Gretsch Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird

Solidbody Electric Guitar with Mahogany Body, Maple Top, Mahogany Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard, and 2 Humbucking Pickups - Firebird Red
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Gretsch Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird image 1
Gretsch Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $1,129.01 MSRP: $4,029.00

Or just $121/month§ for 24 months

0% interest for 24 months*. 24 equal monthly payments required. Valid through 6/25/2017. Learn more

Special Order
Special-ordered from Gretsch and usually arrives to you within 2-4 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Gretsch Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird
Special Order

Billy F Gibbons and Bo Diddley Team With Gretsch for "Billy-Bo" Guitar!

One of the great things about being a guitar hero, and there are many, is the ability to have major guitar makers build custom guitars for you - and one of the things that set founding father of Rock and Roll, Bo Diddley, apart from the rest (aside from the Bo Diddley Beat), is the custom guitars that he designed in 1959 for his band. That's how the Jupiter Thunderbird came into being. It was one of those three custom-made electric guitars that Gretsch built for the man who was there at the beginning of rock and roll. (Some claim that it was Bo Diddley who actually invented Rock.) The original Jupiter Thunderbird was given as a gift to ZZ Top guitar player, Billy F Gibbons, by Bo himself. For the new version, Billy and Gretsch flipped the design upside down, which makes the headstock backward...!

Gretsch "Billy-Bo" Jupiter Thunderbird at a Glance:
  • Built to the artist's specifications with futuristic body design.
  • Chambered Mahogany Body
  • One-Piece Mahogany Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • TV Jones Power 'Tron pickups
  • Adjusto-matic Bridge
Chambered Mahogany Body

The result of this "science project gone wrong" features a heavily chambered mahogany body, one-piece mahogany neck, ultra-thin laminate maple top, TV Jones Power'Tron (neck) and Power'Tron "Plus" (bridge) pickups, pinned Adjusto-matic bridge, Schaller Straplocks, and enough "vibe" to make space aliens dance the alligator.

Originally Designed by Bo Diddley, Built By Gretsch

How did the Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird "Billie-Bo" guitar come into being? Rock luminaries Billy F Gibbons and Bo Diddley joined forces to bring you a 21st century version of the Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird, now dubbed the "Billy-Bo". The new Gretsch "Billy-Bo" Jupiter Thunderbird highlights Bo's original futuristic design with Billy's added ingredients for a steaming hot helping of dirty rotten Rock 'N' Roll - but let Billy F Gibbons tell you in his own words: "Some time ago, Bo gave me the guitar as a gift. It was during the recent ZZ Top recordings when the engineering crew and I snaked through the guitar vault searching for that 'certain-something' guitar and there it was! We didn't risk subjecting such a rare instrument to the rigors of the road so this new, reproduction model was re-created with some BFG Mojo thrown in for good measure. It's now the main stage guitar with a groove."

Gretsch G6199 "Billy-Bo" Jupiter Thunderbird Features:
  • Colors: Black with Firebird Red top.
  • Body Style: Futuristic (stranger than fiction),
  • Scale Length: 24.6" (625mm).
  • Top: Laminated maple.
  • Back and Sides: Heavily chambered mahogany body.
  • Neck: 1-piece mahogany.
  • Pickups: 1 Tv Jones Power'Tron Plus (bridge), 1 Tv Jones Power'tron (neck)
  • Pickup Switching: 3-position toggle:
    - Position 1. Bridge pickup.
    - Position 2. Bridge and neck pickups.
    - Position 3. Neck pickup.
  • Controls: Volume 1. (neck pickup), Volume 2. (bridge pickup), Master Volume, Master Tone.
  • Width at Nut: 1-11/16" (43mm)
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Bridge: pinned adjusto-matictm bridge.
  • Tailpiece: Gretsch g-cutout tailpiece.
  • Hardware: Chrome-plated.
  • Finish: Gloss urethane.
  • Case: Includes G6276 custom hardshell case
  • No. of Frets: 22
  • Machine Heads: Chrome-plated Grover v98c Sta-tite die-cast tuners.

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What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

Electric Guitar Buying Guide
Gretsch "Billy-Bo" Jupiter Thunderbird - Guitar of the Day

Tech Specs

Body Type Solidbody
Body Shape Thunderbird
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Number of Strings 6
Body Material Mahogany, chambered
Body Finish Gloss Urethane
Color Firebird Red
Neck Material Mahogany
Neck Shape C
Fingerboard Material Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlay Neo Classic "Thumbnail"
Number of Frets 22
Scale Length 24.6"
Nut Width 1.6875"
Nut Material Synthetic bone
Bridge/Tailpiece Pinned Rosewood-based Adjusto-Matic Bridge/Trapeze Tailpiece
Tuners Grover Sta-Tite die-cast tuners
Number of Pickups 2
Neck Pickup TV Jones Power'Tron Plus Neck Pickup
Bridge Pickup TV Jones Power'Tron Plus Bridge Pickup
Controls 2 x volume, master tone, 3-way toggle
Strings D'Addario XL110 Regular Light, NPS (.010-.046 Gauges)
Case Included Hardshell
Manufacturer Part Number 2410508815

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Write your review


Blowed my mind. My other guitar player with is led paul standard was amazed with the billy bo sound .would never get rid of this jewel.

The Gretsch Jupiter.

I have always been a Les Paul person with a great deal of admiration for the Gibson commitment to this line of guitars.But in the past two months this wild child looking Billy Bo Jupiter Thunderbird guitar has simply amazed me?This is a "VALUE" for this guitar,in such a strong competitive market the Gretsch Staff are in!Make no mistakes about my rating on this guitar!The balance is exceptional to be conservative at best,easy to play,very well manufactured as all products with the Japanese Artist!These pick ups are fantastic,combined with the acceptance of these pick ups with my Marshall 1960 original 100 watt plexi tube amp.Also the change of pedal company have brought the old Tube Screamers back,This combined with my old Wah Wah is it,With this guitar you will waste dollars,due to the simple truth,you do not need anything else! Please go to an Official Gretsch Dealer,and change the excitement into your old stale music.This is a "UGLY" beast,and this guitar gives you no reason to play it,but once you do?It will change your life!I hate what a out of price guitar such as the PRS product line has placed on our once stable market,but I can honestly say,for any new or established guitarist?This is a great accomplishment for the Gretsch Staff,it will save you a load of money on pedals with the Engineering of these pick ups!Alot of my change for sound is at the guitar now,and not on the effects pedals,or the multi three tube amps in one box shite?I will began Monday with my brothers,and two sons to re-introduce the Black Shamrock musicians.For closure,I do not advertise for no one,and I have never had a taste for kissing ***!But it feels great to feel the late 60's,and 70's music,and not "MUZAK" when all you had was you,a guitar and a tube screamer,and wah wah pedals to perform?
Music background: Love that Guitar!

The real deal!

Put on your cheap sunglasses and crank it up! This guitar is not for the meek. Guaranteed to bring out your inner Billy F. Gibbons!
Music background: Guitar Lover

Not a Gimmick Axe

So, I bought one really because of the look. I never thought the shape would actually be a plus. However, my right forearm rests in a really perfect angle on the body and it has increased my speed and attack. Really an amazing change in the ergonomics. The tone? Really not the Gretchy tone; lots of snarl and bite. Fun, fun.

Listen to Billy

I must admit that I'm quite surprised with this guitar. It was purchased on a whim and I was concerned about the build quality but I've found myself playing it all the time. The tone is great with a wonderful grind that i haven't heard on any LP or strat. Sure, you can sound just like ZZ Top but there is much more to this guitar. This is just plain fun to play.
Music background: Player and collector
See also: Solidbody Guitars, Gretsch, Gretsch Solidbody Guitars