Modern Gretsch Guitars

Mystery 6122 JR appears on Reverb.


The bridge was standard on pre-FMIC Gretsches but I've never seen that base before. IIRC Gretsch started using Imperials in the mid/late '90's. I remember the jr. Annies and 6120 (single and 2 pup versions) but I don't remember seeing a Gent before, certainly not green. Terada made some stuff that never appeared in catalogs, like the Synchro 400 with triangular soundhole.


The body shape is throwing me off.


There was a 6122 JR but not green. Cool looker. Either a refin or FSR. I had a blue 6120JR that was an FSR order by a dealer in Connecticut. The bridge is typical of those JRs but the base is an aftermarket unless part of a custom order. Price is too high. (I sold my 6120JR last year for $1700.)


Looks like a good candidate for a 22.5" scale neck -- but U knew I would say that


Well, the JRs overlapped the Fred and FMIC eras: Fred-era examples, so far as I can determine, had the wider Baldwin headstock (and usually G-arrow-imprinted Grover-looking tuners), with a single switch in the upper cutaway, and probably the blocky Fred-era roller bridge. (The one on this guitar sitting on a Gibson or after-market base.) There were three knobs in the lower bout (one being for tone).

From evidence, I think FMIC changed the headstock shape, tuners (to Grovers), and bridge (Adjusta-Matic) - and added the tone switch in the upper cutaway while taking the tone knob off the lower bout.

The body shape looks odd on this one to me, too, but with these doublecuts that's often a function of dimensional distortions due to camera angle. There's no shot in the listing of the body quite straight on, making comparisons difficult. Also - FMIC may have tweaked the body shape on this model, as they did in 2003 on so many others.

Seller says this was ordered as a special color through the "custom shop," he's not sure when (as he bought it from someone who bought it from a big dealer after the customer didn't like the custom color when he saw it, and refused to buy the guitar...), but likely '03. He sent me a picture of a gold serial number label stuck inside the upper f-hole (which is too dark to read), but hasn't provided a pic of the back of the headstock. Says there's nothing there.

As far as I know, there was no capital-letter Custom Shop in 2002-03, and I haven't known the official Gretsch Custom Shop (as run by Stephen Stern, starting - don't quote me - in 2004) ever to work modifying Japanese guitars. This isn't to say there wasn't something a dealer might have represented to a customer as a lower-case custom shop - which could have been anyone anywhere working informally for the dealer - or, I dunno, maybe Fender. Coulda been sprayed in the Fender works downstairs from the Gretsch CS in Corona.

It also seems a stretcher to me that any "official" Gretsch Custom Shop would let a customer refuse a commission when the guitar is done. So far as I know, they get the color absolutely confirmed before squirting it. But again - at the time, pre-official-CS - who knows. And especially if it wasn't an FMIC custom shop, and was actually a dealer's "custom shop" who did the work.

In any case, the guitar weirds me out because of the odd combination of features. To my recollection, 6122JRs never came stock with Imperials under either regime (making me curious about whether the back of the headstock shows signs of a change) - and the bridge (though not the base) is definitely pre-FMIC. (Neither feature can be definitive, because both are so easy to change.) But it has the tone switch and just two lower-bout knobs, as in FMIC-era.

So something squeezed together during the transition? IF there was a difference in body shape between Fred and FMIC, and this is the earlier one, why does it have the FMIC control scheme? Maybe a body Terada still had after the transition began, which got the new control scheme, and then - since it was a hybrid anyway - got this non-stock paint at some point?

I'm interested in a 6122JR, but I'm not interested in this one. The green is just not attractive to me. It also doesn't look, at least in these pictures, like any Gretsch green I know. It's neither of the Cad greens, it's sure not Smoke, and while it's not far off the Georgia green of the Electromatics, it doesn't quite match that either.

It's also overpriced for a Gent Jr. I suppose if its "custom shop" provenance holds up, and it's a factory (or Gretsch-sanctioned) custom color, it has a little more value for historical interest. But not that much. Not for this model.


And how can anyone not love a screamin red Marshall...

Yeah, unless it totally rocks yer world, walk on by.


They did them in Black, they did them in Walnut, they even did them in Orange but I have never seen a 6122 Jr in Green.

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