Modern Gretsch Guitars

How Many Gretsch Guitars Are Built…..

1

I’ve wondered at times what the annual guitar production volume for Gretsch is. How many guitars do they build in a year…?

The current serial numbering system shows the sequence number for each guitar built in a year via the last four digits in the serial number. If a given guitar’s number ends in “2549” it is the 2,549th Gretsch guitar built during that calendar year. (The first four digits indicate the year and month each was built).

I have two post FMIC Gretsch guitars that were “born” in December – one in 2007 and one in 2016. The last four digits of the serial numbers are 4657 and 4178 respectively. Both are “JT” guitars. If I assume both to have been built at the beginning of the month, the projection for total annual volume would be around 5,000 guitars (or less) per year.

I think I had assumed the total would be significantly higher. I have no idea how that compares with Gibson, Fender, etc. I DO know that Martin built its 1,000,000th guitar in 2004 and it 2,000,000th this year. Simple math indicates Martin builds over 150,000 guitars per year.

There are no implied value judgments here. As long as Gretsch stays in business and builds guitars that I like (LOVE) I am a happy camper. I do not believe that this is an instance where “Size Matters”. Just curious…….

2

How Many Gretsch Guitars Are Built…..

Clearly, Dozens.

3

As long as they don't run out of the one I want, I'm Okay.

Just yanking yer chain. Not a bad question.

4

As long as they don't run out of the one I want, I'm Okay.

Just yanking yer chain. Not a bad question.

– Suprdave

I agree 100%!

MY ONLY concern -- and I really don't have any -- is that Gretsch is making enough money to stay solvent. I believe that there is no question about that now.....

5

When you add in the Electromatic, Streamliner, Roots, etc., collections, then the numbers are going to be even moresubstantial.

I remember seeing some KP and KS serial-numbered Electromatics that had late in the year production dates, judging by the serial numbers, and had sequence numbers that seemed surprisingly low to me.

It had never occurred to me to wonder whether the sequence numbers were different for different series (professional or Electromatic) or for different factories (Terada, Samick, etc.). Both of those questions would seriously affect any attempts to come up with anything other than a guess about Gretsch production totals.

I'm sure that FMIC and Gretsch know. Maybe Joe C. will see this thread and enlighten us.

6

When you add in the Electromatic, Streamliner, Roots, etc., collections, then the numbers are going to be even moresubstantial.

I remember seeing some KP and KS serial-numbered Electromatics that had late in the year production dates, judging by the serial numbers, and had sequence numbers that seemed surprisingly low to me.

It had never occurred to me to wonder whether the sequence numbers were different for different series (professional or Electromatic) or for different factories (Terada, Samick, etc.). Both of those questions would seriously affect any attempts to come up with anything other than a guess about Gretsch production totals.

I'm sure that FMIC and Gretsch know. Maybe Joe C. will see this thread and enlighten us.

– Timthom62

Um... don't count on that. That is proprietary information that is held close to the vest.

7

Exactly. We will never know.

8

Oh, I thought this was going to be a thread on how a lot of Gretsches are built. I like seeing how guitars are built.

9

Yes I agree, as long as they make nice Guitars,. But when a guitar says limited edition, have just brought a new 5434 t Lt how many do they make? 600 or 6000 any one n knows about that.

Arne T

10

The last four numbers of the Gretsch numbering scheme are not a yearly total but the total for the month. Thus JT08062289 would be the 2289th guitar produced that given month. Based on the numbering I've looked at -- which I don't claim to be a comprehensive examination -- Gretsch Terada-produced guitars are under 40,000 guitars per year

11

There are a lot of very common things with surprisingly low production totals. Mazda has rarely made more than about 20,000 Miatas in a year, but they keep making them.

And almost everyone can drive, relatively few can play guitar.


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