Modern Gretsch Guitars

Modern Gretsch Neck Profiles

1

I've come back to Gretsch guitars after playing Les Paul R8s and my new 6120-55's neck feels VERY skinny. I went through my records to compare it to previous 2012-2015 models. I thought some of you here would find the data interesting. It's depth at 1st, 5th, 7th, and 9th(when available). If its a jumbled mess off text I can try to clean it up.

2016 6120 55 ge 2016: 835 865 875 900
6122 - 1962 2014: 1st 835-840 5th 870 7th 900-910 9th 930
6120 - 1959 LTV 2014ish: 1st 850 5th 882 7th 900
6128 DSV 2014ish: 1st .845 5th 875 7th 895
6120 Hot Rod: 1st .830 5th 860 7th .880
6122 - 1959 2014ish: 1st .840 5th 870 7th 880-895
6120 CGP 1ST 840 5th 860 7th 895
6122 - 1962 2014ish 1st 845 5th 890 7th 910
6119 - 1962 1st 845 5th 870 7th 895
6122 - 1959  JT 14 1st .830-840 ish 5th 860 7th 885 900
6120 DC 1st 850 5th 890 7th 895
6120-1959 JT14124609 1st 840 5th 865 7th 885 9th  920
6120 ltv jt15 1  840 5 865 7 890 915
6119-1962 2014 1 845 5 880 7 900 9 925
6120 LTV JT 15 II 830 870 895 920
6128 Cliff Gallup 2017 1st 830 5th 860 7th 880 9th 895-900 12th 940

2

Very interesting information, however I would like to know where the caliper rests on the top of the neck? Does it sit on the top of the fret or on the fretboard just behind the fret. As frets are of varying height, this is important to having all the measuring done the same, guitar to guitar.

I certainly can't imagine the measuring was done across the top of the strings.

3

Very interesting information, however I would like to know where the caliper rests on the top of the neck? Does it sit on the top of the fret or on the fretboard just behind the fret. As frets are of varying height, this is important to having all the measuring done the same, guitar to guitar.

I certainly can't imagine the measuring was done across the top of the strings.

– Windsordave

Great question. I can give some more information for sure. I used the calipers right behind the fret, directly on the fret board to back of neck.

My father was a machinist and I used his old dial calipers(he once told me the digital ones weren't as accurate). I calibrate them every time I used them.

Also FWIW I have bought guitars from Wildwood(who take these same measurements) and mine have been exactly the same as theirs.

4

Interesting, my 58 6120 is almost identical to my new White Penguin. At least it feels that way. My cats eye from 48 is much wider and thicker. The Synchromatic is the loudest guitar I have ever experienced! Thank you for what you done. Must have taken quite a while to compile?

5

Thanks for the clarification Captain! I think this is terrific info for someone contemplating buying one of these models and don't have access to such a large choice in a store to compare and see which one is most comfortable.

I'd like to have someone perform the same measuring on an early issue Super Chet, the model with the wide neck that's also a deep, 'chunky' D-shape. At the time I had my luthier sand down that neck on mine, I forgot to take the thickness measurements for comparing what they ended up being when she finished. I wanted it to match the thin, C-shape of my '98 Gibson Gent and she accomplished this perfectly.

FYI and anyone else who cares, here's the measurements taken from my SC, exactly the same as you did. I measured further up the neck as this neck has better upper fret access than most Gretsches before the back side curves for the heel.

1st.......... .80"

5th...…... .80"

12th...…. .92"

14th...… 1.04"

6

I'm a happy nerd for this kind of information. I can pretty much tell which guitars of yours I'll probably like to play the most just from these measurements.

7

Thanks for the clarification Captain! I think this is terrific info for someone contemplating buying one of these models and don't have access to such a large choice in a store to compare and see which one is most comfortable.

I'd like to have someone perform the same measuring on an early issue Super Chet, the model with the wide neck that's also a deep, 'chunky' D-shape. At the time I had my luthier sand down that neck on mine, I forgot to take the thickness measurements for comparing what they ended up being when she finished. I wanted it to match the thin, C-shape of my '98 Gibson Gent and she accomplished this perfectly.

FYI and anyone else who cares, here's the measurements taken from my SC, exactly the same as you did. I measured further up the neck as this neck has better upper fret access than most Gretsches before the back side curves for the heel.

1st.......... .80"

5th...…... .80"

12th...…. .92"

14th...… 1.04"

– Windsordave

I've often wondered about the Gibson Gents. So Chet had slimmer necks on those as well? I really think the R8 Gibson necks wrecked be a bit

8

I've often wondered about the Gibson Gents. So Chet had slimmer necks on those as well? I really think the R8 Gibson necks wrecked be a bit

– captainvideo

My 96 Gibson did not have a slim neck at all, and it was fairly wide. Never cared for it, that is why I traded it. Can't measure now but perhaps the picture will give you an idea?

9

Yes, at least some of the necks after '93 have this profile, along with the neck width just in front of the nut at 1.769" [on mine]. It was advertised at 1.75". '93 was when Gibson addressed a few things on the Gent so I don't know if the guitars before then had a different neck profile.

I got this guitar about 3 weeks before I got the SC. The Gent neck was just perfect and the SC was deep and flat across the bottom and I couldn't fret with my thumb which I needed to be able to do so I had Nicole sand it down.

FYI, here's the widths of both guitars' necks at the 12th fret.

SC: 2.17" Gent: 2.08"

10

My 96 Gibson did not have a slim neck at all, and it was fairly wide. Never cared for it, that is why I traded it. Can't measure now but perhaps the picture will give you an idea?

– RCgold

One more.

11

My 96 Gibson did not have a slim neck at all, and it was fairly wide. Never cared for it, that is why I traded it. Can't measure now but perhaps the picture will give you an idea?

– RCgold

Well that's very interesting indeed! I didn't know there were further changes beyond '93 but your guitar shows there was! I imagine the width was the 1.75" but not being familiar with Gibson neck profiles I don't know what yours would look like.

12

Chicago Music Exchange has a 1998 Gibson Country Gent with the measurements of .81" at the 1st fret, .95" at the 12th fret.

13

I'd love to get my hands on some vintage 6120s.
Here's a photo of a '58.

14

These are pretty close to my '98 Gent, as measured by my SC. , allowing for slight error.

Somewhere between '96 & '98 the profile seems to have changed. When I went to play the Gent which was advertised on my local Craigslist, I fell in love with the neck. I had initially been searching for a nice SC as the early ones had the wider neck I wanted but couldn't find one I liked. I'd read that the Gent had the same wider neck. This Gent I went to see had the perfect-for-me thin profile so I got it.....and found the SC I wanted 3 weeks later. Thinking back, I don't know if I'd have bought the Gent if it had had the thicker neck that RC describes his '96 Gent as having. They're both great guitars and having the same neck dimensions/profile, changing between them is seamless. Put a Chet arm on the Gent and new nut with slots cut to suit me.

15

A more structured version, in which I think I've interpreted the information correctly and made it more stringently parallel from record to record.

This would be an interesting table to keep for all Gretsch models, assuming we can trust each other to follow the same protocol and measure correctly (and of course we can't).

But it has to be maintained in a spreadsheet...which I guess could become an HTML table, but I don't know where we could put it that all would have access. So one person is going to have to be the keeper of the spreadsheet, then periodically post the current version. I've made the sheet, so I could do that (until and unless I get buried and fed up).

Ought to be in its own sticky thread, like the old pickup impedance registry.

16

Thanks Tim! Ironically I pulled those from a spreadsheet because I didn't know how to do what you did here on the forum.

I will say across the board 2012-2016 the first fret area on all these pro-line MIJ Gretsches are VERY consistent. None of these necks I would consider chunky...

I'd love to get some Duane Eddy models in. Wildwood has one and its under .800 at the first fret.

17

Well, that's just a screenshot! It would take HTML to line it up in tables, and I'm not sure Bax's Boxes here support that much HTML.

I'll try it...

Nope. It just turns HTML code into plain text, so no tabular columns.

18

Always used to wonder why some cheap guitars were preferable to other expensive models. Then realized it was down to neck profiles much of the time.

Must buy me some calipers and get checkin'. But this mix of decimal and inches gets puzzling.....guess it's easier to write than 1"3/8ths or whatever. But I do have difficulty imagining what .80" actually is.

Plus my wife says I have a thick neck

19

okay I'll get sucked into this geekery Some vintage Gretschs spanning 20 years, including widths at nut and 12th fret and scale length L- 25.5 S - 24.6 Measured behind the numbered fret on the board. If you want to do this without removing strings with a digital caliper, use a small block of material. I had a tiny piece of brass that was .245" the highest up I measured on most was the 11th because the neck starts to really thicken at the 12th.

All these necks are pretty comfy though the Tennessean and the Deluxe Chet feel the fastest due to the shorter scale length and the smaller proportions.

The anomaly on the Tennessean neck where it gets thinner at the 5th fret is a believe caused by the headstock being painted black and sunburst into the neck to hide several headstock breaks.

20

Looks like vintage or modern. Gretsch has produced necks thinner than the current "fat neck" fad taking place on the Gibson and Fender forums.

21

Looks like vintage or modern. Gretsch has produced necks thinner than the current "fat neck" fad taking place on the Gibson and Fender forums.

– captainvideo

What is a 'Gibson' or a 'Fender' ???

22

Dug out the 58, The neck is thicker under the nut than at the first fret, measures 0.812 inch just behind the first fret and from there it graduates thicker as it goes up the neck. Sorry, I'm not much of a photographer.

24

2nd pic.

– RCgold

That's interesting. My 4 electrics all have the neck thickness of the 1st fret continue right to the nut. My '41 Synchro continues well back of the nut with my Eko acoustic similar to your pic.

25

Great update RC!
Is it safe to assume vintage and modern there really are no "thick" necked 6120s?


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