Modern Gretsch Guitars

6120 VS: 55 or 59?


Aside from the obvious specs, who prefers which model and why? I want to get one, and I'm leaning toward the 59, but I love the dynas in my jet but not sure how theyd be in a hollowbody; this will be an online order so I won't get to test them. Also, is the scale length really 25.5" or is that a misprint? I thought only country clubs and falcons had the longer neck


There are models other than Clubs and Falcons that have a 25.5" scale, but a 6120 with '59 specs wouldn't be one of them. It would have the 24.6" scale.


It may sound obvious, but Dyna's in a hollowbody literally have more "air" in the tone; it's not as tight and focused as with a Jet. Go for whichever you like cosmetically: with TVJones options you can mix and match your pickups to taste. I'd be looking at which model has what kind of bracing for what kind of music/volume you'll be playing. With the Chet '59 you'd be getting a mud switch which some don't care for; a PE would have Dyna type controls. Some of the Filtertron 6120's also have 2.5" body compared to the Dyna versions which have a 2.75". Don't forget the Duane Eddy model, reputed to have a slim "D" shaped neck which feels different than the other 6120 models. It's cool to have all these options.


One way to look at it might be do you play predominantly clean or with a little dirt? Do you want to twang or rock out? Both styles of 6120 will do either - I can twang all night long on my SSLVO with TVClassics, but the single coil version has a twang from heaven.

I go with the SSLVO and Classics because that's the 6120 sound I am used to, and I like to use a bit of dirt when i play. The fact they are humbucking is helpful on noisy stages but i wouldn't let it stand in my way if I wanted to use a Duane Eddy tone all night. I know that Dearmonds can take dirt but I find it more difficult to use them with dirt than I find the Filter'trons. The Filter'trons are so versatile for me. Dearmonds would make it a little more niche for me. The clean tones and slightly dirty tones are lush and regal with Dearmonds, but I am more at home with the twangy but fatter Filter'trons.

There's not much you can't play on a Filter'tron 6120. I have gone from clean Buddy Holly stuff to hard rock at gigs with my SSLVO. The SSLVO and the '59 are very similar. So that's the one I would go for. If I played finger style and cleaner i would definitely go for the '55. Hope that helps!


I've had filters and dynas in the same guitar , a 59. I like the dyners for that super bright twangy western surf vibe.

Dynas are my fav - But if you were playing rock the filters sound better. They have more chime and the string's notes blend together when overdriven. The Dynas always seem to keep some sound separation between strings even when playing chords

The attack seems faster on the dynas but also the decay . So more punch but less sustain.

I've recently put filters back in, as it looks better (period correct) I find with the nocturne brain you can get more pluck from the low notes with the filters - makes them a versatile choice


I have to agree with all of the prior comments. And my two cents… I have a 2013 6120SSLVO and a 2015 6120T-55 GE. I think the 6120SSLVO should be pretty close in tones to the ’59 model assuming it has the TV Classics like the SSLVO. Anyway, the two you ask about are very different sounding.

The tonal differences I suspect are mostly due to FT’s vs. Dyna’s, the bracing to some extent and the electronics setup as previously described. From my point of reference, the ’59 should get you the “Brian Setzer” 6120 tones. The “55” is the early Chet Atkins and Duane Eddy tones. The Dyna’s have major twang that I believe was mentioned also.

If you need to pick one and can’t play them side-by-side, I would suggest going to Youtube. Look up Wildwood Guitars, The Music Zoo and Musicians Friend Private Reserve. They have great vids of Gretsch’s. I think they pretty well represent the tones of the guitars. If in the end, you can’t pick a “winner”, then, maybe get them both eventually. It worked for me. They’re both exceptional guitars.

Also, like mentioned above, the SSLVO is worthy of consideration. I particularly like the locking tuners. Also, the neck radius is 9.5” on the SSLVO vs. 12.0” on the ’59 and the ‘55. The neck radius differences don’t bother me at all.


Thanks for the detailed responses! I want to call around and see if anyone is stocking these before I order, but I'm leaning toward the 55! You've all made the dyna version the way to go for me. I have dynas in my silver jet and play straight into a cranked VOX AC15 2x12, and the tone is heavenly


Wait til u plug those dyna hollow body into a Vox, endless TOANZ! That is a match made in heaven. Not to ditch your Jet, but a hollow body is a different animal- just ask Duane.


55 coming today! Plugging into a bassman and Supro Blues king. I am excited Already have TV Classics and Original Filters, So this is the logical choice I think! Fingers and toes crossed>

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