Maple neck with “Roundback” profile
Rosewood fingerboard, 6150 medium frets
Kluson non-locking tuners
Grosh G90 pickups
Weight = 8 lbs
This is a 2009 Don Grosh Electrajet that I acquired in 2011. At the time, I wasn’t looking for a Jazzmaster-type guitar or a guitar with P90 pickups, but there was something about this guitar that caught my attention. Perhaps it was the fancy swimming pool in the background of the pictures that the previous owner took… or it was the really cool vibe that was 50% retro and 50% modern. Read on to learn more…
There’s no mistaking the classic guitar that the Electrajet is loosely modeled after. Yet the Electrajet is a more refined guitar in nearly every aspect. The body is well-balanced with perfectly placed contours, including the slightly angled neck pocket that helps with upper fret access. This particular guitar has a beautifully figured alder body that almost looks like ash. The finish is what Grosh calls “sueded”, which is essentially a matte finish (translucent) nitrocellulose laquer. This one happens to be Mary Kay Seafoam Green. The neck features a nice piece of Indian rosewood that appears to have a waxed finish on it. As with every guitar from Grosh, the frets are absolutely perfect. This Electrajet also has the short-lived headstock decal that says “Electrajet” on it. According to Grosh, there are only about 15 guitars that feature that particular logo. Vintage Kluson tuners are used on the headstock and a Wilkinson trem is equipped at the other end. It’s worth noting that under the pickguard is a swimming pool route so you can use any combination of pickups you wish. I did some experimenting with pickups and I’ll get to that later in the review.
Even after 25 years of playing, I had never owned a guitar with P90′s. Over the last few years I’ve really wanted to have a guitar that sounded, for lack of a better term, rude. Loud, raspy, nasal-y, untamed. So I took a chance with this guitar thinking I could get that sound I had in my head (thanks to watching too many Phil X videos on Youtube). Well, I was surprised to find that the Electrajet didn’t really match up to my expectations. It was too tame. The G90′s have a medium output and a vintage voice that makes it a perfect substitute for a guitar with mild single coils. Let me clarify: the sound was not bad at all, it was quite nice actually, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. For me, it was too similar to my G&L Legacy. The thing is, the guitar plays exceptionally well and the neck profile was perfect for me, so I had to make some changes to get it to work for me. I ordered a replacement pickguard from Grosh routed for two humbuckers and installed a pair of Smit’s handwound pickups…
“all at once the clouds are parted, light streams down in bright unbroken beams…”(NP)
Wow, Wow, WOW. This guitar kicks all kinds of butt now. Since the Electrajet had a fairly bright tone, I ordered the pickups with Alnico 2 magnets for a warmer tone. I’m also using a push/pull pot to tap into the single coil tones and these pickups really deliver. I’ll have to do a separate review of them, they’re that good!
The Grosh Electrajet is a great, great, GREAT guitar in so many respects. The fit and finish, the choice tone woods, the neck profile and fretwork, the electronics…. this is truly a custom shop quality guitar. It’s also my understanding that Don Grosh himself is involved in the build process of every one of his guitars. For what I was looking for at the time, the Electrajet wasn’t a good fit, but I found a way to make it work for me and man, it REALLY works for me!
One may ask “what is the difference between the Electrajet Standard and the Electrajet Custom?” The answer is really not much. The biggest difference is, with the Custom, you get a Gotoh 510 tremolo and Kluson locking tuners. You also get an array of color choices for the body, headstock, and pickguard. With the Standard, Grosh chooses the colors they want at the time of production and you have to buy from whatever is in dealer stock.
Here’s some interesting information on this particular guitar. It was featured in the Nov 2009 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine. After I bought the guitar I found a copy of the VGmag on Ebay and sho’nuff there it is. The review spoke very highly of the Electrajet as well. So it’s a bit of a celebrity I guess.
To summarize the Grosh ElectraJet Standard…
- A very nice combination of retro looks and modern playability
- Beefier neck patterns for those that want a fatter neck
- Impeccable fretwork, which also goes for the entire build process
- Swimming pool body route allows for many different pickup combinations
- The G90 pickups are a little too tame, would like a hotter P90
- No option for a hardtail bridge