1977 Country Gentleman and 0.12-0.52 strings

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by LorPol, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. LorPol

    LorPol Electromatic

    17
    Mar 28, 2019
    Italy - Modena
    Hi, I'm a happy owner of a White Falcon G6136T, a Japanese one, from 2006. I usually use 0.12 - 0.52 strings on it and the guitar plays beautifully, the neck has never had any problems whatsoever.

    I would have the opportunity to exchange it with a really beautiful Country Gentleman, one of the Baldwin era, a 7670 from 1977. It seems to be in excellent condition: perfect binding, straight neck and recent re-fret; I only have some doubts about the authenticity of the tuners that are Groover Imperial and this does not seem compatible with the year of production.

    I'm a little scared for a reason: I'm used to playing a "modern" guitar from 2006; I am afraid of using 0.12-0.52 strings in a 1977 guitar.

    I ask for an opinion: this heavy gauge strings and a 1977 guitar are something that will end up breaking something? Do you have any experience in that?

    Thank you so much
     
  2. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    385
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
    My experience is when I have a really good guitar and I sell for something “better” I end up in regret. Buy the gentleman and keep the falcon or you may be sorry.
     
    DannyB, new6659 and TeeDub like this.
  3. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    873
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I think it will just need a neck reset to adjust to a new strings gauge (supposing the previous owner wasn't using the same gauge himself... 0.12 is really common for Gretsch. My '89 6120 came with them out of the box) and it will be ok.
    I recommend you Stefano Malusi in Cervia, down by the Riviera Romagnola seaside. He's the Gretsch master. (but I guess you may find someone good closer to your home :)).
     
  4. LorPol

    LorPol Electromatic

    17
    Mar 28, 2019
    Italy - Modena
    I know Lionpotato ... but here in Italy a '77 Gretsch is not so "cheap". It's a tough choice!
    Thank you so much
     
    Lionpotato likes this.
  5. LorPol

    LorPol Electromatic

    17
    Mar 28, 2019
    Italy - Modena
    Thank you STIV, good tip!
     
    stiv likes this.
  6. TeeDub

    TeeDub Synchromatic

    625
    Jun 21, 2011
    Colorado
    The Country Gent will take the .012 strings - no problem. It should just need a touch up to the truss rod, bridge height and intonation. A neck re-set is a complicated guitar surgery and quite expensive. If the Gent needs one I would pass.
     
    stiv likes this.
  7. G5422T

    G5422T Synchromatic

    640
    May 24, 2012
    usa
    I wouldn't trade a modern Falcon that I liked for a '77 or a '67 Gent. Now a '57 ('58) Gent, I would have to highly consider.
     
    DannyB, Philtertronic, dak55 and 2 others like this.
  8. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Structurally, Baldwin built guitars are pretty sound from my understanding. It is an old guitar though and can have developed issues over the years.
    There is nothing about a '77 Gent that would make it more valuable than a new Falcon imo......unless Elvis owned it.
     
    LorPol likes this.
  9. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    LorPol likes this.
  10. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast

    I'd have to echo this sentiment. A 1977 Gretsch (any model) for a 2006 White Falcon that you say plays great sounds like a bad trade. Not to say that the Baldwin Gretsch guitars, even the late 70s stuff, aren't great guitars... I've seen some that absolutely are. But the Falcon is the epitome of the Gretsch legend, and unless you're just an avid Chet fan (in which case I'd suggest the reissue '59 Gent) it's just hard to see the merit of this deal.
     
    Philtertronic, Lionpotato and LorPol like this.
  11. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    873
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Yes, that's exactly what I intended for neck reset :)
    Ah, my english is getting worse. ;)
     
    Lionpotato likes this.
  12. LorPol

    LorPol Electromatic

    17
    Mar 28, 2019
    Italy - Modena
    Things were going like this: I was looking for a re-issue 6122 Gent, and a boy brought me the '77 7670.
    I asked for your help and you brought me down to earth: thank you!
     
    G5422T likes this.
  13. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    873
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well, unfortunately over here in the old continent prices are slightly different from the US.
    Just to say, 3 weeks ago I went at my guitar man’s shop ‘cause he had a bunch of Gretsch on sale from one of his clients’ private collection (I just checked, of course). He had a very good looking ‘66 Country Gent, all original, good shape, binding starting to rot. He wanted 4900 euros (approx 5100 usd in these days) for it.
    Do you think he would have traded it for a 2006 White Falcon? You’ll never know, but I don’t think so.
    That’s the way it work across the pond.
     
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  14. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    48
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome to GT LorPol!

    12 -52 would be ok on a 70's geet,i had 13 - 56 on my 77 Super Chet and it was fine.
     
  15. afire

    afire Country Gent

    No problem with 12s.

    And you are correct, Grover Imperials would not be original. What they were using at this point were generally Gover Rotomatics, with (bear with me) Imperial buttons, but the elephant ear buttons, not the stairstep ones.

    On the merits, I don't see how this is a bad trade if you like the Gent. Nothing wrong with Baldwin Gents. Not terribly hard to find, but neither is a 2006 White Falcon. The question is value. In the US, that would probably be an unfavorable trade, to the tune of $500-$1000. But that may not be the same in Italy.
     
    stiv and Lionpotato like this.
  16. LorPol

    LorPol Electromatic

    17
    Mar 28, 2019
    Italy - Modena
    Thanks.
     
  17. LorPol

    LorPol Electromatic

    17
    Mar 28, 2019
    Italy - Modena
    The 2006 Falcon, here in Italy, maintains a decent value despite its young age. I really like the feeling of holding it, a perfect keyboard, a great sound, I love the treble-bleed and the mud switch is good to use.

    The Gentleman '77 that showed me has an excellent appearance, has an excellent state of preservation, has real f-holes that I like, was played by an Italian professional guitarist who takes great care of his Gretsches.

    But, here in Italy, the value of a '60 Gent is really crazy, as Stiv told; so I'm trying to understand if a more affordable '77 Gent, besides being reliable and being able to accompany me for another 40 years, has a value comparable to the 2006 japanese Falcon, that I know isn't a rare guitar.

    You are all helping me a lot Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    That Gent will probably be much darker/warmer sounding than your Falcon.
     
  19. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, LorPol!
    welcome mat italian.jpg
     
    LorPol likes this.
  20. LorPol

    LorPol Electromatic

    17
    Mar 28, 2019
    Italy - Modena
    How did it end ... I found a Japanese classic from 6122-1958 of 2003 in excellent condition and I decide to trade-in. Greetings!
     
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