Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Prototype’ Super Chet

2

The serial number is 1-2127... which translates to Jan. 1972 (127th guitar made that month). Not sure where they are getting the 1971 attribution?

3

I thought binding rot was fairly rare by that time, with late 60s being the worst. Still too much for something in that shape.

Sometimes vintage dealers find something they think is worth a small fortune and soon find out.... no one gives a damn.

4

With all due respect to this dealer, he doesn't know his rear end from his elbow; his text about this guitar is sheer bull: This guitar is not a prototype. There was no lawsuit by Gibson against Gretsch for the headstock design. The headstock binding design was changed as a simple cost saving measure. This guitar, with the binding rot, is priced AT LEAST four times higher than what it is worth. All this selling pitch tells me is to stay away from this dealer. And if you look at his other Gretsch's for sale -- A Super Axe with a lot of finish checking for $2199 and a 1957 6120 for $19,499 I won't just stay away from this dealer, I will run away as fast as I can

5

This was discussed awhile ago here. I wrote and told the seller basically that he was full of $hit in his info on this guitar. That small change in the headstock tip for the first 7-odd guitars doesn't add any appreciable value to these guitars, particularly as the ones I've seen online have rot, decreasing their value significantly, just as for any other Gretsch in the same condition.

BTW, the date of this SC showing binding rot helps pin down when the glue used was changed. Mine is very early June '72 and hasn't a speck of rot. I figure this puts the change in the winter of '72, no?

6

Windsordave -- remember my Super Chet with the leprosy of binding rot is March of 1972. And yet I have a friend who has a dead bang mint Super Chet in sunburst which is also from January of 1972. Therefore, I think it likely that you are correct that the change of glue occurred in the winter of 1972, although that change was evolutionary but completed by the Spring of that year as some of the builders used the new glue (my friend's Super Chet) and some of the builders used up the old glue (my Super Chet) until they ran out of the old glue and switched over.

7

Windsordave -- remember my Super Chet with the leprosy of binding rot is March of 1972. And yet I have a friend who has a dead bang mint Super Chet in sunburst which is also from January of 1972. Therefore, I think it likely that you are correct that the change of glue occurred in the winter of 1972, although that change was evolutionary but completed by the Spring of that year as some of the builders used the new glue (my friend's Super Chet) and some of the builders used up the old glue (my Super Chet) until they ran out of the old glue and switched over.

– ewkewk

I always remember your poor SC coming down with the dreaded rot in a very short period of time. So sad. I agree with your proposed scenario regarding the glue situation....it makes the most sense.

8

Windsordave -- Another curious point about he binding rot on my Super Chet is that the binding inlaid on the guitar's sides is perfect. Which suggests the possibility to me that on my Super Chet two separate builders applied the binding: One using the crap glue applied to most of the binding and a second builder coming along later in the process and applying the binding to the sides using the good glue. Or maybe my guitar's builder ran out of the old glue while doing the binding and switched to the new glue for the sides. Which means that my Super Chet could very well be the last or one of the very last Gretsch guitars made with the crap glue and a definite time line can therefore be established with an end date as to when the binding rot on Gretsch guitars would be occurring.

9

Windsordave -- Another curious point about he binding rot on my Super Chet is that the binding inlaid on the guitar's sides is perfect. Which suggests the possibility to me that on my Super Chet two separate builders applied the binding: One using the crap glue applied to most of the binding and a second builder coming along later in the process and applying the binding to the sides using the good glue. Or maybe my guitar's builder ran out of the old glue while doing the binding and switched to the new glue for the sides. Which means that my Super Chet could very well be the last or one of the very last Gretsch guitars made with the crap glue and a definite time line can therefore be established with an end date as to when the binding rot on Gretsch guitars would be occurring.

– ewkewk

I think you're on to something as we know back in the day, one person didn't build an entire guitar, but rather did certain operations at their station and the instrument moved on. Would seem that our conclusion about the glue change happening in the winter is on point, although it wasn't sudden on one day but as the glue used got replaced.

10

It has occurred to me also that it's possible that, at least sometimes, one person bound the sides and somebody else applied the heel caps and the strips of binding that connect the top and back and used different adhesives. It would explain why those two locations are almost always where the rot starts. Or that different workers were free to use the adhesive of their choice, which would explain why some guitars of the same age have the rot and some have none at all.

11

I think the off-gassing that occurs around the cutaway is because there is a lot of binding in that area and the fumes gather and linger there inside a case. Contrast the f-hole binding that is open on both sides, which never seems to get rot.

12

Too bad the seller is delusional about the asking price as there's been a few members here show interest in this model from time to time but I can't imagine anyone is going to be ponying up that kind of coin for this one.


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