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DERELICT DELUXE

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by hcsterg, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    As mentioned in another post (about Frankentone pickups AFAIR), I am starting a restoration - or rather a transformation - project of a "derelict Gretsch fake lefty thinline imitation" of a Tennessee Rose.

    I bought this derelict guitar for 100 euros including hardbag. Not a too risky investment... Considering the absolute scarcity - not to say the inexistence - of this kind of instrument in Left-Hand dexterity, it was the occasion for creating an improbable, one-of-a-kind lefty instrument for me... Still fake, anyway.

    As is :

    [​IMG]

    The Fake vs. the Real :

    [​IMG]

    The first step is to see if this fake guitar - although not showing irremediable flaws and still in general good shape - is worth to go further and make some tests, notably about pickups...

    A+!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    Floo likes this.
  2. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    That is odd. Have fun with it.
     
  3. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Doesn't look bad. If it plays well, and has a half way decent acoustic response I'm sure it's worth a couple of Filters.
     
  4. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Thanks wildeman. Yes, this is a "Gretschinese" and for sure this oddity doesn't compete with any of the regular Gretsch guitars - and has really nothing to do with my Tennessee Rose G6119LH !

    Yes, Ricochet : it's one of the possible options, but the guitar must prove that she's worth before...

    2 or 3 PUs ? I have a 3 BT FT and 3 Frankentone Lil Chester sets. I have prepared both but in a 2 PUs version for the moment, for testing. I'll use a simplified electronic : a master volume and a master tone. And I am thinking about refinishing the top in red metallic (Candy Apple Red or the like - I'd be pleased if it could be sparkle !) if I go further. Her name would be "Derelict Deluxe" :confused::D...

    More pictures coming soon... Let's stay optimistic ! :rolleyes:

    A+!
     
  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    First dismantling of the instrument : thinline body (1"3/4), no tone bars, and first issues...

    [​IMG]

    There is a localized crack at one side of the neck, but no movement. The pickup routings have been cut à l'arrache. The bridge was glued with Loctite in excess... In the wrong position. There is traces of a previous installation of a Bigsby B7 :

    [​IMG]

    Internal views of the body : the unique strenghtening is a soundpost under the bridge location, and... Do you think that Gretsch would really install a neck like that :eek: ? Seriously, no.

    [​IMG]

    Bridge removal : it was poorly glued with "one gallon" of Loctite, in a wrong position :mad:. The finish could not resist the removal, but no matter, as a refinish is scheduled. I removed all the glue with a chisel and a cutter blade.

    [​IMG]

    Bigsby B6 hinge cut : since it is a 1"3/4 guitar but with a higher bridge than on a centerblock like the 5622T, a B7 was not the must convenient - moreover, its front anchoring in the thin top thickness was questionable (I suppose that it has been attempted and it probabley failed, if I look to the holes). So I cut to size, shaped, redrilled and polished the B6 hinge.

    [​IMG]

    Alignment of the elements : here I choose to install a pair of BT FT, after reshaping tentatively the PU routings on the top. I will test also a pair of Frankentone Lil Chester for which I made bezels to the Gretsch size for an easy swap, with the help of connectors.

    [​IMG]

    Messy-spaghetti original wiring :confused: : needless to say that the guitar was buzzing à gogo, but nonetheless had a good tone, letting me think that the original PUs are not so bad. Of course, I am preparing a new and correct wiring harness !
    [​IMG]

    Wait and See...;)

    A+!
     
    trlobdell92, Penguin and Ricochet like this.
  6. Lrg280

    Lrg280 Gretschie

    129
    Nov 4, 2017
    Greenport, New York
    Cool project! Have fun with it.
     
    hcsterg likes this.
  7. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I think you just want to work on a guitar...
     
    j.s.c likes this.
  8. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    The exterior is not bad, but the interior visit is an horror movie (the neck joint, is hiiiiiii). Anyway, I think you could do some magik transforming this chinese girl.
     
  9. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    I will see if the neck joint is correct or not : it's a part of the testing. For the moment, I didn't detected any movement of the neck... Nonetheless, this neck joint is probably improvable.

    If the instrument proves to be worth my expectations, maybe I'll buy a pair of Dynasonic...

    A+!
     
  10. Willie D

    Willie D Gretschie

    376
    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I've thought about buying one of those fake White Falcons to see if it could be made into a reasonable guitar, but I don't have the time, money, or skill at the moment. Just as soon buy the G5422TG.
     
  11. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Wiring harness finished (2-PU version) awaiting installation in the guitar :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A+!
     
    englishman and Henry like this.
  12. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    52
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    After seeing the inside of this guitar I really wonder whether this is worth all the work.
    Again I feel affirmed in my opinion towards Chinese fakes: You get what you pay for.
    No offense, hcsterg. Nonetheless I hope that you enjoy your re-built, friend.
     
  13. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes ! Remember, loudnlousy ;) :

    At the start :eek: :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    At the end :cool: :
    [​IMG]

    And yes : I got what I paid for !

    The challenge with the Orange Blossom Special above was the body stability under string tension. The instrument being unusable at the start, we couldn't test it. But the woodwork was estimated sane, and we decided to locally straighten it.

    This proved right : the guitar is rock stable, stays in tune even on abuse of the Bigsby, sounds great and looks great (at least to me, OK ? :D).

    If the woodwork base is sane, it can be surely improved and make a good platform for modifications. We'll see...

    A+!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  14. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    First test with FrankenTone "Lil Chester" pickups :

    [​IMG]

    I took the bridge and the middle for that test, in order to have an RWRP combination :

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    First impression : very good - for what I expected about the tone of these Lil Chester PUs.

    Unfortunately, I never played a guitar with DynaSonic PUs to compare, but it seems to me that these Lil Chesters have that "Twang" you often speak about. I'll try to make some recording samples ASAP to let you hear and have your advice.

    Wait and See...

    A+!
     
  15. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Some samples giving the tone of my Derelict Deluxe + FrankenTone Lil Chester :

    https://soundcloud.com/tubelectron/r05-test-twang-dd-ft-lc-1mp3

    https://soundcloud.com/tubelectron/r05-test-twang-dd-ft-lc-2mp3

    https://soundcloud.com/tubelectron/r05-test-twang-dd-ft-lc-3mp3

    Recording situation :

    [​IMG]

    Please let me know if, according to you, this tone can be considered to belong to the "Twang" category... o_O ?

    What I can say is that I find these FrankenTone Lil Chester PUs quite good sounding, at least to my taste. Very suitable for 60's, instrumentals , Rock'n'Roll, and certainly Funk/soul (moreover if I add a 3rd center PU).

    The setup has been completed today (action, neck relief, PU heights, nut, bridge intonation, etc...) to make the instrument fully playable for other PUs tests and reharsals. I'll see if I can expect a convenient stability from the woodwork.

    So Wait and See... :D

    A+!
     
  16. Willie D

    Willie D Gretschie

    376
    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    Sounds good and twangy to my ear, though I don't have direct experience of Dynasonics to compare it to.
     
  17. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    They twang alright, sounds good.
     
  18. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    61
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    If that's not twang, then I don't know what twang is!
     
  19. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    OK - Thanks you Guys !

    I saw and heard too much definitions about what a "Twang" tone is that I was a bit puzzled, finally... You are confirming my initial suppositions : these FrankenTone Lil' Chester PUs are "Twangers"...

    Next test : a pair of Gretsch DynaSonics... I bought the Neck one from Andy Fortune, and the Bridge one from BorderRadio on the forum - at cool prices : thanks to them :) !

    For the moment, the woodwork of this poor "China-Girl-Wannabe-a-Gretsch" is stable, without issue : no tuning problems, no warps of any kind... That's a good point for going further !

    Wait and See...

    A+!
     
  20. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    61
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    So, Bruno: what's the French word for "twang?"