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NBD: Gretsch G2202 Junior Jet

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by teej, Jun 26, 2019.


  1. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    This is probably very preemptive seeing as the bass is somewhere up in the air right now on it's 2-day express delivery (only $10 more) from Guitar Center (Glendora, CA store - representing my home state!) to my office.

    On top of that, to be totally frank with all of you, I'm not even 100% sure that what's being delivered is a Gretsch G2202. It's possible that it might be a G5120. Yes, a guitar. You see, in typical Guitar Center fashion, the used gear description -- "Used Gretsch Guitars G5120 Electromatic Junior Jet Solid Body Electric Guitar Black" -- didn't match the photo (see below) which is of a G2202 bass. What did match was the price on the item page and the price on the hang tag in the photo. I e-mailed the store and, while waiting for a reply, tried GC chat but the guy, while very friendly, wasn't really able to offer any help. I decided to take a chance and hit that "place order" button. Never got a reply from the store. Yeah, I could have waited for the store to open and called but I was impatient so we'll see what arrives tomorrow.

    Hopefully, I unbox a G2202 (preferably the earlier Korean-made one). If I do...

    - Pickup: The coveted pickup stays. May swap out the pickup ring.
    - Tuners: I found a good deal on a set of used Hipshot tuners with 1/2" posts but I don't know what size posts are on the stock tuners.
    - Knobs: Will be replaced with Gretsch arrow knobs.
    - Electronics: Will be replaced with CTS pots, Switchcraft jack, chrome jack plate. I'll reuse the existing cap since I don't really want to change the tone, just improve the quality and dependability. Then I'll line the control cavity with copper foil tape.
    - Bridge: I'm thinking Hipshot "A" style unless I find a good deal on something used. I'm also toying with the idea of dropping in a piezo bridge. Not 100% sure about that yet. Honestly, I probably won't but if I do it will change the electronics obviously. I would likely add a switch or make one of the pots a push-pull to engage the piezo and then either a 2nd volume knob or blend knob to control the level.
    - Strings: Will be replaced with D'Addario tapewounds because I haven't used tapes in years, not since switching exclusively to flatwounds, and want to try them again.

    So yeah, I'm definitely counting my chickens before they hatch here. We'll find out tomorrow if I'm the new owner of an awesome bass or if I'm returning a guitar.

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Interspace Station and Bass V like this.
  2. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    wish I could say I might be getting one of those soon!
     
  3. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    New strings, pots, push-back wiring, jack, jack plate, and copper shielding tape are on the way. Oddly, wiring diagrams for Gretsch instruments are hard to find so I didn't know if this bass used 250k or 500k pots. I got a few of both since I needed to restock my parts bin anyway. I'm guessing the Junior Jet uses 500k since the pickup is a humbucker but we'll find out for sure later.

    I might not be getting one at all. UPS is out for delivery but watch me unbox this thing and it's neither a G2202 or G5120 but something completely different. It's like Christmas morning!
     
    Bass V likes this.
  4. scuzzy

    scuzzy

    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I'm excited to see!

    My bet, it's a guitar that they posted the wrong pic of, but I hope it's what you want instead.
     
  5. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Well, my thinking was this:

    - If the description is correct with the wrong photo then I just got a G5120 for $149, which is a steal since they sell for around $400-500 used. I don't play guitar (heck, I barely play bass!) but I could flip it for a nice profit.

    - If the photo is correct with the wrong description then I got a G2202 for $149 (it was right at $200 after shipping), which is what I'm hoping for.

    Having said that, the instrument just arrived in a Martin & Co. box. It's currently sitting on the spare desk behind me at work. Yes, I've opened it just enough to know what it is. Photos to come shortly. ;)

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  6. sleddogn

    sleddogn

    Sep 8, 2013
    Kentucky
    i've drooled over the green one. i've owned a billy bo and a thunder jet, but have wanted to check these out, congrats on new bass
     
  7. scuzzy

    scuzzy

    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Then it's a win win win. The best kind of win. Have some whisky, kick back, and enjoy whatever it is!

    I love these import Gretsch models. Great build, style for days.
     
  8. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Drumroll, please... It's a Gretsch G2202 Junior Jet bass!

    Guitar Center listed this in "good" condition but I would call it "fair," at least by my standards which are admittedly rather high. There are a number of small dents and dings in the body but that's expected from basswood. I've got a "P" copy with a basswood body and I absolutely love it so I'm not at all knocking basswood. The scratches and scuff marks on the body can be buffed out but I was pretty bummed when I saw the large chips in the finish on the bottom. I have some black automotive lacquer at home that might match. I can't comment on playability yet. The jack is loose and the pots turn way too easily -- good thing that's all being replaced anyway. Overall, yeah, I'd call it "fair."

    I'm realizing, though, that after initial cost of the bass, shipping and taxes, and then projected cost of all the upgrades I'm wanting to do that I could buy a used Supro Huntington. However, I'm not at all a fan of the set necks but that's a whole other topic.

    I'll post more once I get it tuned and play for a bit.

    Roundwounds. Ugh... :thumbsdown:

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Interspace Station likes this.
  9. sleddogn

    sleddogn

    Sep 8, 2013
    Kentucky
    its just getting broken in, lol nice rock it
     
    ed morgan and teej like this.
  10. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Oh I'm definitely gonna rock it.

    But first I'm gonna take it apart.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    staurosjohn likes this.
  11. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I may not replace the tuners. They're Jinho tuners as found on a lot of import basses like Schecter. Quality isn't that bad. They still have a nice, solid feel to them.

    The volume pot was replaced at some point. It's not original but it's a much higher quality mini pot than the other one. Turns smoothly with a solid feel to it. Might be a mini CTS pot but I can't tell because the back is covered in solder. The pots are 500k and the tone cap is .047 uf. I may have to return those replacement pots I ordered, though -- shafts don't look long enough.

    The replacement jack plate due to arrive tomorrow is also slightly rectangular whereas the stock plastic one is square. See, boys and girls, this is why you wait until after the unfamiliar instrument arrives to order new parts.

    [​IMG]
     
    staurosjohn likes this.
  12. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    It looks like I've got an early pre-Fender Korean-made G2202.

    I sent Gretsch customer service the photos and they came back saying only that "What you have is going to predate Fender's acquisition of the Gretsch brand, so we will not have any information on file regarding this specific piece."

    So I did some research of my own and noticed that the Korean ones don't have the serial number and origin printed on the back of the headstock the way all the Chinese ones do. Instead, the Korean ones simply have a silver "Made in Korea" sticker on the back of the headstock just behind the nut. While I don't have that sticker, I can only assume that it was removed at some point. And I've yet to find a photo of another Korean G2202 that shows the serial number but I'm assuming that's what the sticker is with the six-digit number -- 412416 -- adhered to the neck heel.

    EDIT:
    Found an old Reverb listing for a 2001 G2202 with the serial number 219434. Photos of the back of the bass show the same labeling as mine -- sticker on the neck heel, no printing on the back of the headstock (Source: Gretsch Electromatic G2202 Junior Jet Bass 2001 Blackburst)

    IN OTHER NEWS:
    - The correct parts (read about me jumping the gun in a previous post) are due for delivery today.
    - I've also got a brass Hipshot "A" bridge on the way that I purchased from @arbitrary.
    - Scored an awesome deal on a set of new Gotoh Resolite tuners. $68 + $7 shipping. They normally sell for close to $100.
    - And did I mention that before I ever purchased this particular bass that I placed a bid on eBay for a G2202 body thinking I could assemble a FrankenGretsch? The body is in good shape except for a scratch on the front and some minor scuff marks on the back that can probably be buffed out. I'm guessing a music shop had the bass on display and it got a scratch so they swapped out the body or parted the bass or something. But yeah, I didn't think I would win with my $12.50 bid.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    scuzzy and arbitrary like this.
  13. Stephenmeeker13

    Stephenmeeker13

    Feb 9, 2019
    Killer find! I bought a 125th anniversary g2202 and purchased a new g2224 later on. G2202 got put in the closet for a while after breaking a tuning peg and being a procrastinator and switching amps. I installed tuners today and threw a fresh set of strings on and the tone from the g2202 was so good I was almost disgusted with the g2224
     
  14. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Is there anything different about the 125th anniv. model?

    I snagged a hardshell case from Musician's Friend for $53. The plywood case was a few bucks cheaper and I know it's a solid case, having owned the bass version for the past 15ish years, but I went with ABS to see what the quality is like. It was delivered this morning.

    Also, here are some recent photos after the new tuners and bridge arrived. The new knobs, strings, and everything else haven't been installed yet.

    The stock bridge is a standard 5-hole Fender mount so the Hipshot dropped right in. Only problem is it seems the stock bridge wasn't installed right and needs to be moved to the left a little. So I may have to fill in the old screw holes and drill new ones.

    As for the tuners, the new bushings were just a hair too big for the stock pegholes. I'm talking maybe 1mm. I had to redrill the pegholes to 9/16". I believe they were drilled at that size BEFORE the paint was applied because the only thing I removed during drilling was paint. And not seen are the stainless steel threaded inserts I installed in the neck heel.

    The old tuners were 60g (first photo). The new Res-O-Lites are 40g (sorry, I didn't take a picture of them on the scale). 20g might not sound like much of a difference but it sure feels it!

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    That's a cat hair, not a scratch by the bridge.
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    UPS delivered the case this morning.
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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  15. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    That inexpensive Musician's Friend case got some customization. I work at a vinyl/print shop. During Gallan violin bass project a couple of years ago, I cut a gold vinyl "Gallan" decal to adhere to an inexpensive violin bass case from Guitar Center. Well, this time I cut a vinyl "Gretsch" logo to use as a paint mask (stencil, I guess) and gold Krylon Fusion.

    [​IMG]IMG_20190711_182538 by Trevor Joiner, on Flickr



    And remember that other body I told you about? It arrived last Friday. The condition is worse than the eBay seller's photos showed but for $35ish I'll keep it around for a project one day. I suspect the body is from a Chinese-made G2202. The neck pocket is a bit larger than my Korean one so the necks are not interchangeable without a noticeable gap.

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  16. gaffster

    gaffster Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    florida
    I picked up a G2202 and was planning to eventually use the neck in a repair project. That plan went out the window once I started playing it. I schlep it around with it's neck sticking out of a guitar bag. I do enjoy causing low expectations.
     
  17. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    The G2202 fits these two guitar cases:

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/musicians-gear-deluxe-electric-guitar-case

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/musicians-gear-mgmeg-molded-abs-electric-guitar-case

    I grabbed the ABS case at something like 60% off when Musician's Friend had a ridiculous sale going on.

    But yeah, I imagine that would cause some pretty low expectations seeing you walk in with 4 tuners and a headstock sticking out of a guitar gig bag. But then you plug that sucker in! :cool:
     

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