Gretsch 5128, made in Japan 1995, light blue. This is quite a curiosity indeed! In 1995, the middle of the post-Baldwin-Pre-Fender period, Gretsch made very limited numbers of a couple of models under the 'Electromatic' sub-brand; they were stripped-down versions of their biggest sellers designed for the Japanese domestic market. They were made out of the same Terada factory as the rest of the line to a brilliant standard, but with more basic specs... most notably on the Duo Jet 5128 model, a solid mahogany body replaced the usual chambered-mahogany-maple-cap body of the more common 6128. This particular 5128 managed to find it's way to Gretsch Japan custom studio, where it gained a bunch of incredibly high quality vintage electronics (see below) and a superb all-nitro satin sonic blue paint job. Exactly how it came to exist is quite a mystery; it may have been a trade-show special or a customer order... the original factory tags inside the electronic cavity list the specs on the parts and finish; it's all original to this day. Leaving aside all that back-story, this is a brilliant guitar. The solid construction lends it some extra attack and brightness compared to a regular Jet model. The FilterTron HS pickups deliver loads of body and smoothness, but they have this incredible sizzle and sparkle to them, they sound truly exceptional. The neck is perfectly shaped and disarmingly familiar; it has that MIJ-Gretsch quality and is very reassuring. This is certainly the only light blue Duo Jet we've ever come across, and it may well be completely unique in the world; if you're in love, don't worry: we all are!
Model: Gretsch Electromatic 5128 Duo Jet
Made: Japan, Terada plant, 1995 (serial E952128-44)
Finish: listed as 'cod light blue' nitrocellulose lacquer
Body: solid mahogany
Neck: mahogany, ebony board
Pickups: original Gretsch White Bobbin High Sensitivity FilterTron humbuckers
Electronics: volume pots are Eromak 'Smooth & High-Pass' (70s, made in Germany), tone capacitor is a vintage Wako oil type, USA vintage 60s cloth wire
Case: non-original high quality gig bag, appropriately blue
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. There's a very minor ding on the end of the headstock and another just below the guard. There's some very light play-scratches above the strings. Really it's not far from mint. Overall: excellent condition (9/10).
Playing condition notes: Neck is straight, action is low, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets have very minor wear, they're in good shape, 9/10. Wearing fresh 11/49s, playing with attitude.