Howdy from Cincinnati

Hey Y'all. I just received my copy of Ball's Manual of Gretsch Guitars: 1950s and it prompted me to dig into the 1953 Country Club hanging on my guitar room wall. My Dad bought it new and played it in bands until he got married to my Mom, After his second divorce, it was being held hostage by his second wife. My Dad figured that she wouldn't have the nerve to deny his request to give it (and a '53 Gibson amp) to me. He was right.

The pickguard shattered into thousands of tortoise-shell pieces and I was too young & dumb to save the hinges or mounting bracket. Years of storage in the case didn't do the binding any favors. A few pieces disappeared when I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio. And the neck is a warped mess.

I'm not sure what the next steps will be. There are a couple of reputable luthiers in the Cincinnati area so a complete refurb is possible. I welcome any and all thoughts or suggestions.

For reference, I went through the same thought process with the Gibson amp last year and determined that the refurb costs didn't make sense. In that case, I removed the electronics and original speakers and turned it into a speaker cabinet for an Orange Micro Dark head.
 

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LivingMyDream

Friend of Fred
Gold Supporting Member
May 4, 2016
7,168
Peculiar, Missouri
Welcome to Gretsch-Talk, Fauster!

Love the backstory on the Gretsch Synchromatic and the Gibson amp. I hope the consensus is to restore that guitar, because of its sentimental value, and because it's a nice looking Gretsch.
 
Welcome to Gretsch-Talk! Spare no expense.

You did what now to a ‘53 Gibson amp? 😒
I did nothing bad. The amp was stored in the attic of my Dad's ex's house and the original capacitors essentially exploded. A local tube amp technician reviewed the condition and the wiring diagram and gave me an estimate on replacing components and re-sourcing some of the unobtanium bits. It was more than I wanted to invest right now so all of the guts went into a bin with lots of padding to prevent any damage during storage. Added two new Jensens (12" & 8") to the empty cabinet and wired them to be plugged directly into the new head. I thought about hard mounting the head inside the cabinet but there is something to be said for having the controls available from the front.
 

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Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
23,182
Monkey Island
I did nothing bad. The amp was stored in the attic of my Dad's ex's house and the original capacitors essentially exploded. A local tube amp technician reviewed the condition and the wiring diagram and gave me an estimate on replacing components and re-sourcing some of the unobtanium bits. It was more than I wanted to invest right now so all of the guts went into a bin with lots of padding to prevent any damage during storage. Added two new Jensens (12" & 8") to the empty cabinet and wired them to be plugged directly into the new head. I thought about hard mounting the head inside the cabinet but there is something to be said for having the controls available from the front.

That makes a lot more sense now! :)
 

Bob Perrone

Synchromatic
Mar 7, 2017
519
allentown, pa
If you can I would try to get the guitar restored for sentimental reasons let alone having a nice instrument to play. Neat idea on re-using the amplifier by the way.
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2010
492
new jersey
Hello. If I had something like that from my Dad, I would restore it, keep and play it, and pass it down to the next generation. Congrats
 

cqscqs

Gretschie
Dec 8, 2013
315
midwest
Hey Y'all. I just received my copy of Ball's Manual of Gretsch Guitars: 1950s and it prompted me to dig into the 1953 Country Club hanging on my guitar room wall. My Dad bought it new and played it in bands until he got married to my Mom, After his second divorce, it was being held hostage by his second wife. My Dad figured that she wouldn't have the nerve to deny his request to give it (and a '53 Gibson amp) to me. He was right.

The pickguard shattered into thousands of tortoise-shell pieces and I was too young & dumb to save the hinges or mounting bracket. Years of storage in the case didn't do the binding any favors. A few pieces disappeared when I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio. And the neck is a warped mess.

I'm not sure what the next steps will be. There are a couple of reputable luthiers in the Cincinnati area so a complete refurb is possible. I welcome any and all thoughts or suggestions.

For reference, I went through the same thought process with the Gibson amp last year and determined that the refurb costs didn't make sense. In that case, I removed the electronics and original speakers and turned it into a speaker cabinet for an Orange Micro Dark head.
Hi there, welcome. There is a book out, Cincinnati Supernova, that follows a teen guitar player/ Townshend wanna be through the 70's in Cincinnati. Getting good reviews, it if might be of interest!
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,934
Ontario Canada
Hey Y'all. I just received my copy of Ball's Manual of Gretsch Guitars: 1950s and it prompted me to dig into the 1953 Country Club hanging on my guitar room wall. My Dad bought it new and played it in bands until he got married to my Mom, After his second divorce, it was being held hostage by his second wife. My Dad figured that she wouldn't have the nerve to deny his request to give it (and a '53 Gibson amp) to me. He was right.

The pickguard shattered into thousands of tortoise-shell pieces and I was too young & dumb to save the hinges or mounting bracket. Years of storage in the case didn't do the binding any favors. A few pieces disappeared when I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio. And the neck is a warped mess.

I'm not sure what the next steps will be. There are a couple of reputable luthiers in the Cincinnati area so a complete refurb is possible. I welcome any and all thoughts or suggestions.

For reference, I went through the same thought process with the Gibson amp last year and determined that the refurb costs didn't make sense. In that case, I removed the electronics and original speakers and turned it into a speaker cabinet for an Orange Micro Dark head.
Hey Fauster,

Welcome!!

You're going to like it here.

From what I can see in the photos, the guitar doesn't look like it needs much more than a good cleaning, and a proper set up.

Storing the guitar open on a wall mount is not the best for the guitar.

Suggest you look for a proper Gretsch case if you don't have one.

Don't use any volatile solvents in your cleanup, look for Murphy's Oil Soap. it's a liquid product for cleaning fine furniture.

You should be able to replace the pick-guard/bracket/fasteners, suggest Pick Guardian, Angela Instruments.

There are many members here with lots of experience with the vintage full body models.

Best,

BIB.
 


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