Gretsch Rancher 12

The original Rancher provided an acoustic complement to the gaudy, western-trimmed Round-Up and Chet Atkins electric models in Gretsch’s lineup of 1954.

Gretsch had made it’s name in the late 1930s with it’s Synchromatic line of archtops, with their modernistic cat’s eye soundholes. Lesser known, but just as memorable, were the four Synchromatic flat-top models introduced in the late 1940s, all of which had their own distinctive, triangular-shaped soundhole. While Gretsch introduced several other flat-tops in the early 1950s with conventional round soundholes, the triangular hole fit right in with the Rancher’s unconventional appointments.

The Rancher was not a high-quality instrument. It’s arched back was made of laminated maple, and it’s top was laminated spruce. However, in this case, looks were everything, and the Rancher sold far better than it’s triangular-hole predecessors and far better than any other Gretsch flat-top from any period.

Except for a brief hiatus in the early 1970s, the Rancher continued through that decade, and various versions, including this 12-string cutaway, have been revived successfully in the modern Gretsch import line.