Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Vintage Gretsch guitars are basically working antiques in the making

1

There has been some discussion on neck resets and if they devalue or enhance your Gretsch. In my view these guitars require constant maintenace to stay active. What we have here are basically antiques. In another few years none of the people who made these guitars will be alive or the original wave of players either. I see it as an honour to have owned and maintained these guitars as at the end of the day we are all just custodians of these instruments. Play and enjoy them without a doubt but you have to make sure they are playable as best you can or they just become redundant. Nothing sadder than a guitar that is not played because it was not given a neck re set because the owner wants it to be 100% original. If you are not prepared to spend a bit of money on keeping them playing then buy a new one.

2

I agree, I think anything that is collected and subsequently never used is a waste and does dishonor to both the creator and the original intention of the device.

4

Amen for sure.

Makes me feel guilty I haven't started work on my van restoration yet :( Soon!!!

I intend to play my Gretsch till I die, and I sure as hell want to do everything I can to make sure it goes to someone who'll treat it the same!

5

I did a lot of work to my Tenny that made it less original but it is a MUCH better player because of what was done.

6

Hear hear.

The challenge for this generation and carrying forward is making sure that the "antique restoration" is done competently and with invasiveness strictly as required for the job at hand.

7

I had my Chet refreshed (re-wired, new nut, bridge, etc) about 18 months ago and asked at the time if the then 40 yr old 6122 needed a reset... Not yet, was what I was told, although several frets had to be replaced & most of the remaining originals dressed to a degree. But for now, at least, I have a few more years before I have to think about it.

My next issue may be binding rot. It has signs, but I am watching it closely.

8

Guitars in cases better be have a good reason to be there, like it belonged to Django or Eddy Cochran for example. If not, it becomes too much like my other pet peeve, trailer queen cars. The ones that get rolled off the trailer at the show and chances are there's not even pistons in the engine because they don't want any "dirty" oil in it.

9

My view?

We have an obligation to keep guitars in as original as possible condition for any special guitar. If a guitar needs new binding, neck reset, new nut, frets then do it it's all about maintance. Drilling extra hole is just stupid silly on so many levels. If you want the knobs to be configured like Gibson then buy a Gibson. We are caretakers for these old guitars and should feel an obligation to not only take good care but also use them and let others appreciate them for what they are.

11

I'm with Curt. I have a vintage Hagstrom that I play all the time. It's all original and I will never change a thing. When I have the dough I need to have the binding repaired and I fix the electronics when needed but that's it. She's a rare bird but I'm no gonna lock her away, I'm gonna play the heck of her.:D

12

Additional stuff, if you can't play it because something needs to be fixed or God forbid replaced then do it with as period correct parts that you can. I just spent twelve hours working with rotted wire where the outside case was good but the inner rubber stuff was dry rotted. You couldn't help but have a short so as in this case it was replaced with vintage period correct wires.

13

Someday Curt, you will be doing binding on my Hag.:D

14

Someday Curt, you will be doing binding on my Hag.:D

– Unclegrumpy

Someday Curt, you will be doing binding on my Hag.:D

– UncleGrumpy

Cool, whenever you're ready!

15

I agree with the trailer queen analogy, keep 'em running for as long as you can!

16

Someday Curt, you will be doing binding on my Hag.:D

– UncleGrumpy

Cool, whenever you're ready!

– Curt

Someday Curt, you will be doing binding on my Hag.:D

– UncleGrumpy

Cool, whenever you're ready!

– Curt

First I need to rob a bank or sell a kidney.:D

17

Here's an image of said wires...

18

The steward thing reminded of a bigger pet peeve. Every few years there's always a story about a Stradivarius instrument getting lost, like "Oops, I left it in a taxi" lost. What the Hell?

19

Without wanting to insult anyone, I think there's a good deal of semi-pompous blah blah blah about vintage guitars.

It's become fairly simple, because a lot of guitars have gotten SO expensive that you'd have to be very rich, or very stupid to make big permanent modifications to guitars that are in collector condition and worth a lot of money.

And the ones that aren't have become "players", and will forever be players - and thank God there are still plenty of those around, because I like playing vintage guitars, I love the sound and feel of them.

And I'll add that I think it's pretty funny that a lot of the same people who repeat the "caretaker" line are often very forgiving in the case of rock stars or virtuosos who make permanent modifications to vintage guitars. Setzer's stage 6120's have sperzels, zero frets removed, etc.., Neil Young's guitar was originally a goldtop without a Bigsby, Chet Atkins drilled pickups in the top of a D'Angelico, and that list goes on and on.... And in my mind, that still proves that music is still infinitely more interesting than guitars.

20

Without wanting to insult anyone, I think there's a good deal of semi-pompous blah blah blah about vintage guitars.

It's become fairly simple, because a lot of guitars have gotten SO expensive that you'd have to be very rich, or very stupid to make big permanent modifications to guitars that are in collector condition and worth a lot of money.

And the ones that aren't have become "players", and will forever be players - and thank God there are still plenty of those around, because I like playing vintage guitars, I love the sound and feel of them.

And I'll add that I think it's pretty funny that a lot of the same people who repeat the "caretaker" line are often very forgiving in the case of rock stars or virtuosos who make permanent modifications to vintage guitars. Setzer's stage 6120's have sperzels, zero frets removed, etc.., Neil Young's guitar was originally a goldtop without a Bigsby, Chet Atkins drilled pickups in the top of a D'Angelico, and that list goes on and on.... And in my mind, that still proves that music is still infinitely more interesting than guitars.

– WB

Without wanting to insult anyone, I think there's a good deal of semi-pompous blah blah blah about vintage guitars.

It's become fairly simple, because a lot of guitars have gotten SO expensive that you'd have to be very rich, or very stupid to make big permanent modifications to guitars that are in collector condition and worth a lot of money.

And the ones that aren't have become "players", and will forever be players - and thank God there are still plenty of those around, because I like playing vintage guitars, I love the sound and feel of them.

And I'll add that I think it's pretty funny that a lot of the same people who repeat the "caretaker" line are often very forgiving in the case of rock stars or virtuosos who make permanent modifications to vintage guitars. Setzer's stage 6120's have sperzels, zero frets removed, etc.., Neil Young's guitar was originally a goldtop without a Bigsby, Chet Atkins drilled pickups in the top of a D'Angelico, and that list goes on and on.... And in my mind, that still proves that music is still infinitely more interesting than guitars.

– Walter Broes

Neil Young's guitar was originally a goldtop without a Bigsby, Chet Atkins drilled pickups in the top of a D'Angelico, and that list goes on and on.... And in my mind, that still proves that music is still infinitely more interesting than guitars.

For music fans yes.

For us who love the 6 strings in all of their forms they are still as cool if not cooler than "after the goldrush" or "beggars banquet" (insert favorite recording title here).

21

The music is not always more interesting than the guitars but many of those mods were done before they were old. I've been unable to locate another '58 cad green club since forever and feel this one should be played forever. It had a G tailpiece and I wouldn't have installed the non period correct Bigsby if it didn't already have a set of holes for it and can easily be changed back. I'm talking about special guitars not necessarily old.

22

I prefer the theory of good maintenance and keeping it as original as possible. Yes, get the reset and other necessary repairs using correct parts and play and enjoy it. I initially hesitated on a reset for "original" reasons. But what good was a guitar that was not enjoyable to play? Finally had it done. Best thing I could have done.

That said, people here have done some incredible mods. Personally, I would rather do that with an Electromatic than with a Pro-Line. That's just me. There are some strong arguments/opinions for the mods as well.

I'm pro maintenance/keeping it original. Others are pro-modding. There's probably no clear right or wrong - just whatever works for us.

23

I will do whatever is necessary to make a vintage guitar that I have bought playable for me on the gig. Period. Otherwise why do I own it.

Also to be sure while most of my guitars are worth a million bucks to me they really ain't worth a dang an the "vintage/collectible" market. Hell most of them were beat to sh!t when I got em :D

25

"Precious" has a couple of meanings, but you can see how they're related. There's always going to be debate about what is right and proper when a utilitarian object takes on the emotional values of an art work over time. That's all well and good, and owners will no doubt make their own decisions. "Correct" can be a funny thing, though. Imagine if Victorians had known that the classical statues they copied so "correctly" in white marble were likely painted in garish colours when first made and erected? :)


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