Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Who knows


From what I'm seeing, Tommy's doesn't have this protrusion. Out of curiosity, can you verify this one way or the other?


Yes... we know this guitar. I have pix in my records. Very nice example of the '52 model year iteration.


That's guitar is in amazing condition. When I first saw the thread I thought it was about a new Who album. Who Knows would be a great title for a Who album now that Roger and Pete are seniors.


Such a beautiful guitar. A truly classic look. Congratulations on a great find.


Lovely My favourite Gretsch. A Blonde Electro 2! Feel free to leave it to me in your will or better yet give it to me now! Very envious!


From what I'm seeing, Tommy's doesn't have this protrusion. Out of curiosity, can you verify this one way or the other?

– Windsordave

Actually Dave, you can clearly see that the guitar Mr emmanuel is playing has a proper slender archtop heel like this guitar. I have both sorts and I've never found it to be a problem either way myself. This is a beautiful guitar of which the owner is undeniably proud, try not to dwell on what you perceive to be it's faults.


Wow. That's a beautiful bird.

If you would, please be so kind as to add it to our database HERE. If you encounter any difficulties, just send me a message.


It is beautiful and like so many vintage Gretsches, unique. No slight intended.


Beautiful aul geet sir!

A friend of mine has/had 2 of them ,a 52 and a 53.


Well that's just ridiculous.


That is beautiful. I love the stinger. Please tell us her back story--how & when you got her. Welcome. You'll like it here. Olivia Anne


Gorgeous! I think most of us just became jealous.


Windsordave -- I know you have this thing about where the neck joins the cutaway -- is it flush with the cutaway or not. Well, I thought I'd take a look at my 1954 Constellation to see how much of the guitar hangs out over the cutaway and -- much to my surprise -- the cutaway and the neck are flush. The neck does taper -- it is a dovetail joint with no hidden screw covered by a dowl -- but where the neck joins the body, the cutaway and neck are flush with one another. And the funny thing is, your Fleetwood should have been cut from the same template as my Constellation since the guitars both have identical size specifications, so I'm a bit puzzled that you have that funny cutaway.


That is odd indeed. The only thing I can offer, although without any explanation as to why it would matter, is that the Fleetwood is a carved top and the Constellation was a laminate. The Fleetwood, & it's cousin the Eldorado which was the only other model with a carved top, were made by the most skilled luthiers and were not part of the regular production. That fact alone should have produced the best results, but also could mean they were old school in their approach to building and not familiar with what was done with other models. That could very well be a real stretch but we just don't know what the thinking was at the time.....don't think we'll ever know.


I don't think that's the explanation. Many (perhaps most?) laminate top electrics in the very early '50s had that cutaway.


Wow, doesn't look like Gretsch was using a template for the location of the lead pickup on those Electro II's huh? From the photo's in this thread, it almost looks like all of them have the bridge pickup in a different location, the guitar in the OP having one that sits unusually close to the neck.


Windsordave: is this clear enough?

– Richard Baguley

Obviously with these several examples, Gretsch used this wacky construction method for this "hand-catcher" model for a few years.

My question is and always has been, if this "feature" was regarded as acceptable back then, why did they do away with it and make the cutaway flush with the neck? Why haven't we seen "handcatcher" models since the mid-'50's? Just asking the question.


Cutaways had been out for only a few years by the mid-fidties. Gretsch was probably beginning to get criticism from players who were just starting to explore the upper fretboard. The electric guitar had been out for several years before Charlie Christian figured out what you could really do with them.


I'm surprised at your photo, it's really this guitar. Do you know any history of this guitar?


It makes sense that a push for change would come from the end users. Maybe a veiled threat to switch to Gibson cutaways which I don't recall seeing having this style of design/construction, the Super 400 coming to mind.


Ed Ball, aka kc_eddie, has written two books on Gretsches. But he has his hands full just keeping track of serial and model #'s and dates and changes. You probably have more info on the guitar. When and where did you get it?


kc_eddie_b 2 days ago he wrote

(Yes... we know this guitar. I have pix in my records. Very nice example of the '52 model year iteration.)

I've given you an issue, kc_eddie_b , maybe you know from where the picture is. I do not know anything about the guitar, the previous owner passed away.

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