Dating gretsch electromatic
Carry that forward to 2018, and it’s not hard to find a vintage Single for somewhere in the region of half the price of the Double.
Of course, the keen-eyed and player-minded among us immediately see another form of bargain in that: grab an affordable Single Anniversary, add a Filter’Tron in the bridge position and a couple more knobs, and you’ve got a pretty reasonably priced 6120-alike, if it’s a player’s guitar you’re after in the first place.
The Double Anniversary got its name from its two Filter’Tron pickups, and also added a three-way selector switch beside the tone switch on the upper bout, plus an individual volume control for each pickup in addition to the final master volume on the horn.
Each was available in a sort of vintage sunburst finish that Gretsch called ‘Shade’, or a stylish ‘Two-Tone’, which had a light ‘Smoke Green’ on the top and contrasting darker green on the back and neck.
There's an arched maple top with sound-post bracing and oversized F-holes for acoustic breadth, and a playable-looking maple neck with rosewood fingerboard.
Both had hollow bodies that were 16 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep, made from braced laminated maple, with dual f-holes and rounded cutaways.
Not that we whole-heartedly recommend this route: such modification requires careful consideration of the potential devaluation of an original vintage guitar, weighed alongside the expense of having such work done professionally.
In 1960, Gretsch introduced its own in-house single-coil pickup, the Hilo’Tron, to replace the Model 200 (aka Dynasonic) they had previously been buying in from De Armond.
Arguably the largest component of “That Great Gretsch Sound” comes from the meaty twang of that Filter’Tron in the bridge position, and the Single Annie simply ain’t got one.
There are plenty of them out there, so clearly there was no shortage of players eager to take advantage of the bargain 5 price back in the day.