Museum: Other Acoustic Guitars

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c.1939 Gretsch Flat-Top

No serial number. One of the best sounding blues fingerpickers we've had through the shop in a while, this OM-sized flat-top has all the mid-range pop you'd want, with big, full, round trebles, and a dry and present fundamental. It's built with a solid Red spruce top and mahogany sides and back, and features wide-X top bracing and transverse tone-bars. If you've ever wanted a guitar that marries the tone of ladder and X bracing -- this is it.

The mahogany neck has a full-feeling soft V profile, a long 25.8" scale length and 1-3/4" nut. Bound ebonized maple fingerboard with pearl dot inlays, triple-bound body and soundhole, Brazilian rosewood pyramid bridge, plastic headstock overlay, and cool double-bound tortoise-celluloid pickguard. The guitar is completely original but for 1960's replacement tuners, and it's in remarkably good condition. No cracks, no internal repairs, unworn frets, gorgeous original finish with a bit of buckle rash on the back. The neck has been nicely reset, and the guitar plays well. Set up by Folkway.

We've never encountered this model Gretsch flat-top before, and can't tell you what model it is with any real certainty. Michael Wright makes mention of a Kay-built Grand Concert Size Spanish Guitar No. 20, in his "Guitar Stories Vol. 2" (Vintage Guitar Books, 2000,pg. 126), with a description that matches this guitar well. It is almost certainly Kay built, and the trim, headstock logo, and neck carve are quite distinctive of the late 1930's.

With chipboard case

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