Gretsch Garage Sale

A Gretschman’s Gretschs - and much more.

1

RickyBob and I have been helping Jen Bowman, our late GDP brother Taylor Jackson's wife, get his guitars listed on Reverb.

(Taylor was known in these parts as Jay under the GDP identity Gretschman36. I'm sure we all remember. He died on February 5, and we miss him.)

Jen will readily admit that she is not a musician, nor otherwise knowledgable about guitars and gear. She's undertaken to list literally hundreds of items from guitars and amps to pedals, studio gear, and accessories.

The guitars can be particularly challenging because while Taylor (I still think of him as Jay) often left well enough alone - when it was truly well enough - he equally often modded and tweaked the guitars to better suit him or for best performance. That's not always documented.

Bob and I both had some independent (and some overlapping) knowledge of particular pieces of Taylor's gear. We've trawled our email records and researched online as we could given time constraints, and pointed Jen in the right directions to find information. We both contributed, and I wrote and edited the listings for the Gretschs and one of the Duesenberg guitars.

Some ambiguity about details may remain, because it simply wasn't practical to determine with complete confidence in all cases exactly what pickup, bridge, or internal mod is there. We did get Jen to pop a few pickups out to ID them. (Pause for a moment and imagine your wife taking pickups out of a guitar.)

Also, factual inaccuracies and/or typos may blemish some of the Gretsch listings. (Once I send Jen the copy and she posts it, it's beyond my ability to edit without going through that entire cycle again, and she has a lot on her plate. I didn't realize how much of my writing online is actually editing what I post.) If you find such, and they're material, let me know.

Pricing, likewise, comes from our general knowledge of modern Gretschs and their value, historical price trends on Reverbay, and an appreciation for the conditions of the guitars and any mods we can verify. It may be off. (We tried to err high, as on Reverb buyers don't bid up to a value - but are free to offer less than the asking price. Only once has a buyer offered me more for a listing than I was asking, and that was probably a mistake.) We intended to start on the high end of fair.

If we're out of line, make Jen an offer.


The purpose of this post is to call this community's attention particularly to the Gretschs and related instruments, but also in general to Taylor's entire collection of guitars (and other gear.)

Jen advises that she'll look favorably on offers from GDP members.

"Jay" had lots of great stuff. There are a number of pieces here I'd certainly jump at, finances permitting!


True to his screen name, there are more Gretschs than any other brands, and there's a smart cross-section of the entire line, capturing most if not all Gretsch flavors. Where there's duplication, it reveals his tonal preferences.

THE GRETSCHS
Spectrasonic
G6114 New Jet.
Dynasonic White Falcon
Dynasonic Penguin with ToneStyler
G6193 Spruce & Dyna Oops Country Club
Anni Jr w/TV HiloTrons and ToneStyler
6120 AM Prom Queen
6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody w/Setzer Sigs

A DUESENGRETSCH?
Duesenberg Starplayer TV w/Gretsch mods
Gretschman identified this guitar on several occasions as being his favorite electric. That seemed like a betrayal of all things Gretsch - but note that he replaced the Duesy vibrato and pickups with a Bigsby and HS Filter'Trons. This was probably his way of getting Gretsch tone in a guitar with spruce top, 25.5" scale, and a centerblock. I haven't played or heard the guitar - but maybe he was onto something with this spec, and Gretsch should try one.

This guitar was on his workbench when he passed, apparently in the midst of a string change.


SWEET RIDES
Other than the Duesenberg (which gave him a 335-type with humbuckers) and the Ric (for that 12-strang thang), these are guitars I suspect Taylor bought and kept because he just plain liked their distinctive tone, rather than for production or recording purposes.
Duesenberg 440 semi-hollow
Guild Newark St Aristocrat
DeArmond M75T
Collings 290
Vox Virage
Ric 660/12


FENDER FAMILY CLASSICS & WORKHORSES
Couple Teles, couple Strats. Textures and colors needed in the studio.
Standard Tele, butterscotch
Tele w/B-Bender
American Standard Strat, plekked
G&L S-500
Dean Zelinsky Tagliare


GIBSON FAMILY CLASSICS & WORKHORSES
Here an array of classic Gibson tones from 'buckers and P-90s. Taylor wanted to have every basic guitar type and tonal color at hand when arranging and tracking.
Gibson Les Paul Traditional with mods; Gretschman's note:

I'm sure you know of the Babicz FCH ( full contact hardware). Had that installed on my Les Paul (shhh I had to for a project and I feel like a traitor, but man, what a sound). Clarity. Focus. Sustain for days and soooo resonant. Paired with a set of SD Aniquities and the Jimmy Page wiring harness. TONS of options.

Gibson LP Tribute P90
Epiphone LP Standard w/Seymours
Epi LP Jr '57 Reissue


SHREDDERS
Because before Taylor migrated into country and roots styles, he was a full-on 80s shredder, in a signed hair band, and with some national experience and success. It's only natural he kept some of the guitars.

Ibanez JEM w/custom graphic
We can't authenticate this, but Taylor said he air-brushed the original art on this guitar at a time in the 80s when he was doing various graphic treatments for several brands of superstrats. My understanding is that there were very few of this particular design with the Vai portrait - maybe only two - and that Vai has one of them.

Jackson Dinky
Brian Moore IM w/synth access


WELL, NOT SO MUCH
Taylor needed a 12-string with classic Byrds/Petty chime for an upcoming project. He first tried to get the sound on the cheap with this guitar and a JangleBox 3 compressor (also listed). This guitar didn't get him there, but he hadn't sold it yet.
Dean Boca 12-string


BASSES
... as in "covering all the..."

Ibanez Soundgear SR70EF 4-string fretless
Spector Legend 4 standard
Yamaha RBX5 5-string.


AN ACOUSTIC TRACKING TRIFECTA
Taylor often explained to me his production technique for a huge, lush acoustic guitar sound, which involved tracking a part three or four times - but with guitars focused on different ranges of the frequency spectrum, carefully panned and blended. (All three of these are acoustic-electrics, but recorded as acoustics in the studio.) His stated favorites for those roles:
Eastman AJ816 Jumbo Custom (Taylor's favorite acoustic; see notes below.)
Taylor 914C
Cole Clark Fat Lady FL3EC

In his words:

I use my Taylor "Cindy" Presentation for the top end and natural compression when tracking and my Eastman Jumbo (CS built for me. NEVER seen anything like it before - my buddy ran their US operations, soooooo). It's basically built like their heavy flamed archtops with the violin stain, etc. Love that guitar. So between the two, I have the top and bottom covered in the mix. WIDE as hell spread L/R.

The Cole Clark Fat Lady is perfectly voiced in between the Taylor and Eastman, so we have a winner. The pickup system is brilliant and to me, the key feature. It has 6 loaded piezos under the saddle, a face sensor that can be blended in to hear frequencies in the mid to high range (stuck to under the top) and a condenser microphone that is on a proprietary neck type of thang. Unreal how much it sounds like a studio mic'd guitar.

IMO, it's a combo between a the bottom end of a Martin, the mid-fcous of a Taylor and a bit of the sizzle/spank of a Maton.

And when he wanted even more sparkle on top, he'd track a Nashville-tuned acoustic.


MORE ACOUSTIC-ELECTRICS
Ibanez Exotic EW40 Cocobola
Alvarez-Yairi DY88
Washburn Parlor, Nashville tuning


AND MORE...
Alvarez-Yairi DY85A, a classic dreadnaught
Alvarez Avante AV-2, a killer baritone
Epiphone Masterbilt Olympic archie
Gold Tone Paul Beard resonator
Washburn C40 Classical, because everyone needs some nylon
Yamaha SLG200, a "silent guitar" new to Taylor in December

2

You are both saints for helping Jen. Quite a collection.

3

Damn, I miss him.

That's a lot of nice gear, and at good to very-good prices.

4

What Mark said. And, that white Penguin sure is pretty, in case you were wondering what I thought.

5

The sleeper in Gretschman36's gear, in my opinion, is that SpectraSonic. Someone from the GDP really needs to get that guitar.

The SpectraSonics rarely come available. And this is one of the few that is branded a Gretsch. For me, that adds a little value to it, or it certainly makes it more desirable as between that one and one of TV's models (despite how great his are, I am sure).

The Ric 660/12 was one that Jay bought just late last year. He absolutely raved to me about it when he got it. He loved it. That's another one which, in a perfect world, would have found its way into my little covey of guitars.

And a Prom Queen? Wow! How often do we see those come up for sale these days? Never! It is a gorgeous guitar that looks to have been kept in pretty much pristine condition. Again, if money were no object ...

Jay even had an "Oops" Country Club. A natural spruce top, Dynasonics, and a tone circuit. I have heard people for some years now sing the praises of these "Oops" models and I would love to have one. I have a Dyna Club in the unusual blue-green color with the small metal flake (what Proteus has suggested might actually be the true "Cadillac Green" color because it matches the green roof of his vintage Cadillac), so I probably have that wonderful sound covered already. If not, I would be giving this some serious thought.

If I had half a need for these guitars, I would have been trying to buy them before they even hit Reverb.com. But, I just can't seem to justify them in my own mind, which I have rarely ever felt before. I must be getting old.

6

And a MAJOR tip of the cap to Proteus for having written up such stellar descriptions for Jay's wife to use with each of these guitars on Reverb.com. Who else could write a few paragraphs so absolutely chock full of historical information and other observations about the guitars, yet have it be so readable? I certainly know my limitations in that regard.

Ya done a fine job there, mate!

7

Gee, I just bought a 6120AM from the Fuji-Gen factory. Good on you for helping out Proteus and best of luck.

8

WOW!! Hats off to you, Tim & Bob, for your yeoman efforts in helping Jan!

9

OK OK, all warm and fuzzy now - but I hope the focus will be on the guitars and the listings will help give some not-terribly common guitars context for readier sale.

There are some special guitars here. Away from the Gretschs and the like, I'd never heard of the Cole Clark or the Eastman jumbo. I'd love to hear those.

Anyway, something in here for everyone, I should think - and they're bound to be set up well with no unhappy surprises.

10

That Eastman jumbo was a special build. Jay had a friend who worked at Eastman who built it according to Jay's specifications, is how I understood it. He very much liked that guitar.

11

The Spectra Sonic caught my eye, as I really miss the one I traded last year. The price is about $500 too high IMO, but the market will decide.

12

Bob, they seem to sell for $2000 pretty easily.

13

WOW!! Hats off to you, Tim & Bob, for your yeoman efforts in helping Jan!

– senojnad

Agree

14

Non-original tailpiece and pickguard on the 6193 'Oops'?

15

They're some cool guitars, indeed.

He covered a lot of ground with that.

I really like certain Alvarez acoustics, and that baritone...Mmm.

16

Thank you so much Proteus and Rickbob for all of your help during this difficult time. I couldn't have gotten through all the guitars and emotions without you. Your descriptions and listings were without doubt the best! Words can't thank you enough. And to everyone on the Gpages, thank you for your support and kind words. I hope these listings will bring you fond memories of my one-of-a-kind sweet man.

17

That Oops Club is beautiful ,i love the look with the Caddy tailpiece!

I only wish i could...

18

The 6136ds white falcon is generating interest in my belly. Who should I discuss questions with?

19

Either Jen or me, Diggey. We communicate as needed.

20

Sending you a pm. Thanks.

21

You're a good man, Diggey, helping Jay's widow out.

22

I have been sick all week. Just poked my head in for a moment to see this. Such an Epic thing for you guys to do. Rock on.

Bob, I agree with you on the Spectrasonic. Wish I could pull that off.

Hat's off to you, Gentlemen.

23

I see some of these have sold. Jen has lowered the price on others. There’s still a gorgeous Oops Club to be had. You could join the Oops Club.

Also a lovely New Jet.

And the whitest of Falcons.

25

I want that oops. I wish I deserved it.


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