Vintage Gretsch Guitars

51 Synchromatic 400

26

The classic lightbulb headstock shape is based on the natural reaction that occurs when a lightening bolt strikes a jalapeno pepper.

– Afire

It all makes sense now! Thanks. I think the other type looks a lot more like Paul's head....stock

This guitar is pretty damn cool. It looks huge. Was it Gretsch's answer to the Super 400? Almost looks like an 18" lower bout. Doesn't need much, a bit of inlay and cosmetic work. That's the fun stuff!

27

Yep, it's an 18" body. And I would imagine that Gretsch had the Super 400 in mind when developing it.

28

It's huge. I have a couple of 17in archtops but it's the first 18in I've ever played. I'm not joking; it does smell like an old bar, the more it's played the more stink. It adds character. The lightbulb headstock is one of my favorite Gretsch designs, it's beautiful and on this guitar it's in great shape, the whole thing is in really good shape just played a lot in the last almost 80 years. I agree with whoever said it was probably made in 39 but sold by Gretsch as an afterthought with the "400" label and serial number which is the same numbers as on the blonde 400 pictured here; just in a different order. Another weird thing is I have a 40's Synchro blonde 200 with asymmetrical neck but the neck on this 400 is symmetrical, thick and very playable and comfortable, that's Gretsch for you....Eminently playable guitar and sounds great; of course.

29

I don't think so. This one is the classic pre-war "lightbulb" style headstock. What I think you guys refer to as the Paul Pigat style is a slightly less elegant (no offense Paul!) shape with less smooth contours.

EDIT: lx beat me to it!

– kc_eddie_b

LESS ELEGANT???? I beg to differ!!!! I thought we were friends!!!! That needs to be posted twice!!!

30

I don't think so. This one is the classic pre-war "lightbulb" style headstock. What I think you guys refer to as the Paul Pigat style is a slightly less elegant (no offense Paul!) shape with less smooth contours.

EDIT: lx beat me to it!

– kc_eddie_b

LESS ELEGANT???? I beg to differ!!!! I thought we were friends!!!!

31

Oh No! the Paul Pigat or not Paul Pigat headstock controversy! I stand corrected. Having seen Paul's head in person (2 times 25 years apart)I would have to say he doesn't have such a pronounced bump on top. Or he hides it well. Back to your scheduled programming.

– Toxophilite

Unfortunately I do have a pronounced bump...

32

Great thread.

Here’s a shot of my 39’ 400s light bulb headstock.

33

And yes these 400s are really huge. I think they are the biggest arch top I’ve ever played.

34

I think the badge on the headpiece is the representation of the catseye sound hole overlaid with the chromatic tailpiece or maybe the bridge base. Mysterious, but elegant.

I own a 1992 G400CV and a 2013 G400. I don't want to compare them to the original Synchro, but I love these guitars for tone and play-ability.

I just wish the modern Synchros were available for younger players for the prices I paid. Pictures are in the database. Links are in my profile.

Lee

35

And yes these 400s are really huge. I think they are the biggest arch top I’ve ever played.

– Gasmoney

Wow! What a geetar!

36

Great thread.

Here’s a shot of my 39’ 400s light bulb headstock.

– Gasmoney

Fabulous Fred.

Yours

Drew


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