Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Blonde Synchro 160

1

NFI.

Total time warp. This is so clean. I think it's possible that this is closer to a '50/1-ish due to the G tailpiece. It's one of those odd two-piece units that I've seen this early. The headstock is too cool as is the tort binding. Everything looks original. Yum.

4

NFI.

Total time warp. This is so clean. I think it's possible that this is closer to a '50/1-ish due to the G tailpiece. It's one of those odd two-piece units that I've seen this early. The headstock is too cool as is the tort binding. Everything looks original. Yum.

– lx

Hard to think it's '50/51 with a clearly legible serial number of 481. Also... if it were that late, it would have a paper label. It would seem more plausible that the G-cut tailpiece was just added later.

About that cool tortoise headstock overlay... I wonder if it will someday decompose much as the other celluloid components tend to do.

5

NFI.

Total time warp. This is so clean. I think it's possible that this is closer to a '50/1-ish due to the G tailpiece. It's one of those odd two-piece units that I've seen this early. The headstock is too cool as is the tort binding. Everything looks original. Yum.

– lx

The ad says the tailpiece is not original.

6

The ad says the tailpiece is not original.

– Tartan Phantom

Yeah... but I wouldn't go by that. I think I might have told them that using the same logic I shared above.

8

I'm thinking it isn't as late at '50. I think it's early '40's with that S/N. It looks more from my Synchro's era ('41). IIRC, the ink stamped S/N preceded the impressed into the tip of the headstock version (like mine). By '50, the appointments had also been downgraded - no more tort binding or nice blonde finish. Tailpiece would've been the chromatic/harp style for the era, not the later G cutout.

Personally I'm not a fan of that tort overlay on the headstock. Reminds me of the MOTS only in a dark version that I don't like whatsoever. Just my personal taste. Generally a very pretty guitar. Having the original floating pup makes the price quite reasonable as they're quite pricey.

9

No cutaway - but I guess that's what Sawzall is for.

10

I'm thinking it isn't as late at '50. I think it's early '40's with that S/N. It looks more from my Synchro's era ('41). IIRC, the ink stamped S/N preceded the impressed into the tip of the headstock version (like mine). By '50, the appointments had also been downgraded - no more tort binding or nice blonde finish. Tailpiece would've been the chromatic/harp style for the era, not the later G cutout.

Personally I'm not a fan of that tort overlay on the headstock. Reminds me of the MOTS only in a dark version that I don't like whatsoever. Just my personal taste. Generally a very pretty guitar. Having the original floating pup makes the price quite reasonable as they're quite pricey.

– Windsordave

Nope... opposite Dave. The headstock impressed serial numbers were pre-war, and pre-dated the ink stamped numbers that emerged during he war-years, and soon there after until ~'49 when the paper labels started (around s/n# 4000).

11

Thanks Ed. I juxtaposed the order of S/N IDing. Thanks for clearing up my error.

Would be nice to see someone around here snag this one.

12

What’s an estimate on the biding repair and neck set needed. It’s gorgeous at a good price as-is, but...

Edit: I asked the seller about if needing a neck reset and pics of the “glue separation” of binding and neck joint.

13

There is ~ $750 in value for the deArmond Mike pick up and the gold Kluson Sealfast tuners alone.

I have the sunburst version of that guitar and those tuners are the best I've had on any guitar, let alone an old Gretsch. They are the tuners of some high end Gibsons of the period like the L5 so they have some real value. You can google and see Matt Umanov selling sets of Kluson Sealfasts for $400 or $500 if memory serves.

I've never seen a headstock overlay like that, a headstock that small (or is it an optical illusion?) and tortoise binding on a post war model. Very unique and very cool example. Nice looking case as well.

I believe the bridge should be stairstep. A repro harp tailpiece can easily be obtained. One of the fairer prices I've seen on Reverb.com.

14

Throw in the value of the case to the tuners and pickup and you are pretty close to the asking price.

15

Got photos from the seller. Here's the neck joint:

16

Here's the neck binding issue (not a big deal IMO):

17

Mine has the exact same neck binding issue, here is a picture. As you imply, it's what happens when a guitar is 70 years old. My hand never goes anywhere near that bit of the neck and I don't expect anyone else's does either.

Price in a neck reset - these don't have truss rods by the way.

18

Here is the neck joint on mine--look familiar? Since I have been fortunate to be kindly directed to a great and reasonable luthier in southeast England by a couple of other members here, this is now being dealt with. The price for a neck set from this person is less than I paid for one in Los Angeles in 2001 so I am less hesitant to sink the cost.

19

Here's the neck binding issue (not a big deal IMO):

– NJBob

Agreed. Just a little shrinkage. It happens.

20

Ha! I asked if the neck is stabile (wobble with strings off or won’t stay in tune).

What the rule? If you keep getting good answers you’re required to make an offer?

21

What the rule? If you keep getting good answers you’re required to make an offer?

If that's what you have to tell yourself to justify making an offer, then yes. It is an absolute, no-exceptions rule.

22

Mine has the exact same neck binding issue, here is a picture. As you imply, it's what happens when a guitar is 70 years old. My hand never goes anywhere near that bit of the neck and I don't expect anyone else's does either.

Price in a neck reset - these don't have truss rods by the way.

– knavel

Knavel, I'm not sure these don't have a truss rod. My '41, which was identical to the one you had, had a truss rod, but it was buried inside the neck and not accessible and therefore not adjustable. Might very well be the case with this old gal.

Given the price of the various parts, I'd say this is a steal of a deal. Neck separation at the heel is so clean it may very well have come that way.

23

My '41, which was identical to the one you had, had a truss rod, but it was buried inside the neck and not accessible and therefore not adjustable.

I should be more precise: Mine does not have an adjustable truss rod. Perhaps a "steel reinforced neck" as Dave states. Non adjustable to me is the equivalent of no truss rod at all!

To have an adjustable truss in 1941 I believe would have been grounds for a patent infringement suit by Gibson. I think the patent would have expired by the late 40s but I don't think Gretsch had adjustable trusses till well into the early 1950s. There are people in these parts more knowledgeable than I in this regard.

24

What the rule? If you keep getting good answers you’re required to make an offer?

If that's what you have to tell yourself to justify making an offer, then yes. It is an absolute, no-exceptions rule.

– Afire

Especially where it's not wishful thinking that the parts value should cover the asking price for a patient seller.

Funny that no one asked how mine sounded......

25

Especially where it's not wishful thinking that the parts value should cover the asking price for a patient seller.

Funny that no one asked how mine sounded......

– knavel

Well? I’m asking...belatedly.


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