1963 Gretsch 6005 Ozark Classical Guitar

I wish I'd had time to grab a soundclip because this classical sounds excellent. It bears a 1963 serial number inside and the non-descript (typical of Gretsch) 6005 style number which points to this being an "Ozark" nylon-string ("soft string") model. It's unusual in many regards -- the first of which being that Gretsch offered a classical at all!

After that comes the more interesting bits, including its big 000-size (15" lower bout) 12-fret body (which seems to borrow from the Martin 12-fret "classic shape" classicals), feather-light solid spruce top with fan bracing, deep body (getting close to 4" as I recall), and solid mahogany back, sides, and neck. The bracing on the top, too, is feather-light and the fan braces look more like thin strips of top material than they do traditional braces.

As you might expect, the sound is full, punchy, and balanced -- but not muddy as the oversize body might suggest. I think part of that has to do with the tighter waist.

I worked on this for a customer and it received a neck reset, fret level/dress, a new bone saddle, and a good setup. It was in beautiful shape when it came in but the neck angle was just bad.

The original nut is bone and the spacing was good -- so I reused it.

This also got some side dots in addition to the other work. I'm assuming that fretboard is Brazilian rosewood... and the bridge, too.

This now has a nice, tall, bone saddle.

Below the bridge are a couple tight, repaired, but longer hairline cracks.

The tuners are standard-issue for the time and both Harmony and Martin used the same sets on their classicals, too. I like the aluminum shafts far better than the plastic ones one usually sees on classicals.

The backstrip inlay is actually quite elegant and the whole guitar has a restrained feel. It's actually a surprising look for a Gretsch.