The Gretsch Clipper rolled out in 1958 as a lower-price hollowbody electric. Its thinline body is 16" wide, 1-3/4" deep, and fully hollow. Although there was a model version available with two pickups, the single-pickup versions seem to be most common, and that makes sense because—as a price-sensitive workingman's guitar—the single pickup was cheaper. Nevertheless, if you can track down a good double-pickup Clipper, you'll be glad you did! It's a versatile hollowbody that is a comfortable, manageable size (thanks to the thinline construction), and it is packed with authentic Gretsch tone and vibe.
This 1972 Gretsch 7555 Clipper was made during the Baldwin era of Gretsch in Booneville, Ark. It features the rarer two-pickup configuration with two Hi-Lo 'Trons and a sunburst finish. That year the model was renumbered as 7555, and then in 1975 it was discontinued altogether.
This '72 Clipper is missing its original pickguard, but it is still set up with all of its original knobs, bridge, tailpiece, tuning machines, and pickup trims. The strap button barrels have both been replaced. When it arrived to us, both of the tone capacitors had expired, so we replaced them with two Orange Drops (a .015 and a .022). For history's sake, the originals are included, but the Orange Drops are a huge upgrade. They make the tone switch much more usable than it ever was—one setting is subtle, kind of like a tone knob slightly rolled back, and then the other setting sounds like it's rolled all the way back. Other than the caps, all of the remaining wiring/electronics are original, and the Hi-Lo 'Iron humbuckers sound crisp and clear with a lot of versatility in the middle position (thanks to the individual volume controls).
This '72 Clipped shows some expected wear, and the finish is checked like a well-loved vintage guitar. There is a bizarre scratch on the treble side of the neck that fortunately doesn't affect playability, but it's a little ugly (see photos). Other than that, there are some scuffs and bumps here and there (see photos), but nothing too offensive.
This 1972 Gretsch 7555 Clipper has a smooth, low setup that plays clean and true all the way down the fingerboard (original frets to boot!). It currently sports .012-gauge flatwound strings, which mellow it out nicely and give it more of that classic warm hollowbody sound. It includes its original case, which has seen better days. One latch is broken, and the neck support/pocket is missing entirely. Nevertheless, the original case completes the package, and it's at least sufficient enough to cart the guitar around town.