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1964? Astro-Jet

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by X-wing, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
    60871590-35D3-4576-B01B-465A30F46F19.jpeg Hello to everyone...
    I could use some help with my new early 60’s Astro-Jet please.
    It doesn’t have the silver plate with the serial number, but a black plastic plate that reads “Astro-jet, super filtertrons”.
    Has anyone know what year this guitar might be? Its hard to read the pots.
    It also lacks the tension bar the other Astros have.
    My guess that its a prototype or a very early piece. Could I be right?
    Thanks in advance!!!
     
    jagROAR_63, BorderRadio and wildeman like this.
  2. audept

    audept I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    70
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, X-wing! We have a few resident experts who will be able to help you. Due to time zone differences it may be a few hours before they are back up on the forum and able to help you. In the meantime:
    welcome mat 36.jpg
     
  3. thunder58

    thunder58 Gretschified

    Age:
    59
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
  4. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
  5. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Your guitar was discussed a little bit six months ago here:
    http://gretschpages.com/forum/vintage-gretsch-guitars/supertron-discussion/59193/page1/

    Some circumstantial evidence pointing to '66 if I'm reading that right, since another example with the plastic plaque apparently had a '66 serial number.

    I can see from the seller's pictures that there's no serial number stamped on the back of the headstock. How about the edge?

    Gretsch was not in the habit of building guitars without serial numbers, including prototypes and one-offs. If there's not one on the edge of the headstock, or on a label in the control cavity, then I might try unscrewing the plaque to see if there's anything inscribed on the back or underneath it. Or maybe there was a paper label inside that dried up and flew the coop.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  6. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
    No serial is n the headstock.
    Waverly round tuners (not elliptical ones)
     
  7. Mag3

    Mag3 Synchromatic

    537
    Nov 22, 2016
    Massachusetts
    Welcome to the forum. Super cool guitar!
     
  8. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
    Thanks.
    Do you think its the same guitar?
    I will try to check again under the guard.
    I bought this one from Spain, so My guess its not the Ebay one that being discussed on the post in the link.
     
  9. afire

    afire Country Gent

    So, there have been a couple mentions of Astro Jets with black plastic plates over the years. But quite honestly, they might all be references to the same guitar - yours. The reason I kind of doubt this is that, again assuming I'm reading Ed's comment correctly, one of them did have a serial number. And yours doesn't. So, I'm presuming not the same guitar. But it also sounds like Ed's records on that guitar may be a little iffy, so I'm not sure what to make of it. But if that guitar did have that plastic plate, and a '66 serial number, it sort of points to yours potentially being a '66.

    But it's also possible that, for whatever reason, Gretsch used the plastic plate at two different points in time. Maybe an issue with not having enough of the metal plates, or one being damaged, or who knows what.

    Between the lack of a string retainer, and non-standard nameplate, I'd certainly be willing to believe that this might be a particularly early one.

    I'd keep looking for a serial number. Unscrewing the plate may be a dead end, but IMO, certainly worth a look. And have you looked carefully at the underside of the pickguard? Gretsch sometimes scribed serial numbers into plastic parts. And occasionally directly into the finish. I once had a 1957 Country Gentleman and when I removed the plate, sure enough, the serial number was inscribed right onto the headstock underneath as well.
     
  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Yes, your guitar is the one referenced in that discussion. It's the one in the now-closed Reverb ad (which had the same pictures as the Vintage and Rare website, so I assume it was Vintage and Rare that had it listed on Reverb: https://www.vintageandrare.com/product/Gretsch-Astro-Jet-1964-62726). And even more curiously, the picture Ed posted on that thread is also your guitar, but on a different backdrop. Evidently it passed through the hands of Warpdrive Music before finding its way to Spain. It has the same unique blemishes, particularly the sort of inverted "V" shaped scratch. Now rereading it, it seems that Ed is suggesting that that is the guitar with the 8947 serial number dating it to 1966. And that is your guitar. But again, he's not sure where the number came from. Hopefully Ed (aka Wayne_Gretschky) will chime in and clarify what he posted in that other thread.
     
  11. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
    Ok
    Sounds right- the pots read (not sure)
    34-7604, so its probably 66.
     
  12. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Welcome and congrats. Very cool guitar.
     
  13. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I don't think that pot is telling you anything. By my reading its 4th week of '76.
     
  14. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
    That’s also true- couldn’t find any manufacture coded 34xxx.
    Seller said its 63 or 64, couse in 65 they had tansion bar installed, and in 66 they changed the shape of the tuners.
    Still a mystery...
     
  15. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I've had trouble dating some of the pots Gretsch used too.
     
  16. afire

    afire Country Gent

    So, in doing a little searching, I've found a few other Astro-Jets with no tension bar from a 543XX batch and a 553XX batch. I'm guessing yours is likely from one of these batches. Why it has the plastic plate remains a mystery to me.
     
  17. afire

    afire Country Gent

  18. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
  19. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    My jaw dropped when I saw the price. That`s totally over-the-top.
    I hope you did not pay that much for it, x-wing.
     
  20. X-wing

    X-wing Electromatic

    11
    Dec 5, 2017
    Tel Aviv
    I paid about 60% of the listed price .
    I guess I could have found a cheaper one...
    But then I would get the infamous black plastic plate :)
     
    loudnlousy likes this.