Vintage Gretsch Guitars

A little Synchromatic help over here…?

3

Thanks, Bax. That helps to narrow things down quite a bit. Still, the cutaway shape and f-holes still seem to be wrong for that model and its variations. I'm kind of leaning toward the idea of a marriage of a Gretsch 450 neck to an asian body...

4

... or maybe not. I'm surprised at how many variations there were on the 450. Here's a shot I found of a 450M (?), which has the D'Angelico type of f-holes and a slightly less traditional cutaway shape (like the mystery guitar on the other forum):

5

I also learned that there was a Heritage-made version of the Synchromatic back in the 90's (?). Talk about confusing.

6

Don't necessarily believe the Heritage talk. That's always been very, very murky.

7

Thanks- did not realize that.

To be frank, I find it plausible that this "Eldorado" version was indeed made by Heritage, based on the body shape, the f-holes, and the pickguard material...

8

It looks like one of the late '90s Heritage series to me. Not one published in any catalog tho.

It looks somewhat like a G450M but the body size just doesn't look right. By the way M stands for natural finish. I never seen a G450 sunburst.

If we could find out the the body width, probably about 15.25, or the sticker ID (seen from the upper f-hole), I think it can be nailed down.

During the late '90s, the Gretsch vendors were playing pretty fast and loose, I think it's one of those.

It's pretty funny, I'm pretty sure the scan for the G410 was mine from the Gretsch acoustic catalog. I'm sure this one and the G410M were indeed made by Heritage, but no others. Not the subject guitar, I'm sure.

Lee

9

Thanks Lee. I'm slightly puzzled by some of your comments, particularly the Heritage connection. I feel pretty strongly that the above black & white photo has more of a Heritage look, and that the above color photo does not. I haven't put as much effort into sorting out the body sizes, but that seemed less necessary in terms of identifying the mystery guitar on the other forum.

I did another search, and found another natural finish G450 that definitely has those same Heritage characteristics:

Note the differences between the body and f-hole shapes, as compared to the sunburst mystery guitar. Heritage are also known for their flamed maple pickguards, of course.

10

That one is a G410M, not a G450M.

Although, not a for sure thing, I think your latest post looks like a 18 incher.

That's not a maple wood grain pickguard?

There main thing that makes me think that the 410's are Heritage. A poster showed up on one of these forums owned one of those monsters. He claimed that the sticker had known Heritage builders' signatures.

Just to verify my thinking, The guitar you linked in your original post is not a g410 or a G450.

Lee

11

This is starting to get confusing (probably my fault). The flamed maple pickguards above (the black and white photo, and the latest photo in post #9) are of the type used on Heritage guitars (the material, not the shape, of course). In addition to that, both of those guitars have Heritage body shapes and f-hole shapes. Thus, I suspect that those COULD (possibly, I really don't know) have been built by Heritage. I agree that the Heritage-like examples appear to be 18 inchers. The mystery guitar is not an 18", and not Heritage-like, to my eyes. This Heritage-related part of the discussion is only tangential to my original hunt for information on the mystery guitar. [Edit: Sorry Lee, I see what you meant regarding the correction above, where I called the 410M a 450M. Otherwise, I think I stated my other views properly]

As I understand it, the natural finished guitar that I posted above (post #4), is indeed a G450M. I found the image on the "other" Gretsch discussion forum, and it was posted by someone who is also a member here, I believe. I trusted the information, based on the fact that he is a Gretsch enthusiast with some experience. If that's not correct information, then I would gladly accept some corrective explanation for what those are. Anyway, that particular guitar looks to me like an almost perfect match to the mystery guitar, even though it's natural and the mystery guitar is sunburst. Even the D'Angelico style f-holes (tight, linear shape) are the same, and the one thing that varies wildly on all of these modern Synchromatic issues are the f-holes (some have cats eyes, some have large Gretsch-style, some have the Gibson/Heritage look, and a few show up with these early D'Angelico type).

12

Addendum: the G410M is the Eldorado (Heritage-like, to my eye).

Here's a video someone posted on youtube of a 410M Eldorado:

13

This gentleman refers to his guitar as a G400C. Not sure why it wouldn't be a 450 since it has a cutaway. Anyway, it has cat's eye soundholes.

By the way... "... baddest man in the wall downtown..." ???

14

I'm of the opinion the guitar shown in your original post is one of the guitars built for Gretsch for the Historic series. The most similar one that shows up in catalogs is the G3900. Made by either Samick or Peerless.

I've played one of the G3900s and it's a pretty cool guitar. If you can snatch one of these for about $800, you've got a great guitar value. It's not a Terada guitar or a Heritage guitar.

If you want to buy this yourself, due diligence is required. Get the body width and sticker info, and all will be revealed.

It appears that the Heritage question will go on, but it's pretty irrelevant to the guitar linked in your original post.

Lee

15

Addendum: the G410M is the Eldorado (Heritage-like, to my eye).

Here's a video someone posted on youtube of a 410M Eldorado:

– JimR56

That indeed a 410M.

Lee

16

This gentleman refers to his guitar as a G400C. Not sure why it wouldn't be a 450 since it has a cutaway. Anyway, it has cat's eye soundholes.

By the way... "... baddest man in the wall downtown..." ???

– JimR56

That's a G400C. A well known model made by Terada. Currently out of production.

The 450M's were a pretty limited production by Terada made about 1997 or so.

Lee

17

This gentleman refers to his guitar as a G400C. Not sure why it wouldn't be a 450 since it has a cutaway. Anyway, it has cat's eye soundholes.

By the way... "... baddest man in the wall downtown..." ???

– JimR56

One thing sure about this one, it drowns out the guy's voice pretty effectively...he needs a softer guitar or a louder voice...

18

Here is the guitar we're trying to identify:

Here is the closest match I've found, which was identified by a Gretsch enthusiast on another Gretsch forum as being a G450M:

Lee, when I searched for info and images of a Historic series G3900, I found nothing as similar. Here is what I found, which is a 15" guitar (too small) with the wrong head, wrong inlay, wrong soundholes, and wrong tailpiece:

Can you offer any further expanation (or link) regarding your opinion? I'm very confused right now.

19

By the way, please don't assume that I'm interested in buying the mystery guitar. I don't even think he's selling it. I'm simply trying help him learn what he has.

20

Thanks for your persistence Jim. I've changed mind a bit on this.

It's not a straight on shot. But I downloaded the picture and scaled from the 12th fret to estimate the bout width. My estimate is 13.4" (Based on a 25.6 scale length). Not as accurate as I'd like, but not 17" by any means.

Just looking at the picture some more, it really looks like Terada appointments.

Right now, I think this is a Terada made guitar based on the JR models that have a 14" bout width.

This is a really cool and rare guitar. If the owner could pass along the sticker info, that would be just great!

Lee

21

Mike,

The loud sounds are what makes the G400 desirable. There's a few left at the usual suspects, I might have to buy one before they're gone forever.

Lee

22

Myself, I like loud guitars. I have a loud singing voice.

23

Myself, I like loud guitars. I have a loud singing voice.

– Michael Wilhelm

Me too!

Lee


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