Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Calling Vintage Experts - Custom Color Double Anniversary - value?


Hi all - first time poster here, long time poster on many other gear forums! Looking to get some expert opinions on a guitar I’ve been offered in trade - it’s a 61 Double Anniversary in White, but for the life of me I can’t find another one like it - was gretsch known to make custom colors like this? Any ideas on value - any help and thoughts on valuing this would be great!

Does it all look good or does anything look off?


Patent applied for, Filtertrons in 1961?


Yeah, should be Hilotrons. Serial maps to '61.


Yeah - I thought about that for 61 with Filtertrons - bridge also looks like a tune-o-matic (though its feasible this could have been changed over the years).

Possible (?) also that the pups could have been leftovers from prev year


Extremely doubtful. Hilos had been in place for the 1960 model year.


Which, don't get me wrong here, would be way cool if they are legit 50's filters. Similarly, would have come with a roller bridge and G cutout tailpiece. If thats an old bigsby, its a plus as well.


As for colour, it could be a very faded green; I've seen some odd shades. As has been pointed out, 1961 (or late 1960) saw the introduction of Hilo'trons on Anniversarys; serial number puts it in 1961, so check for routing under the pickups; the Hilo route would not be large enough for Filter'trons. I assume it has no bracing other than the parallell bars running along the underside of the top and not trestle bracing or a sound post. Bridge is not original (no big deal) and the Bigsby was probably added; a plus for most folks.It could be a sweet guitar with those PAF Filters regardless. As usual, check neck set, fret wear, and binding; those all affect value. Difficult to put a dollar value on it without knowing the status of the above. If it needs a neck reset, refret, and binding replaced, you're looking at shelling $1500 (ballpark) for those.


I think that Journeyman is correct. I’ve seen some really faded and smoke and sweat stained Annies at guitar shows and think that this one may fall into that category. Also, could the dark pickup surrounds be covering some not so neatly enlarged holes?


I could conceivably see the top being extremely faded green, but it's the same color on the back and sides, so it's not a faded stock 6118.

Gretsch would indeed do custom colors for a price. Could this be one? I don't know. It seems that it would be awfully hard to verify, particularly given the current state of the finish.

As far as the pickup go, I'll wait to hear about the bracing...


Thanks for the responses so far

So what should I be looking for re: the bracing?


Your guitar was previously owned by a member of this forum ("spam deluxe"). It's a '61... I doubt the filters are original, and I'm even more skeptical about the black bezels around them.

You asked about value. Condition is always a factor with vintage instruments and the condition on yours is rough. Gretsch did do custom colors, and I owned a white Annie (depicted)... but people usually want their Annie's to be the popular 2-tone green, so the custom color doesn't always translate to value. Mine was a '66 model year, all original... I believe I sold it for $1700 a couple of years back.


Thanks for the responses so far

So what should I be looking for re: the bracing?

– mikeowen17

Bracing info would be interesting... and I'd like to see the butt end, to verify if the Bigsby tail-bracket is the '60/61 style or the later (shorter) style.


Never mind... I just checked my records and have some pix of your guitar from the previous owner. Here's the Bigsby tail-bracet. It's a legit '60/61 vibrato.


I didn't know they were relic'ing guitars that long ago.


I didn't know they were relic'ing guitars that long ago.

– Proteus

LOL! If it was “smoke green” it would shown under the pickup bezels. The finish from the photos looks legit. But almost anything can be faked these days..


Didn’t the Anni’s starting in ‘61 have binding on the neck and the pre ‘pre Hi-Lo’s had ebony fingerboards.


That’s awesome - thanks for digging these out!

It ain’t my guitar (yet) trying to figure out how much to offer for it in a trade scenario. Not sure I am any the wiser yet - so are we thinking that finish looks legit? In some ways the arm wear on the front looks a little like a ‘relic’ finish - but on the other hand I have a 63 Strat that is worn a similar way (and is most definitely original!)


There was one in the garage sale section in similar condition with some pedigree. Asking price was around $1400 shipped. Same mods and maybe same year etc. the one you posted has a harder to find Bigsby. If you can confirm the filtertons are in fact PAFs, you can add several hundred more for the parts. In the end, the binding and neck set will should be the deciding factor on price.

It’s not as nice a piece as your refinished Tele. Nor will it be as collectable/desirable.


The bridge pickup, bezel and all, seems to be on some sort of riser?

As far as what to look for on the bracing, what we're wondering is if it has trestle bracing, which looks like this:

If it did, then that raises the possibility that it is earlier than the serial number suggests, the FilterTrons are original, and perhaps it went back to the factory, maybe for a custom finish, and was given a new serial number. Seems implausible, but I believe there have been examples of guitars being renumbered after factory work has been done.

If it has regular parallel bracing, that would pretty much confirm that it is a '61 and would have originally had HiloTrons.

Of course, given that you don't have the guitar, you can't check the bracing, but maybe the seller will.

And as others have said, PAF FilterTrons are worth more than regular ones. Not for any magical tonal mojo, IMO, but if you're restoring a '58-'60 Gretsch that needs them, then there's no substitute. And I do think they're the real deal. Those covers are legit, not TV Jones replicas. Same goes for the Bigsby. Somebody out there has a '59-'61 6119/6120/6122 missing its original Bigsby who would pay a premium for that.


I have seen Anniversaries in all black and all white - they never seem to bring much more than a normal one.


Just FYI... the #421xx batch is a documented group of '61 Annies so this isn't a one-off.

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