Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Late 1970s C-Clubs: a good deal, or the Gretsches nobody cares abou…


Was entertaining the idea of getting a C-Club and noticed the ones from late 70s are more affordable. I know the pickups are unpopular those years, but I'm planning to use brace-mount TVJ Supertrons anyway.

If you don't love it after a year or so, sometimes a good deal is not so good when it's time to sell. Popular models get market value when they change hands, but "culturally uncool" and paradigm misfits....well, one must not pay too much in the first place......Irony, they are made in the USA vs. the popular and more expensive Japanese versions!
What is the attitude toward late 70s C-Clubs? It matters as to how much I am willing to pay.....


I wonder how many years of production the binding rot will affect.


Not hugely collectible (and also more uncommon in the market place due to lower production). But that's often an advantage as you have license to modify everything without risking collectibility/value. So if it feels good to you, and is structurally sound, and at a good price... get it and change anything else you don't like. It's still an old Gretsch!


I agree with Ed, '70's Gretsches are a great value. The build quality is excellent on everyone I've seen and played and the incidence of the dreaded binding rot is very low. Notice I said '70's not Baldwin era because rot was/is a huge issue with guitars from the mid/late '60's following Baldwin buying the company. I'm referring to the guitars that were produced following the change of features such as the truss rod now a Burns Box style, the pickguard shape and the pup covers. And speaking of the pups, I'm not aware of the pups changing to ceramic magnets later in the '70's, as the early '70's ones were the same F'trons as always, just with the BF cover.

One of the big advantages as Ed pointed out is that due to this era's lack of collectability, you can mod them to suit yourself and not adversely affect the value. Personally I modified my '72 Super Chet by gutting the pickguard and its finicky controls arrayed along the edge for the standard setup of pots with knobs. Swapped out the pups for a set of Ray Butts, made by the man himself. This work has added value, not lessened it so I recommend you find a guitar you like and if possible, play it. I'd strongly advise living with the pups before replacing them as soon as you get it as mine had a nice warm tone at just over 4 ohms. I replaced them only because I had this Ray Butts set. They're slightly bigger than a F'tron and look great in that big body. Haven't replaced the guard yet as the guitar doesn't look odd without it and I don't need it to anchor my pinky for my fingerstyle playing.


Here's a sample of a very nice Baldwin era, '71 Country Gent for sale on CL here in Vancouver. The price is a tad high but it does look in very good condition. It's one of the last group of guitars in '71 with the Gretsch era features just before the changeover in early '72.

With the exchange rate favoring the US, it brings this down to around $2700 US which is pretty good price for a very clean Gent. BTW, you'll notice it doesn't have the mute system, a bonus in my books! For someone living just over the border, this could be worth the drive.

Edit: the link, duh! https://abbotsford.craigsli...

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