Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Early Model 25, store-branded


Big thanks to the sharpies in this discussion group, I have finally clarified the model of my old Gretsch-made archtop, Model 25. It is branded "Tosi", which was a music store on Hanover Street in Boston's North End.

Also, thanks to this group, it seems the serial number, which is 170, is very early, possibly 1932. Holy Cow!

Am I right thinking that this one was made BEFORE Gretsch started putting their own name on instruments? My pix aren't great, but I can say that the first digit of the serial number looks like a 1, and not at all like the second, which is definitely a 7.

Can y'all confirm or deny my theory, please? I'd love to know.

Thanks PMac Guitar Slacker

PS- I am new to this forum: am I limited to one photo per post?


Here's the serial number pix


Yes that’s an early one... maybe late ‘32 or early ‘33. These are not the earliest Gretsch branded guitars. There was a “Gretsch American” line that came out in 1927 with a couple flat-top tenors and 6-string acoustics that were Gretsch branded.


Is the Tosi brand on the headstock and tailpiece? (Pix please?) The Bacon guitars were branded as such on both.


It actually is not Gretsch-branded. Headstock inlay (see pix) says "Tosi". Tosi Music and Sporting Goods was on Hanover Street in Boston's North end for most of the 20th century. They closed in 1999. In their window, you'd see accordions, mandolins, guitars, knives, soccer balls, and (so apocryphal rumors say...) an occasional gun!

It is, by the way, a great sounding archtop, punchy and clear with nice even tones from low to high.

PMac Boston


Super cool guitar, congrats! I have 131 which is Gretsch branded.


Welcome to all things Gretsch! Nice to see another vintage archtop in our 'family'.

Unless you have a link to a collection of photos, you can only add one photo per post, so just start another post and put up another photo.

What type and what gauge strings do you use?


Each photo that you upload from your drive must be accompanied by some text. So you might want to simply type a period (".") in the posting box.


Welcome to the GDP (Gretsch Discussion Pages), that's a lovely guitar, and Holy Cow is a very appropriate exclamation! How does she sound?


Nice Guitar Pat. As previously advised, One can of Gerlitz Guitar Wax will help that wood out immeasurably, and will be enough for 20 Guitars for about 10 bucks. I've got a Gretsch version of this one, it lives up at our Family Cabin. Set up properly, these have quite a voice as mentioned, they were created to play un-amplified with Orchestras after all. Have fun. It looks as though the tailpiece is unbranded. Does it say "Gretsch" on the tailpiece or not?


No "Gretsch" on the tailpiece. Just "Tosi" on the head.

As far as strings, I've been using D'Addario PBronze .011s or .012s. The guitar likes .012s, but my fingers like .011s. So far, I'm winning!



No "Gretsch" on the tailpiece. Just "Tosi" on the head.

As far as strings, I've been using D'Addario PBronze .011s or .012s. The guitar likes .012s, but my fingers like .011s. So far, I'm winning!


– patmcmac

While I use 10's on my other acoustics, for my '41 Synchro, I've gone with D'Addario 13-56 medium Flattops. These carved top vintage archtops won't respond properly to the light/extra light gauges.

BTW, Flattops are much easier on the fingers than regular round wounds.

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