Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Converting a convertible


and again (by the way Paul those look sharp)


I think the painters at work did a pretty good job They did paint it before I put the decal on...oops! but it's not the end of the world as I don't HAVE to have the gretsch logo on the pickguard Besides the paint is acrylic and a hot water bath should lift it right off. The colour is a little more metallic and slightly lighter than the original but still works.


Thanks. I realize this is becoming a one man thread(me) , maybe because a lot of people don't like to see this happen, but I think the old girl is enjoying the makeover. She sure is playing, sounding and looking beautiful. The switch is really supposed to be in the round part of the F-hole but I need to fiddle with the clear washer I made a little more.


Interesting way to mount the the f-holes so no holes get drilled in the top.

A beautiful guitar and a nice upgrade from the original one pup design. Your handmade Art Deco base and bone-topped bridge just adds to the beauty.....and a Bigsby always looks right.


Thanks Dave! I am aware you like to see controls mounted in the conventional Gretsch way and this isn't your thing, but this works for me for now. The switch is really the only one I use anyway and it will end up in the round end of the F-hole which is less of a visual impact as it doesn't break up the line of the F-hole that way. There is actually 2 small holes drilled in the top...AIIIIEEEE!. They holding the bridge hilotron on, no more two-sided tape!


Don't be surprised if your work here doesn't serve as a prototype for a future FMIC Electromatic iteration... a 17" wide Hilo Club.


Well despite the naysayers, hilotrons sound great in the Convertible , as well as my 60s Country Club and my Tennessean, though recently I've come to an appreciation of filtertrons as well. They don't sound too bad


Great job Bernie, I never doubted this thing would end up a real gem!



I like the location of the controls. Nice looking guitar.


Thanks. This is how it's supposed to be mounted. I made a clear soft plastic washer today that enables the F-hole trim detail to be seen. For rehearsal this eve I made a quick and sleazy lower profile brass tip to the switch. Less visual impact and not likely to get caught in a sweep of my picking hand. Worked great in rehearsal . I can still take another 1/16 to 1/8" inch of height of it.


I think these locations for the controls are a very clever alternate to drilling holes for 'normal' control locations. And the clear washers are an excellent idea as they camouflage themselves and control, allowing the binding to still be seen. Very clever indeed!


I'm liking the use of the clear bezels and controls. When the light hits them at certain angles they appear silver, at others clear. It has this cool subtle tone-on-tone effect. Your whole guitar gives me this "Huh? Cool!" response that most visual designers pursue.


Thanks! And especially thanks for your suggestion of the 57 style smaller thicker bezels. I tried the more common style pastic bezels (n clear too) and they looked like too big I like the approximate size of the Dearmond case on the original clubs. The bezels you suggested are a lot closer in size and seem to suit the hilotrons very well. Instead of just framing the pickups they transition from the top to the pickup nicely. I too noticed and appreciated the varying look. Sometimes they even seem pale gold when the top colour is seem through them. I'm very happy with the overall aesthetic right now. It sounds great too. I like the hilotrons with a 1meg volume control. Very clear.

I do have to rewire the old control unit from the convertible that I'm still using as it's got an intermittent problem (happened a couple times at home and once in rehearsal.) I can fix it by pushing on the tone pot from the back. I'm going to replace the old wax paper cap and 47 k resistor with smaller modern versions, clean the pots (more room to breath in there then) and replace the last of the old wiring as well to ensure there' s good connections everywhere.

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