Vintage vs New Country Gentleman

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by djwatts, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. djwatts

    djwatts Electromatic

    18
    Oct 18, 2013
    Indiana
    I have the opportunity to purchase a vintage 1966 Country Gentleman that has had a rebind, refret, and replated gold hardware for about the same price as a new G6122T-62GE Vintage Select Edition 1962.

    I plan to play the guitar for gigs. However, I am somewhat interested in investment value but mostly in sound, quality, and durability.

    I have read that new ones are fantastic. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    I'm a big fan of vintage Gretsch guitars, but must admit that I would probably steer you to the modern reissue Gent. If you're a gigging musician, it will just be less troublesome. Vintage guitars are often like old cars, and they need a lot of TLC to keep them going. The modern reissue will be more forgiving. Also... the '66 Gent doesn't have much "investment value" after the re-plating of the hardware. Heck... it may not even look like a vintage guitar anymore with new binding and shiny gold hardware, so you won't even get the "cool factor" of vintage patina. Get the newer Gent... you'll be happier.
     
    Philtertronic, Robbie, DannyB and 4 others like this.
  3. BrianW

    BrianW Synchromatic

    772
    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    ^^ This. From the expert.

    I have a vintage Gent and I don't think I would want to gig with it (I'm not a working musician, but if I was...) I love playing it at home where I can pamper it somewhat, but a new guitar would be a better choice. Imo.
     
    DannyB and new6659 like this.
  4. Sean McILwaine

    Sean McILwaine Synchromatic

    766
    Dec 26, 2012
    London UK
    Do you have the opportunity to try the old one and a new one, I guess that's the real test in terms of sound and feel.
     
  5. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    If the main intention is to gig with the guitar, my suggestion would be to get the new one.
     
    DannyB and G5422T like this.
  6. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Have to agree. If my main intent was to gig, I too would go new/used FMIC guitar.

    Vintage is special, but it takes time and money to keep them just right.

    Just right can go just wrong quickly with any gigging instrument.

    Best of luck with your choice.
     
    dmunson, DannyB, larryb and 1 other person like this.
  7. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    New
     
    new6659 likes this.
  8. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Age:
    51
    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    ^Yup^
    ...although I do have such a soft spot for vintage guitars and can understand the dilemma
     
  9. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I would probably choose a vintage one because of the mojo :), but still it has to be a player's guitar, not something that spent her entire life in a glass window.
    As long as you pay a fair price for it (that most of the time means less than a new one, if it's a player guitar that probably has been modded/partially replaced in original pieces) and you're not concerned about market value/collector's value, you're alright.
    I did that with my Rally. I fixed the binding problem, had a setup and now I could go on the road with her without any problem.
     
    larryb likes this.
  10. Rob_Brindley

    Rob_Brindley Gretschie

    Age:
    26
    204
    Jul 22, 2019
    Stoke-On-Trent, England
    I guess it depends on what sort of gigs you're doing. If you can guarantee you can keep it safe, I'd lean towards the original. That said, if you want 'that' sound and it's the only guitar you'd have that will do that job, the newer one will be much more reliable...
     
    DannyB and new6659 like this.
  11. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    840
    Feb 3, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    The one you like more.. play them
     
    DougCraft likes this.
  12. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I’m adding... we’re taking about new guitars that worth sometimes more than two thousand quids. They’re not Epis or Squires that are made to be broken.
    If you’re really gigging, the guitar would be banged up by traveling/handling/playing on most of the nights.
    If you buy a player you could just add a road scar to many others, if you buy a brand new guitar... I dunno. Most people (especially Gretsch owners, for what I’m seeing from the pics) is caring a lot about scratches, dings and bumps.
    Just sayin’ like. ;)
     
  13. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Gigging with vintage Gretsches for 30 years now with no problems. For almost 10 years the one in my avatar has been my only guitar, and hasn't needed anything but scratchy pots cleaned.

    If the restoration work was well done and the guitar is structurally sound, and plays well, then I wouldn't hesitate to go vintage. Hopefully the binding was tinted to not look out of place, and the gold will fade again before you know it. In my experience, if the guitar can be set up properly, there's no reason to expect that it won't stay that way. If the bones are good, then it's had fifty-some years to settle in. The big question I would have is can you evaluate it in person? Or a hassle free return policy? Buying vintage sight unseen can be a gamble. I've only been burned once, and most have been good to go with a setup, the occasional refret, and on a couple of them, a neck reset (which I knew going in and paid a price to reflect that).
     
  14. rob batz

    rob batz Synchromatic

    900
    Apr 17, 2014
    Bristol ct.
    Selling my 2014 6122-1962 country gentleman if interested
     
  15. knavel

    knavel Synchromatic

    884
    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Vintage. Some of the best sounds I've heard with filtertrons have been on 66/67 Country Gents. The ones I've played really bite live; whereas I bought a Duo Jet 57 VS over a year ago because I felt I was perhaps being unfair to new. I've played that Jet for less minutes than I can count on my fingers.
     
  16. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    Id buy the vintage guitar if it was a vintage guitar in great condition, but this sounds like its been “updated” more than a little, so its not what I would choose.
    That said, i would gig with any of my guitars. My 73 gent was my main gigging guitar for twenty years.
     
  17. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    Simply check both and decide then.
     
  18. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Post like this keep me sane.
     
  19. DannyB

    DannyB Gretschie

    257
    Apr 26, 2019
    Michigan
    I agree with Rob Brindley above, what type of gigs are you playing? What type of fans, what is the set up of the places you would be playing,etc? What type of travel is involved? If it's places and fans that you know would not be likely to damage your vintage Country Gentleman, then by all means use that model, but if it's a typical bar/pub that is crowded and with rowdy, drunken fans, I agree with the others on the thread, buy and use a new Country Gentleman for the road and keep your baby for home or recording. I can't find the video now but I saw this guitarist on YouTube who owns a beautiful Gibson E-335 for home practice or recording but says he uses inexpensive Epiphone hollow bodies when he goes on the road. I know other guitarists with the same philosophy. Good luck either way!
     
  20. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Age:
    66
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    IMHO it would come down to which guitar played better, or felt better in my hands, Vintage or not would not enter the equation. I stress, this is only my opinion.
     
    MikeSchindler likes this.
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