The Workbench

Gretsch

4

As much as I love those rescue stories and I admire Curt's work and his passion, the pictures of the original build details don't strengthen my lust for more vintage Gretsches.

5

Woof! What a sweet guitar. Another save.

Karolyn saw me looking at the pics and asked if it was worth it to do a repair rather than buy a new guitar. I explained it’s vintage and it’s value was already screwed, literally. A repair from Curt could only help its value. Especially from Curt.

6

Nice work! Rescued from the "backyard mechanic" neck set.

So that one is a painted top, not drum wrap? Were all the Jet Firebirds painted?

7

Wow. I hope whoever did that to that poor helpless little guitar is in prison now.

8

some of the home repairs are absolutely terrifying.

9

I think just a little Virtuoso guitar polish and it would have been fine...

10

i mean, the sheer audacity of sinking a couple of big-ass screws in there..."Jim'll Fix It!"

11

I'm of the opinion that having Curt work on your vintage Gretsch will only increase it's value. I had him refinish my 1968 Corvette and I will always keep his business card in the case.

12

As much as I love those rescue stories and I admire Curt's work and his passion, the pictures of the original build details don't strengthen my lust for more vintage Gretsches.

– sascha

Not a big deal to fix this just a lot of time and it will be like a new vintage guitar.

The Jet joint is the only one everyone wants to butcher it seems. The necks were falling off so they remove the block marker, drill through the tenon and stuff it with dowels. This one they went through the heel. If your thinking of buying one simply remove the block marker and have a look.

15

jeez, i just got sucked in for half an hour looking at some of the stuff you've done. the Grady Martin guitar is particularly wonderful. i really wanted to go to Roberto-Venn back in the 70s, so i really admire your work.

17

Did you replace the neck binding?

– NJBob

No Steve wanted to keep the warts. He used it on his last record love and Peace. He recorded in the same studio they recorded Pet Sounds.

And for reference, when you tenon needs to be replaced it adds 1K to the reset.

18

Not a big deal to fix this just a lot of time and it will be like a new vintage guitar.

The Jet joint is the only one everyone wants to butcher it seems. The necks were falling off so they remove the block marker, drill through the tenon and stuff it with dowels. This one they went through the heel. If your thinking of buying one simply remove the block marker and have a look.

– Curt Wilson

Thanks, Curt. It's just the pictures of the mess I can't get off my brain anymore. And that's what makes me feel ambivalent here since I need to trust in a certain sturdiness of my guitars. But this might be me only as I learned (the hard way) that I don't bond with gear that has some unpleasant troubles in its history.

Here's why and how this started: I once owned a rare 1965 Vox AC 30 Super Twin trapeze head with matching cab that I brought to a tech after purchasing. He has had it more than a year and finally he tried to cheat me heavily. He swapped the whole chassis for some crappy late 70s version that even sounded very bad. Luckily I noticed this right before I left the door of the shop (whom he worked for). The owner was as shocked as me and worked it out but I never liked the then perfect amp for that reason. It sounded marvellous but I sold it a few years later with no more than 5 or 6 playing hours in it.

Back to vintage Gretsch: I am very lucky to own a 1959 Duo Jet that has no major work done to it so far. I like it a lot. And it's great to see people like you knowing their stuff. Without never having met you I'd put my guitars in your hands any time. Too bad about the ocean between us. Thanks again for sharing stories and knowledge.

19

Sascha, yeah I get it but my experience has been people like their guitars better after the geometry and structural issues have been addressed. On this Jet Firebird the owner didn't know the neck had been worked on/over. When it came into the shop I thought it was factory and that all it needed was a reset. I did warn him that this could be an issue. You never know what's inside until you have a look.

The same thing with Steve's guitar, you couldn't tell. To be safe I think you have to assume that any Jet before 58 has had a reset and the tenon is dust.

20

The same thing with Steve's guitar, you couldn't tell. To be safe I think you have to assume that any Jet before 58 has had a reset and the tenon is dust.

That's very valuable advice I'll keep in mind!


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