Restoring 1966 Viking- best LA/OC refinishing

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by 7WhiteFalcons, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. 7WhiteFalcons

    7WhiteFalcons Electromatic

    7
    Apr 5, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Couldn't find a fs unit to install in one of my Falcons, so I bought a Viking that has it....and then promptly found two independent fs units ...that I also then bought this week :)

    Who do you all suggest as a fantastic Los Angeles/OC based place to get the Viking sanded, repainted, binding yanked out & replaced, & beautifully refinished.....I'm thinking a cherry red or walnut stain or red like the old Super Chets.

    I'm going to replace all the wiring, get new supertrons, new knobs, re-gold plate the floating sound etc, replace the original vibrato with one of my unused factory Falcon Bigsbys.

    I asked Gretsch Corona to do it but they said no.

    It would be cool to figure out replacing the mute as well as the back pad.

    The Viking has an interesting sound with its fsu....a little different from when I install them on 6120s and occasionally Falcons.
     
    loudnlousy likes this.
  2. capnhiho

    capnhiho Synchromatic

    719
    Feb 16, 2013
    California
    Wow!
    A labor of love for sure!!

    I can’t help with any suggestions/references, but I bet it’ll turn out beautiful.
    Best of luck with the restoration.
     
  3. Buckyboy

    Buckyboy Gretschie

    I would reach out to Steve Soest and see who he would recommend.
     
  4. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    If I would spent a lot of money on a restoration I would insist on the correct original colour.
     
  5. johsonrod

    johsonrod Country Gent

    Apr 14, 2010
    Toronto
    85BAEEBF-DFC3-4437-873B-CA7F8538C972.png Bill Asher is the man.
     
    thunder58, ToneM1 and Tele295 like this.
  6. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Man, you just know that one was bad! Look at the knobs.
     
  7. ToneM1

    ToneM1 Gretschie

    159
    Mar 10, 2009
    Northern L.A. County
    Billy's Great!
     
  8. ToneM1

    ToneM1 Gretschie

    159
    Mar 10, 2009
    Northern L.A. County
    Another guy who does great finish work is Pat Wilkins Guitars! https://www.wilkinsguitars.com/
    He's been doing it for 38 years and is really a great guy and an amazing Bass player.
     
  9. 7WhiteFalcons

    7WhiteFalcons Electromatic

    7
    Apr 5, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Oh man, what a challenge! I suppose, understandably, none of the listed guys (and more), are taking on this kind of work right now. Or maybe they just don't like my guitar :)

    However, I've managed to assemble a great team in three various states outside California to tackle the project. The Viking left here about a week ago for destination #1.

    Simultaneously, the 4-switch mods are completed on my newest Falcon and I'll be picking that up tomorrow. My Falcon in the Ferris Bueller movie had a number of issues (mostly because I did all the mods myself), the second Ferris Falcon still wasn't quite right....but this one should be the perfect envisioning of what I tried to do with the first Ferris guitar.
    Fingers crossed.

    Next up while the Viking goes through its re-imagining, is a second 6120 project....an installation of one of my floating sound units on a 6120T-59, change everything to gold, and switch to a gold B7. This guitar will be the sister guitar to my 1956 Nashville that received mostly the same mods in 1972. I added phase reverse to the 56/74 version and may do the same on the new one. Not decided yet.

    One thing I've discovered in years/decades of recording with the fsu is....the 6120 is an ideal match sonically. Even though the fsu was never marketed in the deeper guitars. There is such an interesting array of tones to be had. The downside...if there is one...is that the "wiggle" feel of the strings is way more intense with a 6120/fsu combination than on say, the Viking...or the double cutaway 68 Falcon/fsu. A little more like jello on a 6120. But when I want that sound & feel.....
     
  10. 7WhiteFalcons

    7WhiteFalcons Electromatic

    7
    Apr 5, 2015
    Los Angeles
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