Author Archive

Ball's Manual book coverAfter a long wait, we finally have confirmation that the new book, Ball’s Manual of Gretsch Guitars – 1950s will be released at the end of July. Thanks to everyone who helped make this project a reality! Now I can start working on the 1960s version…!

Released in 2014 by Schiffer Publishing, this effort is more of a technical resource featuring the most accurate explanation of the several Gretsch serial numbering schemes, the common features found on Gretsch guitars, and an overview of each of the models offered for sale during the decade of the 1950s.  Most significantly, there is a table I’ve created identifying each year’s factory production, batch-by-batch, in chronological order based on serial numbers.  This information resides nowhere else, and will help to clarify nagging issues within the Gretsch enthusiast community relating to model year attribtion for each batch.

labels: Recent News

Ebay Auction Item

Friday, August 2, 2013

Here we have a rare beast!  This Broadkaster parlor format guitar pre-dates the Gretsch American Orchestra archtop product line (’32-39ish).  It is listed in the 1933 Gretsch catalog (No.33), and was presumably made prior to that for only a short period.  The pearloid headstock and etched vertical logo running down it’s face matches the headstock aesthetic of New Yorker and Orchestrella banjo models offered during the same period. The Broadkaster sub-brand was applied to banjos, drums, and brass instruments.  The specimen in this auction is serial numbered, and research suggests that it’s from the 1931/32 time frame.

labels: Ebay

Vintage Guitar Magazine Article

Thursday, August 1, 2013

firstpost_imgKeep an eye out for my article in the October issue of Vintage Guitar magazine, featuring the recently discovered 1954 prototypical Chet Atkins 6120. This guitar is one of only three such prototypes known to exist from the infamous #137xx batch, and it provides a glimpse into the origins of this iconic guitar model. The October issue will hit the newsstands in mid-August.

labels: Recent News