Modern Gretsch Guitars

PSA - Two of ‘em, Actually

1

Went in to TrueTone to pick up something I'd left there and also a set of bass strings, and what did I see on the used wall? Well, a Historic 3166 with humbucker-sized TV Classics and a hardshell case tagged at $695 (all prices are negotiable at TrueTone, some more than others depending upon what it is):

I plugged it in and played it, it's got a very Gretschy tone and plays well.

But this one really caught my eye:

A 2003, Terada-made Super Axe. In spotless mint condition, like new, still has the plastic on the pickguard and control covers, FMIC-style serial number. Prototype? That's what they believe. Action so low you can play it with one hand, not sure what a Super Axe is SUPPOSED to sound like, but it doesn't sound like any hollow, semi-hollow, or solidbody Gretsch I can recall. Pretty jazzy in the neck position, and kinda 335-ey in the other two. And at least as thin as a Hofner Verythin. Exceptionally cool, and if you're looking for one of these, here ya go:

Tagged at $2195.

No affiliation with the seller other than that I like to shop there. If you're interested, ask for the "Friend of Frank (Giffen or Stallone)" price, and you'll get a good deal either way.

2

I didn't know Gretsch made those Super Axes after the Baldwin era.

Cool find, thanks for sharing.

4

Wow. Super Axe is super cool. I wonder what kind of 'buckers are in it? I recall reading somewhere that the Baldwin made one's had DiMarzios. Some of the Japanese made 'buckers are really good sounding PAF clones. The higher end Tokai's, Greco's, etc had good pu's....and of course the Ibanez Super 58's are excellent. If the Axe still has the inferior pre-FMIC electricals (pots, switches, etc) they can be easily changed out through the rear access plates....no fishing expedition like the hollowbodies. I love Tru Tone Music. Was one of the highlights of my visit to SoCal some years ago. West LA Music was cool too, but unfortunately is a GC now.

5

Very cool find. I've only tried a vintage Super Axe and it was different from any other Gretsch. Very thin but comfy. This one even has the "dice" markers that Gretsch was afraid of using in the '70's, thinking it promoted gambling. This is a Super Axe core thats been at reverb forever. Terada made stuff that never made it to catalogs; I met a blonde Synchro 400 with a triangular soundhole, last seen at the Hollywood GC on Thanksgiving weekend in '90.

6

I doubt the Super Axe is a prototype (unless there's something unusual about it to suggest it is). It was definitely a production model. Maybe even more than one run. GDP member indiannation65 has one that he says is from the early '90s.

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

7

Man, those inlays are killer. Love that Super Axe.

8

It's definitely NOT an FMIC prototype serial number, which should have "00" where the "22" is situated within the serial number, but it DOES fall in the transition period from pre-FMIC to FMIC... lots of weird things happened with various models between August 2002 and Jan. 2004. Backlog/semi-complete specimens, begun before the transition but then finished as models stamped with FMIC serial numbers, mixture of pre and post-FMIC parts (tuners in this case) etc. I think this is the situation on the Super Axe you posted..

9

I dig the Historic! I may have to stop by TrueTone.

10

Tartan Phantom's theory sounds much more plausible. Still a cool guitar.

11

I had one of the original "Atkin's Axe" models back in the late `70's. I wish I'd never sold it.. Super Axe's are near impossible to find.


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