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Note whether your drum shells are 3-ply or 6-ply by looking inside the drums.
Compare your drums to a Gretsch color chart or by consulting Gretsch vintage catalogs at the Gretsch website (see Resources).
Example of a Serial Number on a Precision Bass made for Fender by Young Chang in Korea in 1995. The SQ Squier series was introduced in late 1983 to early 1984. For example, MN8 indicates that it was made at Ensenada, Mexico in 1998-1999. KC/KV: KC Korean Cor-Tek Cort and KV Korean Saehan Sunghan, the serial number prefix is followed by a 2 number year. S/E: The S and E serial number prefix Korean Squiers are from the late 1980s/early 1990s.
The SQ Squier series was based more on 1970s Fender models and also had USA made pickups installed. Colors: 706 Black, 758 Torino Red, 780 Arctic White, 700 Sunburst. MZ1 indicates that it was made at Ensenada, Mexico in 2001-2002 Korea edit CN/VN: C Cor-Tek Cort, V Saehan Sunghan, S was already taken by Samick so Saehan Sunghan used V instead Saehan Sunghan made the Vester guitars, N Nineties 1990s, the first number following the serial number prefix is the year. S Samick, E Young Chang, E letter serial numbers were used on Young Chang s Fenix brand guitars.
This is the best way to narrow down the possible date of your vintage Gretsch drums. The first Gretsch badge, introduced in the 1930s and in use until the 1970s, was a round brass over nickel badge nailed to the drum with upholstery tacks. There have been 10 badges in Gretsch history, all of which can be found on the Gretsch website to help you identify the general time period of your Gretsch (see Resources). Gretsch drums came in distinct colors and changed through the years.
This is a good way to find a general decade for your drums, since the catalog colors varied from decade to decade.