Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Vintage CG with the wrong S/N plaque on ebay…..remember this thre…

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This guitar has surfaced again, this time on ebay and not being sold/posted by the owner. For those who remember, I'd spoke with the owner when she had it for sale in BC. I tried in vain to explain that the S/N wasn't correct for that guitar as that S/N belongs on the very first production Country Gent and this guitar's features which are all original and correct are clearly a '59 or '60. This ad on ebay does address the issue but not properly. The US price is around $8825. With the S/N issue, what you folks think of the price given also that this isn't museum quality, but rather a very good player's grade guitar. I think it's too high.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/195...

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I've forgotten some of the details from the previous discussion. A few observations/questions... the plaque is screwed on, rather than riveted, which just adds to the dubious nature of it, yes? (along with the serial number not matching the style of the parts).

Also, the pickups... pat #, rather than p.a.f. Does that surprise anyone? My Gent is a '60, and has p.a.f.'s. Also, the four screws holding on the pickup covers look slightly odd to me, in that they're not quite as flush with the surface of the covers (and the heads look slightly large to me).

There does appear to be a crack in one of the pickup support rings.

I'm still no expert on these, and I'm not trying to nitpick, just looking for as many details as possible that might be relevant to the topic.

As for price, I don't know, but being an owner of a single-cut Gent, I'd always like to see these sell for as much as possible (sorry, just being honest). They're great guitars, I do know that much.

Edit: In that the seller indicates that they're open to reasonable offers, I'd say that the starting price, while perhaps a bit high, isn't completely unreasonable.

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Jim, I can blow up the picks bigger than their enlarge feature and the pup screws appear just fine. Yes there's crack in one surround. The pole head slots are kind of chewed up a bit adding to my comment that this is a player's grade only guitar. This guitar is a later '60, by virtue of the pup cover having the numbers on it that came in in the mid '60's. Yours has to be an earlier batch from that year with PAF still being used.

The fact the plaque is screwed in didn't raise any issues with Ed so we decided it had never been changed.

This guitar was well loved and played a lot. It suffers the usual vagaries of its age with the gold tarnishing and worn off the bar bridge because he played Chet's style.

A year after this thread, a fellow found it on a google search and contacted me. He lived where the guitar was, in Kelowna, BC and wanted my opinion on its value as an investment and he was going to arrange to go see the guitar. He made a list of things to check for and aside from the missing pickguard, and of course having the wrong S/N, everything turned out to be kosher.

Nice as it would be for these guitars to be worth a lot, and the single cuts are definitely worth more than the DC's that followed, for another gent in this condition, the starting asking price IMO can't begin above the number 7. With the S/N issue and missing original pickguard, it brings the price of this particular guitar for me, down somewhat more.

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$12K Canadian. Is that from Bevete's Canadian cousin? If there are mismatched parts, like the serial number plat that doesn't match up right, it sounds like it could be something done up by parts weasels. Caveat Emptor.

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A few observations/questions... the plaque is screwed on, rather than riveted, which just adds to the dubious nature of it, yes?

Yes and no. Given the later specs of this guitar, the plaque should be held on with brads. But the 264XX plaques were screwed on. So, the holes on this plaque would be too big for brads. That said, in 1957, they were using Phillips head screws, the same ones they used for pickguard brackets, truss rod covers, mounting DeArmonds, etc. So, however this plaque ended up on this guitar, the screws add more confirmation that it wasn't at the Gretsch factory, at least not in 1957.

Also, the pickups... pat #, rather than p.a.f. Does that surprise anyone?

Not particularly. It's not a 1959 as the seller thinks, in which case it should have PAFs. That round heel is more characteristic of '61, and the f-holes appear to be painted rather than inlaid, which also says '61. I can't tell if it's 2" or 2 1/4" deep, which would differentiate a late '60 from '61. So I suspect this guitar dates to late 1960 or 1961, and patent number pickup covers were in circulation by then.

This ad on ebay does address the issue but not properly.

I'm not sure what the proper way is. Honestly, I think the seller's explanation is as good a guess as any. There were only 50 first run Gent plaques. It seems to me an unlikely coincidence that one of those plaques would have found its way onto this guitar by serendipity. Particularly since we know where the guitar came from, the widow of a long-time owner. If it had been making the rounds among dealer inventory and collectors, then I think it would be more likely that the plaque came from somebody's parts drawer. As it is, I think it's entirely plausible that the real 26401 was scrapped for some reason, possibly even never sold (since Gents were still in a state of flux at that point). Maybe in late 1960 or 1961 somebody at Gretsch saw that plaque laying around and decided to use it. Just a guess, but it seems as plausible to me as any other explanation, so I can't fault the seller for floating it out there. But he does have the year wrong. It's not a '59.

The US price is around $8825. With the S/N issue, what you folks think of the price given also that this isn't museum quality, but rather a very good player's grade guitar. I think it's too high.

That's in the ballpark of what I paid for mine in 2011, and quite a bit less than I paid for my previous one in 2008, and less than I sold that one for. When I've been on the hunt for a single cut Gent, I've given up on the hope of finding a really clean one in the $6000ish range, which was doable in the early 2000s. At some point these seem to have jumped up to near parity with 6120 prices. Take a spin around gbase and reverb and other than one with some real issues, you won't find any starting with a 7 or lower.

So, I don't think the price is totally unreasonable for a very clean 1960 Gent. But how does the SN issue and overall condition figure into it. You say player's grade, but to my eye, it looks a heck of a lot nicer than player's grade. Other than cracked plastic and light wear and checking, it looks to be in very clean original condition.

That leaves the serial number issue. How should that affect the price? Probably some. Maybe knock off a thousand? More? Less? I really don't know. It would bother me, but the guitar is what it is regardless.

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As it is, I think it's entirely plausible that the real 26401 was scrapped for some reason, possibly even never sold (since Gents were still in a state of flux at that point). Maybe in late 1960 or 1961 somebody at Gretsch saw that plaque laying around and decided to use it.

When I was involved in manufacturing, "use all the scrap and extra parts" was a working imperative. Proof positive that Gretsch did this was the use of the "lost" roll of serial #'s from #240xx to #249xx that disappeared in '57 and reappeared in '66. If you'd reuse some paper, it's going to stand to reason that you'd reuse a chrome plated brass one-of-kind-piece. Pot codes (and wiring condition) would add a lot to the provenance picture.

A few more pics in this link.

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A few more pics in this link.

Great. After looking at those pictures, it's definitely a 2" deep '61.


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