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DeArmond Jetstar / Guild Thunderbird reissue with Gold Tone USA Pickups

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Published on Mar 13, 2013

Gorgeous DeArmond Jetstar, a Fender produced reissue of the old Guild Thunderbird, as favoured by blues greats Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and more recently Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Absolutely beautiful guitar this one. Mahogany body, 60's LP style neck, pickups are spectacular USA made Gold Tone. They sound something like an old school Gretsch Filtertron, bright and jangly but can deliver punch where needed. I've never played a neck pickup humbucker like this one, nice and open sounding compared to the (muddier) Gibson counterparts. Bridge pickup is a little more treble with plenty of bite and snarl. Middle position is interesting, but sounds completely different from what you'd expect from a humbucking guitar.

This guitar is not to be confused with the DeArmond Jetstar Special, the budget version with small pickguard and budget Indonesian pickups.

I considered adding the Hagstrom Tremolo arm to make it more like the original, even getting a quote from Hagstrom themselves but decided against it for the time being. Only adjustments so far is a change of the pickup selector tip for a more heavy duty Gretsch style one. I still have the original black tip in my parts box.

Guitar is going straight into a (cranked) Vox AC30 CC2 via an orange Bullet Cable.

Always get a few sniffs after a gig about this one, I guess as its so rare and sounds so sweet. I spent literally months tracking one of these down and I love it to bits. Thought I'd post a video up on YouTube as there aren't that many about.

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