Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1972 Tennessean

1

Hello All

Just hoping to join the Gretsch family. A neighbor of mine has a '72 Tennessean available, but neither of us know what I should be paying him for it. It is is nice condition (very good/excellent), has original case and even the original warranty card in the case.

Any thoughts on what such an instrument would go for? I think we can make a deal but as I do need to live beside this guy for the next decade or so would like to pay him what it is worth!

Thanks

Jack

2

Well the condition sounds good and as long as binding ok, metal plating not messed up and neck angle good, you might have a good deal. I think Tennesseans are great but they aren't highly sought after, really. If it is that year... $1800 to $2000? Pix always help.

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From the 2021 Vintage Guitar Price Guide:

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Thank you for this info. DCbird you had a pretty good estimate. RichB I don't think it can get much more definitive than what you have provided. We can use that as our neutral departure point for price.

I'll be looking for this binding rot I've been reading so much about but will probably buy assuming it passes that test

5

Thank you for this info. DCbird you had a pretty good estimate. RichB I don't think it can get much more definitive than what you have provided. We can use that as our neutral departure point for price.

I'll be looking for this binding rot I've been reading so much about but will probably buy assuming it passes that test

– jd1655

Good luck! If you make the purchase, please share a photo with us, and then add it to the site database. Booneville made guitars of the Baldwin era Gretsches, which began in 1972, don’t usually have binding rot because the glue used in the manufacturing process changed in that era.

If I were in a similar situation looking to purchase a post-‘72 to early 80s model Tenny, for me to pull the trigger, it would need to be under $1500 since the body design has some significant differences from the classic 50s-60s Gretsches. If you compare George Harrison’s ‘62 Tenny to a ‘72 model Tenny, they look really different in body and headstock shape. If the pickguard is intact, it’s radically different from earlier models. I get your point about buying from a neighbor, though. The price guide can be a funny resource. Sometimes estimates are over actual sale values (IMHO as in this case) and sometimes they’re way under given rarity or other factors, such as artist association, effecting value. Many Booneville made guitars are great players, though. I have a ‘73 Country Gent and a ‘74 7588 and they’re great guitars for the era they represent.

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To illustrate my point about the body shape differences between the “classic era” 50s and 60s Brooklyn Gretsches and the post-1972 to early 80s Booneville Gretsches, here is a photo of my ‘64 Gent (left) and my ‘73 Gent (right).

Not to mention the hardware differences, as well including pickups, pickup surrounds, knobs, etc.

Hope this helps! It can be a tough spot when looking to fork over a good amount of money to buy a vintage guitar, but awareness can help make you feel a little more assured heading into the deal.

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Here is a 1976 which may be similar to a 1972, just for reference.

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Great info and interesting pictures. Just pursuing the sold prices on eBay for Tennies, they are all going for under what is in the price guide. Maybe that is the norm on eBay with sight unseen guitars.

Will see. I need to spend some time with the instrument in the coming days. I might also just end up going with a newer Korean one as I'm thinking the 72 will be needing more maintenance and care overall.

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. I might also just end up going with a newer Korean one as I'm thinking the 72 will be needing more maintenance and care overall. jd1655

Hello, jd1655, and welcome to the GDP (Gretsch Discussion Pages). I was in the same position as you, several years ago, buying my first Gretsch guitar. I decided to play it safe and enter the field with the less expensive Korean made G5422TG Hollow Body, and I'm glad I did. The guitar is outstanding, as well made as instruments at twice the price.

The only way to get better is to buy a a Pro Line Gretsch. The Blacktop Filter'Trons in the 5422 are good pickups, but I wanted something a little more vintage sounding, so I decided to with the TV Jones Classic's, I put a better (TV Jones) wiring harness in with American pots and switch/jack, and better quality wire and capacitors. I have a treble bleed circuit on the Master Volume.

I also replaced the bridge with a Brass TruArc SerpenTune bridge, and I replaced Bigsby spring with a softer touch spring, so it's about as good as it can be right now. I've got a seventeen hundred and change into the guitar, case, and modifications, but it's a solid well made instrument that I can't find a single fault with.

I very quickly wanted a Pro Line Gretsch guitar, so I bought a new G6131T Player's Edition Firebird Duo Jet. Tip : any Gretsch model number beginning in 6 is the Pro Line = Good Stuff! The 6131T is a highly chambered 'sold body' guitar and is without any doubt the best guitar I've ever laid hands on. It's the kind of guitar that I can do almost anything with. Now, I'm looking towards the 6120 line, the G6120-59 is reported to be an amazing instrument.

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A '72 Tennessean will be built like a tank, have no binding issues, and if it's been taken care of and is currently in good shape, then there's every reason on earth to expect that it will continue to be. If nothing's failed in the last 50 years, that's a pretty good sign that it's not going to start now.


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