Other Equipment

Is This A Desirable Piece of Kit?


There's a GC near the hotel I'm staying in this week and it has one of these Gretsch Reverb units in its Used inventory. I'm going over to peruse the store after work this evening. Is this something worth negotiating for (assuming it works)? Is $699 a good/OK/silly price for them to ask? Just curious. Thanks, all.


There's next to nothing on them on the surf guitar forum, I'd at least give it a try. I dunno about the price though.

edit: it's probably a Valco-made unit, surf musician's opinion HERE


I see someone sold a similar one right here in Seattle some time ago at $799, theoretically in "collector-grade" condition. There was another discussion of it in the other Gretsch forum. My initial reaction appears to be fairly close to accurate: that it may be OK, but the price is high. The other forum said that $250 would be a great deal, but even then you should replace the spring pan. I'll play with it either way, but not feeling the need to acquire it.

That store also has this guitar, not sure why it's calling my name, but I'll be checking it out.


You never see them w/ plastic logo intact... I still say that 1955-68 era Valco stuff was just one step under Fender of same era.


Frank, is that a Lyle guitar? I just helped a friend wax pot similar looking pickups in a Lyle bass.


Pricey, but it's not like you see them every day, either.


I haven't run across one (haven't been looking), I'd think that's pretty rare that you'd find a Gretsch outboard reverb - I've never seen one before.

I like it, it's cool, if it's Valco it probably sounds great. To me, personally, not $699 great, but depends on how badly you want one.

It would match my 6150T, so I'd like it for that - but again, not $699 like. lol


Nope, not really interested, but I may try it out anyway.

Yes, Mel, that’s a Lyle. My first steel string guitar was a Lyle W-400 D-28 copy, which I still have, bought new in 1971. They’re not great guitars but for their time they were pretty good. A friend of mine has a solidbody 12-string Lyle he’ll give me if I send him a box to ship it in. The Tacoma GC has another of these, Trini Lopez style with diamond-shaped f-holes that looks trippy, too. Don’t know if this one’s a keeper, but I’ve gotta at least look at it.


Dang look what they want for Fender outboard reverb units.


It’s got a whammy bar (a Lygsby?) that’ll put someone’s eye out, and the same crappy tuners that came on my Lyle acoustic, but it was in incredible shape, and mostly playable. My left-hand fingernails were in dire need of trimming, which wasn’t so apparent while playing my Martin in my hotel room, but on this skinny, thin, Ricky-like neck, it was non-fun. The same went for the ‘94 Silver Jet they had. Never got around to the reverb unit, but I’ll be back in town next week, so maybe then.


Spend your money on Bike stuff.


Dang look what they want for Fender outboard reverb units.

– DCBirdMan

I noticed that about a month ago. Hadn't paid attention for several years on tank pricing.

The Fenders are up there now.


Frank, how'd the Lyle sound? It was hard to tell much from the Bass how these pickups would sound on a guitar.

As for the Reverbs, nothing matches a 6G15, especially with a good vintage spring pan.


The bridge pickup was borderline ice-picky, but the neck sounded OK. Single-coil pickups, so plenty of authentic vintage hum whenever either pickup was selected by itself, but pretty quiet when used together. The controls were a little wonky, the neck volume was where you'd expect it to be, but the neck tone control was where the bridge volume would typically be, the bridge volume was where you'd expect the neck tone control to be, and the bridge tone control was in the regular spot. The guitar doesn't look like it had been played enough to have been modified, so it probably came stock this way.

No one's clamoring for me to play surf music so I don't need a great reverb unit, or even this one, so if anyone wants to spend $700 on this one, they can and I won't be offended.


NFI. Just ran across this Gretsch reverb unit. Missing the handle and the logo looks wonky, but it seems to be in decent shape and a better price.


Wouldn't ordering a Little Kahuna from Billy be a better use of funds? I get that vintage valco/gretsch vibe. But plenty of vibe in a Kahuna too, they sound great (only heard recordings though) give you a great trem as well. And I'd trust anything out of Billy's shop for quality and stability as well as tooooooooone.


NFI. Just ran across this Gretsch reverb unit. Missing the handle and the logo looks wonky, but it seems to be in decent shape and a better price.

– lx

Different animals, tho. The 6149 is an earlier unit, a reverb with it's own 5 watt or so amplifier with a small 8" speaker, if memory serves. The one that started this thread is a pure reverb tank, like the Fender 6G15. Whoever has that Gretsch stereo rig has one of these tanks, I believe. It'd be nice to know how these stack up against Fender's model.


As Mel said, nothing beats a vintage Fender 6G15, but they are pricey to say the least. That being said, if you want that sound, for not much more money than that vintage Gretsch/Valco, there are 6G15 clones available from some small amp builders that are excellent.....and of course at around $450.00 there is the turn-key version of the Surfy Bear (which is not tube but sound about as close to a vintage 6G15 as you're gonna get).

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