Vintage Gretsch Guitars with Tags & Other Goodies

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 1955Junior, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. 1955Junior

    1955Junior Silver Supporting Member

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    Over the last 30-years or so, I've bought, traded, and sold numerous Gretsch guitars from the 50s & 60s. I have owned all the Jets, 6120s (with and w/o G brand), Roundups, White Falcons, Country Gents, and many others.

    One thing I found interesting is that many of these instruments still had most, or all of the original paperwork in their cases - something that I didn't see as much with Fenders & Gibsons. Also, most still had their original Gretsch strap.

    I even remember buying a couple mid to late 60s Country Gents that had their original plastic bags (with Gretsch logos).

    Any thoughts on why vintage Gretsch guitars seem to retain their tags more than other brands?
     
  2. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    I had a '63 Tennessean that had all of the papers and brochures, including one describing the Hi-Lo Tron pickups (something to do with the 'Brilliant Highs and Mellow Lows'). It also had the original round plastic Gretsch string case. Interesting to hear that this is sort of a common thing.
     
  3. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    Cowboys are also packrats.
     
  4. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

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    I have a 1958 6128. No tags, but it does have a string package with a couple of (used--why?) strings in it.

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  5. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    When you break a string, a used replacement is better than none at all.
     
  6. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Because they look cool but play like crap for the most part. When do you ever see a Gretsch with the finish played completely off of it like a great old Strat or Tele? You don't.

    Oh, and before you call me Gretsch ignorant, I, too, have owned many and I've set up and worked on hundreds of them. Still own one of the few exceptions I've come across, randomly. A '60 Double Anniversary that is out of this world.

    For the most part though: piss poor fit and finish, cardboard tone, dead spots all over, dog-legged necks, lousy action that can't be lowered without major surgery.
     
  7. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    Uh, yeah right
     
  8. 1955Junior

    1955Junior Silver Supporting Member

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    Very interesting comment - and I have experienced most of these same characteristics that you described. I never could understand why Gretsch quality was at best - sporadic. Especially since they were priced in-line with Gibsons, and higher priced than most Fenders. I too agree that Gretsch was focused more on aesthetics, versus build quality & playability. Perhaps it’s because drums and banjos were the company’s initial forte.

    The ephemera may have survived because many people bought the guitars mainly for show. Could be that the original Gretsch guitar (especially the electrics) buyers were some of the first, true guitar collectors.

     
  9. 1955Junior

    1955Junior Silver Supporting Member

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    Man - that is one nice looking, clean guitar! I always liked the Duo-Jet with DeArmonds. The original case looks killer clean too.

    The prior owner probably saved the used strings because he or she didn't have enough enough money to buy a complete set. Most non-professional players (and probably many pros too) in the 50s & 60s opted to purchase single strings instead of entire sets.
     
  10. John Catto

    John Catto Member

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    actually in the 50's Fender were (archtops I guess excluded) generally more expensive than Gibson (in 1959 a Strat cost slightly more than a Les Paul 'burst for instance) but Gretsch were considerably more expensive than either.

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