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Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II - Black Reviews

4.5 stars based on 10 customer reviews
Questions about the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II - Black?

Questions about the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II - Black?

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  • from Arlington, MA February 12, 2017


    Update to string choices. I've recently installed GHS Boomers GHS 3135 Roundwound 45 -60 - 75 - 95 and am very pleased with the result. The low-frets intonation weirdness is fairly resolved. NOTE: I had to move all the bridge pieces considerably away from the neck while doing the installation and searching for intonation. If I knew then... I would have started by moving the bridge pieces some distance away from the fingerboard, put the strings on, stretching them several times during the process,THEN tweaked the bridge pieces back toward the fingerboard to achieve intonation. In this way there is only fresh string that hasn't been pressed down onto the bridge coming into play. I do love this instrument.

  • from Arlington, MA January 21, 2017

    Excellent quality, pleasure to play

    I've been completely satisfied with this jewel of an instrument, which is an easy pleasure to play. I had stopped playing acoustic guitar because my increasingly arthritic finger joints were suffering, but I am able to handle this beauty's lovely fingerboard with little discomfort. It does take only a very light pressure to move the large tuners and alter the tuning. Lay it down on a bed and it will probably be affected. During play, it is stable. Much tonal variation is available from the two pickups, the 3-way switch and the tone knob. I've only begun to explore the variations. To my ears, there isn't very distinct differentiation between the notes at the lowest frets of the deepest strings, and sometimes (with an inexpensive but seemingly fine quality practice amp) I have a hard time getting the correct pitch/note . The instrument is probably intonated well but something about the less-than-ideal pickups doesn't clarify pitch here. Anywhere on the neck than the lowest E and A frets and there is no lack of pitch distinction. I measured the stock round wound strings with a micrometer: 40 - 60 - 75 - 95. I have NO problem with their sound, would replace with the same if I knew what they brand they are. But, since I don't know, I did research for Short Scale strings. These are among my findings (where gauges differ from the stock ones, I note that): D'Addario Chromes (flatw) ECB81S The set is 45 - 65 - 80 - 100, so, DEFINITELY heavier than stock; D'Addario XL (roundw) EXL220S; Fender 5250XL (roundw); LaBella LBSN40 (roundw) Custom length must be ordered for short scale; Rotosound RS66S Swing Bass (roundw) 40 - 50 - 75 - 90; and Rotosound RS77 Jazz Bass (flatw) 40 - 50 - 75 - 90. ( I could guess a little less tension with the Rotosound because of 2 lighter gauges might require adjusting the neck a tad) I will quote now from another reviewer, who changed up to a heavier set than stock :"After changing strings, I noticed a lot of relief in the neck, possibly increased by the heavier strings." Well, no surprise there! And with a lightly-built instrument, you might anticipate that it won't easily be able to handle a change of gauges, so go to something like the D'Addario Chromes with caution. I love the bass and it looks killer with a Dunlop checkered strap! OH, must say: the set-up by Sweetwater staff was perfect! Plug in and play. Service extraordinary, and the 3-layers of boxing make for a perfect instrument arriving at your door, layered in deep bubble-pack-separated boxes.

  • from Midwest USA April 23, 2016

    You will not want to put it down.

    Played a Fender Maple jazz bass in the 60s and 70s, then just got busy with life. But the last few months I had an opportunity to play again, and did the research on today's guitars. Played more than a few at the stores, and found a lot of them that I didn't want to play. Fret buzz, cheap parts, you know the usual stuff that drives a serious guitar player crazy. Real disappointed with the offerings in the $500 or less category! I had heard good things about Sweetwater from friends, and came across this Gretsch, well within the price range I was looking for. Man I must be crazy, but I believed the reviews and took a chance. Well, I WON on this one! They must have shipped it out that day, and out of the box it came. This is a quality guitar, the finish, tuning gears, pick-ups, controls. Everything is NICE. Sounds way deep on the tone, and the one thing I did was to put LaBella Deep Talkin flat wounds on it. Oh, yeah. You won't believe this set-up. I enjoy playing this thing better than the old Fender, a guitar which would sell for a lot of money today if I just would have kept it. But this Gretsch makes me not miss it at all.

  • from Staten Island NY March 2, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbist now

    Well made instrument

    Wonderful fit and finish all around. Nothing more to wish for or want. A very solid well made short-scale bass. Nice sealed tuners. Quiet with the passive humbuckers just what I wanted for recording. Plays and sounds great. It is an amazing bargain and I was not looking for one.I am a guitar player who wanted another short-scale bass to lay down some tracks (my first was back in the 70's which i sold) and I read and saw some demos on this. Surprisingly so although a short-scale bass it feels so solid and is tone-ful. As with all instruments you need to choose based on what type of music and your playing style. Originally was going to replace the strings when I got it, but they are quality strings that are fine and sound fine, and I will use them for sometime before I try other strings. I also bought the Fender Short-scale gig bag (BTW - Fender owns Gretsch) to help keep it safe from the start. Pretty decent gig bag that is thicker than others I found.

    I bought from Sweetwater because they are like having a helping hand checking the instrument before they ship it out unlike others both online and brick and mortar who just hand you whatever it is in the box, good-luck have a nice day bye. I would not trust getting this bass from anyone else. I could have gotten this bass in numerous local big music stores but it is Sweetwater for me every time and I am always happy with what they send and the personal attention they give to every sale, small and large. Got it super fast too.

  • from Everett May 3, 2012Music Background:
    jazz bass star in my mind:)

    gretsch g2224

    What a sweet sounding bass put some flatwounds on it and haven't
    Put it down since

  • from Boise March 26, 2016Music Background:
    stone cold acid jazz funk machine

    Pretty happy with this little fella

    Bass arrived in excellent condition. Can't really speak to the setup, because I immediately changed strings.

    I wanted flatwounds, so I first tried a set of Rotosound 77 shortscale. Bad choice! The low E on the Rotosound 77s was too light, and it made that string muddy, flubby, impossible to tune and with nasty harmonics that sounded terrible.

    So I switched to La Bella Deep Talkin' 760FS-S short scale flatwounds, and the sound is much, much improved!!! The low E is still a little bit less lively-sounding than the other strings, but that's not unexpected.

    This bass is also pretty lightweight, I actually used it with a normal guitar strap, you don't need a wide bass strap for it.

    It is definitely not shielded in the body cavities -- I checked -- which is not surprising at all for a bass in this price range. I definitely get a little noise even with the humbucker pickups, but my studio is very noisy that way, and I'm betting a weekend shielding project will take care of that problem. That is the reason I gave it 4 stars and not 5. Really no excuse to skip that step in the manufacturing process these days. Not a reason to avoid this bass, and the problem is mostly only apparent with the volume control at maximum.

    Noise or not, those humbuckers have a nice, strong clear sound to them, I like them a lot. This bass definitely has a unique sound that is unlike any other bass I own, kind of old-school/retro/jazzy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

    The other odd thing about this guitar is that, yes, as you can see in the pics, the neck is not a single piece of maple, it is two-piece. They did this so they could use a thinner piece of maple for the neck while still being able to have a bent-back headstock. I was a little worried about this, but it seems rock-solid -- I can't really find fault with how the neck performs. You could argue that with a one-piece neck maybe the E string would sound livelier, but again that E string problem is common on many basses, so I don't think it's the 2-piece neck.

    After switching to the La Bella strings, I was able to adjust action and intonation perfectly to my liking with no problems.

    Very nice acquisition, especially for the price!! Recommend it highly. Wish it came in some funkier colors!

  • from Los Angeles July 30, 2015

    Great Value

    I thought a short-scale bass would be fun and give me a new perspective - and I was right. A much-more experienced player friend said that he felt the tone of a short-scale was "too tubby" - and there's truth in that - but I like the tone on this bass very much. I'm a beginner and some parts I've been learning are really hard on a full-scale bass - but achievable on short-scale.

    Finish and (Sweetwater) set-up is really good, controls are solid and the mini-humbuckers are sweet with very little noise. There's a lot of punch on the bottom end - although the tone thins out quite abruptly in higher registers. I'll probably figure a way to even that out, maybe a little compression will help.

    As usual, Sweetwater packed and shipped my order swiftly and surely - the service is always excellent. The only (slight) negative was that there seemed to be a lot of dirt on the strings - but I'm going to change them out for Jazz 77 flatwounds in any case.

  • from United States October 31, 2013Music Background:
    Hobby Musician/Record/CD Store owner/manager/buyer

    Awesome startup, and more

    This style was recommended to me by an old musician friend as a user friendly bass for beginners and returning players that would like a smaller form. This one fits the bill, but overwhelms me with it's sound and versatility. I would recommend this instrument to anyone seeking good sound in a small and affordable package!

  • from May 9, 2017

    Great value bass

    I got my G2220 a few weeks ago from Sweetwater. It's a well-made instrument. The frets are smoother than some of my more expensive guitars.The short-scale neck is very comfortable. The feel of the neck reminisces that of a guitar, which is great if you're a guitar player wanting to tingle with the bass.The Gretsch mini-humbuckers sound great.

    It is, however, not without flaws. The tuners are a dead giveaway that it's a cheap bass. They feel extremely loose when I turn them. The tuners do a terrible job at holding the bass in tune even in standard tuning. I find myself constantly having to retune, which I rarely ever do with my MIJ Fender Jazz bass. This is an easy fix though. A set of high quality Gotoh tuners that are the exact same fit run for $50. Even with that add-on, this is still a great value instrument.

    Another thing that I don't like about the bass is the fretboard dye. Two of my other guitars have dyed rosewood fretboards, yet the dye never gets on my finger. The dye of the G2220 makes the tip of my fretting hand dirty every time I play. I have yet to find a solution for this.

    Overall, if you are looking for a quality instrument for $300, you should consider this bass. It may have some subpar parts, but the bass itself is not cheaply made. I would buy another one in a heartbeat (and change the tuners, of course).

  • from southeastern US October 11, 2016Music Background:
    rock, blues and jazz

    A Bargain at This Price

    I'm a guitar player, but I've dabbled in bass off and on over the years. I decided a short scale bass would be a better choice for my dainty hands than a more traditional long scale. If you're trying to make up your mind about buying a Junior Jet, here is my list of pros and cons after owning one for three months.

    Pro: 1. The price, of course, is great. There appears to be room to move up to the pricier Gretsch Thunder Bass if you decide you want the same but better.
    2. Headstock is small with 2+2 mini-tuner arrangement. This helps keep the bass more nearly balanced, although it IS neck-heavy. This is no problem if you keep your strap short. If you like to wear the bass down around your knees, you'll be looking to add a counterweight to keep it level.
    3. Pickup placement gives a nice tone palette. I like that the forward pickup is halfway between the bridge and the end of the fingerboard. Many shorties have this pickup rammed right up against the fingerboard, which can be prone to producing a boomy flabby sound. This one is thumpy and crisp.
    4. Basswood body has a lively resonance to it. This is good or bad according to your preference. It definitely doesn't act like a P Bass; more like a semi-hollow since the low notes make the whole body vibrate.
    Cons: 1. As another reviewer noted, the stock strings are light gauge roundwounds. I don't like them either. I agree LaBella Deep Talkin' flatwound strings are a big improvement. D'Addario flats are also a possibility -- a little brighter than LaBella's product. I chose to use medium gauge flats -- 45 to 105. The flat strings and increased tension give this bass a more focused and growling, less klanky, sound.
    2. After changing strings, I noticed a lot of relief in the neck, possibly increased by the heavier strings. After I adjusted the truss rod, I found it difficult to eliminate a buzzing of the G string. The bridge needed to be raised more than is comfortable for me. I haven't done it yet, but will probably need to have the nut shimmed up or a new one cut higher. Also, the truss rod adjustment seems to need to be retouched often, maybe just the time of year, or maybe because the neck is so thin. Time will tell.
    3. The output jack doesn't have a tight fit. It clips in with a little bit of the plug's shaft sticking out. This will probably need replacing before too long. I won't be surprised if other hardware (tuners, pots, etc.) needs replacing over the next couple of years. This isn't unexpected at this price point.
    4. No case or gig bag is sold with the bass, even as an option. I just happen to have an old case that seems to fit all right. But, if you don't have one laying around, figure a cost adder of $50 to $100. That might affect your buying decision.

    Overall, I'm satisfied that I chose this bass over other short-scale basses on the market. I considered several other brands and some models that cost up to 3X what this one does. The Junior Jet feels nice, and the setup is evolving into something that sounds and feels as I want it to. This is an instrument that lets me express myself.

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