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Gretsch Broadkaster 4 String Identification and questions!

Sep 29, 2022 - 11:47:24 AM



2 posts since 9/29/2022

Hello, experts!

I have a Gretsch Broadkaster 4 string.

I am hoping to get some information and ideas on value.

S/N is 983

I feel this might be around 1930 but not sure. I am kinda old and recently figured out I have quite a few Guitars, Banjo's and Mandolins. I asked my insurance guy what would be covered if my house blew up....turns out, not much, so of course, I need to buy MORE insurance. I don't have much trouble placing values on most of the instruments...Taylor, Martin, Weber, Lowden etc. Even my Bart Reiter, but this Gretsch, well I am not sure. Any help would be appreciated.

Sep 29, 2022 - 4:46:16 PM
like this

5253 posts since 3/22/2008

Welcome to Banjohangout.
In response to your questions -
Information: The Gretsch Die-Cast Metallic Rim Broadkaster line of banjos was introduced in August 1928. The patent application for the rim was filed by Fred. Gretsch in Nov. 1928 and the patent granted in 1931.
The original 1928 line consisted of models A-E priced from $60 - $250. Your banjo, the Model 50, was not among the first produced. The pearloid Model 50 was introduced in May 1929 priced at $50. Your banjo, Serial Number 983, was manufactured in 1930. The Broadkaster 50 model, et. al., was manufactured throughout the 1930's with different style peghead and fretboard decoration changes from time to time (attached). No banjos made during the war. Then, the Broadkaster 50 (now "75") was reintroduced in 1948 and discontinued in 1953. The metallic rim, however, continued to be used in the New Yorker and Bluegrass models into the 1960's.
FMV: These days a Broadkaster 50 seems to sell for about $250 on ebay (I sold one for that in 2021). In 2014 Vintage Guitar Price Guide was more optimistic (attached).
Hope this helps.

Edited by - beezaboy on 09/29/2022 16:57:23

Sep 30, 2022 - 7:26:37 AM



1187 posts since 5/19/2007

The original Fender electric was called the "Broadcaster", but Gretch sued them for infringement, so they changed the name to "Telecaster".

Sep 30, 2022 - 8:31:03 AM



2 posts since 9/29/2022

Hey thank you so very much. It is all coming back after speaking with my wife (funny how that works). I paid $30 from a fellow advertising it in the news paper (yep, way before the internet) in Elmira New York. Now living in Arizona, I may donate it with some other instruments to the Music Museum here. Thanks again for your information.

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