Gretsch dating guitars
In 1973, the 2nd iteration of the Baldwin era Gretsch label was introduced.These labels were once again a Black and White rectangle, and had “Gretsch Guitars” printed on them, as well as a line for the Baldwin model number and the date coded serial number.Serial numbers show approximate date of manufacture.For all dates, you will need to look at the construction technique and components used to get a more precise date of manufacture.Another New Serial Number Scheme 1973 to 1981 A number is impressed into back of the headstock.The 1 or 2 digits before the hyphen show the month (1=Jan, 12=Dec.) The first digit after hyphen shows the last digit of year.
Several guitars have appeared that seem to use the new dating scheme from as early as Feb. There may have been overlap between the two numbering schemes, or the earlier method may have been phased out as early as 1963. The final numbers are the sequential order of the model made during the lifespan of the model (not that year).
The numbers for the months, October (10), November (11), and December (12), can also be interpreted as (10) January 1970, (11) January 1971 and (12) January 1972.
The only way to be clear, is to have an understanding of the feature sets of the instruments from the era.
Gretsch began numbering it's guitars sequentially in 1939, beginning with the better models.
They started, sensibly enough, at 001, just writing the number inside the back.