Vintage Gretsch Guitars

53 6014-5 Blonde PSA — 3 Hours Left



Bit of binding rot/issues; the pickguard is about to go but this is a real blonde 6015 listed as a '54 but really a '53 with all the goods.


This one?

– Andreas

Oops. Yep, that's the one.


A lot of similar features to my '41.....including being a blonde. Someone got one hell of a deal.

This is exactly what that fellow a few months ago should've scooped up. He asked us if this New Yorker on his local Detroit CL was worth paying $900 for and we all said NO!


Crazy good deal for someone who can do their own work. Quite a bit less so for someone looking at luthier fees.


Pickguard you send to Paul to get a replacement made. The neck joint looks fine but the tailpiece might need to visit a jeweller for some brazing repair.

I think the price is a great starting point to allow spending to replace the binding and not be too steeply invested. The binding is a solid color, so that keeps costs lower than a multi-layered restoration. That aged blonde finish is gorgeous and it has the nice pair of logos in vintage script, not the later T-roof block letters. Being a blonde it originally cost more to purchase because they use a choice grain piece - book-matched - of spruce. The maple back and sides are quite stunning as well so this adds value.

To my mind, definitely worth the effort to restore.


What would it cost to re-bind a guitar like this? Would you do the entire guitar or leave the neck binding alone?


The entire guitar rebound would be ~$1000 maybe more.


Would it be possible to put such a neck on an electric hollow body? Let's say for instance someone has a modern 6120 DSV and dislikes the neck. I wonder...


The entire guitar rebound would be ~$1000 maybe more.

– kc_eddie_b

I'd hate to think what a full rebind on my Super Chet would cost. The stark white when new is now the color of very old piano keys and with the black layers, it's a total of 7 layers on the body and 6 on the headstock!


In the muscle car world, there is a trend to restore a car to make it fully functional but also maintain and preserve the patina and the imperfections. Is that a philosophy anyone uses with vintage Gretsch guitars?


Replacing rotted binding is a whole 'nuther animal than regular aging as it spreads onto your typical finish (especially orange!) and looks like hell. Regular aging is what modern relic-ing attempts to do.


Binding rot is not a component of patina, it's equivalent to rust on a car. It's a result of the off-gassing of the glue used. It begins at the back of the binding and works its way to the surface, so once it's visible on the surface, it can be considered stage 4 cancer. Once it begins, just as with the process of vegetation composting for your garden, it can't be slowed down or stopped. While on this guitar it hasn't yet deteriorated to the point of literally falling of in chunks, it eventually will, so it can't be considered leaving it alone as treating it as functional ugliness.

In the case of the condition of the body's surface, particularly the top, patina consists of the original finish deepening in color as it ages and checking of the nitrocellulose finish. On my '41 blonde Synchro, it's current shade is a warm, honey amber, but if you move the floating bridge, the finish beneath where it sits is the original brighter natural finish, and not as visually appealing. This regal old gal also has a few scratches which will always remain, battle scars of a long life! Those things don't affect functionality and simply give the guitar character so no need to remove them. I can't imagine this line of thinking is something unique to Gretsch owners. To some maybe, but generally I don't believe so.


I understand what you’re saying. What I said wasn’t meant to be a dig at Gretsch owners...Gretsch guitars are my favorite!


Not at all taken as a dig. When I had a vintage ride, a lot of people were into "resto/mods", restoring and modifying usually with an eye towards making mods that could be undone if the next owner wanted to have "trailer queen." All kinds of opinions and likes here, but everyone hates -- and fears -- binding rot.


My ‘57 Streamliner is sans rot , hope it stays that way for awhile.


I didn't take it as a dig, just sayin'.... A '57 Streamliner is a sweet Gretsch! Most of the pre-mid '60's and post '70's fortunately don't seem to catch the disease.

FWIW, the pickguard on my '41 Synchro is just about as fine as the day it was made. All the binding is the wonderful tort they don't make these days and it's pristine too!

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