Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1964 Gretsch 6120

1

I think these pickups are original and fall within the batch of mid 60’s 6120‘s that had factory blacktops.

I’m not so sure the pickup surrounds are original - any ideas folks? If not I’d like to replace them but don’t want to change them if not. Screws on these and the pickups look to be replacements.

Another thing the guitar has is a space control bridge. Is this unusual for a 6120 - it looks vintage but I’d expect a bar bridge?

Thank you,

Adam

4

This is the only mid-'60's 6120 I've seen with blacktops. All the (not-very-many) others I've seen had Filter'Trons. If Ed sees this thread, he can probably come up with S/N's for the blacktop batch.

5

The term "black-tops" is a relatively recent thing FMIC/Gretsch started. The mid-60s 6120 (and other Gretsch models) we've found were typically considered to be Filtertron pickups in Hilo'Tron cases (aka "open-cased"). Off the top of my head these 6120s fell in the late '64ish to '65ish period.

The pickup bezels do not appear to be original, and the factory spec was the "sculpted" style rings. The space control bridge was not factory spec for the 6120, and the one on your guitar doesn't appear to be vintage (as it's finish appears to be nickel). Cool guitar though... looks like a real player!

6

Bridge: there’s been some overseas “space control” bridges for the last 50 years. I bought one from a local music shop in about 1970/71 for a Ventura Country Gent copy I have.. I believe Allparts has them to sell..

7

Here’s a pic of my ‘64 if that helps.

8

You can check the pickups by seeing if they have the push on connectors and if the wiring is the white 3 strand that looks like lamp cord. I had a '63 Jet Firebird with those pickups and they are the same as regular Filtertrons. A TruArc Serpentune bridge and modern pickup rings will give it a more vintage look but you've got the real deal.

9

Bridge is definitely a modern repro, nowhere near big enough to be original.

10

Bridge is definitely a modern repro, nowhere near big enough to be original.

– Deke Martin

Also the newer ones have different sized wheels on a straight bar - like the OP's - as opposed to all the wheels being the same diameter on a curved bar.

11

This is the only mid-'60's 6120 I've seen with blacktops. All the (not-very-many) others I've seen had Filter'Trons. If Ed sees this thread, he can probably come up with S/N's for the blacktop batch.

– DaveH

Hi, it’s in his book; he states this starts around 76xxx and this guitar is 75122.

12

Thanks for all your comments - lots of info I didn’t know! I’ll probably get some sculpted rings then and have a look for a better bridge. I paid well under market value for the guitar so not too bummed it’s got originality issues, it plays and sounds great.

13

You can check the pickups by seeing if they have the push on connectors and if the wiring is the white 3 strand that looks like lamp cord. I had a '63 Jet Firebird with those pickups and they are the same as regular Filtertrons. A TruArc Serpentune bridge and modern pickup rings will give it a more vintage look but you've got the real deal.

– lx

Which Tru Arc Bridge would work best for a 6120? Website says to email for vintage guitars but figure someone here may have done it!?!

14

Thanks for all your comments - lots of info I didn’t know! I’ll probably get some sculpted rings then and have a look for a better bridge. I paid well under market value for the guitar so not too bummed it’s got originality issues, it plays and sounds great.

– adam_turt0n

I have a 65 6120. It is the best playing guitar I own.

For the rings and bridge you can get modern repros. Tru arc is up to you.

You might also think about getting a pickguard if you like pickguards.

That Bigsby looks very shiny for the era. Do you have a close up of the part where you attach the ball of the strings looking at it from the butt(base) of the guitar?

Also, if you want to know whether the tuners are original we'd need a pic of those as well.

15

Hi, it’s in his book; he states this starts around 76xxx and this guitar is 75122.

– adam_turt0n

So there you go!

16

Which Tru Arc Bridge would work best for a 6120? Website says to email for vintage guitars but figure someone here may have done it!?!

– adam_turt0n

Proteus, on these pages, IS Tru-Arc. You may reach out to him for the answer.


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