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Guru's Gretsch Guide

The Guitar Guru sorts out the seven most fashionable Gretsch semis and tells you everything about them


Deeply, deeply fashionable are Gretsch guitars, but do you know your arch from your Nashville? Making Music tabulates away to identify the eight most popular models. Research by Bacon and Day.

EXCLUSIVELY for Making Music readers, we present here the Gretsch Chart of Posers' Models. We've narrowed down the currently fashionable big bodied Gretsch semis, as you can see in the table.

Despite the huge sums demanded for these seven deeply fashionable items, you shouldn't necessarily have to pay a fortune for a Gretsch. There is a multitude of Gretsch also-rans. None have equal pose value, but there are such delights as the attractive small-bodied solid electrics from the 1950s and 60s - say the Duo Jet, the Jet Firebird, and the Corvette (which'll set you back between about £250 and £500 each these days).

There's also the distinctly less attractive TK, Committee, and Beast solids from the 1970s but these are definitely not sought after, even by the most desperate Gretsch lover. There are other semis, too. Some are deemed less fashionable than the smashing seven - the single pickup Anniversary or Tennessean, for example - but still fetch fairly high prices. Others have less appeal unless you really feel you have to own a Gretsch semi, in which case you might just be tempted by something like a 1970s Broadkaster.

Still the Posers Seven reign supreme, however, and no doubt the current surge of so-called 'new country' music will do them no harm at all. It's difficult sometimes to justify the dosh being asked for them - but that's supply and demand for you. Certainly we'd praise the necks and pickups of these models, though we're not quite so sure about the resilience and general construction of some of the bodies. But who are we to question fashion? Careful now.

Viking
White Falcon


Tennessean
Nashville





Gretsch Guide

NAME1 MODEL NO.2 MADE QUICK DESCRIPTION IDENT. FEATURES PRICE THEN S/H NOW
ANNIVERSARY (DOUBLE) 6117 sunburst
6118 two-tone smoke green

7560
1959-72


1972-75
Two pickups; single cutaway; real f-holes; chrome hardware. 1950s models Filtertron pickups; 1960s and 70s models Hi-Lo Tron pickups. 'Two-tone smoke green' (as on model 6118) unique to Anniversary series (pale green body front, darker green back and sides, mucho distinctive). '59 $285
'62 £138
'75 £343
£500
COUNTRY CLUB 6192 sunburst
6193 natural
6196 Cadillac green

7575 sunburst
7576 natural
1955-72


1972-75
Single cutaway; real f-holes; gold-plated hardware. 1950s models Dynasonlc pickups; 1960s and 70s models Filtertron pickups. Large, 17in body (measured across widest part). '55 $400
'62 £238
'77 £320
£750
COUNTRY GENTLEMAN
(Chet Atkins Series)
6122
7670
1959-72
1972-78
Filtertron pickups, 'thumbnail' f-board markers, gold-plated hardware, Bigsby vibrato. 1959-62 I c/a, fake f-holes; 1962-70 2 c/a, fake fs; 1970-78 2 c/a, real fs. '59 $525
'62 £265
'72 £478
'78 £629
£750
HOLLOW BODY
(Chet Atkins Series)

NASHVILLE
(Chet Atkins Series)
6120

6120
7660
1955-67

1967-72
1972-80
Gold-plated hardware; Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. 1950s models single cutaway, Dynasonic pickups; 1960s and 70s models double cutaway, Filtertron pickups. First-issue single cutaway Hollow Body had G 'cattle brand' logo burnt into body (this is the ultimate Gretsch for posers). (HB) '55 $385
'62 £224

(N) '72 £401 '78 £605
50s I c/a £1500+ others 2 c/a £750
TENNESSEAN
(Chet Atkins Series)
6119

7655
1962-72

1972-80
Two pickups; single cutaway; Hi-Lo Tron pickups; chrome hardware; Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. 1962-70 fake f-holes; 1970-80 real f-holes. '62 £162
'72 £335
'78 £532
£500
VIKING 6187 sunburst
6188 natural
6189 Cadillac green
1965-72 Double cutaway; real f-holes; Supertron pickups; gold-plated hardware. Thumbnail fingerboard markers to 12th fret, four single-dot offset markers in higher positions (with marginally slanted frets "for perfect high note intonation"). '65 $675
'77 £450
£750
WHITE FALCON 6136 mono
6137 stereo
7593 single cutaway mono
7594 double cutaway mono
7595 double cutaway stereo
1955-72
stereo added 1959
1972-80
Gold-plated hardware. 1955-62 single cutaway, Dynasonic pickups. 1962-72 double cutaway, Filtertron pickups. 1972-80 single and double cutaway versions, Filtertron pickups. White! Gold glitter trim. Falcon logo on pickguard. Stereo version has multitude of knobs and switches. (mono) '55 $600
'62 £355
'78 £1008
(stereo) '62 £442 '78 I c/a £821, 2 c/a £970


1 Almost always inscribed on either the headstock or the pickguard
2 Should be on paper label, either inside top f-hole, or inside control cavity (through plate on back)

DYNASONIC 1950s De Armond: single, centrally-placed row of polepieces
FILTERTRON Twin row of polepieces, 1950s on.
HI-LO TRON Single offset row of polepieces, top black insert, 1960s on.
SUPERTRON Mid 1960s on.



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Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

 

Making Music - Jun 1987

Topic:

Buyer's Guide


Feature by Tony Bacon, Paul Day

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Gretsch Guide

NAME1 MODEL NO.2 MADE QUICK DESCRIPTION IDENT. FEATURES PRICE THEN S/H NOW
ANNIVERSARY (DOUBLE) 6117 sunburst
6118 two-tone smoke green

7560
1959-72


1972-75
Two pickups; single cutaway; real f-holes; chrome hardware. 1950s models Filtertron pickups; 1960s and 70s models Hi-Lo Tron pickups. 'Two-tone smoke green' (as on model 6118) unique to Anniversary series (pale green body front, darker green back and sides, mucho distinctive). '59 $285
'62 £138
'75 £343
£500
COUNTRY CLUB 6192 sunburst
6193 natural
6196 Cadillac green

7575 sunburst
7576 natural
1955-72


1972-75
Single cutaway; real f-holes; gold-plated hardware. 1950s models Dynasonlc pickups; 1960s and 70s models Filtertron pickups. Large, 17in body (measured across widest part). '55 $400
'62 £238
'77 £320
£750
COUNTRY GENTLEMAN
(Chet Atkins Series)
6122
7670
1959-72
1972-78
Filtertron pickups, 'thumbnail' f-board markers, gold-plated hardware, Bigsby vibrato. 1959-62 I c/a, fake f-holes; 1962-70 2 c/a, fake fs; 1970-78 2 c/a, real fs. '59 $525
'62 £265
'72 £478
'78 £629
£750
HOLLOW BODY
(Chet Atkins Series)

NASHVILLE
(Chet Atkins Series)
6120

6120
7660
1955-67

1967-72
1972-80
Gold-plated hardware; Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. 1950s models single cutaway, Dynasonic pickups; 1960s and 70s models double cutaway, Filtertron pickups. First-issue single cutaway Hollow Body had G 'cattle brand' logo burnt into body (this is the ultimate Gretsch for posers). (HB) '55 $385
'62 £224

(N) '72 £401 '78 £605
50s I c/a £1500+ others 2 c/a £750
TENNESSEAN
(Chet Atkins Series)
6119

7655
1962-72

1972-80
Two pickups; single cutaway; Hi-Lo Tron pickups; chrome hardware; Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. 1962-70 fake f-holes; 1970-80 real f-holes. '62 £162
'72 £335
'78 £532
£500
VIKING 6187 sunburst
6188 natural
6189 Cadillac green
1965-72 Double cutaway; real f-holes; Supertron pickups; gold-plated hardware. Thumbnail fingerboard markers to 12th fret, four single-dot offset markers in higher positions (with marginally slanted frets "for perfect high note intonation"). '65 $675
'77 £450
£750
WHITE FALCON 6136 mono
6137 stereo
7593 single cutaway mono
7594 double cutaway mono
7595 double cutaway stereo
1955-72
stereo added 1959
1972-80
Gold-plated hardware. 1955-62 single cutaway, Dynasonic pickups. 1962-72 double cutaway, Filtertron pickups. 1972-80 single and double cutaway versions, Filtertron pickups. White! Gold glitter trim. Falcon logo on pickguard. Stereo version has multitude of knobs and switches. (mono) '55 $600
'62 £355
'78 £1008
(stereo) '62 £442 '78 I c/a £821, 2 c/a £970


1 Almost always inscribed on either the headstock or the pickguard
2 Should be on paper label, either inside top f-hole, or inside control cavity (through plate on back)

DYNASONIC 1950s De Armond: single, centrally-placed row of polepieces
FILTERTRON Twin row of polepieces, 1950s on.
HI-LO TRON Single offset row of polepieces, top black insert, 1960s on.
SUPERTRON Mid 1960s on.



More with this topic


Browse by Topic:

Buyer's Guide



Previous Article in this issue

Power Names

Next article in this issue

Taurus Taurus Taurus


Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

 

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