Any Gretsch Thunder Jet owners out there?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RedHotFuzz, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    Do you have any sound samples you can share? I can find nothing on YouTube (nor anywhere else). I'd be particularly interested in the typical "Vs. P-Bass" comparison.

    No one carries these locally, so I'm at the mercy of the Interwebz. :(
  2. I'd be interested in some sound clips as well. I love the look of these, but they're quite pricey. Are they worth the money, can you put the tone to good use?
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I have one but no sound samples, at least yet. I can tell you that the 6128 Thunderjet is the best made bass I've ever had my hands on. The setup seems rock-solid. In terms of construction, you get what you pay for.

    In terms of sound, I've put flats on mine - the rounds were REALLY zingy and I couldn't stand the annoying sounds when I moved my fingers. The pickups on the ThunderJet have more treble than you would guess.

    I'm a three-Gretsch guy. (Plus Fender, plus Gibson, plus other stuff.)


    As far as "can you put your tone to good use"....I have no answer besides "yes". Everyone is responsible for deciding whether they can get sound they like out of their bass/amp/effects combination. The ThunderJet sounds great to me. Does it sound $1000+ better than my Squier Mikey Way bass? Probably not, but it sounds different...and good. Does it sound $600 better than my orange Gretsch 5123 hollowbody? Nope, but it sounds different...and good.

    I don't have a "tone" (dislike the vague term), and I question whether many of us do. I think we just tweak things until we get a sound we like - and it may be different through different basses played through different amps and in different sound environments.

    Buying a top line bass won't change your sound drastically, and it won't work magic on your ability to play. It should have excellent finish, construction and aesthetics...and the ThunderJet absolutely does.
    Mastermold likes this.
  4. Thanks for the "review"! I guess what I want to know is whether the bass has a very peculiar sound, that could potentially limit its usefullness in certain situations, or if it's more "all round". But your answer is of course reasonable, tone depends on a lot of factors. Anyhow, I'd love to hear one of these!

    How's the neck? And balance?
  5. Oiler1fan


    Jul 31, 2016
    I just purchased one of these from Sweetwater and what a disappointment. A short scale bass that actually takes medium scale strings due to the tailpiece, Fender had installed long scale strings. The full gauge of the 105 E string is wrapped around the tuner putting stress on the tuner and nut, and a nice curve in the string!! Here is Fender's response to my complaint;

    "We do not use tapered strings. The visual issue that you are addressing is normal and if you would like it to be straight visually you can push the string over with your finger. This is something that bass players do when using this type of string with a thick core and is not a quality control issue. These are the strings that Gretsch chooses to use on this instrument. If you would like to use tapered strings I would suggest that you switch to tapered on your next string change."

    When I questioned this the follow up was even better;

    "Tapered core" strings would address where the tapered end only goes over the saddle. Other strings are tapered or graduated at the headstock end such as strings that we currently sell. Being a leading string brand for decades we certainly understand strings. The scale length of the string has nothing to do with the normal "S Curve" that you mentioned.

    Could not believe this support, where do they find these experts? Sweetwater have stepped up and are sending me the correct medium scale strings. The next problem is the neck pickup which has the pocket cut too deep on one side so the foam rubber is not compressed and the pickup is loose at the correct setting height. Easily fixed with more foam, but why the need? TV Jones english mounts with humbucker screws and bezels should be the standard at this price point not foam rubber and wood screws, but those parts not available separately to retrofit. Is nobody at Fender running quality control on the Professional Series? I think my first and last Fender/Gretsch purchase. Still contemplating whether to return or fix it as it deserves to be.