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Gretsch debuts show-stopping Players Edition and limited-edition models, plus a Chris Cornell-inspired Vintage Select Edition

Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars
(Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)

NAMM 2021 isn't taking place in the physical realm this year, but you'll find all the hottest January gear launches in our guide to the biggest guitar, amp and pedal releases of 2021 so far.

There’s no physical NAMM show this year, but that doesn’t mean Gretsch is holding any of its most desirable guitars for 2021 back – not by a long shot.

This year’s high-end offerings are highlighted by a trio of luxuriously finished limited-editions – a Falcon, Penguin and Tenny – plus a new Players Edition take on the Jet, and a Vintage Select Edition inspired by a ’90s alt-rock legend.

Read on and prepare to drool…

Gretsch Vintage Select ’89 Jet

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Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

G6129T-89VS Vintage Select ’89 Duo Jet with Bigsby in Gold Sparkle (Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)
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Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

G6129T-89VS Vintage Select ’89 Duo Jet with Bigsby in Silver Sparkle (Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)
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Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

Gretsch G6128T-89VS Vintage Select ’89 Duo Jet with Bigsby in Black (Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)

Gretsch’s PR claims this new model “resurrect[s] a classic late-’80s design that rocked the forefront of the Pacific Northwest grunge movement” – and to us, that can only refer to one guitarist: Chris Cornell.

For Soundgarden’s landmark 1994 album, Superunknown, Cornell relied on just three guitars, one of which was a 1989 Gretsch G6128T Duo Jet.

According to producer Michael Beinhorn, this Silver Sparkle model was the sole guitar used on Black Hole Sun, although Cornell played a Gold Sparkle model in the track’s iconic, trippy video.

This new model pays homage to that guitar with Gold Sparkle, Silver Sparkle and Black finishes, and period-correct specs.

That includes chambered mahogany construction, a maple set neck, 12“-radius rosewood fingerboard, G-arrow knobs, Bigsby vibrato, Adjusto-Matic bridge and Gotoh tuners.

TV Jones TV Classic Plus bridge and Classic neck pickups are also onboard to replicate the Filter’Tron sound of the era, too.

The G6129T-89VS (Gold Sparkle and Silver Sparkle), and G6128T-89VS Vintage Select ’89 Duo Jet with Bigsby (Black) are available from March 2021 for $2,599.

Gretsch G6136T Limited Edition Falcon with Bigsby

Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

(Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)

Far beyond White Falcon, this limited-edition model’s Two-Tone Copper/Sahara Metallic finish is a real stunner, while a pair of TV Jones Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity pickups promise sounds as good as its looks.

There’s also 1959 trestle bracing for classic hollowbody performance, as well as a no-load master tone and master volume with “Squeezebox” paper-in-oil caps, string-thru Bigsby B6CP tailpiece, pinned “rocking” bar bridge with ebony base, bone nut, Grover Imperial locking tuning machines, jeweled G-arrow control knobs, a gloss urethane finish, chrome hardware and silver vintage thick plexi pickguard with Gretsch and Falcon logos.

The G6136T Limited Edition Falcon with Bigsby takes flight from February 2021 for $3,599.

Gretsch G6134T Limited Edition Penguin Koa with Bigsby

Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

(Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)

One of the most distinctive Penguin models we can recall, the G6134T boasts a natural-finished koa top with matching figured headstock, topped off by tortoiseshell body and neck binding, mother of pearl Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays, jeweled arrow control knobs, a tortoise pickguard and gold hardware.

Beneath that gorgeous top lies a chambered mahogany body, as well as a pair of TV Jones TV Classic pickups based on ’50s Filter’Trons.

Other features include a set mahogany neck, 12”-radius ebony fingerboard, Bigsby B3 tailpiece, rocking bar bridge with pinned ebony base, and Grover Imperial tuners.

You can pick up the G6134T Limited Edition Penguin Koa with Bigsby from April 2021 for $3,299.

Gretsch G6119TG-62RW-LTD Limited Edition ‘62 Rosewood Tenny with Bigsby and Gold Hardware

Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

(Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)

Rosewood top, back and sides are where this model gets its incredibly lengthy name, and its teaming with TV Jones TV Classic humbuckers promises a distinctive tone that will make its presence known in any mix.

In a nod to vintage specs, parallel tone bars connect the guitar’s top and back, while there’s also the classic three-position tone switch and Gretsch “Squeezebox” paper-in-oil capacitors for further authenticity.

Elsewhere, you get a “rocking” bar bridge with pinned rosewood base, Bigsby B6G vibrato tailpiece, 12”-radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 vintage small frets, gold G-arrow control knobs and Grover Sta-Tite open-back tuning machines, aged white binding with black purfling, aged pearloid Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays, and a rosewood headcap.

The – deep breath – G6119TG-62RW-LTD Limited Edition ‘62 Rosewood Tenny with Bigsby and Gold Hardware lands in March 2021 for $2,599.

Gretsch G6228TG-PE Players Edition Jet BT with Bigsby and Gold Hardware

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Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

Gretsch G6228TG-PE Players Edition Jet BT with Bigsby and Gold Hardware in Midnight Sapphire (Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)
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Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

Gretsch G6228TG-PE Players Edition Jet BT with Bigsby and Gold Hardware in Walnut Stain (Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)
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Gretsch NAMM 2021 electric guitars

Gretsch G6228TG-PE Players Edition Jet BT with Bigsby and Gold Hardware in Cadillac Green (Image credit: Gretsch Guitars)

The first Players Jet BT model with Bigsby tailpiece and gold hardware, this latest Jet offers a select 1.85” chambered mahogany body with maple top, promising a “smooth attack and extended bandwidth”.

Tim Shaw was on hand for the Jet’s Gretsch Broad’Tron BT65 pickups, while the guitar is spec’d up to the nines elsewhere, too, with lowered neck set, full-access rolled cutaway and tapered heel, no-load master tone pot with Squeezebox paper-in-oil capacitor, master volume with treble bleed circuit and individual pickup volume controls.

The G6228TG-PE Players Edition Jet BT with Bigsby and Gold Hardware is available in Cadillac Green, Midnight Sapphire and Walnut Stain finishes from March 2021 for $2,599.

For more info on all the new releases, head on over to Gretsch Guitars.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Digital Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World, having spent nine storied years contributing to guitar journalism and a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). He has written and edited for MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, and makes prog-ish instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.