Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1956 6120

2

Very nice. Looks like it originally had a breakaway Bigsby. Do we know the serial?

3

Yes... Deke’s right... nail-holes in the horseshoe and plain blocks. Could be a candidate for the breakaway B6.

4

That is so beautiful to me. Just something about those early 6120’s. So interesting that there was such a disconnect between what Chet wanted and what the guys at Gretsch thought would be cool. I mean, what guitar player doesn’t want to be cool? Imagine getting an endorsement and finding out the instrument you will be associated with has tons of visual features you don’t like? On the other hand, look at all the great things that came out of that partnership. Good thing both sides were patient with each other!

5

So, concidering the bigsby would not be original makes me think of why change from one to another? They never broke and the funktionality is the same, or am I get it wrong here? Serial is not known, I can email and ask if that’s of interest.

6

It was more the placement of that pot that looks like like it’s falling into the f-hole that makes me think it originally had a breakaway.

8

It was more the placement of that pot that looks like like it’s falling into the f-hole that makes me think it originally had a breakaway.

– Deke Martin

dekes right on the money there. The knob sits almost on top of the F hole--far lower than normal.

i love the ruddy red patina.

9

I would be very interested to know the serial number. Steve, do you speak Danish?

10

Nope, but close enough - Stockholm, Sweden. Has created an account and sent an mail to him.

12

Steve111... I could easily see the owner changing out the wonky breakaway unit for the more refined cast-arm swivel iteration once they became available... it’s just a better (functioning) mousetrap.

13

Great looking aul 6120 that!

14

Thanks

– Deke Martin

You got mail

15

On the other hand, there had to be a point where the breakaway handle was replaced with the spoon arm. And it's entirely possible that the bodies were already drilled out for pots when that change occurred. Unless we know when the change happened, it's hard to say with certainty whether it originally had a breakaway handle. Or do we know of any confirmed 100% breakaway batches, or is there any evidence of mixed batches?

16

i love the ruddy red patina.

Agreed. This might be my favorite shade of 6120 orange.

17

On the other hand, there had to be a point where the breakaway handle was replaced with the spoon arm. And it's entirely possible that the bodies were already drilled out for pots when that change occurred. Unless we know when the change happened, it's hard to say with certainty whether it originally had a breakaway handle. Or do we know of any confirmed 100% breakaway batches, or is there any evidence of mixed batches?

– Afire

Yes... although I'm going by memory here, the three 6120 batches between #186xx and 200xx are the one's we find breakaway units in. But we can't say they were all equipped with them, as many from these groups have surfaced today with something other. Does that mean there were mixed batches, or just some got replaced aftermarket and some didn't.

Pure speculation here, but perhaps they made a quantity (100 or so) of the breakaway style and also a quantity (100 or so) of the cast-arm swivel style.... and applied them both to a couple batches of 6120's, and awaited feedback from the market on which was preferred?? Interesting to me that there were never (that we know of) breakaway B3 units. There are documented 6121 Solidbodies from these same batches (#186xx, 189xx, and 200xx)... but they display either the fixed arm, or the cast-arm swivel version.

18

I had #20039 in the '80's; it had a B6 with a Duane Eddy handle which was stock. I think the ruddy dark orange is my favorite too.

19

This Danish one is the same batch as lx’s, only 30 or so away - could be stock after all then.

Maybe afire is on to something with the pre-drilled bodies...


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