Identify this Gretsch?

analoglife

Electromatic
Jan 2, 2012
4
Norwalk, CT
I received this maybe 20 years ago from a coworker who found it at a garage sale. Apart from the obvious substituted parts it has an internal label with the Brooklyn address, a distinct serial number and a virtually illegible model number that appears to contain a leading “H” and end in “MM”. Although pinned at some point, tge neck matches the body contours and wood. See the assortment of photos. Any ideas, besides a worker special? Thanks - Steve
 

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stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,236
Firenze, Italy
Wow. I have no clue if it's a rare bird but it looks great to me.
Sure it have had a lot of luthier work to put that rose into the headstock, so I presume that was not the original painting.
Great discover, by the way. Potentially, you could have a gem in your hands. :)
 

knavel

Country Gent
Dec 26, 2009
1,076
London, England
It strikes me as an acoustic archtop conversion, like a Corsair.

This because - (1) Unlike much of the rest of the hardware, the plastic button Van Gent tuners are original and I can't think of any other model than something like a Corsair that always had the plastic buttons; and (2) the pickups routs conform to those exact pickups. Particularly in the case of the bridge one, it seems to me there is no way that small of a footprint could have been used if there were a factory rout there.

Ed will be able to answer definitively given his serial number data.
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,236
Firenze, Italy
It strikes me as an acoustic archtop conversion, like a Corsair.

This because - (1) Unlike much of the rest of the hardware, the plastic button Van Gent tuners are original and I can't think of any other model than something like a Corsair that always had the plastic buttons; and (2) the pickups routs conform to those exact pickups. Particularly in the case of the bridge one, it seems to me there is no way that small of a footprint could have been used if there were a factory rout there.

Ed will be able to answer definitively given his serial number data.

Could be. I've seen some of them converted 6120 here in Italy as well.
 

knavel

Country Gent
Dec 26, 2009
1,076
London, England
I have documented eight other guitars from the #659xx batch, and each of those are Anniversary models (6117 and 6118). I have a note in this range of numbers that some of the earliest Van Ghent tuners have been found. I would consider this a 1965 model year guitar.

The reason I didn't go with Anniversary was because the tuners had plastic buttons. I don't know a lot about 60s Anniversaries but I don't recall ever seeing one that had plastic buttons.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,251
Where the action is!
I've never seen plastic button Van Ghents either, but I think that all of Gretsch's acoustics had spruce veneer tops, which this doesn't appear to have. So, I would lean towards Anniversary regardless. Maybe the tuners are replacement Van Ghents.
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Aug 27, 2008
3,306
East Coast
Thanks. Not sure when I’ll try to check age of numbered parts; took me this long to reach out for ideas on WHAT it is!
With all the mods to this guitar... especially the changed pickups, I wouldn't trust that the pots are original. In this serial number range I've documented pots from as early as July '64 and as late as April '65. By the mid-60s the Gretsch Brooklyn factory was making so many guitars that they ordered their pots in large batches, which would last across several months... which makes them less effective in dating the guitars they are in.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
16,610
lafayette in
Hi. How's it goin'?
The one thing I can tell you about that guitar is that it's not stock.
Two non-Gretsch pickups, two different switches, tailpiece, and headstock rose aren't stock.
Still, it's a Gretsch, so it can't be bad.
 

juks

Country Gent
Nov 26, 2020
1,824
Fremont, California
I was scrolling through Google pics last night consequently thinking it might be a Tennessean. Except the volume and tone pods are in a weird place. Until I found one pic with similar placement. I also noticed that they did place them a bit here and there I guess depending on the run :).
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,251
Where the action is!
The serial number is way too high for an open f-hole Tennessean. Those were last made in 1961. And they had a bridge(ish) FilterTron, which this clearly never had. I think Anniversary is the only option.
 


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