Vintage Gretsch Guitars

I just inherited an old Gretsch, can anyone tell me about it?


Welcome As previously mentioned, You and your GrandPa made quite an entrance here. That Guitar you have right there is just about as good as it gets for vintage Gretsch enthusiast's. That's exactly like most people like to find them, well cared for and in need of a little love. I also think its wise of you to learn playing on a slightly less valuable Guitar and keep maybe that in mind for any youngster relatives involved. That Gretsch is a treasure, not only for your family, but historically, changes and all. It tells a story of a person that loved it and really cared about it. Please do have Curt or some other qualified Luthier give it a once over when you can. Thanks so much for sharing this with us all !


Grover Imperials are a big tuner, they’re likely upside down so they don’t hang off the headstock - they’re not meant for a 6120.


Nice looking guitar for sure, my fellow guitarist. I am brand new to this forum and my name is Ron Talley. I'll show you my Recording King. On the right is my electric. Sorry 'bout that. No time to recrop ya know?


Nice looking guitar for sure, my fellow guitarist. I am brand new to this forum and my name is Ron Talley. I'll show you my Recording King. On the right is my electric. Sorry 'bout that. No time to recrop ya know?


Proteus is giving sage advice about not changing things too much. I inherited a 1920's Gibson banjo, a 1960's Guild electric acoustic guitar and a 1972 Kentucky F style mandolin when my dear grandpa passed away. Grandpa liked to tinker with things, and had made a couple of modifications to the banjo and the guitar. There's no way that I ever considered reversing any of his modifications, they are what made these instruments his. The banjo had some playability issues that I needed to address, but that's all I did. As someone else mentioned, these are not just family treasures, these old instruments that are entrusted to to our stewardship, they are national treasures as well. They come from a bygone era, and can never be replaced. These instruments represent American craftsmanship at its finest, and the past individuals love and appreciation for them. My sincere condolences for the loss of your grandfather, I'm very happy that you are learning to play his beloved guitar.


Further to my earlier comment re keeping things/changing things; I absolutely agree with everyone's comments that the changes your grandad made are very unique to this instrument, and it would be no bad thing to retain these elements for the sake of family tradition.

My comments regarding getting it back to original really apply to a '57 that had reversible mods, rather than this particular guitar.


Welcome to the GDP. Boy, when you make an entrance, you really know how to do it!

You aren't going to need much money to deal with that guitar. Just get it set up well and replace the bridge with a rocking bar bridge. The preferred RBB around these parts is the Tru-Arc bridge, and the Serpen-tune model is a great one for proper intonation. But, a Gretsch RBB will be even better than that tune-o-matic bridge on there. A replacement bridge is less than $100. It is likely that anything at the nut would be fixable and would not require a new nut. But, even if it did, that again is not a very expensive bit of work.

Please do make sure that you enter the guitar into the GDP's guitar database. If you need help answering any of the questions, Tartan Phantom will help you complete the process.

Again, welcome.

– Ric12string

Yes, Fiendo-- please consider adding it to the database HERE.

It's OK if you don't know all the hardware details-- the main thing is to get the backstory, a photo and the serial number documented (there's an option to partially mask the serial number if you wish). I can tweak the details after the fact.

EDIT-- oh, nevermind, you've already done it! Many thanks from us archivist Gretsch fanatics!


A belated welcome, Fiendo!

You have what for many of us is The Golden Fleece! Congratulations and give it lots of love.

I tend to agree with others about not making changes other than, perhaps, the bridge. My vote would be a TruArc (bar or Serpentune) bridge. Otherwise.... let it ride. If you want to get THE BEST opinions from a luthier -- (as others have said) Curt Wilson/Old School Guitars is THE guy. I speak from personal experience.....


Change the bridge. That guitar is a dream guitar for most of us. Gorgeous!

Check in with Curt, there is no one better.

Welcome to the addiction.


I agree with changing the bridge. Tru-Arcs are fabulous as are Embiematic bridges, which are an improvement on the Syncrosonic bridge that I believe would have originally been on your guitar.


Original ‘57 equipment would have been the aluminum Bigsby bridge with a wood base.


Lovely guitar. Personally I'd leave that bridge on it and just replace the saddle. It's the pickguard I'd change or leave off entirely.

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