Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1958 Horse of a Different Color Project (6120 Conversion)

26

I suspect there was a lot of variation; some may even have done it the "right" way, cutting both pieces at 45-degree angles instead of using a lap joint.

I think you've defended your choices convincingly. I haven't encountered a large sample set myself, so I was just going on the basis of limited knowledge.

27

Also One thing I have seen on every large headstock 57-58 is the headstock shape was cut prior to the headstock angle. From a side view the top of the headstock is not at a 90 to the face. It’s probably over by 17 degrees that the angle of the headstock is. 1959 models do not exhibit this same issue.

28

1957 6014. Very, very close to a 90° angle, a bit randomly rounded.

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Headstock front. Lap joint impossible to see in photo, quite well done, lapped like my drawing above.

31

Threads like this, and this granular level of detail, are what most of us come here for!

Funny; I had this guitar hanging on the wall right behind me, but I still went to Google Images first for photos. D'oh...

32

At one time I had hundreds of photos of Gretsch headstocks and other build details as I was preparing to write a book. Lost lots of that data with a Laptop crash. There is a point in serial number were we see the change in how the necks/headstocks were being cut. Which I believe lasted until the 59 model year was established. I can't say for sure in which batch/serial is started, but I thought it was 57 but could be late in the year…?

37

Those are repro rings and the color is horrible. If I don’t luck into a set of older used ones, I will reprint these to the correct vintage color.

38

I checked my 1960 Double Annie (late enough for HiLos), and it has the angled headstock top. Interesting. No pics at the moment.

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I checked my 1960 Double Annie (late enough for HiLos), and it has the angled headstock top. Interesting. No pics at the moment.

– seadevil

Interesting as I had not seen that “feature” on the smaller headstocks. I am confident that the 58s that have this anomaly was due to how they were being cut out. The angle of the end cut of headstock is at a 90 to the fingerboard. Where as the 59s were at a 90 to the headstock face.

The headstock shape was cut prior to the headstock angle. And it appears that the tip of the headstock was sanded with fingerboard side of the neck up and heel on the deck so the heel kept the angle consistent with my description. Maybe I can draw a picture.

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This is a great read. One of the things we live for here. Thanks

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The 1960 Annie is indeed like the 1958 in your drawing, JD. I knew what you meant before I saw it, but it helps anyway.

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The 1960 Annie is indeed like the 1958 in your drawing, JD. I knew what you meant before I saw it, but it helps anyway.

– seadevil

Might be cool to create a thread on this occurrence. As I have not seen it post 58. If we could track this to batches, it might indicate difference in how different workers performed their tasks..if not, then it might indicate parts being made well in advance and stock piled.

45

Wonderful work Joe, that looks to be a really fine guitar. Come to the Nashville Roundup with it in tow!

46

Great work Joe! And it does look like a cool guitar!

47

It would be much harder to put binding on a headstock with edges that aren't perpendicular to the face.

48

Still need vintage plastic to make this look right, but holy crap this one sounds great. I don’t own any other vintage Gretsch guitars right now, but this may be the best sounding I have owned (about 12). The thing about this one is that is sounds so undistinctly Gretsch. Meaning it’s sounds a a bit Gretsch, but also Gibson and even Fender tones too. Could be the pickup combination I suppose:

TV Jones Classic in the neck position and a PowerTron Plus in the bridge position. Both pickups are wood shimmed to about 1/4” away from strings. Balance is perfect. Tone caps are out of a Strat and a Les Paul. Tone circuit is completely useable in both up and down position on all combinations of pickups.


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