Questions regarding 1967 Gretsch Viking

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by hughdbaker, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. hughdbaker

    hughdbaker Electromatic

    Age:
    30
    7
    Nov 12, 2011
    United States
    I'm looking to purchase a 1967 Gretsch Viking, but the one I'm looking at has some issues that raise concerns: 1) it does not have the typical leather backing and does not have the button straps for the leather backing; 2) it has two mute switches instead of the typical one; and 3) it appears that the tuning fork hole is not as large as others. Does anyone know if this was typical for this model. Did Gretsch have a custom shop that would allow for these types of customization? I will follow up with some pictures. I'm waiting on the seller to send me pics of the serial number and pickups, and will follow-up with those later. Appreciate any insight. Been playing Gretsch guitars for years, but this is my first dip into the vintage models.

    Link to the images https://imgur.com/a/ck5f7it
     
  2. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Looks good to me, looks like its had some binding repairs which would be very common. The lack of a back pad is odd.
    The Viking is a great and rare model, good luck.
     
  3. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Looks like the real thing to me.
     
  4. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    That gap under the bridge isn't for the tuning fork. The tuning fork hole is typically located lower down towards the Bigsby.
     
    G5422T likes this.
  5. hughdbaker

    hughdbaker Electromatic

    Age:
    30
    7
    Nov 12, 2011
    United States
    Here are the additional photos the seller sent me. Looks like a 66, but I can't verify if the pickups are the supertrons
    https://imgur.com/a/xpOfzAO
     
  6. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    I have a '68 Viking. Note those are Supertron pickups (normal, despite the paper insert for Filtertrons). New back pads are easy to get, but it appears someone has removed the snaps on the body. Maybe had a refinish?

    Mine also has a single mute, not a double. Not a big deal.

    I also think the gap under the bridge looks normal for the tuning fork. I'll check mine later. But frankly, I took mine out. Giant pain in the arse when changing strings.
     
    hughdbaker likes this.
  7. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    There are scores of documented examples of special factory orders, aka one-offs. I've never heard they had an actual custom shop like they do today.
     
    hughdbaker likes this.
  8. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    48
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Like i said over one the GDP,lovely colour on that one!:cool:
    Watch out for that binding rot staining the finish as it gets worse though.
     
    hughdbaker likes this.
  9. afire

    afire Country Gent

    The weird thing about the tuning fork hole is that it's rectangular. And it's lined with red felt like the mute holes. My Gretsch-sense says it's kosher. Not sure how it could be explained as anything but original. You couldn't turn the usual round hole into that more compact rectangle. And the felt lining looks like Gretsch factory work.

    By the same token, you can't add a second mute to a single mute guitar. This had two mutes from day one.

    By the same same token, you can't remove the snap holes. If they aren't there now, they never were.

    Looks like a custom order to me. Somebody didn't like the backpad, preferred double mutes, and found the usual bigger round FSU hole to be a visual distraction.
     
    hughdbaker and DaddyDog like this.
  10. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    Well, 1966-67 was the transition year between Gretsch and Baldwin. I'm not surprised that everything was simplified just to get it out the door.

    It looks like there may have been a tuning fork bridge at one time on this guitar. But not the extendable vibrato handle which an had internal body spring with a hole about where the Bigsby bar axis is.

    The original Vikings had several innovative but bad ideas. This one is probably OK.

    Lee
     
    hughdbaker likes this.
  11. hughdbaker

    hughdbaker Electromatic

    Age:
    30
    7
    Nov 12, 2011
    United States
    I appreciate all the insight guys. I believe it is a 66 that was custom ordered. According to the seller, they have the tuning fork and it is included with the guitar. I'll be sure to follow up once this bad boy arrives, and will let y'all know my thoughts!
     
  12. hughdbaker

    hughdbaker Electromatic

    Age:
    30
    7
    Nov 12, 2011
    United States
    Just an update for those interested. The guitar arrived, and overall I'm happy with the purchase.

    The binding definitely needs to be replaced, and the frets are so worn out on it, that it is difficult to play. Definitely needs some work, but overall I am very happy with the guitar. I plugged it in and everything works, and the pickups sound amazing. I can't wait for the day that I get this guitar restored and back to its former glory.

    Link to photos of the guitar: https://imgur.com/a/THr7vOS
     
    MTurner, DaddyDog and Henry like this.
  13. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Cool man, I'm glad it fell into the right hands. A Viking to me is equal to a Gent or a Falcon, meaning it's a top line fiddle and should be very impressive when you restore it.
     
  14. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Looks like somebody parted one out on eBay, could be some bits you need and the prices aren't too bad imo.
     
  15. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Age:
    61
    736
    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    How was the tuning fork used? Or was that just the name because of the shape?
     
  16. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    Just because of the shape. Supposedly it was to provide more overtones to the overall sound. I read once it touched the back, but mine didn't reach that far.
     
  17. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Age:
    61
    736
    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    Thanks Daddy Dog!
     
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