Vintage Gretsch Guitars

What year is this Tennessean??


Hi, can someone help identify the year of this Tennessean?? Tried a s/n search already but could not find it. thanks.


What is the serial number? More pics?


Is there a badge on the headstock?


Looks like pre Baldwin knobs so 66 for before?


Is this guitar a closet find? It is super clean . . .

Can you post a photo of the headstock: front, back and top? That will be the best way to solve this mystery.


Looks like somebody filled two extra holes in the top near the switches.

I've only seen the four switch setup on stereo Gretsches, but I've never heard of a stereo Tenny.


Gretsch Tennessean between '63 and '67....... No plate on the headstock.......'63, '64, '65...... more or less


Stamped numbers on top of headstock or printed numbers on back of headstock.


Hi guys, s/n is 861199 here are more pics, it belongs to a friend who hasn't played it in a long time. just doing research on it. It does have the badge on the headstock and the serial number is stamped on the back.


August (8)1966(6) 1199th guitar made that month, if I'm doing the math right. Sounds about right with the Van Ghent tuners.


1966, well that's just Cool!! what about those extra holes near the switches? I've seen those before on another Tennessean, is that factory??


No. Not standard on any Tenny. Check and see if the wiring has been messed with. It should look like white lampcord but with three wires instead of two. You'll have to pull the pickups out and get a small flashlight.


Its not mine and probably won't get to it before next week sometime, but I will verify the wiring and take more pics. If there is anything else I should be looking for pls let me know, thanks


I have seen Gretsches with filled in holes from the factory. For example, they seemed to have an issue with drilling though the headstock for tuner holes around '57/'58. I've seen several examples like this. They just plugged/filled the holes. But I can't imagine them plugging two substantial holes on the top and sending it out.


I swear I've seen another one at least with the holes at the wrong place. Seems like these were drilled too close to the neck/pup instead of near the outer edge. Maybe a mistake?? from what I know, that is the original finish.


I am the original owner of a Tennessean built earlier that month. You can see it Here.

My guitar faded some during the years, a lot more red when new.

Other than the extra holes, it looks dead straight on original.

I think the extra holes were somebodies' experiment. It would be interesting to know if the pickup mountings were routed to fit Filtertrons or Humbuckers at some point.



Hi, Lee, appreciate the info. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get to it to determine if it has been tampered with, I doubt my friend will let me disassemble it, I will try. I don't want to mess it up, how do I remove the pup to look at the wiring? I was curious where exactly were these built? thanks


The HiloTrons were surface mounted. Underneath the neck pickup there's a slot about 3/8" wide and 1-3/4" long, with a section about 3/4" wide and 1" long in the middle.. To look at it, get the strings out of the way, then take out the screws on the pickup cover. You can then look at the slot.

In order to get the circuit, you have to pull all the components from this slot. Don't do this!

If there's a big cutout instead of the slot underneath the pickup, someone has tried some other pickups, and maybe decided that these pickups may have needed single vs. humbucker coil switches.

Tennesseans were all built in Brooklyn that year.



Remove the pickup screws and gently pull the pickup off without disconnecting . Use a small mechanics mirror and flashlight. You'll see what you need to without doing anything obtrusive or damaging.

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