Modern Gretsch Guitars

New to Gretch Guitars: G6122-1959 Nashville Classic

1

Hi everyone,

While I have owned several guitars during my life, I never owned a Gretsch. One became available on eBay recently, a near mint 2004 Gretsch G6122-1959 Nashville Classic. I would be happy to hear thoughts from anyone who owns this guitar. Any recommended string guages? Also is there any replacement bridges that can be dropped on the existing base to allow for individual saddle compensation for intonation adjustment. The guitar has not arrived yet but I am VERY excited. I will play it thru my Fender Super Sonic tube amp. I also have an original 1969 Fender Champ amp and a new Fender Super Champ (tube/digital hybrid). I like to play everything from Eric Clapton to the Everly Brothers.

I posted a link to an image of the guitar below.

Regards,

Joe 2004 Gretsch G6122-1959 Nashville Classic

2

Welcome Joe - and congratulations on your beautiful guitar.

You've come to the right place here mate. Stick around .... there's lots of knowledgable folks who'll be more than happy to swap notes with ya

3

Hello arcangel6. I voted you up just for purchasing a fantastic guitar, and for having good taste. As far as string guages go, 11's feel great to me (and many others). These guitars also sound astronomical with a set of flatwounds. Nashville Classic

Your question about bridges with individual saddle adjustment brings to mind the Gretsch AdjustaMatic.

However, yours will ship with a Rocking Bar Bridge. Do not fear these bridges, other than the fact that chances are your bridge will have a different radius than your fretboard (bummer!). Thankfully, this has been remedied by a gentleman on this site named Proteus. He produces bar bridges with the correct radius for your fretboard, and can also do custom jobs if he is provided the measurements/specs. These come in several different materials: brass, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel (I could be wrong on the metals, but I've got an aluminum and a brass bar bridge from him, and it's a great improvement in feel and playability). Ask anyone around here, and they'll tell you that these Tru-Arc bridges intonate just fine. I was skeptical at first, also. But, they intonate just fine. 6122-1959 Nashville Classic

Strangely enough, I play mine through a Fender SuperSonic, or a Mesa/Boogie F-30. Match made in Heaven. Or actually, Japan, I think. But wherever or whatever, it's a great combination. Those amps sound good with ANYTHING plugged into 'em.

Good luck, and give us some sound clips when you get up and runnin'!

4

Joe, that guitar sure has pretty stripes. Hope you enjoy it. 11 gauge strings should be just dandy with it- it has a longish scale, but a shallow neck angle. They'll feel supple.

I'm not keen on Tunamatic bridges. The bar bridge LOOKS like a half-baked shortcut, but is actually really good. Excellent tone transfer, comfortable for muting and has no intonation issues. Which is a surprise. Try it for a bit, see how you get along with it. A better bar bridge (with absolute match to your guitar's radius allowing a really slinky action and a choice of richly resonant materials) is the Tru-Arc bridge. Send a private message to member Proteus if you want to know more details on that option.

Nice to say hello.

Edit- you ARE quick on the draw today, Troy!

5

Wonderful! Thanks for the quick and informative replies. I will try the stock bridge and see how I like it. I happen to be a fan of 11 gauge strings and prefer a 52 for my low E. I think I have some Thomastik-Infeld as well as some Elixir Nanoweb Electric strings around somewhere. Interesting that flat wounds sound good too.

Regards,

Joe

6

I bought a "'59" about 15 months ago and still love it -- best guitar I've owned (and I've owned many in my life). Here are comments I had posted after some "test driving"... http://gretschpages.com/forum/modern-gretsch-guitars/test-driving-a-59-6122-1959-that-is/10866/page1/

7

Many on the forum consider the '59 Gent to be the best guitar in the Gretsch lineup. The owners have formed a a small cult. I'm one of them.

If you look in the archives you'll find plenty of rave reviews about this model.

As to strings I use Thomastik-Infeld Jazz BeBop 11s. These are a pure nickel roundwound and last 6 months or more. The only modification has been one of Proteus' Copper Tru-Arc Bridges. With or without a CU-120 the 6122-59 is an incredible guitar.

Welcome to the cult.

8

I got my '59 in May of last year, I'm a very satisified member of the club as well, welcome to the Gretsch Pages!

9

Actually, given the scale length, I would try 10's. Of course it depends on what kind of music you're playing, the action, etc. Just don't be afraid to try 10's if you want something more comfortable than 11's and don't be ashamed of liking them if you do.

10
TomfromPA said: The owners have formed a small cult. I'm one of them.

So am I. I use Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing flats (JS111, .011 - .047). I know they make at least one set (IN111) that runs from .011 - .052.

the other Tom also said: If you look in the archives you'll find plenty of rave reviews about this model.

You can start here or here.

Welcome aboard.

11

For strings..... I've always been a fan of .011's rather than .010's, but that's just my personal taste. Right now I have a set of Pyramid Gold flatwound .011 - .048 on my '59. I like them, although the low E string has been a bit "dull" (like it is palm muted) since Day 1. I have used T.I. .011 Bee Bops and .011 Jazz Swing (see TomfromPA's note above). Personally I prefer the Jazz Swings.

I have a Tru-Arc bridge on order from Proteus. Not that I'm unhappy with the stock bridge..... It's just that all of the Cult/Club members here have convinced me that it is a way to make a fabulous guitar more fabulous!

My main amp is a Gretsch Executive.

Best wishes to you, Joe, with your new guitar! I look forward to your comments & reviews after you've had some bonding time.

12

I'm a fan of Pyramid Gold and Thomastik-Infeld Flats too.

The T-Is are on a '62 Gent and the Pyramids have found a permanent home on my DynaSonic DuoJet.

13

You need to try the new Round core Pyramid Gold flatwound .011-.052. they have twang for days. No more thuddy low E's due to using hex cores. I measured one of the cores on a .052 flatwound over the weekend. It's a .015 followed by the pure nickel round wire wrap and then finished off with the pure nickel flatwire wrap! Bobby Weir's buying a box of the.012-.052's from me for the Ratdog tour that starts on the 5th. Mark Karan's buying 24 sets of the round wound Nickel Classics .012-.054 w/ .019 plain G. BTW, get the Tru-Arc Bridge!! I've got six of them on my guitars!! Best bar bridge's in the world!

14

Nice guitar.

You can get from a Gretsch dealer or several of the sponsors here, a tunamatic w/base as found on the Setzer or Rev. Horton Heat 6120 models.

Check the post spacing and then look at Stewart-McDonald for other replacement bridges.

You will probably find, however, that if you install 11's or higher, intonation with the bar bridge isn't a big problem.

Take some time with a decent tuner, and if you don't have one the PC-based AP Tuner software (shareware) is an excellent choice, to place the bridge so that notes at frets an octave apart are close to matching - I use the 5th and 17th frets.

HTH -pk

15

Another fan of the '59 here; and well documented too. My favorite strings have been nickel wound 10's, with a wound third. Of all the guitars I have ever owned or played, I have found nothing that compares with the '59. She gets sweeter everytime I take her out.

I would also add to the chorus of those that say give the stock bridge a chance. The Tru-Arc is an improvement, IMO. Much the same except more closely matched for the fretboard radius. I currently have the copper one but I may opt for alum or stainless next time for a little more bite.

The pic of your guitar is a beauty. I know you will enjoy it.

16

The guitar arrived today and all I can say is OH MY GOD! I have literally owned over 120 guitars in my lifetime and I had no idea Gretsch produce guitars of this quality! WOW, sorry did I say that already? Up to this point, I thought the finest neck on any guitar I owned was a Benedetto Bambino. The'59 is most definitely in that league 'neck-wise'. The sound sets it apart completely. I went ahead and ordered the Tru-Arc Bridges from Proteus. I am soo looking forward to playing this thing!!!!

One stupid question.........can the bridge be repositioned for intonation purposes (i.e. move it closer or further fro the neck? I read somewhere that these are pinned.

Joe

17

You can reposition the bridge by at least 2 methods -

Make the holes in the underside of the bridge base into slots (or fill and drill new holes)

Remove the set screws (which act as the pins) from the top

18

Thanks for your response. One more stupid question, can the tremelo arm be repositioned? troy6120's sweet guitar pictured above shows the arm further out than mine. However, it does not look like it can be moved. Right now it positioned too close the the high E-string.

Joe

Joe

19

Yours has the stationary Chet arm. The only "adjustment" available is to bend the arm itself. If all or most of what you do is fingerstyle (like Chet himself or the venerable Richard Hudson) then this may work out fine for you.

The other possibility is to replace it with the swivel-style Chet arm (see here.)

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That's one purdy gitar, Joe! Congratulations.

21

I've never owned this type of Bigsby but the usual fix for this problem with other Bigsby's is to replace the spring with a taller one to raise the arm. I've also heard of others puting a coin(like a penny) under the spring to raise it. I don't know how tall your spring is, but if it is the tallest they make then bending the arm may be the only other solution.

22

Thats one cool guitar, I was actually looking at that same guitar on EBay, it was one of the ones I was interested in. But then some one bought it before I'd made up my mind. Oh well,you snooze you loose..Congrats on you'r new Gent.

23

Joe -- you may have to buy some replacement parts to get your Bigsby arm to swivel. Check Black Rider or Parts Is Parts.

My 6122-1959 arrived from the factory with a swivel arm -- my first experience with the Chet/"wire" handle. I fell in love so hard, that look what happened to my Duo Jet...

24

Congratulations on your new "59 Gent. The more you play it the better you'll like it. Mine is also a 2004 and it came (used) with both the swivel and stationary Bigsby hardware.

If you use a Google search as follows you'll find a lot of information on your guitar.

"value" site:gretschpages.com

In "value" type things like "G6122-1959" "1959 Country Gentleman" or "Nashville Classic".

Again congratulations on your very wise choice.

25

I like the look of the "Chet" arm, but I prefer the feel of the regular flat handle. I'm not going to change mine, though. It feels like it sits too low, too close to the top, even with a penny under the 1"spring.


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