Vintage Gretsch Guitars

What do I have?


That paperwork has nothing to do with your guitar.....good for nothing. That headstock is the famous 'lightbulb' shape and the tort binding is from the pre & war era. I have that on my '41 Sychro 100. If this is a model 300 it should have a white/black binding on the guard. As for the split block inlays, that along with the catseyes was a feature of those years' top models. The only models I know that had it later were the custom only ordered Fleetwood and Eldorado into the mid '50's. A strip of yellow was between the blocks.

With the headstock shape and neck inlays, I believe this to be a '40's vintage guitar that's been modified with the pup and pots. The early base and saddle were the Art Deco shape. Gretsch went to the straight version around the end of the war. It should have a S/N stamped into the tip of the headstock if pre or war era, and have a carved top; label after that.

Great looking guitar, Gibson pup notwithstanding.


Thanks for the clarification. The paperwork was with the guitar. Obviously not knowing much about it, I figured it be best to show everything I have. And there is a picture of the tip of the headstock.


That guitar looks like a natural finish model 160 Synchromatic. It is seven digits older than my 160 (1831). I think we determined that it was a 1939 year model.

I couldn't help noticing your instrument has replacement Van Ghent tuning machines. Gretsch started using these on their guitars around the mid-1960s. Your guitar probably originally had Grover Sta-tite machines.


My Synchro is 2301 and Ed determined it to be late '41 so I refer to it as my Pearl Harbor guitar Ours share the natural finish, aged to a nice honey blonde and tort binding. Yours should be between mine and duojet's, closer to his of course. The non-reversible mods affects value but looks well done. A wonderful pre-war Gretsch.


Serial # would relate to Sept of 1966. There’s no such thing as a Gretsch sequential serial number that starts with 9xxxx. Are we sure that warranty certificate is original to the guitar? Cats-eye sound holes weren’t a 60s thing. The head-stock, inlays, and body contour are pre-war for sure. Crowbone is correct... there should be a serial number stamped into the tip of the headstock.

– kc_eddie_b

Maybe it ended up in another Gretsch case that happened to have its original paper.


The serial # is 1824... puts it circa 1941.


Absolutely beautiful guitar. It does seem that the case candy is from a different guitar. Those cards alone are probably quite desirable among collectors!

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