Vintage Gretschs at Pittsburgh Guitar Show

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
309
Pennsylvania, USA
Went to the Pittsburgh guitar show, lots of guitars, mostly new, but only 3 vintage Gretschs, wish there were more.

1958 Duo Jet, $2295, no original parts.

Mid 70s Country Gentleman, $2800, original pickups included but not currently installed.

1957 Clipper, $1500, excellent condition, no binding rot. Slim headstock design.

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Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
309
Pennsylvania, USA
The Clipper is closer to a '56 model, but looks like a good price for what you're getting. Thanks for posting - I miss guitar shows.
The Clipper was from the 213xx batch. Sort of a transitional batch from ‘56 to ‘57. Maybe you’re right in that it would be considered a ‘56 model year because it still has Electromatic on the headstock and arrow-only knobs, features that were changed for the ‘57 model year, along with a cutaway body midway through ‘57. Either way, it was in decent shape. Played nice too.

The most interesting feature, I thought, was the skinnier headstock design. Not sure how many left the factory that way.

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mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 20, 2010
2,008
Michigan
As much as I love Duo Jets, that Clipper gets me weak in the knees. This is a good thing for me that we don't have a lot of guitar shows anymore. I usually came to look, but ended up buying.
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
309
Pennsylvania, USA
Honestly? I would have snagged that in a second, provided it was playable / no neck issues / not painted with spray paint. Parts can be replaced, and if it plays great, you can take as long as you want.
Well, the seller did mention that he thought that it might have had some refinishing or overspray. It didn’t seem to. Playability seemed good.

I know where it’s located, if anyone is interested.
 

thunder58

Super Moderator
Staff member
Double Platinum Member
Dec 23, 2010
27,626
Tappan N.Y.
Honestly? I would have snagged that in a second, provided it was playable / no neck issues / not painted with spray paint. Parts can be replaced, and if it plays great, you can take as long as you want.
thats a good way to look at it
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 27, 2008
3,636
East Coast
Just a little vintage Gretsch minutia to share... do you see the small hole inside the "R" on the Gretsch logo on this Clipper's headstock? It's a pretty standard feature for models made with this style of headstock overlay. They must have used that for a placement guide, or jig, because it's on a LOT of old Gretsch guitars from the 50s have it (Ramblers, Streamliners, Corvettes, Clippers).

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Back in Black

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,727
Ontario Canada
Went to the Pittsburgh guitar show, lots of guitars, mostly new, but only 3 vintage Gretschs, wish there were more.

1958 Duo Jet, $2295, no original parts.

Mid 70s Country Gentleman, $2800, original pickups included but not currently installed.

1957 Clipper, $1500, excellent condition, no binding rot. Slim headstock design.

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Pemberton,

Just my opinion, but the 58 Jet, is reasonably priced, especially if original case is included.

Sourcing all the correct parts is not that difficult.

Even with correct replacement ''new re-issue parts'', it's still a 64 year old, American Made, vintage Gretsch guitar.

Be curious to know if the inner cavity label is still intact. That label is more important, than replacing some incorrect hardware.

From your photo, condition looks good.

All four of my Gretsch guitars are Jets, I'd have bought that one!

Best,

BIB.
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
309
Pennsylvania, USA
FYI - the Duo-Jet was sold yesterday...
Interesting. It was still for sale when I left the show with only 30 minutes left.

Side note: many dealers started packing up an hour before the show ended, which I found slightly annoying. It’s not like there was a Steelers game to get home to watch.
 

6187LX

Gretschie
Aug 11, 2022
203
Up Around the Bend
The other difference with the cutaway Clippers is scale length. The full-body ones had the 25.5" (more like it's Electro Corvette predecessor) and the cutaways had the 24.5".

The narrow headstocks were common with Electro Corvettes, New Yorkers, and full body Clippers. I always thought of that as being a cost-cutting measure.

I did actually see a 6188 full-body Clipper in a reverbay ad a coupla decades ago, blonde, stinger and white-button Waverlys. And the Gretsch tag which read 6188, but I lost the info. It'll turn up again.

But the Clipper I'm really gassing for is a blonde '58 6187 with factory original humpblock markers on an unbound rosewood board. Twice I've lost out on getting it.
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 27, 2008
3,636
East Coast
I did actually see a 6188 full-body Clipper in a reverbay ad a coupla decades ago, blonde, stinger and white-button Waverlys. And the Gretsch tag which read 6188, but I lost the info. It'll turn up again.

But the Clipper I'm really gassing for is a blonde '58 6187 with factory original humpblock markers on an unbound rosewood board. Twice I've lost out on getting it.

Are you sure that full-body model 6188 was a Clipper? There wasn't a factory original "natural" version of the Clipper model. However there was an Electro II (non-cutaway) model 6188 in natural (6187 in sunburst) in the mid-50s. It had two Dynasonic pickups though.

I agree... the 2-tone, cutaway body Clipper model 6187 was THE one to have! I made a play for the one in Randy Bachman's collection (prior to Fred G. buying the entire lot)... he wanted too much for it, but it was really nice!
 


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