Gretsch used several different serial number schemes through the years. Each of them can be used to accurately pinpoint the age of a guitar, if you have the correct information. Most online guides and quite a few print guides are based on Jay Scott’s groundbreaking book ” Gretsch: the guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company ,” which is a fine book, but is nearly two decades old. Subsequent research has unearthed quite a few inaccuracies in Scott’s numbers, so any serial number guides cribbing from Scott are also incorrect. The Gretsch-GEAR database exists to get it right: to document the actual serial numbers, to determine once and for all what was built and when, and to harness the collective knowledge of thousands of Gretsch fans to put the pieces together. From the beginning of the Synchromatic era until , Gretsch guitars were sequentially numbered and can be used to reliably date the guitar. However, it is important to note several key points:. Gretsch began numbering guitars sequentially, probably in but possibly earlier.
Dating vintage gretsch drums
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Gretsch Guitar Serial Numbers: Gretsch-GEAR: The Gretsch Pages Serial Number Based Dating Guides for Vintage Drums – Gretsch, Ludwig and.
The Gretsch BST is a solid body electric guitar made between and It received the nickname “The Beast” from a Gretsch promotion distributed in Two variations of the series exist although many features remain the same on both models. Some consistencies between the two models include a mahogany body and a bolt on maple neck. The first of the two guitars was made with dual chrome colored covered humbuckers and a white pickguard.
It also has a flat fretboard similar to a classical guitar. The second model is also called the “but is still in the series as opposed to the and BST series”. This model came stock with cream colored DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups with no covers and a black pickguard. The name “Gretsch” is written vertical across the headstock in classic Gretsch style writing featured on many other guitars and drums of the time. The BST and can be dated by removing the pickguard.
Both guitars had serial and model numbers placed on a piece of paper by the volume and tone pots. To date the guitar, there are five numbers in the serial number.
How To Date 1960’s Ludwig Drums by Serial Numbers
Gretsch Guitars Understanding Gretsch guitar serial numbers. Many Ludwig drums including main line Keystone and BlueOlive Badges and Standards have dates stamped inside their shells or on paper labels. Compare your drums to a Gretsch color chart or by consulting Gretsch vintage catalogs at the Gretsch website see Resources. These serial numbers were also either or digit numbers depending on the month of.
Natural or Silver sealer, then we can look at the number of ply’s in the shell. Finally if they have paper tags or not on the inside. All of these dating tid bits help us.
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Dating of Vintage Gretsch Drums Based Upon Serial Numbers: Challenging the Legend, Lore and Lies
The badge has changed drastically over the years. The first Challenging badge, introduced in the s and in use until the s, was a round brass over nickel badge nailed to the drum with upholstery tacks. The badge featured the Gretsch logo.
Serial number-based dating and authentication guides are available for Gretsch, Ludwig and Ludwig Standard drums. Because the approach is serial number based, it only applies to Gretsch drums with serial numbers starting in about , Ludwig main line drums with serial numbers starting in late Ludwig Standards made starting in about through about are also addressed Ludwig reused the “Standard” brand a few times.
Because the focus is on vintage drums, the guides do not generally address drums made after the mids. The guides present information based upon data gathered from thousands of vintage drums. They are based upon volumes of information taken from actual drums and refrain from repeating the legend and lore of vintage drums, which is often inaccurate and not based upon reality. The guides teach the reader about changes in the physical characteristics of these drums which will help them to determine if a drum is authentic or just a collection of mismatched parts.
Did you know that there are at least seven different styles of Gretsch Round Badges used from the s through the s? Learn more by clicking the link below. Other Projects and Items for Sale. Important Comment about Copyright Infringement: I encourage vintage drum enthusiasts to share their knowledge with others who share similar interests.
I myself am active on internet forums and Facebook and happy to share information. I answer many emails each week asking about vintage drums. I wrote my two dating guides to better share some information and improve the general level of knowledge level about vintage drums.
Dating of vintage Gretsch drums based upon serial numbers : challenging the legend, lore and lies
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Richard E. Gier spent five years on the research for this page book. This printing represents the 3rd edition, with over 6, drums now having been analyzed.
Gretsch BST 1000
One of the intriguing aspects of collecting vintage drums is discovering when your instrument was made. But unlikely as it may seem, the broadcast of one television show in early played an unwitting role in helping to date more closely one particular brand of drum. It was the day the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Determining the age of vintage Gretsch drums has frustrated vintage drum enthusiasts for years. With most other drum companies, serial numbers are.
The series was discontinued in January The bottom of the hi hat and bass drum pedal likely say Pearl on them. There is no limit to the number of free gear items you can get with your total order. For the most part it looks pre Toms were available in square sizes 12×12, 13×13, etc. We have vintage drumsets, snaredrums and vintage Avedis Zildjian cymbals in stock and a crazy bassdrum pedal collection, and we love to talk drums.
This was the moment of truth. Serial number-based dating and authentication guides are available for Gretsch, Ludwig and Ludwig Standard drums.
Gretsch drums serial number dating
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With most other drum companies, serial numbers are considered very helpful tools, but not with Gretsch. The lack of understanding of Gretsch’s use of serial numbers leaves the vintage drum owner relatively few tools for estimating the age of their vintage Gretsch drum. Some of these theories are contradictory and few are definitive. Despite this, John Sheridan proposed a “rule of thumb” for round badge drums in which linked the number of digits in serial numbers to date ranges.
Although frustrated by the lack of reliable information, RIck saw a solvable problem. Rick did not want to merely recite the legend and lore but wanted to apply a fresh and unbiased view to the Gretsch dating issue. The paper looks at thirteen different characteristics of Gretsch drums from the era. When possible, changes in each of the physical characteristics are linked to specific serial number ranges.
It contains over 75 footnotes to provide additional detail or point the reader to other sources of information.
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Gretsch Drum History. Fred Gretsch, Jr. Young Mr. Gretsch, who is the third Fred Gretsch in the history of this forty-three-year-old concern, achieved scholastic distinction at Cornell and promises to make good in business rapidly. While at the university he was manager of the varsity hockey team and otherwise prominent in undergraduate activities. At the present time. Gretsch’s father is in Europe visiting the foreign branches of the company and he is working under the guidance of Phil Nash, sales manager, and Emerson Strong, advertising manager.
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The guy says they are his studio drums. were destroyed including any documents referencing serial number details for drum production. To help date you Gretsch Drums take a close look at your logo badges on your kit.
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