Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1961 6120 on Reverb

1

No affiliation — just think this one looks like a solid deal... a great model year if anyone has $6k to spare (probably less w/cash on the table).

https://reverb.com/item/123...

3 month old listing, hmmm...

2

I like how the ad says "Vintage Gretsch instruments are total sleepers." That's kind of funny .

3

My favorite 6120 ever - my '61 - is from that same batch.

4

Looks very nice. But isn't that a modern bridge?

5

Looks very nice. But isn't that a modern bridge?

– Danman

Sharp eye. At least the base is. Bar bridge probably also.

6

Sharp eye. At least the base is. Bar bridge probably also.

– sascha

Thanks! It looks like the bar is a modern one because it doesn't have the flat edges where it rests on the wheels.

7

You're probably right. On first sight the bridge looks kinda slim for a modern one but I'm sure there were many variants over the years.

And while we're at it: What about the removed Bigsby pins? That is not stock either.

8

Ah! I missed that the strings went through the bar. Ha ha, good catch!

9

That Guitar is gorgeous, the color really pops, wish I could swing it

10

One thing that bothers me is, in the close up pic of the front of the head stock, there looks like a crack and a separation of the head stock binding halfway between the low E 6th string tuning post and the nut. Kinda like someone really whacked it against something, too bad, bothersome. Bye the way, what's the story with the cracks found in so many of these Vintage 6120 pick guards? This one has a small crack at the top screw, and a larger one down at the bottom screw. Is that usually just from over tightening, or from storage/humidity conditions, or possibly from stress on the plastic when trying to unscrew it after so many years without using WD-40 to loosen up the thread corrosion?

11

Some players put more stress on pickguards with their picking hand, and after nearly 60 years, a bit of cracking comes as no surprise to me. In fact, considering the condition of the case (decent, for its age and apparent level of use), the guitar's condition is pretty remarkable.

12

Yeah, I agree — more often than not cracks in a pickguard are from playing, not maintenance.

13

The pickguards on '61s (and actually anything made during/after '59) was made of molded polystyrene. The same stuff as on your typical Monogram and Revell model kits (ask your elders if you don't know what I'm talking about). It cracks, shatters and breaks so much easier than on the cut and beveled Lucite guards made on the '58 and earlier models. But it was also so much cheaper to produce.

Ironic factoid: the "sculpted" pickup surrounds on the typical Filtertron equipped Gretsch is actually molded polystyrene. The plain or "unsculpted" pickup surrounds found on many '58 Filtertron equipped Gretsches is actually cut and sculpted Lucite.

14

Excellent answer sir! Thanks for providing this information, I just bought a 1958 6120 less than two months ago, and it is an early one that has the plain pickup surrounds. It's good to know mine has the more durable Lucite ones, and Pick guard as well! Just out of curiosity, where did you obtain this information on the pick guards/surrounds, is it in Ed Ball's 6120 book? Thanks Again! Link

15

The pickguards on '61s (and actually anything made during/after '59) was made of molded polystyrene. The same stuff as on your typical Monogram and Revell model kits (ask your elders if you don't know what I'm talking about). It cracks, shatters and breaks so much easier than on the cut and beveled Lucite guards made on the '58 and earlier models. But it was also so much cheaper to produce.

The earlier ones are also considerably thicker. Roughly 5mm vs. 3mm. I don't know that I've ever seen an early thick guard with a crack.

16

Excellent answer sir! Thanks for providing this information, I just bought a 1958 6120 less than two months ago, and it is an early one that has the plain pickup surrounds. It's good to know mine has the more durable Lucite ones, and Pick guard as well! Just out of curiosity, where did you obtain this information on the pick guards/surrounds, is it in Ed Ball's 6120 book? Thanks Again! Link

– Frank Hurn

The Filter/Hilo surround on my '59 Clipper had split and broke while sitting unused in its case for several years. I built way too many model kits as a kid and recognized the stuff; you can usually see a matrix "bump" from the molding process on the polystyrene guards and surrounds. I got a fresh tube of Testors and all those years of gluing on WW2 plane canopies and bubble-top cars paid off. The original gold surround just looks like cracks now instead of breaks. The shatter around the pickguard bracket screw will just have to stay though.

17

That's the wrong pickguard for that guitar anyway. The 6120s with the side heel screw dowel and larger heel cap (2.25") have a pickguard shape that is scalloped on the bottom.

18

Price drop to 6200. That's a deal, or a very troubling sign.

19

Looks like Neil Young's 6120 he had when they started the Buffalo Springfield! His has the side dowel in the cutaway. I saw their reunion tour in 2011 and he brought it and played it!


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