Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Spectra Sonic


Does anyone know the neck depth and shape on this guitar?


All I can add is that the only one I ever picked up felt great in my big hands.


I don't know what you mean. I'm not trying to be a jerk, just had a question. If you were not entertained by the post, you could have just moved on.


Thanks. I'll keep looking.


What happened here?


Jen, two things:

  1. It is somewhat unusual for a buyer to ask for neck measurements. I wouldn't chase your tail trying to find out that information.

  2. This was a Gretsch manufactured Spectra Sonic, so the buyer can assume that this was a standard Gretsch professional line neck profile. I believe that the factories in Terada and Dyna Gakki made these guitars. The serial number would tell you which one. If the serial number begins with JT, it is from Terada. If it begins with JD, it is from Dyna Gakki. If from Terada, it almost without question would have the same neck profile as the other proline guitars which Taylor owned. If from Dyna Gakki, it may have a slightly beefier neck profile, but not a substantial one, in my experience.

EDIT: TV Jones' site suggests that the guitars were not built at the Dyna Gakki factory, but instead at the Fujigen Gakki factory. However, this particular guitar which is being sold has the JD serial number, which would confirm that it was built at Dyna Gakki.

Again, don't let someone run you around trying to find neck measurements. I question such a buyer's sincerity in his/her desire to buy the guitar. Sounds like more of a tire kicker to me, if you know what I mean.


Someone was calling me a jerk for asking the question. Thanks so much for the help Ric. I got the question on Reverb and didn't know how to answer.


Looking at the serial number, can you indicate which factory built it?

I should probably say that it is not uncommon for a guitar player to ask another guitar player selling a guitar what the neck shape is like. Most guitarists would be able to identify a C-shaped neck, or a D-shaped neck, or what some refer to as a baseball bat. But, it is unusual to ask for actual neck measurements to be taken, and particularly when the seller is not a guitarist.


Jen, most of us are happy to help and glad you are here asking questions and doing the diligence to be a more informed seller. Please don’t let a jerk chase you away. We try to ignore the trolls as much as possible.


Wow in the vintage Gretsch section.. ok, well remember this instrument is a Tom Jones of instrument that was licensed to Gretsch basically 5yrs if I recall. The first issues were not from japan at all, rather it was Hamer that was building these for Gretsch. American made lovelies w a fat neck.(the case here indicates a Hamer built baritone in the brown G&G case w crushed gold lining)

Then the production was moved to the japanese factories both JT and JD. I've had both models and I prefer the JD. Both necks are really small feeling compared to present build terada Gretsch. The terada's neck felt thin with too much round over at the edges of the fretboard and my high E would slide off the frets below the 5th. I do have a bad habit of fretting too hard and probably why it affected me more than others.I did combat it by moving up to 11g strings but overall the fretboard was slightly wider on the JD build. My current and third 05' Gretsch Spectra's neck is thin D shape neck (I want to emphasis Gretsch model, because Tvjones present Spectras have a much nicer neck, better feeling in the hand more C shape to me) and I feel the finish was done better on the Gretsch Spectras at the JD factory. the JT model to much overspray on the edges of the fretboards around the nut and it would chip off exposing the paint and do to excessive sanding at the fret edges there were almost concave spots between the frets giving a subtle scalloping thus creating too much roundover. Cant say their wasnt enough hand labor on these guitars but at least the JT I had wasnt done with the usual attention to detail we expect from Gretsch Terada. So the JD was and is the winner of the japanese gretsch spectras in my book. I still covet the Hamer model as I believe the neck is more true to what Setzer performed with in the Live in Japan video (Brian Setzer Orchestra) albeit a C melody baritone and completely mahogany body. Tom had built this for his friend Rich Modica, Setzer's then Guitar Tech..the man responsible for more than you and I realize both for Tom Jones, Gretsch Guitars, and Brian Setzer!! It was Rich who suggested Tom enter his filtertron bid in a blind taste test for recreating Brian Setzers vintage pickups, and Tom won. So Gretsch began a love affair w Mr Jones skill, craft, research and eye for perfection. (I'm a fan) And Rich Modica also resculpted Brian Setzer's stage sound. The tube choice in the Blonde Bassman and a then new, set of Celestion Vintage 30 speakers in the cabs and pulling out the fiberglass batting, moving to 12g speaker cabling,etc.. Rich was instrumental on so many levels there. (scroll to 27:35)

obligatory pics of my many faces of Gretsch Spectrasonic ownership:

my present Gretsch Spectra w Tom's new spectra pickups

So glad Tom is making these and I appreciate the upgraded ebony fretboard and maple tops along w the new fret markers! Love the Jones family as you know.:)

5 points for correcting my bahd spelling and grandma, I dont have time to fux it at the moment.. just wanted to share the junk in my head in a nanosecond or 3 :)


Cool story on the Spectra Sonic, Tavo. I was unaware of the history with Hamer and TVJones.


good stuff t!! glad you "poured" it all out!

that's a premier /vintage guitar article right there



Tavo. Where did you get/have made these pickguards? They are so cool!


Tavo. Where did you get/have made these pickguards? They are so cool!

– Bob Howard

I just scuffed up the stock pkguard and shot it with metal flake the same time I was painting pedal boxes. Roth Ruined Retina red on the early dynobrain as well as lime squeezer metal flake.

Register Sign in to join the conversation