Time for a neck reset??

LesB3

Electromatic
Aug 17, 2021
68
Philadelphia, PA
What do you think? None of my other vintage Gretsch's look like this... No issues with playability, but wondering if a neck reset is around the corner?

clipper neck.jpg

Thanks!
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,383
Where the action is!
I will say I've had a few Gretsches where the joint looked like that but they were fine. Is this a new development or has it always looked that way? If it's been like that for a long time and the angle over the bridge seems adequate, then you might be fine indefinitely. If that gap developed more recently, then a neck reset may be in your future. But I tend to judge a neck joint on a 50-60 year old guitar more by how it functions than how it looks. Wood drying out or plastic shrinking can create the appearance of a gap on the perimeter that may not actually exist.
 

Curt

Electromatic
Mar 7, 2022
48
Hopewell, NJ
Not even a question, absolutely. That guitar will make sounds you never heard before after the reset. The only thing holding that neck in is the Dan Duffy screw!
Also, when you send it to your neck person they need to know it's a tenon joint and not a dovetail.
 

LesB3

Electromatic
Aug 17, 2021
68
Philadelphia, PA
I will say I've had a few Gretsches where the joint looked like that but they were fine. Is this a new development or has it always looked that way?
Honestly, I can't say. The view from the other side is a lot different...
clipper neck 2.jpg
Not even a question, absolutely. That guitar will make sounds you never heard before after the reset. The only thing holding that neck in is the Dan Duffy screw!
Also, when you send it to your neck person they need to know it's a tenon joint and not a dovetail.
Thanks Curt - I guess you would know!
Unfortunately, I am "tech-less" and the last quote I got for a neck reset on another guitar was well over what this girl is worth.
 

Curt

Electromatic
Mar 7, 2022
48
Hopewell, NJ
Some people are afraid to do Gretsch resets and charge a lot to avoid doing the work.
Remove the strings and then rock the neck, you’ll see movement which is a tone suck. From the top of the guitar to the bottom of the strings it should be about 7/8”.
 

wildeman

I Bleed Orange
May 10, 2015
16,057
norcal
Honestly, I can't say. The view from the other side is a lot different...
View attachment 180579

Thanks Curt - I guess you would know!
Unfortunately, I am "tech-less" and the last quote I got for a neck reset on another guitar was well over what this girl is worth.
The value on old Gretschs has been on a steady climb, it might be worth more than you think. What is it, a Tenny?
 

LesB3

Electromatic
Aug 17, 2021
68
Philadelphia, PA
Some people are afraid to do Gretsch resets and charge a lot to avoid doing the work.
Remove the strings and then rock the neck, you’ll see movement which is a tone suck. From the top of the guitar to the bottom of the strings it should be about 7/8”.
Thanks Curt - I figured it was probably a "go away" price but don't really have another point of reference. The last place I had a reset done (20 years ago, on a Tennessean) is long gone. Back then it cost me $399. The only other guy that I know I would trust told me he has a 2 year waiting list. ;)
The value on old Gretschs has been on a steady climb, it might be worth more than you think. What is it, a Tenny?
Nah, just an old Clipper.
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Feb 17, 2010
187
new jersey
My idea of doing it myself was to personally drive my Tennessean to Curt’s, drop it off and pick it up when ready. Money well spent as the guitar both played and sounded better. If a guitar needs a neck reset, it needs a reset. Not getting it done (either professionally or by the owner if confident/capable enough) is to shortchange the owner of the benefits of the guitar imo.
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,656
Santa Cruz
Neck resets……I get my 25 yr old ooo-28 EC Martin back pretty soon from Gryphon, neck reset. I work on my guitars but I was not about to learn how to reset a neck on that guitar. I may buy a beater guitar at some point and learn on that.

My Martin

8F64AC19-B33A-4E3C-9F8A-56643F117E4C.jpeg 6C173FCE-8407-4AD7-BF2F-39A6CDD9DD42.jpeg
 

LesB3

Electromatic
Aug 17, 2021
68
Philadelphia, PA
Yeah, a neck reset is not on my list of things I'd like to try (and fail at). I still haven't managed to get a truss-rod adjustment right in over 20 years, no way I'm pulling the neck off completely.

And to be fair, this is a guitar I was looking at buying, not one that I own, and was mostly to scratch a particular itch I've had lately. Just bought a Guild (gasp!) instead.

Thanks everyone!
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,383
Where the action is!
Honestly, I can't say. The view from the other side is a lot different...
View attachment 180579
So the wood-to-wood contact looks solid. That's why I say that the appearance of a gap could be caused by shrinkage of the heel cap and binding strip. Take something that's thin enough to fit into that gap and see if it goes any deeper than the heel cap or binding strip. If it doesn't, you might be okay. If it does go deeper, then there's definitely some separation. And follow Curt's advice and see if you can detect any movement with the strings slackened.
 

ToneM1

Gretschie
Mar 10, 2009
246
Oxnard/Ventura County Calif.
Even though I've done Neck Re-set's, I'd rather have Curt do it when It comes to my own guitars. I have the steam jig I got years ago from Stew-Mac and it works great, when it comes to my stuff I would rather have another set of "eyes" do it.
 


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