Vintage Gretsch Guitars

PSA - guitar owners with vintage Dyna PU’s


For those of you that have beloved vintage Gretsch guitar models that retain their original Dearmond Dynastic pickups WITH the factory tortoise spacers... listen up.


Get those spacers out of there! Don't worry about "originality"... Paul Setzer can set you up with very authentic looking (nonvolatile) replacements. These are ticking time-bombs... and if yours look like this, the damage has already started!


Left unchecked, this will begin to stain your pick guard.


The stain on the underside of the guard comes off, and the lucite material is unaffected, but the metallic paint is gone leaving the evidence of the damage.


Yep! I have some on order right now.


My '55 Firebird has 'em and right now they look totally solid, but thanks for the heads up! I'll be ordering some for sure.


I've noticed that this happens a lot with the doubled up tortoiseshell ones for the bridge pickups; the single ply ones on the neck pup don't do this as often -- maybe something to do with the adhesive used. Don't know if this happens as much with the black and white ones, but plastic is always off-gassing -- so this is a great PSA.


I have some on a set of 53’s I’m saving for a project. Thanks for the heads up Ed—Always wondered what that stain was on those pickguard


Yes! I’m guessing the glue is reacting with the celluloid on my 55 Duojet well because it’s only a problem on the bridge pickup .


I believe that brother Curt has been schooling (get it... school!?) us on the fact that the binding rot phenomenon is an inside-out issue, with the adhesive acting as a catalyst. So... that makes complete sense that the sandwich of two spacers, with adhesive in the middle would create a situation that deteriorates faster.


I'm trying to PM him, but it's not working.


Never mind, I found his email adress from when he made a pickguard for me.


What you don't see from the outside is the green crud massively caked onto the the underside of the DeArmond pickups. The two guitars I've had with the undersides of the bridge pickups encased in corrosion had decidedly dull sounding bridge pickups. Maybe coincidence, but my limited experience leads me to believe that it's more than cosmetic. Ed is right, get rid of those spacers. Put them in a bag if you want to hold onto them, but they'll probably turn to dust there anyway. But better it happens there than on your guitar.



Are those ones yours, Ed?

I need to check which of mines are originals and which are Paul's.... hopefully all of them are Paul's....


Just got a pair from Paul. They look and fit great. Got them just in time. A little oxidation on the pickups, but it cleaned up ok. No green gunk on the underside of the pickups.

This is the old single layer one that was in the neck spot. The bridge may have already had a repro, but I swapped it out, too, just in case

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