Dating vintage gretsch guitars

dating vintage gretsch guitars

How to date a Gretsch guitar by serial number?

DATING GRETSCH GUITARS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS Over the years, Gretsch Company has been owned by various companies that also use their own method of serial numbers and dating. Where to find the serial number On most modern (after 1989) Gretsch guitars you will find it on the back of the headstock.

Why did Gretsch stop making guitars?

Led by Fred Gretsch jr. Mainly in the middle of the 1950s many innovative guitars were built, such as the Model 6120 and the White Falcon. In 1967 the company was sold to Baldwin Piano Company and the production was moved to Arkansas. The entire production was stopped in 1981 due to a fire in the factory.

When did Gretsch start making Synchromatic guitars?

Starting in 1999, Gretsch began producing budget-level Electromatic, Synchromatic and Historic Series guitars in Korea. Unfortunately, these guitars followed no clear numbering system. Worse yet, the serial numbers were put on a simple sticker on the back of the headstock, ensuring that they would be lost immediately.

When did the Baldwin era Gretsch guitar label come out?

In 1973, the 2nd iteration of the Baldwin era Gretsch label was introduced. These labels were once again a Black and White rectangle, and had “Gretsch Guitars” printed on them, as well as a line for the Baldwin model number and the date coded serial number.

How many digits are on a Gretsch serial number?

Nine digits, last three hyphenated, on headstock. 1989 - 2002. Two letter prefix, eight digits, on headstock. 2002 - present. Pre-War: 1939 - 1945 In the early years, Gretsch began with sequential serial numbers, written by hand usually in pencil directly on the inside of the guitar body.

How do I tell what year my Gretsch guitar is?

If you have absolutely no idea whether your Gretsch is old or new, a good place to start is the model number. This will give you an approximate idea of the era during which your guitar was manufactured. Its also one more piece of evidence to pair with the serial number to corroborate the actual year.

When did the Baldwin era Gretsch guitar label come out?

In 1973, the 2nd iteration of the Baldwin era Gretsch label was introduced. These labels were once again a Black and White rectangle, and had “Gretsch Guitars” printed on them, as well as a line for the Baldwin model number and the date coded serial number.

When did Gretsch start making Synchromatic guitars?

Starting in 1999, Gretsch began producing budget-level Electromatic, Synchromatic and Historic Series guitars in Korea. Unfortunately, these guitars followed no clear numbering system. Worse yet, the serial numbers were put on a simple sticker on the back of the headstock, ensuring that they would be lost immediately.

When did Gretsch start putting dates on their guitars?

1965 Baldwin Era, No Hyphen: 1966 - 1972 With the imminent Baldwin buyout and yearly production topping 150,000 guitars, Gretsch switched to a date-coded system in August of 66. Some specimens oddly have these serials stamped into the thin top of the headstock, while others have it on the back.

When did Gretsch change from serial numbers to date codes?

With the imminent Baldwin buyout and yearly production topping 150,000 guitars, Gretsch switched to a date-coded system in August of 66. Some specimens oddly have these serials stamped into the thin top of the headstock, while others have it on the back.

When did Baldwin own Gretsch?

He bought Gretsch from Harrison in January 1985, and with that the Baldwin era was truly over. As it had been for its first 84 years, Gretsch was once again a family-run company.

What happened to Gretsch amplifiers?

Baldwin bought the Kustom amplifier company in 1979, but a pairing of it with Gretsch proved both futile and short lived. Baldwin ceased Gretsch guitar production altogether by 1981, and parent company Baldwin United declared bankruptcy in late 1983.

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