Modern Gretsch Guitars

Gretsch weirdness. In this case: The 6120-60 model. It drives me cr…


That's a great looking pre-FMIC '60. Just curious, is it a Terada built guitar or one of the other factories (Fujigen, etc) that were also building for Gretsch before FMIC went with Terada exclusively. There are differences in the fretboard extensions depending on the factory.


I magnified the photo and I see two similar thicknesses with a thin layer sandwiched between them, making a 3 not 5 play top, no? What am I missing?

– Windsordave

You can tell that it's a thicker top by just looking at the "f" hole pics. They show the thickness, and once you compare a thin vs thick top, it's pretty easy to tell.

This one looks like the thick top.


Mine is a 98. 12" radius, 5 ply top and built like a tank. Absolutely rock solid. It's got a couple of those hairline issues near the binding that feel like ridges rather than cracks. I put it down to a bit of wood shrinkage. I polished them out and it's all good.

The ceramic Filters were fine. I put classics in, but they're not "better", just different. Great low cost entry level proline.


The cracking in the finish around the binding is quite common and nothing to worry about. And calling the shape of the fingerboard a "neck hump" is possibly a little misleading. It's more a shift downwards as the fingerboard meets the body - I dunno what you would call that! It's very common with archtops. It's also why (I believe) FMIC started to make the entire neck out of one piece of maple rather than splicing the part of the neck which is over the body on with a separate piece. The two-piece neck is the traditional way for Gretsch to make them, but it often means that the fingerboard bends away from the strings where it meets the body.

I would simply get the main part of the neck which is away from the body as straight as necessary with the trussrod and set the action to that. It means the action gets a little higher over the body but that's just part of the deal with this construction method.

And as far as the yellowing binding - well some Gretsch 6120s were made with cream binding, some with white. I had a 6120-60 and it came with cream binding. My SSLVO has cream binding. The SSU and SSL have white binding. Why? Ask Gretsch - I don't know!

That's a cool guitar.


Thank you everybody for your input. I'm glad to hear that the crack issue is quite common and nothing I should worry about too much. I think I'll try to buff it out with some polish. A little less poly won't hurt. Further I'll straighten the neck as good as possible and see how I end up in terms of playability. I don't play in the highest registers anyway. As someone asked: Yes, it's got a sound-post.

Funny to read about other examples of this model having a different radius. And I'm still not sure about the number of plies. I can only see 3 and the finish on top. I measured and it's not really thicker than other FMIC-Gretsches I have/had and played. Best thing is to take the guitar as it is. It's a good one!

Thanks guys, you're a good bunch of people!


That's a nice guitar Sascha, enjoy it. Of all the models offered back then, the -60 and DEO are my favorites!

Play it and smile.


Great guitar! How does it sound? I used to have a Setzer model. One of the best guitar I owned. Out of some hundreds.....


That's a nice guitar Sascha, enjoy it. Of all the models offered back then, the -60 and DEO are my favorites!

Play it and smile.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

Oh, I do! Thanks.


Great guitar! How does it sound? I used to have a Setzer model. One of the best guitar I owned. Out of some hundreds.....

– guitarmike

The sound is what I'm looking for in a Gretsch. I don't like it overly wooly and polite. A bit of edge and bite but still transparent and mighty. And a little surprising it sounds very good and lively unplugged.


I agree with what both TimThom and Jimmy said about the neck. It definitely has a bit of "fall-away," which is desirable, and it's likely that appearance of a hump is an illusion that will vanish is the truss rod is tightened.

I find it's best to tighten the truss rod so the neck is completely straight with no string tension, then string up the guitar. That usually results in a bit less relief than you would get with the same number of turns under string tension. The result is often just right for the guitar, and is always very close.


The 6120-60 is one of my favorites too and this one looks really nice Sascha. I had a '89 6120W that I loved but the body shape always sorta annoyed me...the upper bout was off.I believe this '60 model and the Setzers may have been the only ones that were the most correct in body shape.Mine also had those little finish cracks here and there around the body and I owned it for almost 20yrs and they never moved or grew.I could've paddled my 2 man fishing boat with it and I don't think it would've that guitar.


The neck on mine feels pretty slim, with not much shoulder. Works really well for me.


The 6120-60 I had felt a lot like a Setzer, but with slightly smaller frets. The neck shape was practically the same. I assumed it was a 12" radius because that's what the specs said! Who knows?

The only thing I didn't like about the guitar was the zero fret. Apart from that it wasn't really too far behind the Setzer for me.

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