Old Gretsch Bass

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by amp360, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. amp360

    amp360 Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2012
    About a year ago I found this old Gretsch bass at Guitar Center.

    I have a Fender Jazz Bass from the 1970s that I picked up for about $300 in a pawn shop and generally don't look at basses all that much. I'll put bass on demos or once in a while someone will come to my studio and want a different sound, so maybe they'll use mine because I keep flatwounds on it.

    Anyway, just for fun I picked this one up and really, really liked it. I didn't plug it in because I wasn't planning on buying it and hate people who feel they have to try everything in a store. Every time I went back this was there. The price fell to under $1000 and it still sat. A few months later it dropped a little more so I bought it.

    Now as far as I know Gretsch isn't famous for bass guitars but this thing records killer. It's punchy and clear when you use a pick and when you use fingers it's soft and warm. I've been running it with an old Jennings bass head and cab with an 18" Celestion greenback. Jennings is kind of an interesting company as they are a Vox spinoff. I also have been using it with the UA Ox into a Fender Vibro King and old 100 watt Marshall. This works better than one would believe.

    The only issue I have with it is that the tuners tend to slip a little. I was wondering if anyone knew of some repros that may work a little better. I don't think I will find any because these days it seems most companies just use the cheapest imports they can find but it's worth a shot.

    Not sure if old basses are allowed here (this certainly isn't a vintage piece) but I thought I would share it anyway. Feel free to delete.


    Tele295, Outlaw, Gancho and 13 others like this.
  2. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    1965 Monkees Bass?

    Sounds vintage and rare to me.

    Hipshot ultralites would probably fit and be WAY better, if you didn't care about originality.
    amp360 likes this.
  3. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Synchromatic

    May 1, 2014
    Ajax Ontario
    Sweet! That is beautiful.
    amp360 likes this.
  4. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    What a nice find. This looks rare and vintage to me, no doubt.
    The serial number may confirm this.
    Maybe someone could chime in and help here.
    Since these tuners should be quite hard to find I would suggest that you should get them restored.
    In most of the cases it is possible to do and will not cost you an arm or a leg.
    amp360 likes this.
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    ............ not at all . Love the bass and thanks for sharing
    amp360 likes this.
  6. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Congrats, that is pretty cool, lots of mojo!
    amp360 likes this.
  7. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    As I said, serial is 1965.
    amp360 and loudnlousy like this.
  8. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2019
    Greybull, WY
    Great looking bass, congrats.
  9. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Definitely vintage, but not necessarily "rare". This is the 6071 Short Scale model. It was actually one of Gretsch's more popular bass models, and while you don't generally see them hanging on the wall of any old shop, they are not incredibly difficult to find.

    It is a 1965 model, as Englishman pointed out. The great thing about these is that, while they are technically a "short scale" (30.5"), they actually play, feel and sound like a long scale-- mainly because the overall string length gives it a long scale tension, and you have to use long scale strings on them due to the excess length from the bridge to the tailpiece.

    There's also a similar model, the 6073-- but it has two pickups.
    BorderRadio and amp360 like this.
  10. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Congrats on grabbing this.

    Sweet old bass.
    amp360 likes this.
  11. mister rain

    mister rain Gretschie

    Apr 23, 2020
    new orleans
  12. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    amp360 likes this.
  13. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Congrats ,that's a lovely old thing!

    And you stole it at that price,but you know that already i'm sure...;)
    amp360 likes this.
  14. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    Sweet! Yea, restore those tuners and keep or original, anything else and it will probably leave screw holes exposed.
    amp360 likes this.
  15. knavel

    knavel Country Gent

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    That's a cool find. I would like to have a bass like that and I'm glad you appreciate its virtues and have taken the time to post about it.

    The tuners are Van Ghent. If you look, it will be something like the ones at this link.

    Aside from Monkees TV shows, I think the only time I've seen that bass used live was in a tribute concert to Steve Marriott of Small Faces/Humble Pie. The bass was used in this great SF song, you can see it around 30 seconds in.

    amp360 likes this.
  16. amp360

    amp360 Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the kind words.

    I really appreciate the link to this. I didn't realize how they came apart. I found this article:


    And I'm thinking if I clean them, lubricate them and tighten them maybe they'll be ok.

    Appreciate it!
    Pine Apple Slim likes this.
  17. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Maybe... but it would be a VERY late'65 example. Most Gretsch guitars over serial # 75,000 have pots dated from Nov. '65 or later, and based on some models receiving new (model year) features within this range, it is plausibly the transition from the '65 to '66 model year.
    englishman likes this.

    IPLAYLOUD Electromatic

    Aug 2, 2011
    Long Island
    Davy's was custom. There may have been 2. Pictures exist with both Dot inlays and double Thumbnails.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.