Modern Gretsch Guitars

Chet & his guitars

1

You Chetnuts, please help in identifying the model THEN, and it's modern version ? Note if you see pickup mods to a 'normal' production version etc.

MR SANDMAN

Looks like a G6120DSW in today's nomiclature ? Don't see the "G" branding iron though ?

BTW, can I embed youtube vids right here in the post ? If so, how ?

2

The "G" brand can be seen at the very end of the video and yes, it is a 6120DSW. Any mods that Chet might have done are not visible to the eye.

4

17" body, Supertron neck pup, 2.25" body depth ? COUNTRY GENT ? G6122 ? However, my G6122-1959 HOF only has a pickup selector, and has a master tone KNOB. His is the 2 toggle switches...

TIGER RAG

5

17" body, Supertron neck pup, 2.25" body depth ? COUNTRY GENT ? G6122 ? However, my G6122-1959 HOF only has a pickup selector, and has a master tone KNOB. His is the 2 toggle switches...

TIGER RAG

– Mitch Crane

Chet's favorite guitar, the 1959 Country Gentleman. Today it is known as the 6122-59 with a Super'Tron bar magnet humbucker at the bridge and and overwound Filter'Tron at the bridge.

6

The modern version (at least my HOF) only has the 1 pickup toggle... Chet's has 2 (pickup and tone) ?

7

17" body, Supertron neck pup, 2.25" body depth ? COUNTRY GENT ? G6122 ? However, my G6122-1959 HOF only has a pickup selector, and has a master tone KNOB. His is the 2 toggle switches...

TIGER RAG

– Mitch Crane

17" body, Supertron neck pup, 2.25" body depth ? COUNTRY GENT ? G6122 ? However, my G6122-1959 HOF only has a pickup selector, and has a master tone KNOB. His is the 2 toggle switches...

TIGER RAG

– MitchC

1958 or '59 6120.

8

Bear.... '58 or '59 6120 for this one, right ?

'Plain' old G6120 ?

BLACK MOUNTAIN RAG

9

just a side note In the sand man vid it looks like the wire arm has a hooked end around his pinky. Bullet truss rod cover, and no Gretsch logo on the guard yet.

10

The modern version (at least my HOF) only has the 1 pickup toggle... Chet's has 2 (pickup and tone) ?

– Mitch Crane

The HOF and the 6122-59 are the same guitar with different finishes. They also have all of the mods that Chet and Paul Yandell made over the years.

11

Bear.... '58 or '59 6120 for this one, right ?

'Plain' old G6120 ?

BLACK MOUNTAIN RAG

– Mitch Crane

Bear.... '58 or '59 6120 for this one, right ?

'Plain' old G6120 ?

BLACK MOUNTAIN RAG

– MitchC

Yup!

12

just a side note In the sand man vid it looks like the wire arm has a hooked end around his pinky. Bullet truss rod cover, and no Gretsch logo on the guard yet.

– Bryan K.

just a side note In the sand man vid it looks like the wire arm has a hooked end around his pinky. Bullet truss rod cover, and no Gretsch logo on the guard yet.

– Bryan K.

Could be the prototype 6120???

13

Another DSW ? But they don't look like Dyna pups ? ....well...width looks right for a Dyna... all chrome version ?

WILDWOOD FLOWER

14

Once the country gent was "finalized" in 1959 Chet soon after recieved the one he retained and modified over the years. That one has a better fretting fingerboard and wide neck.

Over the years he tinkered it a lot as already noted. Prototype Super Tron, hot bridge pickup, etc. There was even a period when that guitar had the selector at the cutaway and gawd knows What he had going on in the other two switches although it was probably individual mud for each pickup.

Later on he disconnected and elimitated the mudswitch which is why the 6122-59 is so configured. On his guitar there is a plug in the mudswitch hole.

The final mod he had done was to have Paul install a phaser circiut on it. This. of course, is not in any of the commercial models.

As for the other ones, particularly in the color clips, he was just using the latest thing Gretsch send and, always the canny businessman, he knew many people wanted to get a guitar "just like Chet's" so it was to his advantage to showcase different models

I was surprised by what does appear to be a hooked version of the wire arm. It obviously had a short life.

15

If you want some really accurate info on the 6120 with some great photos, buy Ed Ball's book, "The Gretsch 6120 the History of a Legendary Guitar" KCEddieB is a member here.

16

Thanks ! Gotta get that book for sure !

17

Another DSW ? But they don't look like Dyna pups ? ....well...width looks right for a Dyna... all chrome version ?

WILDWOOD FLOWER

– Mitch Crane

MitchC, "Another DSW ? But they don't look like Dyna pups ? ....well...width looks right for a Dyna... all chrome version ? "

Yup, but with the addition of Ray Butts' prototype Filter'Trons. The Bigsby (with the name taped over with masking tape for commercial reasons of one sort or another was aluminum with a chrome plated brass rocking bar bridge. All other metal is gold plated including the pickups I believe.

Norm is the real expert in all things Chet and Richard Hudson plays as good as Chet, both gentlemen long time members of The Gretsch Pages.

18

Just be aware that the early variants of 6120, particularly from 1955 on, saw a lot of different models in Chet's hands as what came to be the 6122 was in embryonic stages. No point in getting all 'hair-on'fire about the different experiments. Hence the different sealed tops and experimental colors, f-hole inlays etc. Gretsch sent him a lot of guitars. Most of them he gave away.

It was better/eaiser for Gretsch to build a sample, send it to him and write it off as R&D than it was to bother keeping track all those variants.

A LOT of discovery and experimentation was going on in the whole guitar industry at that time.

19

I'm a Chetnut and a Gresch-a-holic so I find all the variants very interesting. Got 3 now... The 6122 HOF, '59LTV and the DSV arriving next Thurs. So I 'should' be set for awhile.

20

I've seen just about every Chet clip on youtube but I just found one I didn't know about. It's not on youtube, it's on Netflix streaming (the only Chet title on on Netflix streaming). It's a dual bill of old TV clips of Chet and Webb Pierce.

What makes it unique to me is it include a performance with the OTHER CGP model. There's the classic one from Finger Style Guitar and then there's the 2nd BLACK one with the gold f-hole inserts.

22

Is this the one ? 'Dark Eyes' ... here it is on youtube:

DARK EYES

– Mitch Crane

Is this the one ? 'Dark Eyes' ... here it is on youtube:

DARK EYES

– MitchC

Dang, I was just schooled once again on the GDP.

But if I have any saving grace it's that the Netflix version is much better quality.

23

That black one is NOT the CGP. Chet and Ray Butts were working on variants of the prototype Filter-Trons. I think the original intent on that guitar was a finish sample that Chet and Ray experimented on

The prototype for the CGP had a carved maple top that was almost 1" thick at its thickest. Only one was made and it was that one that for certain got the split bridge pickup. That guitar is shown in different photos with different necks because he broke the neck on it and had a quick replacement at Brooklyn.

The 'Dark Eyes' guitar eventually had stock F/T's installed and polepieces put in the fingerboard for special recording effects and was given to Bill Porter who sold it. (Gretsch Book page 31) I'm not certain the Dark Eye's guitar had split pickups on it although it may have for a week or so.

It was that kind of creative era...

All those guys were looking for a sound they heard in their heads.

I don't think any of them found it but they made some great music in their search....

24

Thanks Norm for the clarification.

According to Chet's "Me and My Guitars" book in the caption on page 80, the black guitar in question was wired for 2 output jacks for the stereo set-up.

25

Just ordered the Gretsch 6120 book from Amazon. Can't wait to get it ! I'm drooling already :P


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