Synchromatic 200 Guitars

1942 Gretsch Synchromatic 200

Color: Sunburst, Rating: 8.75, Sold (ID# 01486)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113



1942 Gretsch Synchromatic 200.


This wartime production 16 inch-wide, 3 3/8 inches deep, parallel-braced 'Synchromatic 200' archtop weighs just 5.10 lbs. Close-grained carved spruce top with two large, single-bound 'cats-eye' sound-holes. Highly figured two-piece 'quilted' maple back and maple sides. Asymmetrical, non-trussrod Gretsch "miracle neck" (two-piece lightly flamed maple neck with mahogany center-strip) with a nut width of 1 3/4 inches, a scale length of 25 inches and a huge and very thick profile. Single-bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard with twenty medium frets and inlaid pearl block position markers. The top and back of the body have triple-ply white/black/white binding. Black faced headstock with hand-cut mother-of-pearl slanted script "Gretsch" and "Synchromatic". Individual Grover 'Sta-tite' open-back tuners with cloverleaf shaped metal buttons. Gretsch pre-compensated "Synchronized" rosewood bridge on height-adjustable rosewood 'stairstep' base. Later Gibson style trapeze tailpiece with raised diamond on cross-bar secured by three screws. Housed in a later four-latch black shaped hardshell case with burgundy plush lining (9.00). This guitar has been professionally re-finished and re-fretted. The original tailpiece has been replaced with a Gibson substitute. The guitar actually looks like a mint (9.50) example but because of the aforementioned we have given it a very conservative rating of just (8.75) excellent plus.

"During World War 2 restrictions on supplies due to wartime rationing adversely affected Gretsch's, as well as every other American instrument manufacturer's, stock. Rationing of necessary war material combined with a lack of embargoed materials by the Axis to cause serious curtailment of production…

All manufacturers of guitars offered a limited line of instruments during the War. It appears that Gretsch produced a down-sized line of Synchromatic archtop acoustics which bear full Synchromatic appointments on a 16-inch-wide body. These wartime Model 200s were never catalogued and represented an abbreviated archtop line; they continued into the early-post war period and had disappeared by 1949. Nicely constructed, they used spruce tops and maple back, sides, and neck. Full Synchromatic improvements including asymmetrical miracle neck, streamlined tone holes, chromatic tailpiece, and Synchrosonic bridge highlight the sunburst or natural finished guitars." (Jay Scott. The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company. p. 23.).

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