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In other words, try not to obsess over this stuff too much.
ABOUT THIS SECTION The information in the table and text below the horizontal bar was compiled by Paul Bechtoldt, columnist for Vintage Guitar Magazine, and is included in his book G&L: Leo's Legacy.
That said, there are several tricks to successfully dating your Gretsch guitar.
First, note that specs may or may not match up to a particular year, as there was considerable overlap.
Please note that his comments do not reflect changes to G&L instruments since that time.
The serial numbers on guitars and basses started at #500, reserving prior numbers for special instruments or presentation.
Original and mint condition will catch the highest values for your instruments.
The prefix "CL" and "CLF" stand for "Clarence Leo" and "Clarence Leo Fender", respectively. The George Fullerton model, which when changed to 4-bolt neck attachment, continued with serial numbers using the prefix "GF", for "George Fullerton" until discontinued.
Many vintage guitar owners value guitar dating and guitar serial number data to date their electric and acoustic guitars.
Guitar dating services provide serial numbers to date your guitar.
If you are having trouble finding the date of the guitar you are researching, try emailing the manufacturer and see if they can help date the instrument.
Through much of the company`s history, Gretsch guitars were numbered sequentially and/or chronologically, so serial numbers (in addition to the features on the guitar) can give a very accurate idea of when the guitar was made.
The Gibson Serial Number Decoder currently supports 6 formats from 4 Factories.