Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Great looking recent vintage(?) G400 FS

1

It's a '91 so I figure it's a "newer" vintage, not the original from the '40's. I just ran across this on Reverb - don't know how I missed it sooner. I figured I'd post it here as there's been good interest of late of the (original) vintage Gretsch archtop acoustics and this might appeal to someone around here.

The condition appears essentially brand new and has the state of the art at the time, internal pup. And the price IMO, is pretty good for a high end archtop. It has great tiger striping in the back and sides and a spruce top. Here's the rub on the top. I don't know if the top is solid - as we've defined here as one solid piece of wood - or is in fact a laminate. Either way it's very pretty. One hang tag I found online only says the top is maple or spruce; no further description.

https://reverb.com/item/197...

2

Wish I had a use for such a thing.

From close inspection of the pictures, I don't think I'm going out on much of a limb in opining that it's a spruce top.

3

It's from '91, the same year as the one I had. The top is solid but probably pressed not carved. The price is still too high.

4

I think the price would be too high for a Synchromatic 100 without a pup set up but this seems a decent enough price, and there is a 'make an offer' feature. It's only improvement for me, would be having the cutaway and be blonde. I see a excellent quality from the photos and I have heard that Gretsch did make those era archtops with exceptional quality.

What price would you put on this one lx?

5

My flamed maple -- bookmatched sides and back -- with cutaway blonde G400C, sold for $1300 around 2003. It was an extremely well made, great sounding modern archtop. Better sounding/playing than the handfull of vintage Synchros I've tried -- and easy playing. But my dang left hand couldn't handle the scale length and the shape of the neck. If/when I have the bucks I would happily get a custom shop with a 24.5" scale and my preferred D shape neck. I know the top was solid as the grain stripes on top directly matched the ones on the inside. X-braced too with the shaving marks indicative of the top being hand-tuned. Sigh.

6

To be honest, this is probably a way better guitar than it’s vintage counterpart. I had a vintage one just like this. It was just ok.

7

Those are beautiful! I have a blonde G400C from 1992 and it's a nice guitar. Not as fat or boomy sounding as you'd expect judging by the looks of that big guitar. The neck is quite thin which is comfortable for me to play. The previous owner had a floating pickup installed and had a fretjob done by a luthier. I dislike the frets on that guitar since they're rounded off at the edges way too much as well as the binding. Refretting may be a challenge due to the rolled off fretboard.

8

I have one of those from 2013. It has a very, clear if not volume overwhelming sound. I got it cheap from another gretchpages member at $1000. I've been worried about a top split since I'm pretty sure that after FMIC the tops were indeed pressed.

I also own a 1992 G400CV. The top has not split.

There was a series of pictures when FMIC took over marketing and manufacturing from Gretsch that showed a G400 top being milled on a copy mill. These may have actually been carved solid tops.

Well, the top is indeed solid. I can't confirm it was carved. At $1,650 what's your better choice?

Lee

9

Hand carved is not the rule for most manufacturers. I got to tour the Santa Cruz Guitar Co. in the early '90's and they had a pantograph/roller set up to do their archtops which typically sell for $8K.

10

Gorgeous!!!

I'm sort of in a mode similar to that of Proteus, especially since I've bought a new 6120-55VS and a Martin D-42 within the last 7 months..... Trying to exercise self control.....

11

Perhaps one of the fellows around here who has seen the occasional vintage archtop show up will go after this one. We can never have too many Gretsch archtops in the family.

12

Speaking of which, while the X-braced non-cutaway listed on Reverb was not of interest to me (at this time), this thread did inspire me to pick up this '92 G400MCV instead, so thanks, guys!

13

Well congrats LT! Let us know your impressions once you've had a bit of time with this beauty.

14

Speaking of which, while the X-braced non-cutaway listed on Reverb was not of interest to me (at this time), this thread did inspire me to pick up this '92 G400MCV instead, so thanks, guys!

– Lacking Talent

I own the sunburst G400CV version of that guitar. I like it it very much.

Some things that were need to be done:

  1. The pots attached to the pick guard were not well isolated. So, sliding your fingers around the pick guard induced some static noise into the pickups. Lining the backside of the pick guard with copper foil fixed this problem.

  2. The guitar was delivered with 0.012" gauge strings with a plain g-string. When replaced with a set that included a wound g-string there was some buzzing on the 1st fret. I glued a thin shim in that nut slot to fix the problem.

  3. The tuners were all somewhat loose. Tightening them somewhat, fixed the problems.

I hope you enjoy this guitar as much as I have enjoyed mine.

Lee

Edited 6/11/19 "bridge slot" changed to "nut slot"

15

Thanks, Lee, the tuners on this example are somewhat loose!

16

Well congrats LT! Let us know your impressions once you've had a bit of time with this beauty.

– Windsordave

Will do!


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