Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Single Filtertron Country Club

1

This just popped up on Reverb. I've seen a very clean one before (with traditional wiring too, but that's a big IIRC) but that was a late '50's example. This one is sn#69248. Too bad about the binding rot, but for $1200 it may be a good deal for someone.

2

There are a few threads about this guitar, someone even bought it and returned it.

I'm intrigued enough that if I'm down there I will go see it. I had planned on going down this month, but life.

http://gretschpages.com/for...

3

Would make a good mule to turn it into a 'real' CC.

4

I have seen clean single Annies for as little as $900... great guitars if they are hanging together ok. Although it has been a while...

5

Weird smaller upperbout in this era, stilll a decent value, but not supercollectable. This one appears to have the neck fitted slightly off centerline, and binding rot, unfortunately not uncommon.

6

Getting into deep minutiae, it's not the single pickup that intrigues me about this guitar. It's the neck joint. Notice the dowel on the back. It's a mortise and tenon joint. The shallow and wide curved heel (reaches all the way to the cutaway, unlike the standard dovetail heel) also points in this direction.

It's always been my belief that Gretsch kept the traditional dovetail joints on full depth hollowbodies. Anything 2 1/2" deep or deeper got the dovetail which has the screw going through the heel. Anything 2 1/4" deep or thinner got the mortise and tenon joint with the screw in the cutaway or on the back. And combing through the internet, I can't find any other examples of full depth archtops with the screw in the back. I also can't find any in natural, so that makes it a little harder to say with certainty. But I think this one is indeed an anomaly. Maybe they found an early '61-'64 neck in a dusty corner and decided to use it up on this custom order.

The custom '69 in question:

A couple of '68s which, while sunburst, I think you could see the dowel if it was there and they have standard small heels:

7

Not exactly sure how deep the Van Epps model was, but I remember seeing one with the dowel on the back like this. Here's a link to a 68. Scroll down the page a bit. https://reverb.com/item/147...

9

Hard to say how deep it is, but looks to me like 2.5" or more?

10

The Van Eps is at least 2 1/2" deep, so by my previous rule of thumb should have had a dovetail joint. But by my new rule of thumb, it makes sense. Casting a wider net beyond Clubs to all archtops, I found a couple of Anniversaries that may explain it.

April, 1968, dovetail:

August, 1968, mortise and tenon:

It appears to me that Gretsch may have abandoned the dovetail joint altogether on archtops sometime between April and August of 1968. So, before mid/late 1968 anything 2 1/2" deep or deeper got the dovetail joint and anything 2 1/4" deep or thinner got the mortise and tenon joint, and by late '68, they may all have been mortise and tenon. Which is probably a good thing. I think the mortise and tenon joints, sloppy as they often were, are less prone to failure. I guess if you can't cut a clean neck to body fit, then at least the greater gluing surface of the mortise and tenon joint helps.

11

All this sounds logical to me. And my guess is they moved the dowel screw to the back, so it pulls the neck down into mortise, whereas the cutaway dowel screw would not.

12

All this sounds logical to me. And my guess is they moved the dowel screw to the back, so it pulls the neck down into mortise, whereas the cutaway dowel screw would not.

– JazzBoxJunky

It does make more sense there. The cutaway screw goes all the way through to the other side of the block. I suppose it'll keep the neck from falling out entirely, but that's about it. Not that pulling from the back would be much more effective. It seems like all they really accomplish is making a reset that much more complicated.

13

I briefly played this guitar yesterday. It felt so much like my '63 CC it was spooky.

The rot is really bad on the back.

What would this guitar be worth restored?

14

I briefly played this guitar yesterday. It felt so much like my '63 CC it was spooky.

The rot is really bad on the back.

What would this guitar be worth restored?

– hammerhands

You were in Burnsville?

Lee

15

IIRC ballpark estimate for a rebinding job is $1K. You might only get what you put into it as a novelty one-off one pickup model. Now if it came factory with three-pickups....

16

You were in Burnsville?

Lee

– Lee Erickson

I made a day of it.

I was trying to wake up really early, like 4am, I was going to have Bison Bennedict at Hell's Kitchen, see as many guitar shops as possible and have dinner in Fargo.

Unfortunately I couldn't get to sleep, didn't set off until 9am. Grand Forks at 11, Minneapolis at 4:30pm. I did go to Riff City, where I was accused of stealing a shirt, The Podium, had a nice conversation with Jim, Twin Town to try a 6121 and MGR Burnsville. Back to Fargo at 10:30, tried Rhombus Guys Pizza, which was pretty good, at the border at 3:00am, stopped by work, got home at 5:00.

17

IIRC ballpark estimate for a rebinding job is $1K. You might only get what you put into it as a novelty one-off one pickup model. Now if it came factory with three-pickups....

– lx

It's going to be $150 or $200 for a Bigsby...$2200 in...

18

Sorry if my post seemed hostile hammerhands. I'm almost next door to MGR and wanted to confirm that guitar was still there.

Lee

19

It didn't seem hostile before the last post.

20

Interesting info on the neck joints! I know Neil Young's 1961 6120 has the screw/dowel inside of the cutaway. BTW, It's not really a dowel. It's decent size cabinet screw and the top of the hole is recessed for the screw head and a 1/8" piece of round plastic covers the heads and fills the hole. Can we stop calling it a dowel please?

21

Didn't know that's plastic. I always assumed ebony.

22

Didn't know that's plastic. I always assumed ebony.

– sascha

Everyone I've pulled out was plastic, maybe Bakelite, but some sort of synthetic material that's about a 1/16" to 1/8" thick.

23

IIRC Dan Duffy called the "heel dowel" a "neck lock"; I don't think Gretsch advertised them (at least not in the '58 catalog) as it would point out that they were trying to fix a problem that shouldn't have existed. I have a feeling that the "heel dowel" term will stick around like when people say tremolo instead of vibrato. Interesting that they used plastic instead of wood.

24

I may be wrong but it's not plastic, maybe a lacquer burn in stick?


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