Up for sale, a 1967 Gretsch Viking in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, fully re-bound and complete with a hardshell case. Introduced as a feature-rich instrument at the top of Gretsch's model range, the Viking was slotted neatly between the Falcon and the Country Club in Gretsch's top tier offerings. With a full 17" lower bout, 25 1/2" scale, tuning fork bridge, T Zone tempered treble frets, and SuperTron humbuckers, the Viking is a premium instrument that retains all of the model's introductory features.
The Viking was the first guitar to offer Gretsch's SuperTron humbuckers, and as the successor to the FilterTron, the SuperTron features blades rather than pole pieces for greater inductance and excellent volume retention between strings. Offering a distinctly "Gretsch" tonal profile with the snap and attack of the fully hollow maple body and the distinct midrange character and push that these humbuckers provide, the neck position SuperTron is robust and clear with a smooth, jazzy midrange, while the bridge position is slightly hotter for greater sustain, pushing your favorite tube amp to the brink of breakup with ideal output. The guitar also features Gretsch's Floating Sound Unit bridge, which is a smooth roller design coupled with an actual A440 tuning fork mounted between the top and back of the body, purportedly designed to offer enhanced sustain and overtones. This design does ultimately achieve a more ringing, rich acoustic sound, and the Bigsby response is perhaps the greatest beneficiary, as the response is extremely smooth and fluid, given the additional break angles provided by the fork design. The instrument weighs 8lbs 11oz, fretting cleanly in every register and professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 roundwound strings and easy-playing action.
The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with moderate shoulder and an effortless feel, measuring .840” deep at the 1st fret and .925” at the 9th. The slab ebony fretboard has multi-ply binding and thumbnail pearl inlay on the lower frets. The higher frets in the "T Zone" region feature pearl dot inlay, denoting the Tempered-Treble zone beyond the octave. Essentially designed to stretch tune the Viking for optimal perceived intonation, above fret 12 the frets are angled a single degree forward on the treble side for a more sonorous response. As Gretsch states in the original factory paperwork, "You will never notice the slight degree in your fingering, but you will notice a beautiful change in your treble range." The slender frets are flawless with perfectly rounded crowns, and the guitar plays cleanly in every register. The fretboard width at the zero fret just forward of the carved bone nut is 1 3/4", and the scale length is a full 25 1/2". On the headstock, the guitar is fitted with a set of vintage replica Grover tuning machines, perfectly matching the footprint and style of the original gears. Identical to Grover's Imperial tuners in function, these tuners have the same impressive footprint as the Imperials, with large "kidney" buttons. The 107-prefix serial on the headstock denotes an October, 1967 build date.
All of the electronics work as intended, with individual Volume knobs for each pickup, a Master Volume on the treble side body cutaway, three-way pickup selector and tone switches, and a two-position kill switch on the lower bout. The stock hardware is all present too, with the flip-up mute assembly fitted with fresh foam, tuning fork bridge (just forward of the Space Control bridge), original pickguard (with a couple repaired, stable splits in the plexi material), and Gretsch B6G vibrato unit which shows some surface patina through the gold plating.
Cosmetically, this Gretsch is a stunner, and the instrument has received all the maintenance due a Gretsch of this era, and this centers around the binding. The guitar has been fully re-bound, both body and neck, and the work was flawlessly executed with the correct multi-ply binding on the body and red side dots on the neck. Rebinding a Gretsch is often necessitated due to deterioration of the original binding, and this is easily one of the cleanest, most exacting binding jobs we've ever seen on a Gretsch. There are a couple smaller areas of lacquer overspray both on the neck heel where the factory dowel is present and on the treble-side lower bout edge, both consistent with areas that could necessitate touchup after the body was re-bound. The original Sunburst gloss finish on the body is otherwise very vibrant and notably clean, and on the gloss-finished neck profile there is palm wear central to the profile favoring the bass side behind frets 3-9. The guitar also does have a faint smokey odor.
A modern Gretsch-branded black tolex hardshell case is included.