Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1952 6192-3 Electro 2/ 6030-1 preConstellation?

1

I tried to post this before by way of a query and due to a strange glitch nobody could respond. Happily I contacted Ed and he was very forthcoming with excellent information as usual.

I noticed (and I don't know why I didn't before) that my electro 2 clearly had 2 serial number cards. I was inclined to excavate as the guitar was already seriously compromised as a collectors pice having been 'refinished' by some previous owner.

2

So I did . At first I could only see the serial number which was 7741..1060 numbers earlier than the number in the guitar. As you can see both cards are getting a little damaged. In retrospect I should've soaked it off like a stamp but I was initially worried about any of the ink or lettering running with the application of hot water.

Ed gave me this information based upon the serial number:

The #7700-7749 batch was a group of "pre-Constellation" single-cutaway acoustic arch tops. this was also the first group of Gretsch models to display the dual model stamps (6030-1 instead of 6030 for sunburst, and 6031 for natural)... this is a feature that I've proposed is a 1952 model year indicator. These dual stamps only existed in the '52 and '53 model years.

Interestingly... I already had #7741 documented in my database, but it was resident on a New Yorker banjo. I've been trying to determine if the Gretsch banjo serial numbering system(s) in some cases used the same system as the guitars. This is one of the only times I've found a conflict, but if the #7734 label was used, then disqualified because they added a different label, they might have figured that number was available again and applied to a banjo. That's just speculation.

The #8750-8799 batch is a group of 50 Electro II 6187-8 (non-cutaway). The first of these with a master vol knob on the upper bout ('52 model year). The next group, #8800-8849 is a 50 unit group of Electro II 6192-3. I have documented another specimen from this group with an April 28, 1952 date stamp in the neck pocket. Yours guitar, and one other have also been documented to have pots with Nov. '51 date codes.

I guess it's plausible to speculate that your guitar was originally labeled as a 6030-1 archtop, and then converted to a 2 pu electric model at the factory, with the second label being applied. Then, the neck was replaced at some subsequent time. Too bad you can't confirm the model stamp on the underneath label, but I'm happy you were able to get the serial number... so thanks for that! This is the 4th or 5th Gretsch example I've found to have the double-label. None of the others have ever revealed what's underneath!

3

According to the original serial number my guitar, was actually, a banjo!! Ye Gods, a snare drum with a neck bolted on it!

I decided to try some hot water on a bit of absorbent cloth placed over the top label to try and soften the glue as some experimental jabs with a hot wet Q-tip....proved not to affect the ink.

This worked a treat though in lifting off the bit of cloth I inadvertently pulled up the label prematurely. It largely survived and a bit more soaking lifted it up easily. Though both have some damage it's still clear that this originally was a acoustic 6030-1 pre constellation .

Interestingly this guitar was also had a factory reneck with a 54 CC type neck. One can only speculate the possible chain of circumstances. Maybe it was a constantly updated shop guitar/beater and accidentally got sold? Certainly the re-neck looked to be a half-assed job. A sure sign it was factory!

5

Nice guitar regardless.

– Baba Joe

Certainly It's still an Electro 2 . Essentially the same instrument with pickups


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