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Serial Number prefix worry

1

Hi all.. I’m new to Guitar pages.. so will apologize in advance for any mistakes.. I’ve just acquired my 1st Gretsch Electromatic.. but I’m a bit concerned about the serial Number prefix.. I have looked all over for the prefix.. which is cygc. And don’t seem to be able to find anything on it.. The guitar is a Orange model not sure of model number It is a Bigsby with gold hardware.. The guitar is actually a thing of beauty. I would post a photo but I’m not sure how.. Any info “good or bad would be very much appreciated.. Many > - - 1. > Thanks

2

Should be a label inside the f hole. To my eyes it appears you have a G5655TG. And welcome to the GDP. Also, you could have a "B" stock where the serial number is eliminated to avoid warranty issues.

3

CY is China Yako for the manufacturer. Not sure on the GC. You should also have some numbers after the letters

4

The serial Number is CYGC19020198 if that helps at all.. It doesn't show on any data base I have tried... It certainly looks legitimate.. Unfortunately I can't put another pic on " without doing a separate post.. Thanks in advance

5

Hello, Pago, welcome to the GDP (Gretsch Discussion Pages), and congratulations on your new guitar! She's a very beautiful instrument. You can only post one picture at a time, it looks like you figured that out already.

You've come to the right place for everything you ever wanted to know about Gretsch guitars. There are some very knowledgeable people here, who can answer just about anything questions you may have about your new guitar. Be forewarned, Gretsch guitars are addictive. They're unique and and wonderful instruments, and once bitten by the Gretsch bug, it's hard to resist getting more of them.

6

Can we see a pic of the label?

I think CY is China and GC maybe a special run for Guitar Center.

Good looking guitar and welcome to the GDP.

7

I have a good pic.. But you can only put 1 pic in for the topic.. The only way I can do it is start another topic.. Being new to GDP I’m just trying to find my way around the site at the moment.. On hindsight I should have put the headstock shot in as the main picture “ if it’s a copy it’s a very good one.. Thank you everyone for the input so far..

8

You can put in one pic per post, not per topic.

9

My Apologies Bob.. Thanks for pointing out my error...

10

Welcome to all things Gretsch, Pago! Odd looking feature having the tension bar Bigsby. What's the history on this guitar, it'll help us track how it got to you.

11

Get a shot of the label looking through the F-hole, please, and post it.

12

All I can really tell you is “ I went to somebody’s house to buy ‘ I think guitar strings and saw this on his wall.. he actually had two on the wall pretty much the same but the other was green.. Love at 1st sight was all I can say.. As it happens I had a 1980s Hamer xt series sunburst which he had been trying to get from me for a while and he offered a straight swap.. This to me was a no brainer the xt was probably worth 300 tops.. It appears just after he bought it someone bought him the green one.. He does a lot of charity work and has just been diagnosed with leukemia which is why he took up guitar.. Anyway his charity work got him a lot of payback and the green one was part of it.. The orange one was bought second hand.. I have done some surfing over the last 24hrs ...... Twom in a previous post said he thought it was a G5655TG.. I went onto Gretch guitars.com typed that in and Bingo there it was “ even had the CYGC prefix on the headstock... I’m quite new to guitars myself and now I’m a little baffled about the odd looking feature tension bar bigsby.. Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this subject could you please explain why it’s an odd feature.. I’m loving this site “ and truly appreciate all the help I’m getting.. Also is the prefix and number on the headstock not the serial number.. I have looked in the f hole and can’t see any signage at all.. I will push my luck now and ask if you know what TWOM meant by a B stock.. Sorry for such a long reply .. Last thing.. your name sounds like you may live in the UK.. Thankyou Windsor Dave..

13

All I can really tell you is “ I went to somebody’s house to buy ‘ I think guitar strings and saw this on his wall.. he actually had two on the wall pretty much the same but the other was green.. Love at 1st sight was all I can say.. As it happens I had a 1980s Hamer xt series sunburst which he had been trying to get from me for a while and he offered a straight swap.. This to me was a no brainer the xt was probably worth 300 tops.. It appears just after he bought it someone bought him the green one.. He does a lot of charity work and has just been diagnosed with leukemia which is why he took up guitar.. Anyway his charity work got him a lot of payback and the green one was part of it.. The orange one was bought second hand.. I have done some surfing over the last 24hrs ...... Twom in a previous post said he thought it was a G5655TG.. I went onto Gretch guitars.com typed that in and Bingo there it was “ even had the CYGC prefix on the headstock... I’m quite new to guitars myself and now I’m a little baffled about the odd looking feature tension bar bigsby.. Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this subject could you please explain why it’s an odd feature.. I’m loving this site “ and truly appreciate all the help I’m getting.. Also is the prefix and number on the headstock not the serial number.. I have looked in the f hole and can’t see any signage at all.. I will push my luck now and ask if you know what TWOM meant by a B stock.. Sorry for such a long reply .. Last thing.. your name sounds like you may live in the UK.. Thankyou Windsor Dave..

14

Pago -Yes the Number on the headstock is the serial number. The label in the f-hole usually has the serial and model number both. The Extra "C" on your prefix must be for "centerblock" models. My G5657 centerblock jr. has it, and a blue 5655 in the GDP database has it too. The projet models which are chambered only has a CYG prefix. So I'm sure you have a bonifide Gretsch. Relax and play the heck out of it.

15

The Tension Bar isn't an odd feature, they are just used on guitars with shallow neck sets.

16

Here is my G5657T. It has humpblocks instead of thumbnail inlays.

17

Ahhh i can breathe a sigh of relief.. Thanks for all your help Twom

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I have only just seen the pic of the G5657T.. Impressive looking axe.. I’m loving the look of the hump block inlays... I take my hat off to Gretsch “ untill you actually have one it’s hard to appreciate what great guitars they really are.. I am “ playing the hell out of it.. When ever I look at it it puts a smile on my face “ and it’s hard not to want to play it

19

It's absolutely not a fake or counterfeit Gretsch. No copies have yet gotten accurate enough to be convincing, even judging from the pic you provide.

"B-stock," also known as a "second." A guitar with flaws from the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer (usually only cosmetic, and often vanishingly small), sold with full disclosure and at a discount. Sometimes the original serial number is covered over, effaced, or modified to prevent the guitar from being sold as a new, perfect guitar.


The purpose of the tension bar is to create sufficient break angle (and resulting downward tension) of the strings over the bridge - both so that the strings don't "come loose" from the saddles, and to improve tone and sustain. It's necessary on guitars whose necks are set pretty close to the body...like most semi-hollow and many solidbody designs. On guitars where the neck sits higher off the body, there's sufficient break angle without the tension bar.

The tension bar is not universally loved, and some guys try stringing guitars so equipped OVER instead of under the tension bar, to decide for themselves if there's enough break angle for their desired string tension. Sometimes it's fine. Sometimes the tension bar is truly necessary.


In most cases, especially on Electromatics and Streamliners with their "licensed" (ie, Asian-made) Bigsby tailpieces, the vibrato also feels "stiffer" and less responsive than most like. To be clear, the reason has nothing to do with the place of manufacture (physics is physics), but that those sub-contractors use stiffer Bigsby strings than most prefer.

If you haven't had a guitar with a Bigsby before, you won't have any basis on which to judge its Bigsby feel and response. But if the Bigsby handle bends when you use it more than the pitch, and doesn't seem like it's doing much...you might be a candidate for a different string. The trick is to order a taller Gretsch spring from somewhere like darrenriley.com, or - my favorite - the Reverend Soft Spring from the Reverend guitar company. (Google and you'll find it.)

Springs are easy to swap when you change strings, and it wouldn't hurt to try out alternatives.


I don't think the GC in the model number refers to a Guitar Center special run, though at first I thought it might. We usually don't see such designations in the prefix of a model number; it's more likely in the suffix, though usually the suffix would cryptically abbreviate the features of the guitar which make it unique, rather than the distributor it might have been built for.

In any case, I'm not sure a special run for a dealer would be listed alongside standard models at Gretsch's site - and the orange Electromatic singlecut centerblocker (G5655TG) is a regular catalog model.

Maybe the CYGC is China Yako Guitar Co?


Also, it's true that Gretsch makes really nice guitars - and welcome to the GDP. Bottom line: don't worry. Be happy.


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