Modern Gretsch Guitars

My CC. is darkening

1

Bought new in 06, my nataural spruce club was blonde. Over the years I've noticed its been darkening. Today I pulled all strings to clean up proper... Glad I took pick guard off when I got it!!

3

i have a epi byrdland from that era that was made in the same factory that has a natural spruce top, too. and it has darkened as well. but not to that extent. though i am a little curious to see what is going on under the hardware now.

come to think of it, all of my spruce has darkened some, even though most of it is poly and not nitro finished. maybe because they aren't solid bodies? does the circulating air do that, maybe?

4

Spruce will naturally darken over time, faster when exposed to light with UV content (sunlight, fluorescent). Look at this 1956 Gibson: https://cmvictor.com/en/sho...

5

i have a epi byrdland from that era that was made in the same factory that has a natural spruce top, too. and it has darkened as well. but not to that extent. though i am a little curious to see what is going on under the hardware now.

come to think of it, all of my spruce has darkened some, even though most of it is poly and not nitro finished. maybe because they aren't solid bodies? does the circulating air do that, maybe?

– feet

The reason for the darkening is related to exposure to light. It would not matter if the guitar is a solidbody or an archtop. As was discussed extensively in a prior thread, that contrary to Gretsch's claim of "a solid top" in it's literature, ALL CC's with a 'spruce' top have a 3-ply laminate top, making the layer beneath the top layer of spruce, a thin layer of a soft hardwood such as poplar. Air cannot reach the back surface of the top layer to affect the upper spruce layer in any way. Looking at the bottom layer through the f-hole will show it to be spruce as well, and usually aligned with the top layer, giving the illusion of the top having been made from one piece of wood.

Being 3 ply, the top needs a bit of reinforcement for its overall thickness, or thinness from the 5 ply tops of the pre-FMIC era, and a laminate structure gives it that added strength. A laminate top is also less prone to feedback, an important consideration for an archtop electric guitar with open f-holes.

6

My club is rarely in its case.. I enjoy the amber effect. Was aware of the ply construction and glad for it. The petroliate poli most likely is the reason. The oak doors n thresholds I refinish with oil varnish or poli amber much faster than with waterborne systems. .

7

Spruce may darken over time, but it's not related to UV exposure if it's covered in poly.

UV might darken the poly, but very few plastics are transparent to UV light, so it's not actually getting to the spruce.

8

Well, the lightness under the bridge pretty much establishes that exposure to something is the cause. If not light, I'm not sure what else would be getting through the poly finish,

And Dave, modern spruce tops are two ply, mostly spruce with a thin backing layer of something or other.

9

Well, the lightness under the bridge pretty much establishes that exposure to something is the cause. If not light, I'm not sure what else would be getting through the poly finish,

And Dave, modern spruce tops are two ply, mostly spruce with a thin backing layer of something or other.

– Afire

My 2006 Oops spruce top CC is three ply, as shown in this photo:

10

My 2006 CC has a 2-ply top.

11

My 2006 CC has a 2-ply top.

– GGJaguar

Apparently, two ply is the usual configuration, as stated elsewhere by Curt. But there is a smal number of out of specs 6192 and 6193 which appear to have a three ply top like mine. What is the exact model of your's ? It does not seem to be in the database.

12

My 2006 Oops spruce top CC is three ply, as shown in this photo:

– GG

It's this pic GG that I was referencing above when I referred to my earlier thread. Even though the lower layer or center layer is very thin, it adds considerable strength and saves the spruce layer from opening at the bookmarked seam.

Here's the link to my old thread from 2 years ago which goes into this issue thoroughly, and especially the comments from Curt. Many thanks to all who participated in that thread. The takeaway from that thread is that regardless of whether these spruce-topped guitars were 2 or 3 ply, they were all laminates.

http://gretschpages.com/for...

13

My club is rarely in its case.. I enjoy the amber effect. Was aware of the ply construction and glad for it. The petroliate poli most likely is the reason. The oak doors n thresholds I refinish with oil varnish or poli amber much faster than with waterborne systems. .

– SLICKFASTER

My '41 Syncro has beautifully darkened to a deep honey amber and I just love it too. It's quite light beneath where the bridge resides.

14

It's this pic GG that I was referencing above when I referred to my earlier thread. Even though the lower layer or center layer is very thin, it adds considerable strength and saves the spruce layer from opening at the bookmarked seam.

Here's the link to my old thread from 2 years ago which goes into this issue thoroughly, and especially the comments from Curt. Many thanks to all who participated in that thread. The takeaway from that thread is that regardless of whether these spruce-topped guitars were 2 or 3 ply, they were all laminates.

http://gretschpages.com/for...

– Windsordave

I was looking for that thread, since this subject comes back more or less regularly. Thanks for the link.


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