An inspiring vintage archtop with a rich local history, this 1954 Gretsch Synchromatic II 6192-3 represents one of the most sonically powerful guitars built during the company's earliest days.
Why We Love This
When it comes to 1950s Gretsch guitars, the Synchromatic II - also known as the 6192, 6193, and eventually Country Club - is widely considered the premier professional archtop electric of its era. With a 17" wide lower bout and 3 3/8" deep body, it aimed at competing directly with Gibson's L5 CES and Epiphone's Zephyr Regent Deluxe as one of the top electric archtops on the market. The twin Dearmond Dynasonic single coil pickups coupled with the laminated Spruce top and laminated Maple back and sides provided a full acoustic tone with great clarity and warmth. It's a powerful guitar with a voice all its own.
It wasn't too long before archtop electrics like this made their way into other genres outside of Jazz and Country Blues, finding their niche among budding Rockabilly players and carving their own sound outside of the typical Gibson and Fender counterparts.
This guitar began a near 40-year-old stint with its prior owner, Stona Fitch of the Boston-based band Scruffy The Cat, sometime in the mid 1980s where it remained in his possession until just last year. This rarer Blonde variant saw the likes of many a rock show over the years that the band was active, and remained a prized guitar in Stona's collection.
It has survived quite impressively over the years, retaining much of its structural integrity along with preservation of the original electronics. The guitar received a neck reset years ago (in fact, done here at TME under prior ownership), and eventually had been refretted as well. The input jack area suffered some light damaged that was also repaired long ago and has held up very well. There's evidence of finish overspray on the back of the neck and on the back and sides of the body, likely to prevent further wear of the original lacquer. The original Dearmond Dynasonics and corresponding controls remain intact and fully functional, despite the bridge pickup missing a couple of mounting screws. An older Tru Arc saddle atop a rosewood bridge base along with a later Gretch tailpiece were added at some point as well, along with a changed out strap button on the end of the body.
Suffice to say, the guitar has lived a unique and interesting life here in our local music scene for decades, and is ready to enter its next stage as the wonderful vintage electric archtop we know it to be. It's certainly got a lot of music left in it, and is replete with character and vibe that are often only found in guitars of this age.
Priced with non-original vintage Gibson hardshell case.