Vintage Gretsch Guitars

What do you guys think of this ‘54 Synchromatic?


I've always been afraid to buy vintage guitars so I have little experience with them and don't know much about them. This one though caught my eye. It's a 1954 Gretsch Synchromatic, according to the seller. Is it a decent price? Does it look playable, etc.? I wish I could play it but it really interests me. What do you think?


If you have no experience with vintage guitars and the idea scares you a little, don't buy a vintage Gretsch sight unseen.


It's a Synchromatic 100 from the late '40's. Worn original condition with some binding missing. That strap peg on the bottom doesn't appear to be original, but I'm not seeing a hole for the usual plastic strap peg either. It is a rarer lighter sunburst that shows off the nice bit of flame on the back. Here's the catalog and a bit of Synchromatic 100 promotional stuff from '45.


Even in extremely good condition, IMO, this guitar isn't worth near the asking price. The kindest thing I can say about it's condition is that "it's been ridden hard and put away wet"....many times. Late '40's or early '50's, these archtops saw their features downgraded after the war. We can see the top is spruce but I tend to believe it's the top layer of a laminate, and not carved as the pre-war models were. Gretsch seemed bent on a cost cutting course after the war and by that time, laminating woods had been perfected by the wood trade and going into widespread use for tops.

IMHO, I'd peg this guitar at $250-300 tops, given the cost to fix it up and this is assuming no neck issues.

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