I need trade advice

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by Super Reverb Swell, Dec 5, 2017.


  1. Super Reverb Swell

    Super Reverb Swell Supporting Member

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    I've got a pending trade offer for my 1963 Gibson ES 330t for a 1967 Gretsch Country Gentleman.

    The Gent is in relatively good shape, but has typical binding rot that has been stabilized. The 330t is issue free, spare the fret wear starting to be a little questionable.

    This isn't a straight up trade. He's throwing in a 70s Park LE 20 amp and I'm adding a little something more to even it all out.

    Would you take this trade? The ES 330t is a beauty, but I'm not sure it fits my music style (mostly rock). It's also worth a lot by the books. Alternatively, the Gent is something I'd probably get more use out of, but I know they are fairly easy to acquire.... guidance from someone a bit more experienced appreciated.
     
  2. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Supporting Member

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    I love Gretsch guitars, but a 67 Gent is not that great. It’s a 17” body, so it’s big. Baldwin era guitar (serial number inked on back of headstock) with reduced QC. They do have great necks though. Binding rot won’t stop and is pretty expensive to fix. Best way to slow it down is leave it out of the case.

    I am a Gibson guy most of the time (though I do have vintage Gretsch guitars too). The 330T (single pickup in the middle) looks funky to me, but sounds amazing.

    I guess I would only trade if I was getting the better end of the deal. If it’s even value wise, I’d rather own the Gibson. The Gretsch with rot issue will be harder to sell if you don’t like it.
     
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  3. Jayyj

    Jayyj Member

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    To be honest, although I like both of them, both guitars are getting into quirky territory. I'd notionally value the 330 higher but I'm not entirely convinced they're an easy sell at the prices they've suddenly started appearing for on Reverb. They used to be a $2.5-3k guitar until Gibson started doing 330 reissues - since then they've started to appear on Reverb at very high prices because they're the 'genuine article' but whether they actually sell for those prices is another matter. The difficulty with them from a player point if view is they don't do the traditional 330 sounds, so it's a question of whether you view the middle pickup as an interesting alternative or neither one nor the other. My impression is a few people absolutely love them, a lot more think they're interesting but not that usable. I'm fond of them but there's no way I'd pay $5k for one.

    Meanwhile Gretsches of the late 60s don't seem anywhere near as well put together as Gibsons of any era, and my experience of them is that I can't pick them up and play them as I would a Gibson - my '67 Rally was a disaster set up as I would a 335, but really came to life with a set of heavy gauge strings and the action raised up a bit, which means I end up playing it more like an acoustic. They can be very cool guitars but you'd want to be absolutely sure it suited what you want to do with it musically.

    I don't mean to be overly negative because they're both very cool guitars, and in the right hands could be a great instrument that stands out from the crowd when you gig with it. At the end of the day it's very much down to whether you love the Gretsch and are confidant it will fit with what you want do with it. If so, do it and don't worry too much about who's getting the better deal. If you don't love the Gretsch and are just considering it as a bit of a change from a guitar you're not playing so much, I'd probably hold off.
     
  4. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    I love vintage Gretsch guitars have owned a couple of 6120’s and a 6119. Having said that, binding rot is a real issue. It never really stops unless you have the old replaced.
    I can’t believe I’m saying this but if you’re convinced you want a Gretsch and want an issue free one look at the reissues with TV Jones pickups. Guess that tells you my answer.
     
  5. William Bohensky

    William Bohensky Member

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    Nope. Don't do it. Keep your gear.
     
  6. martyncrew

    martyncrew Supporting Member

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    I'm biased because I'm a big fan of the Gibson single pickup ES models and am coming up on 30 years with my ES125. Gibson really seemed to know where the sweet spot was for those single P90s. I've not got a strong opinion on the Gretsch, but I'd have to be very certain that I was getting a major upgrade to contemplate a trade of my 125. I realize a 330 and a 125 are very different beasts but there's something really special about Gibson P90 hollow bodies IMO.
     
  7. lousyatit

    lousyatit Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't do it, one sided trade.
     
  8. Super Reverb Swell

    Super Reverb Swell Supporting Member

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    I backed out. Thank you guys.
     
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