Dating a gretsch guitar
Through much of the company`s history, Gretsch guitars were numbered sequentially and/or chronologically, so serial numbers (in addition to the features on the guitar) can give a very accurate idea of when the guitar was made.
That said, there are several tricks to successfully dating your Gretsch guitar.
1965 to 1972 serial numbers (Most numbers are on the back or top of the headstock, and "Made in USA" is stamped next to the number starting in June 1967). The next digit = last digit of the year (1965 to 1972: 5,6,7,8,9,0,1,2).
The remaining digits = number of individual instrument, probably.
Second, remember that the specs on that particular guitar may have changed. It`s also worth noting that Gretsch used several different serial number systems through the years, and you need to make sure you`re looking at the right one.
After the war that method continued, but some guitars had the serial number embossed on the headstock.
With the advent of labels in the late `40s, the serial number is usually found on the label, which is usually visible through the soundhole on hollowbody models.
Beginning in 1965, the model number was printed either on top or on the back of the headstock or engraved in the metal model plate on the headstock, and no label was fitted.
In the late `60s the labels returned on most models.
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On solidbodies, it`s usually inside the control cavity.