Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Baldwin 601

1

Guys/Girls

a newbie so be kind...

just inherited a rather nice Baldwin semi acoustic (single cutaway) which I have been told is a 601 model. I have asked in a few guitar shops as there is very little info online and was advised that this forum is the “go to” place to find out about this model as there is a Baldwin/Gretsch link?

Any info on background on this model would be greatly received.

thanks

2

Nice guitar. I'm no help but somebody may chime in soon, so hang tight. Oh, and welcome to our forum.

3

Well the Baldwin -branded guitars may not have much to do with Gretsch -- think some were out before the 1967 Gretsch acquisition.

4

Welcome to all things Gretsch! Can't help specifically with this guitar but I do recall Baldwin having something to do with guitars prior to buying, then screwing up Gretsch. Their purchase of Gretsch was right around the time Gibson and Fender were ramping up their solidbody production which sailed them nicely from the later '60's through the '70's. Gretsch stuck with their belief in the hollowbody with no new solidbody development except for the Super/Deluxe Axe but while it was a good guitar it was too little too late for the company.

Someone around here should be able to help with info on this model.

5

It is indeed a model 601, and is scarce as hens' teeth, as this model never reached full production. These guitars were designed by Clyde Edwards (the same guy responsible for the Gretsch Super Axe and Atkins Axe designs), and built at the Booneville AR Baldwin facility, prior to Baldwin shifting Gretsch production to that plant.

Actually, the few that exist are largely prototypes-- the model never appeared in Baldwin sales literature. I have the Burns/Baldwin catalogs and price lists from 1964 through 1967, and there is no mention of the 600 series anywhere. The controls on yours look to have been modified though-- it looks like the output jack in on the lower horn? There should be a master volume there, and the output jack should be located where the last knob is, at the bottom of the lower bout. Perhaps yours has been either re-wired or the guts swapped around a bit. The correct control config should consist of 1 p/u selector switch, 1 master volume at the cutaway position, 2 p/u volumes and 1 master tone knob.

This article will give you a bit more information.

6

It is indeed a model 601, and is scarce as hens' teeth, as this model never reached full production. These guitars were designed by Clyde Edwards (the same guy responsible for the Gretsch Super Axe and Atkins Axe designs), and built at the Booneville AR Baldwin facility, prior to Baldwin shifting Gretsch production to that plant.

Actually, the few that exist are largely prototypes-- the model never appeared in Baldwin sales literature. I have the Burns/Baldwin catalogs and price lists from 1964 through 1967, and there is no mention of the 600 series anywhere. The controls on yours look to have been modified though-- it looks like the output jack in on the lower horn? There should be a master volume there, and the output jack should be located where the last knob is, at the bottom of the lower bout. Perhaps yours has been either re-wired or the guts swapped around a bit. The correct control config should consist of 1 p/u selector switch, 1 master volume at the cutaway position, 2 p/u volumes and 1 master tone knob.

This article will give you a bit more information.

– Tartan Phantom

Great post Rob! We appreciate your expertise!

7

looking at its body shape, you can see shades of the Super Axe, and Atkins Axe.

8

Also the pick guard has the same weird angular aesthetic that they applied to Gretsch models. Putting all those corners on something as curvy as a hollow body guitar always struck me as jarringly incongruous. Really cool bit of guitar arcana though!

9

Thanks guys (esp Tartan Phantom) You have been a great help.

Not sure if the back story of the guitar as it was a gift to my father who recently passed away and I have inherited it, coincidently TP were based in Scotland!

Regards


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