Gretsch Garage Sale

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I learn something new around here everyday. I never knew that the Stratocaster had an ashtray bridge cover.


Throughout the 50's and 60s they came with them. It's definitely a different experience playing with one on.

Fortunately they just pop off and on real easily.


Because unsightly parts should be covered. Shoot, wheel covers weren't enough in the 50s, fender skirts were required. Nash even tried to hide the FRONT wheels. Part of the transgression of hot rods was in exposing the mechanicals. It was practically dirty.

Electric guitars were already shocking enough - no need to rub their mechanical guts in society's face.


Hey Proteus, what's wrong with trying to cover the front wheels..? (insert winky face here)


Nothing! Of course! Unless you want to both steer and have a wide enough track not to fall over on the first corner...

I kid, of course. Actually at the other end of the (beep beep!) scale, my Coupe de Ville has pretty low front wheel-well openings, and a skirt over the already-low rear openings - like even Cadillac was ashamed of its moving parts.

(I discovered the hard way that if I use "modern" wide-profile tires, they'll rub the inside of the front fender on hard turns. Gotta use the tall skinnies.)

Buick, on the other hand, opened'em up wide - and looked ever so rakish doing so.

Just like the guys who took the ashtray cover off a Strat bridge. Luckily, with Londonbus's Strat, you'll have a chrome ashtray cover to leave off while you're tooling around in its lovely 50s tu-tone hues.


That Buick treatment really was something, especially when the wheel wells were painted in a contrasting color. Great looking Strat, BTW! Love the color !


When this one sells or gets traded, please don’t try to remove the thread. It doesn’t work and causes problems. Just add SOLD to the title. Thanks in advance.


Cool guitar in a cool colour. I find this very drool-inducing, but am currently struggling with playing the Johnny Marr Jaguar that I just bought (it has a 7.25" radius as well). Of course, it also has a short scale and vintage frets, so that could contribute to the guitar's overall weirdness, too (at least weird to me).

How do you find the combination of the 6105 frets and tight 7.35" radius on your strat? Comfortable bends or a bit of struggle?

Anyway, good luck with the sale.


Cool guitar in a cool colour. I find this very drool-inducing, but am currently struggling with playing the Johnny Marr Jaguar that I just bought (it has a 7.25" radius as well). Of course, it also has a short scale and vintage frets, so that could contribute to the guitar's overall weirdness, too (at least weird to me).

How do you find the combination of the 6105 frets and tight 7.35" radius on your strat? Comfortable bends or a bit of struggle?

Anyway, good luck with the sale.

– reverb11

I might be the wrong person to ask about the "shortcomings" of a 7.25 radius, as I honestly prefer that radius over any other on a Fender. It just feels right to me.

That said, I could see how a tighter radius on a Jaguar may feel off. Through most of my life I have primarily played a Jaguar as my #1, and I know that the feel is either a love or hate thing to anybody else who has played any of mine. I think you are on the right track suspecting that any difference in feel perceived between, say, a Strat and a Jaguar is largely due to the combination of the shorter scale mixed with the tighter radius and small vintage frets. On a Johnny Marr too, you have that very different "D"-ish neck profile (which I absolutely love) also contributing a pretty significant factor to the guitar's overall playability.

To answer your question regarding the 6105 "Vintage/Tall" frets, they definitely add a sense of a more "modern" feel to a 7.25 radius... More like a 9.5 feel you would find on a newer American Standard/Professional Stratocaster. I worked for one of those 3 dealers that introduced these guitars to the market in 2006, and when we developed them that fret size was largely chosen because that is what nearly EVERY professional player requested on their old Fender guitars when our shop would do refret jobs for them. Another neat thing about the 6105s is that there is enough fret there that you could essentially have a shop radius the frets slightly flater than the fingerboard itself... Like have a skilled luthier put a 9 inch fret radius (or thereabouts) on a 7.25 fretboard. Something to consider if you find that you just can't live with a 7.25 radius fretboard.

Another setup tip for a Jaguar: Because of the scale length and incredibly shallow break angle between the bridge and tailpiece, Jaguars really like heavier gauge strings. I find that there is almost a "one set down" factor in string tension, i.e., a set of 12s feel like 11s, a set of 11s feel like 10s, etc. If you have always played 10s on a Fender, go up to a set of 11s on a Jaguar for a more familiar feel, especially while bending notes. Jaguars also really don't seem to get along with a string set lighter than 10/46 ever... Just the nature of the 24 inch scale length.

Finally, and I hate to be the one to point this out to a new owner of a Johnny Marr Jaguar... The bridge saddle spacing is off. Fender put a copy of the Staytrem bridge that Marr uses on that model. The copy works and functions as well as the original Staytrem bridge mechanically (IMO), HOWEVER the string spacing on that bridge is completely wrong for that necks scale length. It uses a wider string spacing like you would find on a Strat, but on a 24 inch scale Jaguar that REALLY starts to push the E strings closer to the edge of guitar's fretboard once you get past the 12th fret. By the time the strings get to those last high frets, they are riding uncomfortably close to the fretboard edge. Get an original Staytrem bridge with the proper 52mm string spacing (or vintage Mustang bridge, or traditional Jaguar bridge and space the strings to 52mm yourself) and the difference in playing feel is magical.

Good luck with your Jaguar. They are, without question, my absolute favorite electric guitar ever made. But they definitely need to be set up a certain way, and that setup window's margin of error is pretty narrow.

FWIW, if you happen to own a black on black Johnny Marr Jaguar and find you just can't live with it, let me know. That is one of the three guitars I would almost certainly trade this Stratocaster for. That said, I do really encourage you to experiment with the setup and string gauge as there is nothing like a dialed in Jaguar to me.



Thanks for your detailed response!

It's funny you mention the Staytrem. I bought one for my American Professional Jazzmaster (the string spacing was so far off that I was constantly pushing the low and high strings off the fretboard). I had an order into John at Staytrem the day after I bought the Marrguar! It does make a huge difference.

By the way, my Marrguar is the Kandy Orange--my favourite of the stock colours. I've seen pictures of Johnny playing a Sherwood green jag, too--also an awesome colour.

Again, good luck with your sale.


If you are looking for set-up tips for a Jaguar or any Fender "offset" guitar check out the Surf Guitar 101 site. Lots of friendly folks there like on the GDP who really know their stuff and love to help. Jags are pretty quirky little beasts with the extra short scale, funky bridges and low string break angle but they actually can be set up to play and sound great without investing a bunch of $$$ in aftermarket parts, etc.

By the way, that Thin Skin Strat is a beautiful guitar. I had a Thin Skin Tele that I mistakenly parted with and it was pretty close to a Custom Shop guitar re fit, finish, and playability.


"Fortunately they just pop off....."

Unfortunately, only to be lost forever!


I've always liked the ashtray look, on all the different models.

The Strat backside Trem cover is even more frequently lost...


This is unbelievable. Bob Howard even asked him not to delete the post if the guitar should be sold. Yet, it gets deleted.



Again, not sure what is so "unbelievable" or hard to understand about this, as I've explained my feelings on this before. If a deal is done then I can see no reason for a record of a private party transaction to sit around online for posterity's sake. Why? Seriously, explain to me what possible need there is to keep something like that around? For 3rd party gawking? And I don't buy the argument of providing a historical record of tracking selling prices, as there is far too little consistency on used guitar prices anymore to provide insight into a pricing trend and a million and one reasons somebody may price something either sky high or dirt cheap.

In the case of this guitar, I decided to not sell it. So I feel even more strongly not to have it just hanging out in internet land.

And if deleting a post creates so much confusion here, then I would suggest either modifying the delete feature to remove the whole thread, or simply removing the delete feature all together. Either way, since it seems to be such a point of contention, I'll keep my posting limited to general discussions and just skip the Garage Sale section entirely from now on.


Although I like to see the record preserved, I think Londonbus’s position should be respected. It’s simply a personal decision. There’s enough other records out there for potential buyers and sellers to make informed decisions. I’d rather have the opportunity to see what he is selling.


Craigslist ads are also deleted once an item is sold.


True. But this ain't Craigslist, and Craigslist doesn't have big strings of follow-up posts that no longer make sense.

I regret changing it so that posts could be deleted without a trace. Until I change it back, editing the post is much kinder to anyone else reading things.


Bax, is it possible to set up the Garage Sale section so that posts cannot be deleted or edited? Obviously, if a seller wishes to make a change in the price or terms, they can do so in a subsequent post to the same thread. But, that way we don't have orphan threads or ones where the OP is missing.


I understand completely the request not to delete a pilot (i.e. first) post in a thread, but I see no harm in editing to to reflect the status of the offer. Sold, No Longer Available, anything like that is better than an orphan thread that makes no sense to anyone and could cause technical problems.


I apologize for being guilty of doing this myself, sometime. Not realizing the disaster it leaves in its wake.

Sorry, Bax.

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