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Gretsch Serial Number - Trying to ascertain whether guitar is authentic
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Gretsch Serial Number - Trying to ascertain whether guitar is authentic

Folks,

I've been looking to get a Gretsch and stumbled across one that has a serial number on the back of the headstock with

Made In
USA

Underneath the serial number.

I have looked at a dizzying array of web sites and can't quite match this up.

One site says:

Code:
 Gretsch began date-coding serial numbers in August 1966. Date-coded serial numbers are typically found stamped on the back or top of the headstock, and "Made in USA" is stamped next to the number starting in June 1967.

The first digit or first 2 digits = month (1-12).
The next digit = last digit of the year (1966 to 1972: 6,7,8,9,0,1,2).
The remaining digits = number of individual instrument, probably.

For example, 27136 should be February (2), 1967 (7) and the 136th instrument made that month.
The serial number is U xxxxxxx Please note the sapce after the U and before the seven digits.

I can't remember the exact number now, but it's seven digits. Along the lines of:

117xxxx

Which if I read it correctly would be November 1967 model number xxxx of that month.

However, I see no reference anywhere at all of the U before the number.

And, also, xxxx that's over 1000 guitars built in the month of Dec 67, that's a LOT!

Can anyone advise on this number please? I suppose in the end, the most likely thing here is that it's a 66 - 72 model if the U before the serial number could be accounted for,


Oh, one more thing, the pick guard is transparent which seems slightly odd to me, but I suppose could have been replaced at some point over the years. FWIW It looks like a 6120 to me.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I'd post this on the gretsch forums.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Post a photo of the guitar.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 

What you are describing doesn't sound right to me at all. It should match exactly what you have quoted: it will say Made in U.S.A. to the LEFT of the serial number, and the serial number will be five or six digits, depending solely upon the month of the year of manufacture. Gretsch was not creating thousands of instruments per month. Ever. The letter U and a seven digit number is not a vintage Gretsch.


-bryan
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Who would bother to create a fake Gretsch? Lol
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffw5555 View Post
Who would bother to create a fake Gretsch? Lol
Not fake.

Just not vintage.

(Depending on how old you consider vintage to be.)


-bryan
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

As described, it doesn't appear to fit any of the known Gretsch numbering schemes:

https://www.guitarinsite.nl/serienum...retsch_eng.php
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Here for the gear
Can you post a link to the guitar in question?
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Serial number is the absolute worst way to identify real from fake. Means nothing.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsma View Post
Not fake.

Just not vintage.

(Depending on how old you consider vintage to be.)


-bryan
Still, who would bother trying to pass off a newer Gretsch as an older one? They are still terrible guitars. ( kind of like a vintage Cort or Aria)
Old 6 days ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 

I can't speak for Malcolm Young, Chris Cornell, Stephen Stills, George Harrison, Neil Young, Billy Duffy, Brian Setzer, Eddie Cochran, PJ Harvey, or any of these other folks...

...but I will disagree with you.


-bryan
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Serial number is the absolute worst way to identify real from fake. Means nothing.
I agree that an apparently good serial number doesn't prove much because it's so easily copied.

But here the Op has a number that doesn't appear to conform to any known Gretsch USA numbering scheme. That's concerning.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I agree that an apparently good serial number doesn't prove much because it's so easily copied.

But here the Op has a number that doesn't appear to conform to any known Gretsch USA numbering scheme. That's concerning.
Yeah, that makes sense. It could be a sign.

Although, who would possess the skills and knowledge, and then go through the trouble of making a credible fake, but screw up on the authenticity of the serial number, the easiest part of the project? That doesn't compute.

I'm not aware of the numbering system for Gretsch, if they were meticulous, haphazard, or somewhere in between. Could it be a one-off made by a factory worker?
Old 5 days ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
faeflora's Avatar
 

Why not call up Grestch and ask them for help?
Old 5 days ago
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsma View Post
I can't speak for Malcolm Young, Chris Cornell, Stephen Stills, George Harrison, Neil Young, Billy Duffy, Brian Setzer, Eddie Cochran, PJ Harvey, or any of these other folks...

...but I will disagree with you.


-bryan
How could you possibly miss Chet? He was the one that put them on the map in the first place.
Old 5 days ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Folks,

Many thanks for the reply, I got no notification of them until just now. Anyway, it's way too late. Someone bought it, so they either have a top, fabbo bargain or - more likely - a fake! £550 for a US Gretsch seems suspiciously cheap to me!
Old 2 days ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffw5555 View Post
Who would bother to create a fake Gretsch? Lol
FMIC
Old 1 day ago
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
FMIC
So true.




-bryan
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