Vintage Gretsch Guitars

What do I have


Could it be a model 100, just one step up from the 75 because it's a natural finish? Not much difference between the two models aside from designation: Orchestra vs Spanish. This guitar is the twin to my 100 save for two features: My headstock is the early script Gretsch logo with Synchromatic below it, also in script. My tuners are brass, and the tailpiece gold plated.

Dating this particular guitar, comparing S/N's puts it somewhere in the summer/fall of '41. The floral headstock predates adoption of the script logo.

Tartan's and mine are literally identical and a wee bit later than this model. Ed identified mine as a late '42 build and it's S/N is 2301. Tartan's S/N is a bit lower than mine IIRC.

Following the war, several archtop features became much less ornate/lesser quality: plastic tuner buttons, plain bridge/base, no tortoise binding available, headstock not bound, and eventually, tops not carved, but laminated.


Shape of the headstock is different: this is the Gibson style like the 75; the pre-war Synchro 100 has the Paul Pigat headstock. I have a feeling all these details were much more fluid and transitional than post-War guitars.


And FYI, I'm going by the 1939 catalog. Other than the color scheme, it looks to be a near perfect match to the Synchromatic Model 75. The only other discrepancy I can make out is that the end of the fretboard is straight while the catalog illustration is contoured. But again, there's no mention of a natural finish, and seeing as how natural finishes often come at a premium (better looking wood is selected for them) and the model names were based on the introductory prices, it is entirely possible that that natural version of the 75 had a different number, maybe the 80 or 85, and it's just not in the catalogs that we know of.

– Afire

I think if you look closely you'll note that the headstock on the Op's guitar (floral motif) is different than what you've posted from the model 75 from the '39 catalog. I'm away from my "records" for another couple of days, and will expand on this upon my return.


You're right, the floral inlay is different. It's actually the inlay shown in the 1936ish brochure on the Model 65:

Still, just about everything else about it is more like the 75.


And if that's not confusing enough, the inlay on the 1939 Model 75 is the same as the inlay on the 1936 Model 100.

And people gripe about the '50s and '60s specs being hard to pin down.


Is it going to be for sale?

– Proteus

I'm not sure. I've been thinking about it though.


Yeah... the inlay shown on the Synchro model 75 catalog illustration is this...


As mentioned... the period from '40-42ish we find many examples with mixed features from AO models and Synchro models. It's super confusing!


I'm not sure. I've been thinking about it though.

– ksanchez

I’d be interested. Where are you located?


I'll bet most everyone here is interested...

OMG what a beauty.


I'm just wonderin', with all the great comments and interest in this guitar, why wasn't there the same interest in Knavel's Synchro - the triplet to mine and Tartan's guitars - back awhile ago when it was for sale here for an excellent price?? He said straight up that it needed a neck reset, which added to his price, would still bring it in for ~$1000 and IMO, that's a very reasonable price for a quite rare vintage archtop guitar with a solid carved top, reset solid neck and as gorgeous as it gets in the natural finish with full tort binding.

I'd peg this guitar at the high end of the grading value shown in DR's post #24.

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