Modern Gretsch Guitars

New” Gretsch 6120DE

1

I noticed the Gretsch 6120DE has some differences from my '97 E6120DE. (I've not been paying close attention to Gretsches in a while). And it looks like they no longer offer the Ebony Burst. What are the other differences I'm missing?

This biggest is the rosewood fingerboard where mine is ebony. I also noticed on the Gretsch website that the Est. US Price is $3299.00! Is that like manufacturer's suggested retail price? There's an ebony burst on reverb that's close to $3K used. This is about a grand more than I originally paid for it new. Have these really gone up in value that much...and would it really sell for that?

https://reverb.com/p/gretsc...

2

They're very different guitars. The '97-whenever has 5-ply construction rather than the more vintage (and presumably resonant) 3-ply adopted during the FMIC regime, and used on the new DE. Body shape is more correct on the latter DE, and, at 2.875" depth, it's deeper than most 6120s. It also has different bracing, a slimmer neck profile to match Duane's original '57, and a stainless Tru-Arc™ bridge.

Rosewood is also correct for a 50s Gretsch with DynaSonics.

Gretsch posts their suggested retail price on their site, which is mostly to establish a perceived value of the instrument by comparison to others. Street prices, naturally, vary.

I think 3k for a pre-FMIC DE is ambitious; in general the current sig model is considered a more "desirable" guitar.

3

Thank you for the details.

I think 3K is ambitious also. Several years ago, money was tight so I put it on Ebay with a reserve at $1400...never even got a bid...so I doubt it would sell for anywhere near that. Made it through the recession...so I'm glad now it didn't sell.

While I like Duane, it doesn't matter to me that it's his signature model. I like the fact it has an ebony fretboard and was attracted by the differences from the standard 6120. I DID have to move the upper bout strap button to the heal because there was no bracing behind it and it stripped out fairly quickly...which I remember was a problem during those years. I also switched to a tune-o-matic bridge. As far as 3 vs 5 ply, with the amount of poly on this thing, I'd be surprised how much resonance difference there is. I banged it around a few times but you'd be hard pressed to even find a scratch anywhere on it. There's a lot of poly on it.

4

I'm actually a little surprised that the pre-FMIC guitars have kept up the value as much as they have. I let my orange pre-FMIC 6120 go (to a friend) for what I paid for it ($1000) and much to my surprise I'm finding that pre-FMICs are now valued much higher than they were even 10 years ago (same for solid bodies).

I did find a pic of my first orange Gretsch 6120, my 6120-DEO ('97, I think) which is what I traded for the 6120 that I sold.

5

As far as 3 vs 5 ply, with the amount of poly on this thing, I'd be surprised how much resonance difference there is.

Yes, pre-FMIC modern Gretschs were fairly slathered with the stuff. FMIC-era, not so much. And in any case, the new 6120DE is lacquer.

6

My Duane Eddy is an amazing guitar! It's much better than my real 1957 6120 was. I think it's about 10 years old....I don't remember, but it's post-Fender.

7

My Duane Eddy is an amazing guitar! It's much better than my real 1957 6120 was. I think it's about 10 years old....I don't remember, but it's post-Fender.

– Billy Zoom

Billy, have you done any recording with your current Duane Eddy?

8

I had a pre-Fender Duane Eddy a few years ago and it was a fine guitar. I now have two (excessive, I know) Duane Eddys, a black one and a white one, both from 2016. I paid about $2000 for each, but I see now that they’re going for $3000, even used ones. I didn’t know there was that much demand for them.

The Duane Eddy model is hands down the finest guitar I’ve ever owned, by the way.


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