Yes the body depth does look about an 1/2 inch thicker on this guitar. Hard to tell from the photos. The ad that Bryan posted shows the body depth pretty well too and that one looks similar to the gbase advertised guitar. The other day I got a copy of Guitar Player Magazine(Jan ’81) with a Tiny Grimes interview and in it he says that Guild custom built his 4 string guitars with De Armond 6 string pickups. Maybe this was a one off for Bill Jennings in much the same fashion. Things seem to have changed. Back then the major companies built one offs for working musicians with not much thought of “signature” models. Just trying to keep their supporters happy and build reputation.
(Tommy, email me your shipping address and I’ll send this mag to you in thanks for the scanned Kessel pages.)
Here’s the response from Ed Ball, author of a few Gretsch books. http://www.gretschguy.com/
“Looks kinda like an Electo II model 6187-8, with extra guards for style! But upon further inspection the split-hump block markers are saved for higher end guitars. That body may be wider than 16″ as well. I’m thinking custom made for ‘ol Bill.”
So, based on the 6187-8 shape, with a spruce top, with lots of extra binding and fancier appointments.
My buddy in England bought an old streamliner with a dynosonic. Sounded pretty close to that jennings tone we go nuts for. I would love it if Gretsch would acknowledge the jump and jazz players that used their guitars. Well, 40’s blues doesn’t sell kike hotrods and pinups.
I have played couple of old Electromatic Gretsch’s with the DeArmond pickups in them and they are very nice blues instruments. I played a few from the 618_ series. I think they were the 6183’s and the 6188’s if I remember correctly. Gretsch Guitars are very good blues guitars for that early stuff we like. They have unjustly been pigeon holed in my opinion. I play a Gretsch for everything from blues, rockabilly, jazz, honky tonk and rock n roll. The guitar will give me an authentic sound for each style as well. The Dynasonics and Filter Trons I think lend themselves very well to blues and early jazz. They have enough output to push the amp hard if needed, but they keep a very nice clarity that is lost with pickups like P-90’s. I think they sound great with a Tweed style circuit because you can push the amp hard and get that drive we like from the Tweed era amps, but the nature of the pickups clarity doesn’t make those amps fart out and squish like a P-90 can.
I think Tommy hit the nail on the head though with the marketing thing. The guys that made them famous were guys like Eddie Cochran, Brian Setzer, and guys of the like. So that is kind of the image they now have. I think the other big thing that hurts them is availability. Not many stores carry them, so it is hard for people to get their hands on them. You can’t walk into any music store and buy a Gretsch like you can a Strat or Les Paul. I think the same thing happened with Guild Electrics as well. People of think of Buddy Guy with the Strat, but a lot of those Chess Recordings and early stuff was Guild all the way. He was a big Starfire player. George Barnes was another big Guild player. That is another thread topic though because the Guilds are monster guitars. Doesn’t matter if it was their humbucker, DeArmond pickups, or their Franz pickups, those guitars have tone.
I agree, guild’s are just bad ass. I loved the way gretchman’s guild sounder when I was out in North Carolina. I’m suprised more people don’t play them. If I didn’t connect up with Grez I was thinking about a Guild. I’ll have to ask Barry if their was a Gretsch mold in the RC Allen stash. On another subject I changed out the top three saddles on my Embie bridge. So I have the top three being nylon and the bottom three being stainless. I think it’s a good combo. I’ll gig with it this thurs.
Yup, I have the 6120 and the Country Club, so a 16″ and a 17″. I think the guitar RC made the most of is based on the 6120, different F-holes and bracing, but the shape and the arch are Gretsch.
Guild seems to have a PR problem. The current products are good, they have a good history and story, but there’s not a lot a buzz about them with average guitar folks.
I agree about Guild Grez. I think part of it is that they switch factories and ownership on a regular basis. They also don’t rely on market input. It’s hard to find a Guild acoustic with a 1 3/4″ nut which is what the majority of the finger pickers ask for. I own one of the CV guitars in the link below. CV is Contemporary Vintage. It has a controversial and much maligned bolt on neck system which was rejected by Fender when they bought Guild after the Tacoma factory move. Fender promptly unloaded the guitars to a refurbish company and they stamped them “used” on the back of the head stock. I got one brand new for $800 a few years back. The tone is a hair on the bass side but otherwise balanced, beautiful, and this guitar projects like no other acoustic I’ve owned in the past. I’d sell my $3500 Martin 0000-28 before I’d think about selling this one. So Guild being what it is, I bought a 1964 CE-100 today in Natural finish for $1500. An ebay buy where the seller claims it’s a closet classic condition guitar and 100% original except the case. We’ll see when it arrives but the photos showed a near mint condition guitar. A comparable Gibson or Gretsch from 1964 would be double or triple the price. I’m glad there’s a lack of buzz about Guild. I’m jazzed about your find that the RC guitars were based on the 6120 Gretsch style bodies. I can’t wait to see the end result. It’s awesome that you’re doing this.
A side note about the post above;
If you look at the description of the CE-100 it just says “Beautiful”. What a great sales tactic. I had to send a message to get details. I’m going to try that tactic for my next sale.
Congrats on the new Guild.
Congrats on the new Ce-100. I think you will love it. I have two of them, a 65′ with dual humbuckers(out of phase in middle posistion) and a 56 with a single Fanz style P-90 in the neck. Tommy couldn’t put the 56′ down. He really liked that one. If you are curious about the sound of them, I did a video a few months back for Dan comparing some of the guitars he was looking into that I owned. My 3 Guilds are on there. They are guitars 2,3, and 4 on the video, the 65′ that will be like yours is the 3rd. The video is put toward the bottom of the first page of the Hollow Body Options thread of the forum. The playing clips are not very long, just a few little chord, and single note runs on each guitar through each of the pick up options, but it will give you a good idea of the sound of what you are getting.
Actually so you do not have to find the video here is a link to it. Your type CE-100 starts about 5:05ish in the video.
Thanks. I remember that vid well. That’s about the time I started looking at these so I think you can take credit for me spending all my hard earned money lol. I really like that Franz pickup too. May be next on my list but I still see a Grez in my future too. I can’t keep all the gear I buy due to budget so I’ll never have a collection like what I see is behind you in the vid. Also, my playing time has been robbed the past few months by buying. It time to go on a selling cycle, get back to guitar playing, and wait to see what the RC guitars that Grez is working on are all about. I’m sure you saw his above post that these are mostly 6120 based bodies. My favorite for Gretsches. Grez’s work kinda reminds me of Danial Slamans in that they’re keeping a guitar building tradition alive but doing it better and with an individual approach. We, as players, are lucky in this day and age in that respect. That quick Big Boy sounding lick you did in the vids is nice. Mike
I loved the ce-100. I loved the fidelity of the fanz pickup, the guitar sounded great unplugged. I’m not a fan of humbuckers but the guild humbuckers sound really cool. I especially love the starfire III. I would use that guitar for any gig, bryan and our buddy Mark has the same guitar, I played both of them and loved it. Bryan’s right, the aluminum bridge on that guitar produces some unique sounds. I’m not sure what model Dave Gonzalez plays but I wonder know if his bridge is aluminum, the presence and twang he gets is nuts.
That’s a Guild X-550 he plays. I’ve looked for one in the past but gave up. Pretty rare I guess. Scroll down to his demo of the amp. WOW!
A better link for the Dave Gonzalez guitar.
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