Modern Gretsch Guitars

White Penguin side markers


The tiny black fret markers get lost in the gold sparkle binding. Has anyone replaced them with red jewels to match the control knobs? Seems like it would be fairly easy to do.


Was it Roy Buchannan that used zircons?


Was it Roy Buchannan that used zircons?

– wabash slim

Danny Gatton!


I've wondered what size "jewels" are used on the knobs as those are handy in low light situations.


1/8" or less. Not too sure what that'd be in carats. I don't know what red jewels would look like on the sparkly gold binding on a Penguin, but, contrast is highly important. Stage lighting isn't all that useful for the musician---it's meant for the audience.


Well I guess I'll have to find some and give it a try. I'm thinking they will show up nice in the gold binding. I'm surprised the custom shop hasn't done this. I can't be the only one that can't see those tiny black dots.


Thanks Olivia. Have you used these? 2mm seems kinda small. The original black dots are tiny, I'm thinking it would be benifical to use something a tad bigger. Just curious if you or some else has used these and if they are visible enough to work on stage.
I sing and play and most of the time get just a short glance down at the neck for location reference.


Got exactly the same problem with my Silver Falcon.


I ordered some "red jewels" that are 4.6mm I will let you know how it turns out. As a lefty I have taken and flipped right handed guitars over and created fret markers in the binding. I don't see how this will be any different.


The sparkle binding is nice but very unpractical. I did not look often at the dots but now when I know they are hard to spot, it makes me uncomfortable and then suddenly it makes me play the wrong note. Yes Im singing aswell...


Installed the ones that Olivia Anne referenced above. Was a little nerve wracking taking a drill to the guitar (a very small drill). Such an improvement over the stock black markers. I can fricken see them now! I did experiment on an old guitar first. Pretty simple, just had to be very cautious. Not sure the pic captures how much easier it is to see them now. I did leave them elevated a tad above the neck, just to make sure they capture light.


Okay, for posterity's sake, could you give us the complete recipe for this modification, please. Size of drill bit; type of glue, anything else that might help us have as good a result as you. And, you were right; I might go just a smidge larger with the crystals. I do think it is important for future reference to use Sworovski crystals--they have no mirroring and are guaranteed to be perfect in size and faceting. Well done Sir. You have more nerve with these pretty things than I.


Rats, I should have taken some photos along the way. I will give a descpiton and a photo of what I used. First I did some experimenting on pieces of plastic, I used different drill bits and this is what I came up with. I ended up using a bit that I got at a jewelry show a few years ago. I bought a little case full of them. Not sure what to call them but they are not drills, more like little grinding polishing tools. Here is a pic.


A pic of the one I used


I used this bit in my Dremel. And drilled exactly over the black clay dot. I stopped when I got through the finish and just into the black clay dot. I could see the dust from the black clay come up.

This hole is too small for the crystal to fit into. To finish the hole I used what I believe is an 1/8 inch drill bit. I turned it BY HAND into the hole just a few turns. Basically I removed the finish and drilled ever so slightly into the black side marker. I then put a drop of Loctite super glue- Extra Time Control in the hole and dropped a crystal in. I did have the crystal set up on the binding correct side up before I put the glue in the hole. Once the glue was in place I just used my finger and slide the crystal over into its final, glorious place in time. I used a little finger nail polish remover to remove any residue from the glue.

Note: the Super Glue I used stated on the package that it was used for jewelry.


Pic of the drill bit next to the Dremel bit with a crystal for size reference


And lastly a pic of the guitar I used first as a test


I've thought about use red as shown above for my Silver Falcon. Maybe this thread will cause me to do just that.


It made a huge difference. Made the guitar a pleasure to play on stage.

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