But here's where you may have some opportunities to look at your Gretsch and Bacon? This especially applies to the 1954 to 1956 western models such as the 6120 Chet Atkins hollowbody, the 6121 Chet Atkins solidbody, the 6130 Roundup and the 6022 Rancher. When Baldwin took over, serials became date-coded from 1967 - 1981. One of our resident Gretsch-sperts will be able to help. If you're about to put down a hefty sum on a vintage Gretsch, we strongly encourage you to consult multiple sources such as Gruhn's Guide To Vintage Guitars and to understand what features and hardware were original for a given year. In the period from 1945 to 1954 there is the transition from handwritten serial numbers to the official labels in 1949, although the numbering remained the same. There are many exceptions and sometimes letter prefixes were used. This banjo once belonged to Gunter Amendt.
They started, sensibly enough, at 001, just writing the number inside the back. Ed - I missed the 1963 in your posting - I´ve corrected the datings now. Entertaining a bunch of girls in my home a decade ago - using it. But for the rest - it´s still a puzzle, it seems. There are still some variances that Gibson uses on some instruments produced today, but for the most part the above can be used for identifying instruments. In other words, try not to obsess over this stuff too much.
From there, things get a bit more complicated. Gretsch is family owned, growing to major distribution. The specs may have been changed over the years, as well. It looks to be a flat head to me with an archtop appearance because the tension hoop is pulled down too far. That´s why I estimate its vintage to appr. Seen mostly on Bigsby Chet Atkin models, a simple aluminum bridge without string intonation, this bridge was designed by Bigsby to be used with their tremolo system.
Example: A serial number of 998120-345 tells us this guitar was made in 1999 during the month of August 8 and is a G6120 model 120 , the 345th to be produced during the Revival Era. A series called Hardcore Pawn came on. Later he said the serial numbers: 46231 2743 I tried to find the makes. I live in Vegas and am into old cars. I did not set out to decode the Gretsch banjo serial numbering, but it seems clear to me the guitar approach which I did set out to solve may provide many answers on the banjo side. Sadly I´ve kept very few pics of the Post-Groton´s examples - for many years these weren´t within my main field of interest.
This is where the appearance of duplicate numbers comes into play. Humptop inlays are usually made from celluloid, and the block inlays can be either celluloid or pearl. Fender eventually corrected this when they took over in 2002, but there remains a batch of made-in-Korea Gretsch guitars from 1999 - 2002 that have no serial number. They can be found as late as Nov. The guide for that is much simpler: be nice, ask questions, offer whiskey. If you'd like to get a little more accurate with your vintage attribution on the serial numbers discussed in my last post, you can use the following rule of thumb: 522xx is around mid-1963, 550xx is the start of 1964, 650xx is the start of 1965, and 770xx is the start of 1966.
Ed Ball says June 1967. It's uncanny how many post-war New Yorker and Folk model serial numbers fall right into the holes in my guitar database. Any info anyone has would sure be appreciated. Half the battle of finding a great deal or pre-empting conflict is accurately dating the guitar in question. See the curleycue on the se Renader? I have the Guitar Player magazine in which the ad appeared. Although didn't you actually obtain your green flyer from a music store?? Production begins in Japan's Terada plant, mostly re-creating classic models. More input on this subject is welcome.
In some cases a serial number may leave you with a fuzzy span of several years, and in others you will know which number your guitar was within a batch during a specific month and year. Usually seen with Space Control bridge. I know that it is a real brain cell killer to study this topic! In fact there's a batch of 1967 guitars that have 1963 serial numbers for unclear reasons! So I'll rely on all the smart people here for that stuff. Serial Numbers To find the serial number on your Gretsch, start by looking at the headstock. The 3rd fret engraving is a cactus on this guitar. The white one had a white pad on the back that was stock. Example 129800: Month: December Year: 1969 Production number: 800 The guitars manufactured from 1972-1981 are easier to identify because they are the only Gretsch specimens with a hyphen or a space after the first one or two digits.
The first number is A 100. Many are Five-Digits so no issue. Subsequent research has unearthed quite a few inaccuracies in Scott's numbers, so any serial number guides cribbing from Scott are also incorrect. So I was wondering if anyone would know how to Id these. This was my thinking all along. Two, Three and Four digits seen.
The assistance that I've received here has caused me to reassess that benchmark. Changes included cutaways on archtops, natural finish on some f-hole guitars and mandolins, and a line of nylon string acoustics. The serial number would properly indicate the actual date of the guitar. Because the approach is serial number based, it only applies to Gretsch drums with serial numbers starting in about 1962, Ludwig main line drums with serial numbers starting in late 1963. Now that we have been focused and studying closely I think this is a June 1972 banjo. From about 1949 to 1957 watch for a white rectangular label that reads: Fred Gretsch Mfg.
However, research has indicated that they could be substantially off. That is they are collectable for their unusual looks, rather than for playing or sound. I also believe that Gretsch continued the Bacon serial number consecutive sequence model until the war caused the cessation of Gretsch banjo making. At the very least, if you only see three hard-to-read numbers, you can be fairly confident that it's a pre-war instrument. Model ranges expand and quality improves even further, with standard models produced in Japan and budget models produced in China, Korea or Indonesia.