SOLD - Gretsch Van Eps 7 String 1969 Sunburst

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Who buys vintage guitars?  We do! 

Call 530-570-1525 or email to sell your vintage guitar, bass, amplifier, etc - one piece or a collection!  We are always ready to buy instruments, amps and effects from Fender, Gibson, Martin, Epiphone, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, Marshall, Vox and just about anything else related to musical instruments.   You can also click here for more info on selling us vintage instruments, amps, parts, etc.  

No sales tax for customers outside California.

Here we have a rare Gretsch Van Eps model, named for George Van Eps, the father of the 7 string guitar.  

In the 1930s, George invented a model of guitar with another bass string added to the common six-string guitar. The seven-string guitar allowed him to play basslines below his chord voicings, unlike the single-string style of Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. He called his technique "lap piano".  He played with the likes of Benny Goodman and continued as a performer and studio musician for nearly 60 years.

The first thing that surprised me about this guitar is the action, which is surprisingly low and level in spite of the 7 beefy strings.  

The guitar has seen some work.  Gretsch guitars of this era are notorious for "binding rot", when the binding starts to offgas and decompose, leaving behind a crumbled, nasty mess.  The binding on the guitar has been replaced.  The work is tricky, and it wasn't done perfectly by any stretch, but it is a vast improvement over a guitar with binding falling off everywhere.  

The neck appears to have been reset as well, addressing another common issue with Gretsch guitars from the period.

The bridge has been changed, but the original tuning fork bridge is in the original case.  The handle on the case is missing.

The frets appear to be professionally replaced, show little wear, and they received a nice polishing here in our shop.

All parts except those noted are original to the guitar.

The strings are not the greatest.  We'll restring it once we can get appropriate gauges in stock.

The guitar and case are large - shipping will be expensive.

Shipping policy:

Shipments will require signature on delivery, no exceptions.  If there is damage, the buyer must retain all packing materials intact and picture them immediately and send them to  Less than 1% of our shipments are damaged in transit, and we are committed to making sure your item arrives safely, but we are taking these additional measures to make sure you are happy with your purchase.   

  • Color: Sunburst
  • Weight: 8lbs 12.1ozs
  • Top: Maple
  • Body: Maple
  • Neck: Maple
  • Neck Profile: 
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Inlays: Acrylic Thumbs
  • Frets: Replaced showing very little play wear and now with a fresh polish!
  • Fret count: 21
  • Nut material: Zero fret
  • Nut width: 2 1/8" 
  • Scale: 25.5"
  • Radius: 9.5"
  • Neck thickness at 1st fret: 0.83"
  • Neck thickness at 10th fret: 0.92"
  • Action 1st String at 12th Fret: 1.5mm
  • Action 6th String at 12th Fret: 1.75mm
  • Total length: 44.75"
  • Lower bout: 17"
  • Waist: 10.25"
  • Upper bout: 12"
  • Body depth/thickness: 2 11/16"
  • String gauge: .013-.086"
  • Hardware Color: Gold
  • Bridge Pickup Brand: OEM
  • Bridge Pickup Reading: 6.87k
  • Pickup Original?: Yes
  • Neck Pickup Brand: OEM
  • Neck Pickup Reading: 5.29k
  • Pickup Original?: Yes
  • Bridge: Replaced with an ebony bridge, incomplete original in case.
  • Tuners: Original
  • Switches: Original 
  • Pots/Codes: Original
  • Case: OHSC
  • Notes: Top and back binding has been replaced, non-original truss rod cover with second set of holes (hidden), neck heel/body repair.

We Pack with Care

We pack items extremely well & utilize special vintage instrument insurance in case there is a damage claim.

Shipping Services

We prefer UPS based on their performance before & during the pandemic. USPS is usually our choice for international shipping.

Out the Door Quickly!

We turn your orders around quickly so you aren't fiending for your items for long. Most orders depart within 24 to 48 hours.