Can I Sit Next To You Girl, year 1973. It looks like Malcolm is playing the same Gretsch (if I am not mistaken).

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 14:37h, 13 August

      You’re not mistaken, Malcolm has stated that his first one – and most favorite – is this same one here, same year: A Gretsch Jet FireBird.

  • avatar
    Kirk2000
    Posted at 18:49h, 11 August

    Fil, you said that all your youtube videos were deleted. You don’t have any backup copys? I have about 50 of them downloaded and converted for my ipod.. If you want them i’ll send them your way.. KIRK

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 04:04h, 12 August

      I have the copies. Hehehe. I am uploading them here. Most of them. So we also get to have SoloDallas v. 1.0 here!

  • avatar
    Ryley
    Posted at 21:38h, 09 August

    i LOVE that guitar Fil, mind if i ask how much u paid for itt?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 04:05h, 12 August

      You may ask whatever comes in to your mind here.
      I think I paid 2k USD, but that was 10 years ago in NYC!

      • avatar
        Ryley
        Posted at 18:24h, 12 August

        holyy craapp!!! ne gretsch duo jets modeled after this guitar (if im not mistaken) cost about that much now a days, great deal u got there!

  • avatar
    faaradar
    Posted at 21:15h, 09 August

    Hey Fil, I cant see your fretting hand in this video. Think it was OK originally on youtube but seems to be smaller frame here?
    Chuck

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 21:22h, 09 August

      Thanks for pointing that out to me Chuck, hadn’t noticed! These are only temporary: all my youtube videos have been deleted and found these ones upoalded by someone on 5min. You can click on the link below the video and go to 5min, where you can maximize the screen to the fullest and see again my fretting hand… sorry for the workaround, I am loading these old ones on my account on vimeo where they’ll be fully available to all of us here at sd.net.

      Thanks,

      Fil

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