NBD: Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NortyFiner, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    Over my playing career, I have bought and sold many Fender and Squier PJ basses and never been really happy with them for various reasons, which no doubt have been gone over in countless other threads here so I won't repeat them.

    I first noticed the Gretsch 2220 some years ago, but didn't think much of them at first, probably because I was still a dedicated long scale player and how good could they be for $299, right? A few years later, I switched to short scales for medical comfort, and the Gretsch got my attention again and began nagging at the back of my mind. Finally last Friday in the dark of the morning, amid yet another fit of Fender/Squier PJ dissatisfaction with my Squier Jag SS, I gave in and ordered the Gretsch from Sweetwater.

    Let me mention Sweetwater. Estimated shipping time on the order page was one week. Within 24 hours of ordering, Sweetwater called to say my new bass was already being packed and shipped, and it just arrived today at lunchtime. That plus all the inspection, setup et al that Sweetwater does before shipping, you can't beat that kind of service.

    Anyway, the new bass. No pics, no bass...


    Acoustic B100C in the background, Behringer headphones and a stack of pedals on the shelf. Rig rearrangement in progress, pardon my dust. :)

    I chose the "Walnut Stain" color because it reminded me of old cherry Gibsons and classic rock, which I play a lot. The finish is transparent so the wood grain adds a little texture to the color, and the walnut fretboard is beautifully dark. Fit and finish are excellent; the nut and fretwork are noticeably better than my Squier. Setup is five stars right out of the box; I'm actually scared to change the strings on it for fear I might mess it up. Thanks Sweetwater!

    As far as playing it, compared to my Squier Jag SS:

    - The Squier Jag SS neck is a short scale J neck, with all the standard J dimensions. The Gretsch neck is slightly wider with wider string spacing at the nut, but not as wide as a P. The Gretsch neck is flatter (12" radius) and thinner than the Squier neck. I immediately noticed a difference in technique; on the Squier's thicker, narrower neck, my thumb tends to get over the top. On the Gretsch, my thumb stays better anchored behind the neck. Amazing how much little fractions of an inch can matter.

    - The Squier is PJ; the Gretsch has mini humbuckers. The silence and strength of the bridge bucker is night and day from a J pickup. The bridge has nice harmonic jangle, the neck has serious thump, and both together are well balanced. But what really surprised me is how hot these little buckers are! This is a passive bass, but I still had to tweak knobs to tame them. Too used to singles I guess...

    Anyway, I'm having a blast with this little Gretsch, and I'm already thinking about getting another to string one with flats and one with rounds. I'd have to say that in terms of dollar for dollar VALUE, this might be the best bass I've played in my 31 years of music. Can't beat it at $299, that's for sure. Now, back to noodling with my new friend... :)
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
  2. Plake

    Plake Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    Always have been a fan of these. Enjoy! :bassist:
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    nice look! it kind of has a 'stoutness' to it, to my eye --- solid. cool that it has a good feel, too. congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:

    i'm also glad that you pointed that out! feel is everything, IME, and those "fractions" can make all the difference for a player. ;)
  4. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    Sadly, I'm thinking I may need to send it back. The neck is great, it feels good to play, sounds wonderful. BUT, something I didn't know when I bought it: it has no body contouring at all. Just a flat slab. Which is fine when I'm sitting down, but well...I'm 51 years old with a typical 51 year old body. My six pack got traded for a keg years ago. So when I try to play it standing up in my usual position with a strap, the bass angles away from my body in a weird way that feels pretty much unplayable. Still messing with strap lengths and angles trying to find a comfortable way, but I dunno. :(
  5. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    Still adjusting to the new bass, but I think now I'm keeping it. Feels too good playing to get rid of that easily.
  6. SidNitzerglobin


    Feb 12, 2019
    Congrats! I'm a fairly big Gretsch fan in general & any of these I've noodled around on seemed like a bunch of fun to play. Haven't run into the walnut stain, looks really nice in the pic.

    Enjoy it!
  7. arginator


    Feb 28, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Nice bass! How much does it weigh?
  8. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    When I first got my Gretsch G2208 7 years ago, I felt the exact same way about it. The slab body was a big change from my SS Jag and I could not get comfortable playing it... I almost sold it. I am so glad I did not, because after a month or two I got used to it and the Gretsch has been my main bass since. Other bass bodies now feel too contoured :roflmao:
  9. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    Yeah, I've kept it and like it.
    bobba66 likes this.
  10. juan77


    Sep 28, 2020
    Hi everyone.
    Could someone please help me with some measurements of the junior jet II neck?
    I would like to know the width of the neck at the nut, at the 12th fret and at the end ...
    thank you very much!!
  11. long term teview?
  12. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    Long term review is great. I'm thinking about ordering a second one in black strung with rounds, and stringing this walnut red one with flats for different styles of music.
    4 Out of 5 likes this.
  13. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member

    @LowEndLobster needs our help.

    Check out this thread, especially if you have a Gretsch Jr. Jet.