Modern Gretsch Guitars

Sloppy inlay work on 6122

1

Hi there,. I'm new to the forum and new to Gretsch guitars as well. I was lucky enough to be gifted a very nice 2009 6122 country gentleman. It's a really nice guitar in every way except one. The fretboard inlays look as though the fretboard had been routed too big for the inlays and then filled in with epoxy. Its quite noticeable and I'm just wondering if others with the same guitar see the same thing of if mine is just a one off.

2

Welcome to the GDP... and to the wider world of Gretsch. The guitars sound and respond so uniquely that it's a new experience for first-time Gretschers. You'll have yourself an adventure, and a Gent is a great place to start.

If you could post pictures of some of the offending inlays, it would help us to know what we're talking about.

3

Ii will try to add a photo. Many of them are similar. The smaller ones seem to be fine.

6

My first thought was could it be a chinese counterfeit? But everything else looks correct,. All the paperwork, case, etc.

7

Dang, that looks like a -59 version Gent!

Compared to my '07 -58, the inlay work does indeed seems "sloppy". The thumbnails on mine are tight against the fretboard material.

8

This is standard practice for the most part, although fit should be a bit better. If the filler is the correct color this never shows.

9

Maybe they were going for vintage authenticity. Great guitar regardless,. I was just curious if this was the norm.

10

Closeup of the worst one.

11

This is standard practice for the most part, although fit should be a bit better. If the filler is the correct color this never shows.

– JazzBoxJunky

None of the thumbnails on any of my modern Gretsches look like this!

12

That's not just a Gent, my friend, that's the Cadillac of all Gents, the 6122-1959 model based on Chet's all-time favorite, developed by Fred Gretsch in partnership with Chet's long-time playing partner (and best friend) Paul Yandell. That's the creme de la creme of recent Gent offerings. Many fingerpickers consider it the best guitar for their purpose in all of forever, and those of us who have one cherish it!

Besides its unique construction details (2.25" thinline body, 25.5" scale, wider fingerboard, special bracing), it's the only Gent with that gorgeous wine-red figured maple - and the bent "Chet arm" on the Bigsby. The combo of a TV Jones SuperTron at the neck and a Classic Plus (in a HiloTron housing) at the bridge further distinguish it.

I'll part with mine three days before the funeral.

What a way to start Gretsching!


But inlays. Mine are joined more tightly than that. That kind of work, on that model, is definitely not typical of Terada (who built it). I would like to have seen it when new.

Might I hazard a guess that this guitar has been in a dry environment? Could be the fingerboard wood has shrunk a bit. See what happens after you keep it in a properly humidified environment for a few weeks.

If it bothers you, the wood could be filled pretty invisibly - but the inlays could be replaced with pieces that fit better as well.

Other than that, how's the guitar?


I'd have to see more pictures, but from the one you show, I think it very unlikely it's any kind of counterfeit. I've yet to see a Chinese Gretsch counterfeit that was in any way convincing to the even modestly experienced Gretsch eye - and never one that tries to knock off the 6122-59 at all.

13

Thanks for the replys. Yes, I'm sure it's not a counterfeit. The guitar plays and sounds great. I play it through a Fender Excelsior and sometimes an Orange AD30. I should add that it's much less noticeable in person. If you played the guitar and I didn't mention it you would never notice.
One other thing I have is when I move the arm...not pushing and pulling it as a trem but just moving the arm up and down I get a creaking sound. Just add lube?

14

Hopefully it’s just a one off. None of my Gretsches are like this. If all else is good, I wouldn’t lose much sleep. Someone must have been having a bad moment at the factory.

Welcome to the GDP. Although you started at the top, rest assured that we will enable you to obtain more.

15

That's unusual. I've never seen one that bad on any vintage or modern Gretsch.

16

Welcome to all things Gretsch Rotti! You've sure got yourself one of the elite Gretsch models albeit with a mysterious and sad issue.

I don't believe for a minute this is an issue with the ebony fingerboard shrinking or it would have also pulled clear of the binding and it's perfectly tight. This is an example of outright piss-poor quality control, or rather no quality control as regards these inlays!! Given this guitar has always been regarded as the Cadillac of the line, as pointed out by Proteus, Gretsch should fix this for you as a good will gesture and to keep their quality control reputation intact.

Gretsch went to great pains to design this model with input and measuring of Chet's own Gent by the late, great Paul Yandel to be as identical to Chet's '59, including his upgrade to having a Supertron for the neck pup, as possible. To me, I simply can't understand how this gross error made it past inspection? This is a very simple procedure to router the fingerboard precisely, given the CNC tooling in use today which can be accurate to better than 1/000". My '72 Super Chet has the most complicated [abalone] inlay work of any Gretsch ever built and you can't see a hint of separation, even using a magnifying glass! Hell even my '41 Synchro with large square block markers is a perfect fit! If they could do that high a quality of work 37 & 77 years ago every guitar they make since should be of equal quality, no excuses.

As for "This is standard practice for the most part" I don't agree. I've never seen this gross a fit with any Gretsch component I've ever picked up, newer ones or vintage. On Golden Era - '50's - '60's - I've seen small imperfections like the truss rod cover not being dead straight and the dot markers in the binding being slightly askew, these guitars being hand assembled back then but nothing on the order of this WTF on your guitar. I do hope Gretsch contacts you to remedy this situation. Keep us up to date if you don't mind. I see your post as a friendly call out to Mr C.

This condition wouldn't be acceptable on the cheapest Gretsch let alone it's flagship model.

17

Dave, Dave. I love ya like a brother, man, but you do sometimes tend to indignant bombast!

My goodness.

(Also, the indignanter you get, the more you tend to embarrassing typos. (See: "the CNC tooling in use today...can be accurate to better than 1/000" - a divide-by-zero tolerance that means exactly nothing! But OK, we know what you mean.) (Though, since it's far more shop than factory, we're not sure Terada uses CNC for these operations.)

In any case, since most of us have never seen gaps like this on Gretschs, let's not jump to an indictment of quality control. That doesn't make sense. We would have seen more of this, not just on a single guitar.

Howbout if the fingerboard hasn't shrunk, maybe the celluloid used for the thumbnail inlays has? Batch with variant characteristics? Maybe the guitar has been exposed to unusual conditions which affected that particular plastic.

ANYway, Rotti will undoubtedly weigh back in with any information he might have about such matters. I counsel patience before we start forming the lynching party.

18

Could this have been one of those “B” models? Or a second?

19

"Could this have been one of those “B” models? Or a second?"

In the case there is a large envelope with a certificate, and the other case candy including a QC checklist with everything checked off as good. The guitar is dead mint. I think the only reasonable explanation is that the fretboard was routered too big for the inlays and it was somehow let through the system. I was surprised. I own a few other high end guitars and Ive never seen anything quite like it.

20

Dave, Dave. I love ya like a brother, man, but you do sometimes tend to indignant bombast!

My goodness.

(Also, the indignanter you get, the more you tend to embarrassing typos. (See: "the CNC tooling in use today...can be accurate to better than 1/000" - a divide-by-zero tolerance that means exactly nothing! But OK, we know what you mean.) (Though, since it's far more shop than factory, we're not sure Terada uses CNC for these operations.)

In any case, since most of us have never seen gaps like this on Gretschs, let's not jump to an indictment of quality control. That doesn't make sense. We would have seen more of this, not just on a single guitar.

Howbout if the fingerboard hasn't shrunk, maybe the celluloid used for the thumbnail inlays has? Batch with variant characteristics? Maybe the guitar has been exposed to unusual conditions which affected that particular plastic.

ANYway, Rotti will undoubtedly weigh back in with any information he might have about such matters. I counsel patience before we start forming the lynching party.

– Proteus

Sorry for dropping the 1 in the fraction Tim. If this guitar was one that missed inspection during a bathroom break by the inspector it might explain it.

My field is Quality Control - ultrasound inspection [primarily] of welding, so when I see flagrant mistakes - someone that doesn't give a dam - in what I inspect, I crap on the welder, through his supervisor from a great height. No excuse for poor workmanship. The welder deserves a verbal boot in the ass and they get it from their supervisor when he hears it from me. The welder is the first inspector, not me, so first he fails to weld properly and then expects me to pass it.....not happening bro!!

The indictment is warranted I feel because following assembly, there has to be a final inspection which looks at everything and ensures the setup produces a playable guitar, right? Aside from the bakelite guards on vintage guitars, I've never heard of plastic inlays dissolving or shrinking years later. If it did, wouldn't there be a lot of guitars out there with this occurring and be a well known fact?

CNC would be used for anything and everything it can be as it produces quality tolerances not possible by hand and its consistent results done very rapidly, saving money, which is something always sought for mass production. You know this from your own production. It also is suppose to ensure no errors. Who knows.....maybe there were 500 necks miss-cut by a machine not functioning properly and 499 got caught by QC & scrapped, leaving one that got onto a guitar, but the question remains, final inspection missed a significant production and visually apparent error, not a tiny one out of sight. Filling all these inlay gaps is a poor fix because the gaps aren't even a consistent size and that would look odd; at least it certainly would to me.

21

Rotti123,

In an effort to track its journey through the production, QC, and sales process, please provide a photo of the serial number on the back of the headstock.

25

Joe is the man. I'm continually impressed by his involvement here and his desire to create and maintain goodwill.


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