Modern Gretsch Guitars

Setzer “Smoke” 6120

1

So, just pre-ordered the new Setzer 6120 "Smoke" model that apparently has replaced the SSLVO in the new lineup. This one has the new Butts Full-Fidelity pickups. I've watched some demo videos and read up on them a good bit, so I think I know what to expect.

TV Classics have been my favorite pickup, all along, and I didn't care for the Setzer Signature pickups in my old SSLVO, especially the bridge pickup, so I'm sure these won't disappoint. Lower output and more "vintage" (I know, I hate that word, too) sounding, am I right?

Anyway, looking forward to playing it....looks like they really went all-out with this one.

Anyone else order one, yet?

2

No experience with that guitar but I had a Ray Butt's Full-Fidelity pickup in my 6119-59...loved it!

3

I just had a look at the Gretsch site because I hadn't heard of this new Smoke model. Specs look great! Semi-gloss finish and rolled edges sound good, as does the 9 1/2" - 12" compound radius 'board.

My only objection would be those ugly Schaller tuners. I really like the Sperzels on my SSLVO. I would be happy with Grover Sta-tites (or whatever they're called) like on my '59 VS Jet. I have never liked Schallers - they're ugly and feel weird.

Otherwise I think it looks to be an amazing guitar. I've always loved the Setzer models.

4

Good choice I like the off-center position of the master volume :)

5

I’ve owned a couple of 6120s from the same batch. It was a good one. The Smoke guitar remake appears to be the best recipe for a bad ass 6120 they have come up with a date.

6

I just had a look at the Gretsch site because I hadn't heard of this new Smoke model. Specs look great! Semi-gloss finish and rolled edges sound good, as does the 9 1/2" - 12" compound radius 'board.

My only objection would be those ugly Schaller tuners. I really like the Sperzels on my SSLVO. I would be happy with Grover Sta-tites (or whatever they're called) like on my '59 VS Jet. I have never liked Schallers - they're ugly and feel weird.

Otherwise I think it looks to be an amazing guitar. I've always loved the Setzer models.

– JimmyR

Yeah, I'm not crazy about the tuners, either....don't really even like locking tuners, to be totally honest.

8

I'd love one. It's the closest I'd ever get to owning a '59/'60 6120. I'm with you blokes too. I don't really like the Gotah locking machine heads (or whatever they are) either. I'd swap 'em out for a set of Sperzels. I'd probably whack a Duane Eddy handle on the Bigsby too, and put a plain truss rod cover on the headstock. The pickguard would go too.

9

They got this one right! Sort of.. Why cant EVERY SETZER SIG guitar have the same frets that Brian has on his guitars. Brian Setzer uses stainless steel 6105 frets. Cheaping out on this aspect is very uncool. The guitar has a slighter brighter response w the right frets. I know cuz Paul Waller refretted my SSU w the right ones. ..and schaller tuners are not Sperzels. Yes I know schallers has more consistency in their "german" manufacturing while Sperzel has too loose a berth on tolerances..but right is right for Mr Brian's guitars. ps. Ray Butts Pickups are the Stray Cats sound to my ears, and my favorite Filtertron now -an impassioned #1 fan

10

Oh i'd love one,but the piggy banks empty!

11

They got this one right! Sort of.. Why cant EVERY SETZER SIG guitar have the same frets that Brian has on his guitars. Brian Setzer uses stainless steel 6105 frets. Cheaping out on this aspect is very uncool. The guitar has a slighter brighter response w the right frets. I know cuz Paul Waller refretted my SSU w the right ones. ..and schaller tuners are not Sperzels. Yes I know schallers has more consistency in their "german" manufacturing while Sperzel has too loose a berth on tolerances..but right is right for Mr Brian's guitars. ps. Ray Butts Pickups are the Stray Cats sound to my ears, and my favorite Filtertron now -an impassioned #1 fan

– TheNocturneBrain

Do you like the Butts version better than the Setzer signature ones? I liked the Setzer's, overall, but wasn't crazy about the bridge pickup....just sounded too hot/middy, not jangly/twangy, like the TV Classics.

12

What is the purpose of moving the master volume knob?

13

Does vintage "V" neck shape mean it's a large neck? I would swap it for my '05 SSLVO in a heartbeat.

14

Nice, but I’m not sure what color I was expecting? “Smoke” is orange? I guess it has that vibe of playing In smoky night clubs. Nice looking guitar....

15

AFAIK, "Vintage V" is what all the Setzers have had. My '14 SSLVO has a V shape which feels pretty much identical to the '63 and '64 6120s I have owned in the past. So I doubt it's a big neck.

Echo Orbit you described exactly what I have done with every Setzer I have had - I put on a plain truss rod cover and take off the guard. I use regular knobs too. I love the stripped down, basic look. A 6120 is a great looking guitar.

16

What is the purpose of moving the master volume knob?

– mallen

It simply replicates his stage guitar because his original 59/60 has the same (mis)placement. Vintage correct wacky quirky Gretsch quality control

17

Thanks I never noticed that. That is one detail they left off the custom shop limited edition tribute 6120.

18

mallen, the custom shop replica was of a different 6120, being Setzer's first which he played in Stray Cats. "Smoke" is Setzer's current stage guitar, which he has been using since 1998.

20

Reads like the ultimate modern 6120 to me. The pickups, the neck and fingerboard profile, compound radius - even the frets (for my taste, sorry Tavo!) - all plus grandé bien. I don't care for the tuners, but I also don't care about the tuners. Never had a pro-line Gretsch whose tuners didn't do the job.

21

Do you like the Butts version better than the Setzer signature ones? I liked the Setzer's, overall, but wasn't crazy about the bridge pickup....just sounded too hot/middy, not jangly/twangy, like the TV Classics.

– MarkH

Even w the Butts having no wax potting and the pole screws not lining up on the bridge, they are to my ears the be all of what a vintage gretsch sounds like. At least Pre Orchestra Stray Cats sound and earlier Chet. I took the sigs out of my last Black SSU and put in Butts as they worked better w the trestles. I'm installing butts into my billy-bo and my nocturne Rooster is getting a set of Butts as well.. That should tell you I'm quite fond of them. Theyre not gonna make anyone give up their DeArmonds but they will at least want a set in one of their gretsch guits.. Beautiful and articulate for pickin but damn sweet and bluesy w light to medium overdrive

22

Can't believe they didn't take the chance to let us hear the guitar being played. Those few open chords that were strummed, Sheesh. That could be any guitar.

I'm sure it's an amazing guitar and I look forward to hearing more of it

23

Looking at the specs, it looks like the body depth is 2.5", is that vintage correct? I thought the 6120 was originally 2.75".

24

Interesting observation. Does anyone know the original smoke serial number? Given the 2.5" body it would make it a 1960 model year by features.

25

Yeah, "Smoke" is 34580. 2.5" depth. Setzer prefers 1960 guitars, but calls them '59s. The 2.75" guitars are considerably harder to shred on. And the 2.25" guitars are way easier!

The position of the master volume way out on the bout was peculiar to that batch. I had 34526 and 34548. The smallish v-necks are to die for!


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