Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1962 Gretsch 6120 Double Cutaway non conforming to specs inquiry

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4844XX Neck joint 1 of 4 with screw through the back. The owner reported the screw was covered with a cap or plug of some kind.
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Neck joint 4 of 4 . It looks like some kind of epoxy was used.

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484XX side view depicting deteriorated binding
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484XX Bigsby tail piece with end pin and deteriorated binding. Owner reports this was not gold plated. The other hardware is gold, but most of the plated finish has worn off.
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484XX pick ups and bridge. Owner recalls the bridge is a replacement. Are replicas or originals available?
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484XX bound F Hole. This binding has not deteriorated, but looks old.
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484XX view of input jack. The owner is ready to perform proper conservation style repairs and return this Model 6120 to service, but it is not playable due to the neck joint situation. Did these guitars typically have neck joint problems? He recalls the original case was grey in color and he seeks to acquire an original appropriately worn case for this narrower bodied example. Thanks to all for reviewing the photos. Enjoy! Sam Rawlins, Atlanta, GA
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Looks like a deeper body than normally seen.

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484XX Photo 3 of 3 of label through the sound hole. Shooting this guitar makes me want to be a better photographer.
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Well... that's certainly a legit paper label, and I'm genuinely surprised to see that. This adds legitimacy to the prospect of this being a custom order in my mind. The F-holes actually look pretty legit too. The back not having the snaps for the back pad is also interesting. Let's get a confirmation on JBJ's observation about the depth of the body.

The tuners are awkward... I've never liked the look of Imperials on the 6120. The binding obviously needs to be addressed, and the neck set will require work. But it would not seem insurmountable to get this gal back to playing condition, and ready for another 30 years.

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The screw holding the neck on is typical, but is usually covered with a black dowel. This one is gone, but easy to replace.

I’d noted the bridge to be non-original, but it should be relatively easy to score a replacement. Or even put a Tru-Arc on it which would be the easiest thing to do and make it VERY playable.

I’m inclined to believe the f-holes are factory open, if only because of the label. A quick look under black light may reveal the truth either way. It doesn’t look re-finned so if a black light shows no patchiness it’s a fair bet the holes are original.

The 2 1/4 deep double cut makes this a very rare beast, maybe even unique. I’ve certainly never seen one before. That’s not to say valuable you understand, just very rare.

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Sam/Tryingtopick, are there numbers impressed into the top of the headstock? This was typical for double-cut 6120s, but may not be there due to the label being inside.

The f-hole binding certainly is more to Gretsch standards than the ones on the overpriced flamey '60 Country Gent that IIRC Afire took close-up photos of -- which has awkward 4-segment binding.

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Here is a photo I did not post with a top view of the headstock. There is nothing impressed to the surface. Thanks for the inquiry. Sam

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The lack of impressed numbers on the headstock and the label inside seems to confirm that this is a rare Gretsch. While we've seen sealed-top Country Gents with factory opened f-holes, those have been the larger variety as seen on the '50's 6120's. I don't believe we've seen small f-holes -- bound or unbound -- from earlier than 1966-ish. While the gold Imperial tuners are vintage, I'm sure they aren't original to the guitar

The man to fix this is Curt at Old School Guitars -- link to your right. While I live on the West coast I will only do business with him as there are too many flakes and rip-off people in the guitar business, and I say this with sad experience.

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The lack of impressed numbers on the headstock and the label inside seems to confirm that this is a rare Gretsch. While we've seen sealed-top Country Gents with factory opened f-holes, those have been the larger variety as seen on the '50's 6120's. I don't believe we've seen small f-holes -- bound or unbound -- from earlier than 1966-ish. While the gold Imperial tuners are vintage, I'm sure they aren't original to the guitar

The man to fix this is Curt at Old School Guitars -- link to your right. While I live on the West coast I will only do business with him as there are too many flakes and rip-off people in the guitar business, and I say this with sad experience.

– lx

lx, thank you for your diagnosis regarding the gold Grover Imperial tuners.... what guides you to confirm they are not original to this instrument? There was an earlier post suggesting they be removed to verify the screw hole locations.... is this process necessary to deliver evidence of originality? Best, Sam

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The placement of these is simply too awkward; however, if you were to remove one of the tuners you would be able to tell that they were original if there are no other holes -- which there would be if it came with the standard Waverly open-back tuners.

If the original owner wanted Imperial tuners, Gretsch probably would have accomodated them by using a longer headstock. But this whole guitar is unusual -- it wouldn't take long to remove one of the Grovers to find out.

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Something curious about the binding on the neck joint. In the picture "Neck joint 3 of 4", there is no strip of binding that usually runs between the body and neck, connecting the two body binding strips. This is obviously a '60s Gretsch, but the lack of a connecting binding strip is a feature seen on the later '70s Gretsches.

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Looks like a deeper body than normally seen.

– JazzBoxJunky

In the first post he mentions that the body is 2 1/4" deep.

And I was too hasty with my aftermarket f-holes comment. This is one seriously odd duck with the depth, f-holes, paper label, lack of binding strips by the neck joint, 4-ply heel (never seen that on a 6120, though things like that did show up on Gents now and again).

While the tuner installation is indeed peculiar, at this point, anything seems possible with this guitar.

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Every now and again something crops up on these pages that really it out of the norm. This is one of those interesting times.

It looks to me like the neck has been off, or is about to come off. There seems to be a gap under the 4-ply heel cap and where the binding strips are missing it looks as though some Flagstaff Red chewing gum has been wadged in there .

Sam, is there any movement on the neck?


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