Modern Gretsch Guitars

Who won something at Julien’s Gretsch auction?

26

At the factory, I saw a pallet stacked 4 feet high with double-cutaway archtop panels, minus F-holes. I pictured what a luthier could do with a big ol’ stack like that.

– tubwompus

I know there are a lot of seconds out there with either poor center seams or two glue lines on the top lam.

27

That's the prize pair to be distilled out of that mass of guitars, Ed. Two orange catseyes, sibling-sized. I liked both of them when I saw them. Both sleek and elegant; they'll display well together. You might be able to sell them to me someday. (If you're going for tone rather than just pure collectibility, you might be in the market for pickups soon.)

If the prices y'all are reporting in this thread don't include the 30% buyer premium or shipping, that increases the pain. If at least the buyer premiums are included already, it alleviates it somewhat.

I suspect Fred and Dinah are well pleased with the results.

And, in defense of largely premium prices, it was a unique offering - morless a direct manufacturer offering of tools, fixtures, surplus and developmental instruments (plus a few classic production examples). That's bound to have drawn more interest, and emphasized a sense of historical relevance (maybe even importance) in acquisition. I don't recall other major guitar brands having had similar sales - and if they had, it wouldn't have been the family bearing the name who directly offered and blessed the dispersion of artifacts and relics (in the religious sense). Maybe the Rickenhalls or Paul R Smith will offer something like.

Buyt when Gibson needs to clear out the warehouse, they just bulldoze stuff.

– Proteus

Peavey sold a warehouse full of stuff a couple of years ago. I think they were mostly returned items.

There were a bunch of 220v Programax amps that were MIDI switching that looked pretty cool, probably never sold, and load of speakers.

It looks like they did that twice.

https://audioxpress.com/new... https://cagp.industrialbid....

And then they ended up on Reverb! https://reverb.com/item/303...

28

So after 12 hours and 900 auction lots Fred Gretsch's big yard sale (at Julien's) is over. Mostly "modern era" leftovers from the 90s, including many guitars labeled as "prototypes" made up the majority of the event. But there were also 20 or so actual vintage Gretsch guitar lots, some marketed as being from the Bachman-Gretsch collection, and then some odd-ball factory furniture, and tooling peices... and even Fred's Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Because this was a charity event the bidding was often ridiculous (i.e. war-time Synchro 100 selling for $2250 plus 28% buyers premium) and that's great for the Gretsch family charitable efforts. I had 3 or 4 guitars I had set my sights on to try and score... but the crazy bidding pretty much took them all way above my budget. However there were some deals to be had.

Any GDPers score anything cool?! I got a couple things... starting with this "prototype" cats-eye model they tagged as "Model X".

– kc_eddie_b

As Ed and I have already discussed elsewhere, I had been interested in the 17" proto he purchased (a fact I mentioned and posted a pic of elsewhere on the forum a couple weeks back), but once I was actually there at the auction house with it in hand and really stopped to consider that I'm fortunate enough to already have the prototyped non-cutaway version of that guitar at home (also posted in that other thread) -- and then also saw and fell in love with the more "plain Jane" fraternal twin of Ed's flamey-all-over, almost red-orange guitar, the die was cast and I instead brought that other one home. You can see it in the photo above as it was displayed for the duration of the proceedings!

29

As Ed and I have already discussed elsewhere, I had been interested in the 17" proto he purchased (a fact I mentioned and posted a pic of elsewhere on the forum a couple weeks back), but once I was actually there at the auction house with it in hand and really stopped to consider that I'm fortunate enough to already have the prototyped non-cutaway version of that guitar at home (also posted in that other thread) -- and then also saw and fell in love with the more "plain Jane" fraternal twin of Ed's flamey-all-over, almost red-orange guitar, the die was cast and I instead brought that other one home. You can see it in the photo above as it was displayed for the duration of the proceedings!

– Lacking Talent

Please feel free to post more pics of this very interesting Gretsch. I very much miss my Synchro 400C and these look oh-so-interesting. But that pickguard has got to go.

30

Congrats to all of you for getting such great deals.

31

Please feel free to post more pics of this very interesting Gretsch. I very much miss my Synchro 400C and these look oh-so-interesting. But that pickguard has got to go.

– lx

While I don't share you're opinion of the guitar's pickguard, here's a photo I snapped at home to tide you over till I can get around to an actual NGD thread (at some point -- maybe after a few mods). Open in a new tab to super-embiggen...

32

Man, pickguards huh? Everybody's got an opinion.

I like that pickguard a lot. And I don't always like a pg on a catseye...but that pg shape is just mondo eleganté to begin with - and it lets the cutaway bout show nicely, follows the curve of the waist, flows into the lower eye, and finishes up joining with the bridgepup. What more could we ask?

33

I'm stoked to get my new guitar.. but looking at LT's natural wonder, I am definitely experiencing some pickguard envy!

34

For the record: Winning something is when you get it for free. Auctions are when you pay more than anyone else was willing to!

– Billy Zoom

This reminds me of when my girlfriend singer and I 'won' a van at a vehicle auction 25 years ago. It was for our band and she was so excited that we 'won' and then we had to pay.

35

The whole thing was a lot of good fun for me.

I have a lifetime of TV Jones pickups, Bigsbys and other assorted parts lying around, so was mostly looking at the White Falcon, 6120 and Country Club husks. I put my top bid in on those and was more than comfortable watching them go by. The flamey 6120 body that was listed as a '70s body (it wasn't) was also a very nice catch for somebody out there.

On Saturday night, I just assumed that it had been a fun time watching (at least ONE auctioneer was entertaining...the older guy couldn't pronounce "Gretsch" correctly, even though it came up in every auction!) and got on with my life. Last night I got an invoice for a TW Yellow 6128 that I had totally forgotten that I had bid on! I didn't pay much for it, and have everything I need to finish it right here...EXCEPT FOR THE PICKGUARD! If anybody has a line on a silver (or black) 6128 guard, I'm all ears...

36

While I don't share you're opinion of the guitar's pickguard, here's a photo I snapped at home to tide you over till I can get around to an actual NGD thread (at some point -- maybe after a few mods). Open in a new tab to super-embiggen...

– Lacking Talent

Oh man that guitar, and Eddie's version look absolutely killer!! Did I ever miss out!! Oh well, you snooze you lose I guess. Congrats to everybody who came away with cool stuff from the auction.

37

Man, pickguards huh? Everybody's got an opinion.

I like that pickguard a lot. And I don't always like a pg on a catseye...but that pg shape is just mondo eleganté to begin with - and it lets the cutaway bout show nicely, follows the curve of the waist, flows into the lower eye, and finishes up joining with the bridgepup. What more could we ask?

– Proteus

+1000

Unlike various other factory pickguards I've seen on cat's eye Gretsch models (e.g., huge, clunky shapes, questionable colors, lacking binding) this one is correctly curved, appropriately proportioned, and tastefully colored in a subtle, dark brown "tortoise shell" swirl that matches the color of the fretboard wood quite nicely. I may, in fact, have bound, black copies of it built for my orange, flamed maple non-cutaway version of this proto (which has never had a pickguard on it), and as an optional replacement for the larger 'guard on my G3161.

38

Oh man that guitar, and Eddie's version look absolutely killer!! Did I ever miss out!! Oh well, you snooze you lose I guess. Congrats to everybody who came away with cool stuff from the auction.

– EllenGtrGrl

Thanks, Ellen. This Natural-finished, more "plain Jane" example of the two 17" pristine (albeit dusty) condition, Historic Series protos we're discussing, has, to my mind, more of a "working musician" (not that I am or will ever be any such thing), perhaps even a little "Duane"-like, visual vibe than Ed's flamed, orange, and perhaps more customarily perceived as "Setzer"-like example, which is partially why I went for the one I did; the other reason being it sounded a bit rounder/warmer unplugged than the orange guitar, which rang out as somewhat tighter/brighter to me for the few strums I was able to take in the cavernous, hard-surfaced, not-great acoustic environs of the auction house -- of course, given the many variables involved (not the least of which is the type, age and quality of strings), I concede without protest that one's mileage may vary when it comes to these kinds of quick assessments of tonal attributes. At any rate, I'm well pleased with the guitar.

39

Anybody gotten word that your Auction purchases have shipped? Julien's mentioned they would be going out this week (week of April 5th)...

40

Anybody gotten word that your Auction purchases have shipped? Julien's mentioned they would be going out this week (week of April 5th)...

– Cmatthes

I got my tracking info two days ago.

41

I won! I won! Whatever the price... I felt like I won when I landed a beautiful, brand-new 1976 Gretsch 7580 (Van Eps) 7-string (or, I guess I really bought, and I say this with pride and admiration for its namesake, a Hagner 7580- built and badged for Gretsch). Apparently someone at the Gretsch factory gave the guitar to Bachman, who simply kept it in the original case - an otherwise “brand-new” guitar. Whether or not Bachman stripped the hardware and electronics off the guitar, or it came without hardware and electronics, I haven’t learned yet.... but, now I’ve got a “brand-new” project and I look forward to sharing the restoration process in a thread here on GP.

The auction was an interesting affair. Fairly entertaining, and yes... the auction-house (like any auction-house accountable to its clients and staff) did a great job drawing every last dollar (shamelessly) from participants. I watched for 2 days in the event an item seemed like it would go off without interest or with limited/lesser interest- but, that really didn’t happen as the auction house held everyone’s interest. Everything went off at at least market value (and, for the curious minded, those estimates given by the auction-house were not market estimates). While I had researched a few items, I really only planned on buying a Rex parlor guitar on Day 2. But I was distracted by the family when that Rex lot came up. So, I ended up with the 7580 that I had also been researching and eyeing (truth be told, I’d already spent most of my budget on an MIJ Epiphone Sheraton on Day 1 - a guitar that Fred Gretsch had acquired during a factory visit). Quite pleased with the Gretsch 7580, though. And, I had a good-time researching and learning about Gretsch - much of which was done here at Gretsch Pages.

PS: I’ll confirm that “brand-new” and post pics when I receive the guitar this week. For those curious about shipping, mine shipped Thursday/Friday (and apparently just passed by my house in Fla this morning on its way to the FedEx transfer facility an hour to the south). Apparently Julien’s is still pushing items through the cue.


Register Sign in to join the conversation