Super Axe article

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Mar 20, 2010
1,802
Michigan
I agree that they were butt ugly. However, as ugly as they seem, many found their way into several recording studios. I can't say that all the Baldwin era guitars were bad, I had a 1968 Champagne Due Jet, that I thought that the pickups were great. I am not a fan of the football look, but honestly, they could perform.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,265
Where the action is!
The guitar is interesting due to its history but I’ve always felt it was/is one of the ugliest guitars Gretsch ever produced. That football shaped control plate and those square fingerboard inlays just turn me off.
I can't say I'm a fan of the control panel. The square inlays were a vestige of the original intent to name it the "High Roller", with dice inlays. Some prude (not sure if it was Chet or somebody at Gretsch) vetoed that plan as being distasteful, but it kept the square inlays.

But I've always thought that the silhouette was very attractive, and along with the Super Chet, one of the only Baldwin designs that worked well aesthetically.
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,539
Home
I can't say I'm a fan of the control panel. The square inlays were a vestige of the original intent to name it the "High Roller", with dice inlays. Some prude (not sure if it was Chet or somebody at Gretsch) vetoed that plan as being distasteful, but it kept the square inlays.

But I've always thought that the silhouette was very attractive, and along with the Super Chet, one of the only Baldwin designs that worked well aesthetically.

Yes the body shape is very nice. A Tele type shape with a Florentine cut.
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,847
Portland, OR
Thanks for the post! One of my favorite topics.

I like mine, that's for sure. I even nicked my User ID here from it.

The article mentions the pups being made in Japan, not sure how accurate that is - they're DiMarzios, which is US based and outsourcing was far less common in 1978 than it is now. I've always assumed they were made in the US. Whatever the point of origin, they don't sound even remotely filtertron-ish. It's PAF tone all the way.

Ebony board (love it), thin fast neck, comfortable to play. The electronics (on board phaser and compressor/distortion) are getting finicky - that's pretty common for these now. We're talking 40+ year old analog electronics! I'm the most surprised when they DO decide to work! But assuming you simply don't turn them on, you've got a totally gig worthy guitar there.

Some people don't like the football plate. I think it stands out like a sore thumb on the red ones, but with the charcoal grey 7681, it blends in a lot better. Big improvement aesthetically. See what you think.

7681-SuperAxe.jpg
 
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Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,847
Portland, OR
... The square inlays were a vestige of the original intent to name it the "High Roller", with dice inlays. Some prude (not sure if it was Chet or somebody at Gretsch) vetoed that plan ...

It was Baldwin brass, who owned Gretsch at the time. Chet was the one that came up with the High Roller idea. Stupid Baldwin, they never did understand guitars! LoL!
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,539
Home
Thanks for the post! One of my favorite topics.

I like mine, that's for sure. I even nicked my User ID here from it.

The article mentions the pups being made in Japan, not sure how accurate that is - they're DiMarzios, which is US based and outsourcing was far less common in 1978 than it is now. I've always assumed they were made in the US. Whatever the point of origin, they don't sound even remotely filtertron-ish. It's PAF tone all the way.

Ebony board (love it), thin fast neck, comfortable to play. The electronics (on board phaser and compressor/distortion) are getting finicky - that's pretty common for these now. We're talking 40+ year old analog electronics! I'm the most surprised when they DO decide to work! But assuming you simply don't turn them on, you've got a totally gig worthy guitar there.

Some people don't like the football plate. I think it stands out like a sore thumb on the red ones, but with the charcoal grey 7681, it blends in a lot better. Big improvement aesthetically. See what you think.

View attachment 172063

It looks great in black
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,256
Tucson
I don’t know that I’ve ever actually seen one in person. I like the idea of a high-end solid body, optimized for versatility.
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
1,847
Portland, OR
Wow! Checked that Reverb ad, surprised what they're getting for these things these days.

I got mine something like 20 years ago, for $800. We were in Harrisonburg VA for Grandma's funeral, and I stumbled across a little mom'n'pop music store near my hotel. It was the only decent guitar in the shop, a consignment sale. Everything else was low end beginner stuff.

So yeah, I went to a funeral and brought home a guitar. LoL! Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that, but hey, you take your deals where you find them!

And I think about her every time I play it.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,265
Where the action is!
For anybody intrigued by the Super Axe, but put off by the football control plate and onboard effects, there is also the Atkins Axe, 7685 and 7686, which has standard electronics.
vbujyi8qei7qqvocw8m7.jpg
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,256
Tucson
For anybody intrigued by the Super Axe, but put off by the football control plate and onboard effects, there is also the Atkins Axe, 7685 and 7686, which has standard electronics.
vbujyi8qei7qqvocw8m7.jpg
I would prefer that, myself. Nothing against the effects, but I strongly prefer that the effects I use be on a pedalboard and be independent of one another.

I love the concept of these guitars. Solid bodies are not my first choice, by any means, but they have a very important role and I love to see solid body guitars that are designed to a purpose, as opposed to some which seem to have been designed strictly for visual impact.
 


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