General tech questions

Gold Sparkle Binding

1

Hello from Germany. I am looking for the original Gretsch Gold Sparkle Binding which Gretsch uses for the custom Falcon models. I've seen that the custom guitars and also the new Standard Falcon / Penguin Acoustic models have thicker binding (clear layer over the Sparkle) than the standard Gretsch Falcon guitars. Does anyone know which company produces this material for Gretsch or where can I get it?

2

Unless things have just changed, the vintage binding is the only gold sparkle binding that has the clear layer over the sparkle, and it hasn't been available for a long, long time.

Looking over the newest pics of Falcons, and CS Falcons, they are using the same modern style (drum wrap) binding that Gretsch has used for quite a while, and it doesn't have the clear layer over it.

If you have pics of this "new" binding with the clear, that would be interesting to see. If Gretsch has changed to this, it has just happened, and I haven's seen pics or heard of this change.

3

JD, when I first read the OP, I guessed that you might be one of the first one's to respond, given your history on this topic with Zuma.

I have to say that I have a 2014 CS Penguin which has the gold sparkle binding on it and I didn't perceive any significant difference in its binding with the binding on my 2004 White Falcon, nor a 2015 Black Falcon.

It would be helpful to see what the binding on the OP's guitar.

4

I'm with you on this Bob. I would like to see a pic of this binding on a new Gretsch.

I'm not aware of Gretsch changing anything on the gold sparkle binding that it has been using, and like you, they look all the same and without that clear layer on top.

Once you've seen the vintage binding with the clear top layer, it's a notable difference compared to the modern binding. No confusing the two.

5

My modern Custom Shop Penguin has a clear layer on top. I can't get good pics. I'll try again later.

7

UG, post some more when you can. Those gold flakes look larger than what they have been using, like the larger vintage flakes!

8

I don't know if this illustration helps, but the clearish layer on old Falcons was much thicker.

9

I don't know if this illustration helps, but the clearish layer on old Falcons was much thicker.

– Afire

Thanks Afire, that's what I was talking about. The clear layer is thick, and at different angles, makes the gold flakes look a mile deep.

10

Here's a pic of my previous '04 Falcon, and the flakes on the heel stock are larger than the body binding, which has a "finer/smaller" flake. No actual clear layer on either.

Rick12, I'm thinking that this looks like the examples that you own.

11

Right. The CS Binding clear Layer is thiner then the 50s binding layer and the standard falcon binding layer is thiner then the CS Binding. Except the new standard Acoustic Ranger/Penguin Falcon. They have thicker clear Layer. Like the CS Models. Do you know guys how Gretsch build the clear Layer in the 50s and how I could reproduce that?

12

I would assume that it's just gold sparkle drum wrap glued to clear celluloid. Probably done as sheets and cut into strips, or maybe cut into strips first. Maybe somebody with a vintage Falcon can tell you just how thick the clear layer is. And the reason I say it was celluloid is that it deteriorates like other celluloid binding. From what I can tell, clear celluloid would be nearly impossible to find, but nobody would know the difference anyway if you used some other clear flexible plastic.

13

that sounds interesting. but which flexible transparent plastic could I use? I think PMMA (acrylic) is too fragile. PC (polycarbonate) is unfortunately not transparent or translucent like Acrylic or Glas.

14

After the last Euro Roundup I noticed a damage of my Black Penguin at the edge of the binding. It shows a silver sparkle. I searched for the chip and found it in the dust bag of my vacuum cleaner after half an hour. It was orange gold. I fixed it with super glue, sanded and polished it and gladly it worked out fine.

15

You just can slightly feel it left to the lightbeam.

16

This is a relic CS Model and i don't know how Gretsch did the clear layer, maybe epoxy?

17

Because I saw a photo at Music Zoo that Gretsch Custom Shop cuts the binding from Drumwrap by hand. But on the photo there is no clear layer on the material

18

On the Falcon Rancher the inlay looks more 3 dimensional and deeper , than on the Penguin.

Rancher:

20

Great to see that Gretsch is moving forward to more of a vintage correct looking sparkle/clear.

21

If you want to be resourceful there’s a source for this original gold binding.

Vintage Gretsch drum hoops (with gold sparkle). There are a few on eBay from the 50s and 60s. I would think this gold sparkle is identical to what was used on the guitars.

As close to the original vintage gold binding as you could get.

22

After the last Euro Roundup I noticed a damage of my Black Penguin at the edge of the binding. It shows a silver sparkle. I searched for the chip and found it in the dust bag of my vacuum cleaner after half an hour. It was orange gold. I fixed it with super glue, sanded and polished it and gladly it worked out fine.

– Voodooholly

Congratulations on finding the piece VH. It had to be a relief to find it.

23

Congratulations on finding the piece VH. It had to be a relief to find it.

– JW

It was like a rollercoaster ride and my heart was beating like a drum till I found it. We have rabbits and there was a mountain of hairs inside the bag. But I climbed it .


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