Modern Gretsch Guitars

1989 6122 Country Classic I ….Opinions?


Hello Gretsch folks! I am about to buy a 89 6122 here country classic I that a fri be here in Barcelona says it’s a GREAT Gretsch. First year of rebirth made in Japan. I was looking for a 92 Tennessea Rose that is on sale also but this friend of mine said. I’d go for the 6122.

I don’t know which ar the big differences between them but I know what I like. That classic filtertron classic gretsch sound. An example:

I would appreciate your opinions if any have one from those years. Thanks very much!


I don't know much about the Modern World Gretsch scene, but had thought the very first ones weren't until 1990... the announcement came in 1989.. or is that all wrong?


Some trickled out in 89, as I recall. The SN would tell the tale.

As for the Country Classic, it's a good guitar, and it WILL get you that sound, but you may need to swap out the ceramic filters in it to get there. Also, check the electronics carefully, if you can. In that era, some of them were a bit under specced. It's a pretty easy fix, but better if you don't have to.


I had an '89 6120. Both the Gent and Tenny have the same scale length. The Tenny may have the waffle inside the back of the body which may kill off acoustic response. The electronics either work or they don't. The TVJones Filtertrons ( as well as modern Gretsch filters) will give you more of the classic Gretsch tone than the ceramics.


The guitars made in the Fred Gretsch era from 1989 to 2002 are decent guitars. Most of the observations made about them center around the following:

  • They tend to be heavy because they are usually built with five-ply construction whereas the current FMIC era models are usually built three-ply.

  • The shape of the guitars is not quite like the shapes of the same models from the late Fifties and Sixties. When FMIC struck their marketing arrangement with Fred Gretsch, they immediately returned the shape of the guitars to the same shape as the vintage models. The differences are not glaring, but most Gretsch players will notice a slight difference.

  • The pickups are ceramic Filter'Trons. They have a little rougher edges to the sound of them than the High Sensitive Filter'Trons that FMIC Gretsch currently uses. And they are quite a sonic distance from TV Jones Classic Filter'Trons, which are usually thought of as closer to the vintage Filter'Tron sounds of the late Fifties.

  • The pots and harness tend to underperform. As Baxter noted, it can be changed, but it is a little bit of a hassle.

I would highly urge you to get your hands on either of these guitars and play them to make sure that they sound like you want them to.

I don't know what the used guitar market is like in Barcelona, but here in the States these guitars sell for only slightly less than a used FMIC-era model. So, if that is the case in Spain as well, then I would recommend that you save a little more money and purchase an FMIC-era guitar. But, if one of these two guitars sounds good to you, I don't think that you will regret having purchased it. They are good guitars although perhaps not quite as refined as the guitars have become under FMIC's guidance.


Thanks for all great inputs I decided to pass on the Tennessee rose 92 and go for the classic cause I think it sounds heftier or bigger

Price is great. About 1600$ selling by a professional player on Barcelona. This is how it sounds.

Classic gretsch sound. How can I know if the harness y good or not? Can I take photos and bring them here?

First I’ll try those ceramic pickups Great inputs here very very helpful!!


Yeah, give those ceramics a try. The guitar in the video sounds great. And as $1600 are around €1300 I can tell you that's a good price indeed. And of course you can put up photos here and ask. That's one of the reasons we are here.

Greetings from Berlin to Barcelona!


I'm late to the party, but I say get a post-2003 Gretsch if you can. They're better in a lot of ways.


TV has several varieties of F'trons that would be suitable if you want to change out the pups. You tell him what type of Gretsch tone you're after and he'll make recommendations.

If you're going to the expense and effort of changing pups, I'd recommend you change the harness/all pots and switches at the same time, available from TV.

There isn't really anything you can 'see' by looking at the harness, it's about how it was designed/performs, said to be under designed by many who know the differences.

Good luck and let us know how this turns out for you!


Per my reply to your email today -- this could very well be a fine guitar. I had one -- the only reason I parted with it was that I liked (loved) the 6122-1959 (introduced around 2008) better.


Thanks for all the inputs! Very useful Ix when you say modern gretsch filters are High sensitive or normal filters?


Ric, thanks a lot. I’ve read a lot of your posts in several threads. Very good and useful knowledge!

Well I understand now... from 89 to 2002 are ceramics and from then to nowadays High sensitive filters, correct? Some guitars come with TV Jones like a 2005 6120 59 LTV that I tried.... But most of them are HS filters right?

I liked a lot that TV Classics on that 59 LTV as a gretsch classic sound. In this video for example I like BY FAR the sound of stock pickups Are they HS filters? Apart from that.... so you recommend better a 2005 6120 over a 1990 6120...? That will be your choice?

Thanks again friends!


Here attached pickups of the 89 that sounds on the Vogue video...

This is the sound I’m after played clean

This is the sound I’m after played rock ( see 0.15 seconds)

That gretsch 89 6122 can get aprox to that sound with ceramic pups or should be changed to other filters or should I get a 6120? Jajaja


We can't judge the tone you want to hear so as for changing pups, the recommendation around here is always to play it for a good while before changing something you might very well find perfect for you.

Remember the old expression: If it isn't broke, don't fix it.



I had one of those ,but it didn't sound anything like my 60's 6120,it did sound nice in its own way and i never changed the pickups ,as i liked the fact that it sounded different from my other Gretsches.

I hated that roller bridge though.


I don't think the '89 will have the flip-up mutes, if having all the Harrison features is important to you.

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