Super Axe article

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by drmilktruck, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
  2. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Cool - I never knew that. I've seen one a time or two in live recorded concerts, but not in person. This gives me more respect for them.
     
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  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    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.

    57DAEFB9-9A74-4F35-B5DA-A64D3D88193F.jpeg
     
  4. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    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.
     
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  5. afire

    afire Country Gent

    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.
     
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  6. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I like the body shape. I bought a Super Axe body cutout on eBay awhile ago. It's one of my 2022 projects.
     
  7. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    Thanks for sharing. I have been wondering about that model.
     
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  8. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    Yes the body shape is very nice. A Tele type shape with a Florentine cut.
     
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  9. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    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
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
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  10. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    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!
     
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  11. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    It looks great in black
     
  12. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
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  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    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.
     
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  14. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    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.
     
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  15. afire

    afire Country Gent

    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.
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    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.
     
  17. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Yeah, I like the Atkins axs better... even with the weird pick guard.
    Thanks for the article share Doc!
     
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  18. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
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