Vintage Gretsch Guitars

59 gretsch clipper


I take it you haven't had it in your hands because it has binding rot; you may be spending close to $1K to fix it. It may stay the way it is for a long while or it may start coming off in chunks the day after you get it. Upper strap peg is probably not original nor the added jack plate, although the clear knobs turn up on a few of these. The case is original to the model and the very earliest of these had the silver thread covering.

Aside from the soapbar, it has a feature found on only a few of these early '59 Clippers and very likely not on any previous or subsequent Gretsch guitars. If you look carefully on the 10th picture( you will have to scroll through and look for it as the link won't take you directly), you'll see that the fingerboard's neck extension tapers inward allowing the sides of the fingerboard to float freely above the top, just as you would find on some Gibson ES-125's (and their variants) of the time. It's an interesting oddity, but really doesn't add to the sonic properties of the guitar. It does show that Gretsch was playing around with different ideas with the new slim design format.

I've not heard the soapbar, but someone on the GDP many moons ago made a favorable report.


It has the cool early white pickup... you wonder what they were thinking at the time. Seems like a decent price.


The first thing to take into consideration for me with respect to the price, even prior to an in-hands examination, is where this model is in the hierarchy of Gretsches of the day. This is a low end model so right away the price is high IMO. This guitar has severe binding rot which takes away from the value big time as it's expensive to replace. Actually the fact that it's a low end model works in its favor regarding the binding as there isn't any on the neck, headstock or f-holes to rot which would elevate the restoration of the binding considerably!

The condition of the rest of the guitar as seen in the pics, shows that it has been treated well in its life but I'd find it hard to justify the asking price given the binding issues.


I wonder what that pickup sounds like.

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