Greco: Mint collection

In 1982, the ‘Super Real’ collection was succeeded by the ‘Mint Collection,’ which remained in production until 1989. While still featuring Gibson replicas, the ‘Mint Collection’ omitted the truss-rod cover format and ‘fret binding.’ Additionally, the later models in this series incorporated replicas of Gretsch guitars. The Gibson replicas were produced in smaller quantities during this period, and the use of nitrocellulose varnish was nearly phased out.

greco mint collection
Greco Mint Collection

Following the ‘Mint Collection’ series, a new line of Les Paul replicas emerged between 1989 and 1992/93. This series featured models of Les Paul Customs, identifiable by the ‘Split Diamond’ inlay, as well as the Gibson J-160. The later models within this series, produced towards the end of its run, lacked any serial number and were manufactured in Korea at Cort factories or at Tokai factory in Japan. Generally, the 90’s marked the decline of Japanese guitar replication due to pressure from Gibson, leading to the establishment of their own brands like ‘Orville’ and later ‘Orville by Gibson,’ which continued until 1998.

Share this article :


Comments :

One Response

  1. Thanks for your research. I’d appreciate your recommendations per the following. I’m looking for a vintage Japanese, truly hollow body double cutaway with a trapeze tailpiece and 14 inch lower bout (not semi-hollow with a center block, nor a 16 inch lower bout – to keep the weight 7 lbs. or less – plus my arms and hands are on the small size, and ES335-like models with the 16 inch lower bout don’t fit me), in order to mod it as needed to look and sound as close as possible to a vintage Gretsch 6122 Junior (that has a 14 inch lower bout). So far the only model I can find that comes close is the Greco SA-500, most of which appear online to be semi-hollow with a center block, except one (a 1977 – was that a pivotal year, as it was with Maxon pup SN’s switching from 5-digits to 6-digits?) I found with a trapeze tailpiece on Reverb. Once I find and purchase the right guitar per size, shape and quality build, I’ll test to see if it sounds in any way similar (presumably with Maxon U-1000 pups) to a Gretsch – and if not, then swap the Maxon pups with TV Jones Classic pups that will fit the SA-500 pup cavities. What years was the SA-500 produced? Do you know what percentage of those produced were truly hollow body with the trapeze tailpiece? I think the vintage Greco SA-700/900/1200 all have the 16 inch lower bout. Is that right? And are there other vintage, high quality Japanese hollow body brands or models that meet these criteria, including the smaller lower bout? Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *