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Thread: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

  1. #1
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    Was doing a scan of eBay this morning, found this - https://www.ebay.com/itm/vintage-Fre...QAAOSwiIxaI6Av

    Did try a couple of searches in the forum and couldn't find anything like it. Did someone take a Martin and throw on a Gretsch decal? Or could this be a MIJ version? From what I know, Martin did not do any work for Gretsch. At least not in any of my reference books. Tailpiece is wrong for a Martin anyway.
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    Registered User Greg Stec's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    IMO, that's a Martin A-style. Fred whoever -name on the head stock- had a Gibson-style tailpiece put on, and had his name inscribed/decal-ed on the head stock. Nothing about it sez Gretsch to me.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    It appears to be a Japanese copy of a Martin style A mandolin with a decal on the headstock. If it was built by Martin it would have the serial number and the Martin stamp inside on the backstrip. That's over priced in my book.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    It looks very Martin, except for the nut. I don't think Martin used rosewood for nut material, ebony yes. I could be wrong, have been wrong before, and most likely will be wrong again. Until then I think i'm right.
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  7. #5
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    Thanks for the ideas so far. I agree it's most likely made in Japan. In fact, just found a photo of a Sigma mandolin that could be this one's twin, except for the decal.

    I know I saw another Martin copy for sale recently, but can't remember if it was in the classifieds or someplace else. Oh well, wasn't really interested in buying, just wanted to know.
    2018 Eastmand MDO-305 - Octave mandolin
    2018 Big Muddy MW-0
    1929 (or 27) Gibson A. Jr
    Californian - Pacific Music Supply oval hole (Strad-O-Lin genre)
    ca. 2000 Breedlove Cascade
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/

  8. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    The same way that there were Martin guitar copies coming out of Japan there were mandolin copies. I have no idea where or why it got that headstock decal. Seems to me it would have been better to try and pass it off as a Martin
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #7
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    In the late '70s, Gretsch imported and distributed some very cheap acoustic guitars that were labeled "Fred Gretsch". I've never seen a mandolin with that label, but it seems to be from the same line of instruments.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

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  11. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with this Gretsch mandolin?

    Took me a while to find one but I suspect you're right. There's a Fred Gretsch guitar on eBay.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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