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  1. #1

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    I got three of these guitar last month at an auction by the Gretsch family for charity. In case you didn't read the first thread on this, Heritage ghost built these for Gretsch in the 1990s. Supposedly they made only 10. The last ones came out in 1996 as best I can tell. Gretsch did not continue the contract and got out of the large archtop business.

    These are built like Super Eagles with cross bracing, carved top and back, and solid rims.

    These guitars were literally NOS. The one I'll show you now was in the first run from 1992. However it was stored, it came to me dirty. We believe that this and a natural finished one were the prototypes first offered from Heritage. Around the same time Heritage was also ghost building D-Angelicos.

    The Eldorado is 18" across and 3" deep. It's a fraction of an inch shorter than the standard Super 400. The pickup is a low output Heritage #3, which I believe complements an acoustic archtop well. It is not as HiFi as a Johnny Smith or PAF pickup.

    Here is what Bob Benedetto said about archtop bracing.

    Archtop Guitar Bracing Patterns

    Most makers and players would agree that, in general, there are two preferred bracing patterns: Parallel bracing, which results in a louder, more punchy voiced guitar, and X bracing, which may best be described as being warmer and with more balance between highs and lows. The latter usually (but not always) is better suited for the modern player.

    I won't debate which bracing is better. You can't beat the L-5 CES for an electric sound. Acoustically I find the x-bracing more pleasing, but that's just me.

    I had the guitar buffed out and fully inspected by Pete Moreno. I picked it up today.

    All and all, the braces look excellent, the neck is straight, it plays well, and with Sadowsky flatwound 13s the sound board is driven nicely and the guitar is loud. It has a very nice tonal balance.

    The only issue with it is some imperfections in the second half of doing the finish. There are some areas in the shaded portion of the burst on the top where after the tinted lacquer was applied someone over sanded it. Layers of clear were applied and the rest was done well. It is likely that Floyd Newton applied the first coat and shaded the burst. Someone less experienced must have finished the top. You'll see this in the pics. Since it's a prototype we theorize it was sent to Gretsch to see if the general design was okay. They could have stripped the top and resprayed it but didn't.

    Pete said he could fix it, but I wasn't interested in that delay and trouble. It's trivial.

    So here are the before pics.

    Gretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51076446158_46e36a12ee_z-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51077242337_a694106ed2_z-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51076446098_777ac6eeca_z-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51007959005_ea81da8677_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51076446078_4ffbdf0ac6_z-jpg


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  3. #2

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    You can see a few lighter patches on the lower bout and mid level on the bass side of the top. The lacquer is even on those spots. The darker stain on the deepest level is thinner there.

    Gretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51177505071_6a05136ccc_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51178596150_c3d1a7e5d6_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51177723878_4884113df8_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51177505186_ac068b5fde_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51178596325_81d02cb18c_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51177505246_07e0051106_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51177505281_09821157fe_c-jpgGretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-51177505321_55122a6408_c-jpg

  4. #3

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    Wow MG, that is beautiful. I mean like really beautiful.
    Joe D

  5. #4

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    That is a shame to see it in the condition it was in, but a joy to see it restored.

    Beautiful guitar—bet it plays and sounds wonderfully.

  6. #5

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    Big Heritage and Super Eagle fan, here. AND, I'm a BIG Gretsch fan. I strummed rhythm on a Gretsch Synchromatic for years and years. It was my fawning effort to capture some of Freddie Green's if! My Synchromatic 6015 was from '51 and looked just like the one in the 51 catalog:
    Gretsch/Heritage Eldorado #1 reborn-cat_1951gretsch_page111-jpg

    Your Gretsch/Heritage ticks lots of boxes for me. It's a beauty and I can practically hear it from here.


  7. #6

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    I love these threads of yours. It's great seeing how beautifuly this turned out.

  8. #7

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    That is just spectacular! Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  9. #8

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    Nice one Marty

  10. #9

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    Wow! That really cleaned up nice.

  11. #10

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    That guitar Marty is unbelievably beautiful. The flame and the burst is perfect I wish I could see it in person. WOW!

  12. #11

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    Mr. Moreno works wonders, again! Did Pete salvage the finish on the tailpiece?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Mr. Moreno works wonders, again! Did Pete salvage the finish on the tailpiece?
    I cleaned most of the finish up with water and a little soap. There was some corrosion of the strings that got onto the slots that Pete got out. So yes, the hardware came out well. The strings were close to 30 year old round wounds.

    Pete did a mirror exam and tapped the top and back to be sure there were no cracks and that the bracing and kerfing are solid.

    Pete is a rock star. At 80, he works full time. He has skills and experience that are amazing.