Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Need help identifying guitar

1

Just picked up an old Gretsch, but there's no model number and I can't seem to find another one that looks like it. Flat top acoustic. Round sound hole, no pick guard. No decoration around sound hole. White (probably originally) binding on soudboard and back. Dark wood top,sides and back (cedar? Mahogany?). No laquer, looks like oil finish. Steel 6 string. No logo on headstock serial number: 25419

I don't know how to upload pics or I would.

2

Also, looks like sealed tuning machines that have 'made in W. Germany' on them. But when I look closely on the headstock, it looks like there USED to be a different(2 screw) style of tuning machines.

3

Pics would help. You might only be able to post one per comment. Hit the camera icon above the post. It should direct you to your photos. Click the one that you want to show. You will see the image in the icon. Then click the add post button below.

4

Pics would help. You might only be able to post one per comment. Hit the camera icon above the post. It should direct you to your photos. Click the one that you want to show. You will see the image in the icon. Then click the add post button below.

– Baba Joe

Here’s one

5

Here’s one

– Johnson

Another one

6

There are persons more knowledgeable than I re the old acoustics. I would have thought something like model 6003 from 1965 (1957 serial number but one of the lost roll of 1000 that turned up in 1965 and was used then). But I'm at a loss to explain that top - it almost looks like a replacement. Tuners sound like replacements - you could add some more pics which might help.

7

It's a 1957 model 6003 Grand Concert. Check the 1955 catalog. Yours appears to have a mahogany top; usually they had spruce.

Edit: I agree with knavel: the top is most likely a replacement as the sondhole looks too large for factory work.

8

I have documented another model '57 6003 (Jimmie Rodger/Folk) flat-top acoustic in the #254xx batch. In fact it's the only guitar I've ever documented from this batch. Now that there are two confirmed examples, I would say it was at least a 50 units group. The 6003 model had a decal (or screen printed) "Gretsch" logo on the headstock, but if this guitar has been refinished, it was probably lost explaining why this one lacks that feature.

The body looked small to me in the photo, but perhaps the larger sound-hole is making it look smaller. I agree with the consensus that the top is not original.

9

Here’s one

– Johnson

Another

10

Here’s one

– Johnson

Another

11

Another

– Johnson

And another

12

And another

– Johnson

More

13

More

– Johnson

And more

14

And more

– Johnson

And more

15

And more

– Johnson

And more

16

And more

– Johnson

Last one

17

When I first saw pics of the body, i thought it might be a 3/4 scale. But now that I have it, it's just SLIGHTLY smaller than the typical Dreadnaught guitar. It sounds 'good', not awesome but I love the dark wood top. It has a bit of dive in front of the bridge with just a tiny bit of bridge lift. Before I fix those issues, I want to see the value in case it's worth more like it is or if it's better to repair it.

18

This guitar won't have a lot of "collectors" value at this point. If it was all-original and in great condition it might command a price in the range of $700-900. She's a "player" now, so feel free to do whatever you want to do to optimize the playability and tone. Enjoy!

19

You can watch the photo of the body from post #4 if you use the link below. I'm no expert but I say that is the original wood with the finish stripped. The top has some repairs and the (probably) original binding seperates slightly. That's typical Gretsch, I say.

http://gretschpages.com/med...

20

That's a repaired crack (parallel to the neck), isn't it?

21

Binding seperation?

22

One more thing: Colour often fools people. Do you really think that's mahogany? Could easily be stained after the repair work was done.

Here it is in b/w.

23

I’m not sure if it’s mahogany or not. It could even be cedar. It seems to be consistently colored all the way through when I look underneath however. I’m letting it humidify for the day. I will take a closer look at it this afternoon when I get back from work.

it’s certainly possible that this thing has been worked on in it’s history I need to repair a cracked brace on the soundboard to get it flat again. Then I’ll need to do a little bit of reset to secure the bridge as well.

However, it seems pretty solid for being as old as it is. I played it for a couple of hours last night and it was a pretty enjoyable time

24

One more thing: Colour often fools people. Do you really think that's mahogany? Could easily be stained after the repair work was done.

Here it is in b/w.

– sascha

Assuming this is in fact a model 6003... the specs for that guitar include a spruce top. Even if this guitar's top was refinished to a darker color, that grain doesn't appear to be spruce (to my eye).

There was a dark-stained top acoustic flat-top model, the Burl Ives signature (model 6004), but they didn't get the standard Gretsch label (as this guitar possesses). They also have an inlaid ring around the sound-hole. These guitars were basically specified to match the model 6003 with a 14.5" wide body, however there was a smaller version of these, the Burl Ives Jr. (model 6002) that had a body width of only 13-3/8, approaching more of a parlor size. They also received the "Burl Ives" style paper label.

What is the body width of the guitar in question?

25

Assuming this is in fact a model 6003... the specs for that guitar include a spruce top. Even if this guitar's top was refinished to a darker color, that grain doesn't appear to be spruce (to my eye).

I agree, Ed. It doesn't look like spruce to me either.


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