Gretsch Garage Sale

Gretsch 6120dc Chet Atkins Orange 1969 Double Cut Built in Brooklyn

1

Hey all! Happy New Year.

Painfully I have to put this one up for sale due to finances. More info and pics @ Reverb

Serial dates it to 1969, so already Baldwin, but still built in Brooklyn USA. Great condition. Recently serviced with neck reset and fret level, dress and crown by Paul at Division Street Guitars in Peekskill, NY. Low comfortable action. Stable setup, especially with the upgraded Compton Brass Bridge and new ebony base. (original bridge and base also included). Warm chimey tone. Bigsby and mute system works smoothly and without issue. Electronics are original and clean. Really great condition for its age, with almost no binding rot at all on the neck. Unfortunately no original case, but a soft case will be included. Asking 2499 OBO

4

You mention that the neck has no binding rot... but looking at the pix on Reverb the body certainly does. Looks like it's already starting to stain the finish around the edges. That's gonna be a pricey fix... but she's otherwise a cool guitar!

5

Unfortunately the body binding rot is very advanced with one small piece having already fallen out. The finish is a lovely color - just needs a full body rebind to finish the nice look.....but as Ed points out, that ain't gonna be cheap.

6

Agreed. Feel free to make me an offer if you're interested and you feel price is off.

7

Always hankered after one of these, and I could fix the binding myself, though as said it's a pretty big job and hard to do nicely if you plan to keep the original finish which is nice on these guitars. Having the setup and reset done is heartening though. These always seemed like the sports cars of Gretsch guitars. Are you really Jonathan Richman?

9

I'm not really Jonathan Richman, just a big fan :)

Curious, about the fair price range for these guitars, similar year, that have had the type of work I've paid to have done to the guitar.

11

I'm not really Jonathan Richman, just a big fan :)

Curious, about the fair price range for these guitars, similar year, that have had the type of work I've paid to have done to the guitar.

– jonathanrichman

A Baldwin era 6120 in all original and excellent condition might fetch in the $2500 range these days. Condition is everything with collectible vintage guitars, so that hurts you a bit. Not being pristine this one would probably be considered more of a "player grade" guitar... but the price for a "player" is typically lower as well. These double-cutaway electrotone 6120s were produced in relatively large numbers, and there's a lot of them on the secondary market. Interested buyers have the advantage of waiting for the right one, at the right price... and there seems to always be another one popping up on Ebay or reverb.

12

Another way to regard the binding rot to a potential buyer, is similar to the real estate market. The drive-up first impression to a property is all important and can't be improved entirely by looking inside, only usually mitigated at best.

Not a lot of buyers necessarily have a luthier they use regularly to trust to do the required work, to say nothing of the cost. With relatively many guitars to chose from and price playing a big role, buyers will generally opt for a guitar that needs little to no work required, especially when they're buying online and not in person. Unfortunately just the way it is.

I'm thinking the ceiling on your guitar in its current condition Jonathan, is probably not over $2000. I know you did some nice restoration upgrades, but to use another real estate analogy, that work while valuable, is akin to installing upgraded windows when putting on the market. It will definitely help sell an older home , but it's considered a 'hidden' benefit - not obvious, and not adding much at all to the asking price, whereas a new roof is immediately seen and will add value to the sale. In your case, with new binding - aged to suit the guitar's age - will allow you to ask top price, as the guitar now needs nothing so you may see n fact see the binding cost recovered, or at least partially, depending on your patience with the sale.

13

With respect, I don't know if you'll recover the cost of getting the guitar bound. I think it's a $600-$1000 job and it will take a while.

On the other hand if you're looking for a quick sale and cash, If you drop your price substantially $500-700 ,you'll probably get people snatching the guitar up who aren't as worried about the binding problem as they can now get a cool sounding vintage guitar for a 'deal' and have the problem fixed at some point in the future, or do it themselves if they have the skills. Everyone has different tastes and priorities.

Personally I would mention the binding deterioration more clearly in your ad though and suggest that's why the guitar is priced so attractively. (The common thing to say is the typical vintage Gretsch binding issue they all seem to have (though they don't all have it) Better that than an unhappy buyer and some sort of wretched dispute.

Again with respect I think in this instance an analogy of a paint job, rather than a roof would be better as the guitar is almost entirely functional with the binding problem. A house with a falling apart roof is a a definite functional no-go. Though that binding could cause more finish damage as it progresses, probably negating any further value appreciation of the guitar.

Still it's a beautiful guitar I wish I had something I could quickly turn into $$

14

As a former real estate agent I chose windows because they're a substantial investment that won't add their cost to the value of the home. My advice was always to paint the interior in a neutral color as it will freshen the look of the house. It won't add value either but it's a low cost way to add appeal and that's what you're after. Value is in the windows but buyers don't think in those terms, whereas they do with a new roof and don't mind that reflected in the cost.

I didn't say you'd necessarily recover all the costs of a rebind, but "partially". IMO it would allow you to set a price north of $2K rather than south of it, in it's current state. You'd appeal to more buyers if the binding is done of course but failing to go to that trouble, regardless of where you price it, buyers are going to dwell on the rot and try to beat you down substantially, and by more than the cost of the rebinding. They'll see the rebinding as a route to a substantial price reduction and hope to get the guitar for "a steal." The good work you've already done will be glossed over by a lot of buyers....it's like the windows comparison.

I agree with Toxo regarding mentioning the body's rot specifically and that it's reflected in your asking price.

15

Another hidden career Dave! You are a man of parts! I wasn't entirely disagreeing with you.

You just seem to have very particular and string aesthetic opinions about guitars Everyone has different tastes and priorities To some it's have a great playing vintage instrument, cosmetic warts and all and to others it's having something more akin to a showpiece that is also playable.

I do think that if you reduce the price and mentioning the binding rot as being the reason it would ameliorate the negative financial aspect considerably and show integrity which is very important in internet sales.

To me (besides how cool it could potentially look) having a good neck, fresh fret job and reset already done is a huge deal in purchasing a vintage Gretsch guitar as it makes the difference between a guitar you can play and one you are going to spend at least as much time and $$ on as a rebinding before you can even derive some musical enjoyment out of it. However having to do both would easily halve the potential price of this guitar so I think money spent on playability was money well spent.

A fine playing and sounding guitar is one you know is worth restoring further. A sound investment. heh heh

Poor guy just wants to sell his guitar and we're giving him an earful!!!!

16

Thanks for all your feedback guys. I really appreciate and hear where you're coming from. Just a little crazy to think though that a 1969 piece might sell for less than a fender produced version now.

17

That said, price dropped to 2199 plus actual shipping to you

18

Thanks for all your feedback guys. I really appreciate and hear where you're coming from. Just a little crazy to think though that a 1969 piece might sell for less than a fender produced version now.

– jonathanrichman

The many versions of the 6120 produced since Fender acquired the rights to the design and manufacturing, are mighty fine guitars indeed. With today's manufacturing techniques, guitars produced since 2003 are far and away superior in build quality from the vintage era. There just isn't the number of stages of hands-on building today that there was back then. I know the older guitars, of which I have a few, have more character because of the handbuilding but simply aren't better built. And the re-issues from Fender don't have neck, tolerance, finish or electronics issues either. Sure there's the occasional one that isn't quite right but they're rare.

You have to really love the vintage guitars and put up with their quirks to want to own one or more but you also have to be prepared to spend money on restoration if that matters to you. For some it doesn't but for many it does. Binding rot, once it gets really advanced will begin to discolor the finish, marring its visual appeal so it's a critical consideration affecting the price.

Some folks hunt for vintage guitars because they can bond with them, for various reasons, whereas they can't with a reissue. I happen to be one of those people but I still have great admiration for the quality of the reissues. Another reason I shopped for vintage instruments is that there is no reissue counterpart so vintage is my only choice.

To give some perspective to price, the flagship model and a perfect reissue recreation of Chet's '59 Country Gent, the 6122-59, can be had in mint condition for around $2-2.5 K if you shop around and are patient. An exquisite guitar at less than half the MSRP and NO issues. Your guitar being vintage and generally very nice, has no claim to be worth more than it's reissue counterpart. Being built in the US isn't worth what it once was either. That's just the way it is in today's market.

19

Thanks Dave. I do agree with you and feel like the Japanese gretsch guitars are the best of the lot in regards to current production and quality. I have a black panther I will never get rid of. I do also love this 6120dc, but yes, in no way might I claim it is superior, maybe aside from "mojo"

20

Once you get any issues that arise with 40-50 year old guitar sorted they can easily be just as good or better than any current production. Certainly as reliable. They are not fragile, finicky, nor do they need special treatment. I would agree that likely the consistency and quality control is better now as it's more mechanized and organized.

To me perfection isn't always aesthetically pleasing and it's rarely interesting. Actually I find it boring.

I go into the guitar store and there's a whole wall of Gretsch archtops in assorted candy colour combinations and they have zero appeal to me.

However the binding rot will put off a bunch of people. I think the neck reset and fretboard work is a big deal though and a huge asset.

Isn't the Falcon the 'flagship model'

21

We could debate for days which Gretsch model is regarded as the 'flagship' model but here's the reason I give the nod to the Chet reissue. Unlike the White Falcon, and I do mean the white one - other colors are pretenders IMO - it's modelled precisely after Chet's personal '59 Gent.

The name Gent is also associated with George Harrison's DC and some may claim, based on sales, that its exact reissue could claim to be the flagship model, but George's guitar was just the new [DC] Gent Gretsch had come out with. Others claiming the Falcon to be the flagship can claim the Neil Young model as #1 citing his notoriety, but IIRC, Neil's model again like George's isn't modified and his original purchase was just off the rack, whereas Chet changed things to suit himself and it's these changes, NOT the original '59 that Gretsch carefully recreated, thanks to Paul Yandel and reissued. It has the wider neck & one less control on the lower bout. The quality control on this particular model is the best in the company.

We can look at the players associated with these 3 models as to what model reigns supreme to the 'flagship' moniker. Unquestionably Neil Young was extremely popular and had a long career. I believe George's popularity was a much greater and on a global scale that Neil didn't enjoy, certainly not to the same degree. People today (save to a few around here! ) aren't old enough to have been around to see Chet's popularity in its heyday. But more importantly to me to use this category to side with his Gent as the flagship model, is that Chet influenced the guitar playing world to a huge degree that the other two simply didn't. I'm talking about his innovative style of play so that, combined with his personal choice of his guitar's features he had, gives his model reissued, the nod.


Register Sign in to join the conversation