Dating vintage gretsch guitars
More About This EXPERT INSPECTION AND REPAIR - Our staff of eight repairmen sees that all instruments are properly restored and set up in optimum playing order including set-up.
For safe shipping, strings are loosened, moveable bridges on guitars and mandolins may be removed, and banjo necks may be separated from bodies.
In 1958, Gretsch introduced its Filter Tron double-coil pickups, space-control bridge, and changed the wiring such that the Penguin and Falcon (and other Gretsches from that time onward) feature a three-position pickup selector and three-position tone switch on the upper bass bout, a master volume knob on the upper treble bout, and two volume knobs on the lower bout.
The Penguin shown here is a 1958 model featuring the early vertical peghead logo, “thumbprint” fingerboard inlays, and Filter Tron pickups spaced in the Project-O-Sonic stereo position, with the middle pickup close to the rhythm pickup. A couple of Project-O-Sonic stereo Penguins have been found, almost undoubtedly custom-order instruments.
The appeal of the model is its extreme rarity and the fact that it was the most deluxe Gretsch guitar in this body size.There’s no doubt the White Penguin is one of the rarest Gretsch instruments.It is estimated that no more than a few dozen were made from the introduction of the model in 1955 through 1964, when it was discontinued, though exact production totals for early Gretsch guitars are not available.While the Penguin and its larger hollowbody companion are undoubtedly of as fine quality as any electric guitars ever made by Gretsch, functionally, a White Falcon is virtually identical to the much less expensive Country Club model, since the body size, neck shape, and electronics (and virtually all structural features that have anything to do with playability or sound) are the same.Conversely, the Penguin is virtually identical to the Duo Jet, sharing the same body construction, neck dimensions (except for the peghead), and the same electronics and other structural components that would affect playability or sound.
ACCURATE DESCRIPTIONS - Instruments are personally described by George Gruhn.