Technically, they are new, since they`ve never been sold, but the build date could predate the sales date by a substantial amount.
In other words, try not to obsess over this stuff too much.
Early (sequential) serial numbers Gretsch began numbering it`s guitars sequentially in 1939, beginning with the better models.
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This is particularly tricky in the mid `60s, when some serial numbers may belong to more than one numbering system.
One last thing to remember is that Gretsch years are similar to model years for cars.
They made some guitars early to unveil at the big trade shows and tried to be ready to fill orders immediately, so those guitars would have an earlier-than-expected build date.
On the other hand, some less popular models may have sat on the shelf for years before being sold as new.
After the war that method continued, but some guitars had the serial number embossed on the headstock.
With the advent of labels in the late `40s, the serial number is usually found on the label, which is usually visible through the soundhole on hollowbody models.On solidbodies, it`s usually inside the control cavity.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.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.Second, remember that the specs on that particular guitar may have changed. It`s also worth noting that Gretsch used several different serial number systems through the years, and you need to make sure you`re looking at the right one.