Up for sale, a 1957 Gretsch Clipper model 6187 in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and finished in Lotus Ivory. This rare Gretsch is from the debut 229xx serial number batch of cutaway Clippers, introduced in mid-’57; it’s essentially a stripped down version of the model 6120, sharing that iconic guitar’s body size and parallel tonebar bracing, but with a solitary DeArmond Dynasonic pickup and a fixed “G” cutout tailpiece.
The maple body has a 15 3/4“ lower bout width and 2 13/16” body depth, paired with a maple neck capped by a Brazilian rosewood fretboard. The natural acoustic properties of the instrument yield a full, lively sound with great natural projection, accentuated by the round, punchy quality of 11-49 flatwound strings. Boasting a proper Tone knob instead of the three-way Tone switch like later Anniversary models, this Clipper makes it easy to dial in every shade from sparkling treble glass to thicker, smoother textures via the neck position DeArmond Dynasonic single coil. The pickup has a distinct treble twang and sweetness to the lows, ideal for present, complex chording and detailed melodic playing. This Gretsch weighs 5lsb 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with easy-playing action and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a substantial U-shaped profile carve with generous, inviting shoulders in every register and ideal heft, measuring .880” deep at the 1st fret and 1.015 at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features pearloid dot inlay, refretted with pristine slender fretwire. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24.6” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the replacement bone nut measures a full 1 11/16” in width. The headstock sports the “T roof” Gretsch logo and original open-back Waverly tuning machines with white buttons, which turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.
The headstock wings have been reglued in the guitar’s lifetime, with a tiny amount of finish touchup on the edges of the seams. There is also a very slight, professionally repaired fretboard separation on the bass-side edge of the profile carve behind frets 1-3. This repair is imperceptible to the palm while fretting.
The stock electronics all function as intended, with the original DeArmond Dynasonic single coil governed by Master Volume and Tone controls. The chrome-plated hardware is notably clean, including the pickup surround, knurled “G” pointer knobs, and “G” cutout tailpiece. The rosewood bridge and saddle have ample height for future adjustment, and plastics include the back-painted Metallic Gray (to match the sides and back) plexi pickguard. The original serialized model label is visible through the F hole.
The gloss Lotus Ivory finish on the top is complemented by the “Shadow” Metallic Gray back and sides. The binding is extremely clean, showing none of the off-gassing that plagues some models. There is light vertical lacquer checking on the top and sides, with cosmetic wear limited to a scant few tiny nicks and a handful of faint scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth matching gloss.
The original Lifton gray hardshell case is included; all four original latches are functional and intact, as is the original molded handle.