Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Green… with envy!

2

I LOVE guitars....I just cannot justify prices like this..I do understand the collectable market...I do understand it is vintage..but...not for me....I want to play my guitars..not lock them in a vault... But..she is stunning...

3

There's that downsized gold pickguard again.

4

There's that downsized gold pickguard again.

– JazzBoxJunky

Can you elaborate JBJ?

5

Yes, I think we discussed that a gold jet pickguard was not really common, so they cut down another larger guard to make them. If you look at other(non green) jets, the shape of this guard is different, but actually correct, because multiple green jets have been seen with it. So yeah, the Gretsch logo is larger than a normal jet, and placed or oriented differently, and I think the outline is more rounded at the back of the guard.

6

I'd love to know the serial number on this one.

7

Gary's prices are ridiculous.

8

Yes, I think we discussed that a gold jet pickguard was not really common, so they cut down another larger guard to make them. If you look at other(non green) jets, the shape of this guard is different, but actually correct, because multiple green jets have been seen with it. So yeah, the Gretsch logo is larger than a normal jet, and placed or oriented differently, and I think the outline is more rounded at the back of the guard.

– JazzBoxJunky

Ok... I follow you now. So it would appear that the gold Jet-style guard applied to the '57 6121 models are different from what these Cad. green Jets got (location of the "Gretsch" on the guard). I guess maybe they had to reposition it to make room for the signpost?

9

There isn't a lottery win big enough that would get me to buy a guitar from this shyster.

10

There isn't a lottery win big enough that would get me to buy a guitar from this shyster.

– Windsordave

How is Gary a shyster? His prices are high, but in the 30 years I've been buying or selling, I don't recall him ever ripping anybody off. I've sold him guitars, and he paid me more than any other dealers for premium pieces. The guitars I've bought from him were purchased pretty far below his asking prices.

12

According to eBay solds he doesn't sell many if any of his grossly overpriced guitars. They're grossly overpriced according to pricing from Gruhn's listings and just about everyone on this site who's made comments on his listings. Vintage Guitar prices are considered the best to go on and none of Gary's prices fit into their ranges - most well outside of them. The uninitiated [to the world of vintage guitar values] see his listings on eBay and try and price their guitar from in an estate or gift from a relative accordingly. I know first hand all about that scenario regarding a grossly overpriced CG I spoke to the late owner's widow about and had one hell of a time trying to convince her that the prices she's seeing from Gary on eBay aren't remotely what the market is showing. He's an anomaly and a real PITA when his business pricing gets involved in discussions like I had.

I've always said that he does sell superior quality instruments that he describes accurately regarding condition but that does not justify putting guitars up for sale at upwards of twice their true value - based on recent similar sales - in today's market. He has the monetary means to be able to sit on these prices waiting for either a person desperate enough and with the resources to knowingly overpay just to have that guitar or a non-knowledgeable person looking for an investment.....which would take many years to find the market value even hit what they paid for it let alone make a profit. With reference to the investor type buyer another name that would fit would be snake oil salesman - selling false hope. Letting someone buy a guitar from him as an investment?.....yes, that's ripping someone off.

I'm well aware of the term caveat emptor or "a fool and his money are soon parted" but I don't think letting someone with quite a chunk of money think they paid a fair price as an investment is a good moral way to do business.

Someone well aware of prices and again with a lot of money who just has to have that guitar, well, the second phrase may apply or they are obviously impatient to spend time to look around awhile for a better deal and let their money rule their thinking.

IMO, his advertised prices give the vintage market a speed bump it just doesn't need.

13

That's a great story about the gold guards, JBJ, and it sounds very plausible! I never knew!

14

Just for the sake of Gretsch science, here is a pic of the gold guard that is on the 58 Cadillac Green Jet I used to have.

15

How is Gary a shyster? His prices are high, but in the 30 years I've been buying or selling, I don't recall him ever ripping anybody off. I've sold him guitars, and he paid me more than any other dealers for premium pieces. The guitars I've bought from him were purchased pretty far below his asking prices.

– jonathan sipes

Hi Jonathan. I'm relatively new here. But I actually possess a slightly above average IQ, but am stunned there would be any regular joe out there in the guitar buying public who would be stupid enough to be sucked in and prepared to pay the absolutely ridiculous price Gary is asking for this chunk of wood with strings. Green paint or otherwise.

"Shyster" may not be the correct word to describe gary..but utterly clueless and absolutely stupid beyond belief would be one of the descriptions used to describe anyone who would pay that much money for some old guitar.

I can't stand people who prey on the stupid/cluelessly innocent ..

16

According to eBay solds he doesn't sell many if any of his grossly overpriced guitars. They're grossly overpriced according to pricing from Gruhn's listings and just about everyone on this site who's made comments on his listings. Vintage Guitar prices are considered the best to go on and none of Gary's prices fit into their ranges - most well outside of them. The uninitiated [to the world of vintage guitar values] see his listings on eBay and try and price their guitar from in an estate or gift from a relative accordingly. I know first hand all about that scenario regarding a grossly overpriced CG I spoke to the late owner's widow about and had one hell of a time trying to convince her that the prices she's seeing from Gary on eBay aren't remotely what the market is showing. He's an anomaly and a real PITA when his business pricing gets involved in discussions like I had.

I've always said that he does sell superior quality instruments that he describes accurately regarding condition but that does not justify putting guitars up for sale at upwards of twice their true value - based on recent similar sales - in today's market. He has the monetary means to be able to sit on these prices waiting for either a person desperate enough and with the resources to knowingly overpay just to have that guitar or a non-knowledgeable person looking for an investment.....which would take many years to find the market value even hit what they paid for it let alone make a profit. With reference to the investor type buyer another name that would fit would be snake oil salesman - selling false hope. Letting someone buy a guitar from him as an investment?.....yes, that's ripping someone off.

I'm well aware of the term caveat emptor or "a fool and his money are soon parted" but I don't think letting someone with quite a chunk of money think they paid a fair price as an investment is a good moral way to do business.

Someone well aware of prices and again with a lot of money who just has to have that guitar, well, the second phrase may apply or they are obviously impatient to spend time to look around awhile for a better deal and let their money rule their thinking.

IMO, his advertised prices give the vintage market a speed bump it just doesn't need.

– Windsordave

None of that makes him a shyster. You just don't like his prices.

17

I agree on the pricing issue. Many use EBay as an advertising tool. If u post a guitar with an impossible selling price, it won't sell on eBay, so you want owe them any fees, but everyone looking will see the instrument. Someone may then contact the seller outside of eBay to make a real deal. I bought my blonde Bassman this way.

Also, if any person, rich or poor, does not do any research on something they're buying in this information age, and just take 1 salesperson's opinion, you deserve what you get.

18

Wow. I wouldn't mind owning that guitar. I once bought a '57 Jet Firebird in rough condition, replaced but period correct gold hardware. It turned out to be in considerably worse shape than described/disclosed and I returned it. I occasionally regret not making an offer at a reduced price and making my own Caddy Green Duo Jet.

About Gary's prices. Yes, ridiculous, occasionally offensive to a reasonable person's sensibilities. And yes, I mourn the fact that so many great guitars are held hostage in his inventory at those prices. But, he's an honest business man running his shop in a way that works for him, and I can't fault him for that. And like jonathan sipes, I've sold guitars to him and he paid way more than any other dealer would have, and more than I would have hoped for with a lucky eBay auction. And I too have been dumb enough to buy from him. I certainly overpaid, but I had to have it. Turns out I didn't have to have it, but I sure thought I did at the time. I'd imagine that's how a lot of his guitars get sold.

19

Further more....Gary has sold a good bit on eBay....far from the assertion "According to eBay solds he doesn't sell many if any of his grossly overpriced guitars"... He moved 7 high ticket guitars in April alone....just view his items, and then refine to "sold items only". I mean...its not like he tried to convince a widow that her dead husband's guitar was worth less than she thought......I mean....THAT would make him a shyster in my book.

20

Last year at the Columbus guitar show, Gary was following the Japanese/Guitar Center/Sam Ash lead and buying only and stashing under the table. That may build his own inventory, but its not contributing much to guitar show attending public since most of the deals are happening during load-in. I'm there looking to try and buy, so there's not any value there for me from Gary's Classic Guitars. I've heard a lot of negative comments about him as a dealer, including "last name fits." I hope Gary sees this thread and is open to discussing his pricing/business philosophies, including what he feels he's contributing to the market. There's no question he's had a dealer presence for a long time, but with that comes some ownership of how you're doing business. There's only one guy out pricing Gary right now, and that's Hank's Vintage.

21

There's only one guy out pricing Gary right now, and that's Hank's Vintage.

Fretted Americana is as bad, if not worse.

22

There isn't a lottery win big enough that would get me to buy a guitar from this shyster.

– Windsordave

Wow, sure hope your not around if I ever try to sell one of my vintage guitars for profit. Sounds like Gary's a reputable dealer. Don't like his prices? Look elsewhere. Your comment is unfounded and slanderous.

23

Last year at the Columbus guitar show, Gary was following the Japanese/Guitar Center/Sam Ash lead and buying only and stashing under the table. That may build his own inventory, but its not contributing much to guitar show attending public since most of the deals are happening during load-in. I'm there looking to try and buy, so there's not any value there for me from Gary's Classic Guitars. I've heard a lot of negative comments about him as a dealer, including "last name fits." I hope Gary sees this thread and is open to discussing his pricing/business philosophies, including what he feels he's contributing to the market. There's no question he's had a dealer presence for a long time, but with that comes some ownership of how you're doing business. There's only one guy out pricing Gary right now, and that's Hank's Vintage.

– RichB555

If you've ever had the opportunity to attend a show during set up you will see most dealers doing deals, prior to the doors opening, not just Gary's, GC, and the Japanese. That's been a standard practice for many years.

24

If you've ever had the opportunity to attend a show during set up you will see most dealers doing deals, prior to the doors opening, not just Gary's, GC, and the Japanese. That's been a standard practice for many years.

– nightbird

Been going to shows since the early 90s - several per year. My point was - Maybe you missed it- hoarding guitar purchases, with no offerrings for sale, under a table offers no value to the general public attending the show. Gary is the first longtime dealer I've observed doing this other than big box chains and dealers from Japan. I know its been going on for a long time, its tolerated by show organizers and its their right to do as they please with their table fees. I'm only saying its no value to me as a show attendee, even with an early entry pass.

25

In my few contacts with Gary, he treated me in a way deserving of his name.


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