Vintage Gretsch Guitars

55 6120 resto - botched??

1

The guitar shop that is taking credit for this restoration of a '55 6120 (not '56) has been in business a long time, and I'm a little surprised that they made some of the aesthetic choices that they did on this project. I do however like that they added a sticker inside the body next to the label to verify the guitar has been modified... kudos on that. The flame grain on this specimen makes it totally worth investing a couple thousand dollars in a more traditional resto back to stock features. It's just a shame (IMHO) that they chose to go off the reservation on this one. What do you guys think?

https://reverb.com/item/199...

2

I'm an anodized gold bridge, and a couple gold arrow knobs away from having all the period correct hardware to bring this guitar back to original spec... and it's tempting to go after this old gal to do just that, but the fretboard modification is the deal-breaker for me. Too bad.

3

I think the inlays are the only thing that kills it for me.

4

What were they Thinking on those fret markers?! Other than that, it's beautiful.

5

Beautiful wood on that.

Almost makes the inlays forgivable.

Almost.

6

The short run of flamed top specimens within the #173xx batch of 6120's is documented, and some amazingly beautiful examples have surfaced. Perhaps I'm not the most objective observer on this topic, but a guitar like this deserves the maximum effort to bring it back to period correct status. Getting off my soap-box now...

7

Fluorescent orange is always good for playing at night.

8

You can always pop the fretboard off and stick a new one on with some glue.

9

Oh man. Where to start with this...

No I wont bother.

Just like Brando said in on the waterfront " I could've been a contender"

This guitar could have been a great one if done right. The nail hole specimens are so rare.

10

I’m guessing the fingerboard must have been a complete mess. Not sure why they would go this route? A “custom” version of a restoration. It is a beautiful guitar.

11

The finish appears to be original??

12

Oh man. Where to start with this...

No I wont bother.

Just like Brando said in on the waterfront " I could've been a contender"

This guitar could have been a great one if done right. The nail hole specimens are so rare.

– Gasmoney

Fred... I'm thinking this is a complete neck replacement. Batch #173xx are steershead logo 6120s. So although the nail-head horseshoe jumped out at me as well, it really should be a steershead. Note the addition of a heel dowel, and the larger TRC... more evidence of a non-'55 neck??

13

Why is there some rot on the heel cap if this guitar has been restored?

14

Wow, that is a tragedy that's already happened. A heal dowel? This isn't a restoration as much as a destructoration. If these were a documented batch, I would be tempted to restore it right, but where to begin? New neck? Or, new fretboard, inlays, tuners and headstock overlay? Replace wood in the pickup cavities? Refinish to a more realistic color? Kinda sad. Wish I could just buy the body and start from there...

15

You can always pop the fretboard off and stick a new one on with some glue.

– Curt Wilson

I'd need it to be an original western etched inlay fretboard Curt... you got any of those kicking around that shop of yours?

16

Yes--With the batch serial # pointing to a western era 6120

It likely is a reneck --and the heel dowel. I don't know.

Whoever owned this guitar liked it a lot. They made it work and customized it. Must play great...

17

The finish appears to be original??

– Gasmoney

I agree... not sure where some are getting that it's a refin (other than it's super-orange appearance).

18

The question of the neck being non-original aside, those nail holes look a little hokey to me, my guts are telling me they’re not original. Could be a regular non-nailhole neck that’s had the nail holes scratched in.

Seems like they chipped the yellowing lacquer off while doing so too.

19

Yeah, my jaw dropped at this one, and not in a good way. The hacked up top braces would be the scariest gamble. It looks like the holes were opened up for a Filtertron -- the guard looks like a '58 -- then redone with the '60's era DeArmonds. The weird inlays seem to have smaller versions of cowboy engravings. But oh that flame....

20

Conventional serif on the G too, another red flag it’s a later neck.

21

Almost makes the inlays forgivable.

Makes them worse.

The hacked up top braces would be the scariest gamble. It looks like the holes were opened up for a Filtertron -- the guard looks like a '58 -- then redone with the '60's era DeArmonds.

I don't think the braces bother me. If I was worried, I'd shape some blocks to fit the partial cutouts and glue them in powerfully. At least the Filter'Tron retrofit and Dyna refit were done neatly. Not too hacked up.

For my taste, the big honkin' G-brand ruined the guitar at the factory. Otherwise that undeniable flame would be as compelling to me as it has been to others.

I just can't make out what the "restorers" had in mind with the inlays. They aren't historically correct for any Gretsch, are they? Too small? That's just weird. A miscommunication of dimensions between the restorer and a subcontractor?

They'd work if you were onstage dancing around 18" Stonehenge monuments. If you could actually get out of the pod.

22

That one is real close serial number wise to my black 6121

23

I'd just redo the neck and rock it!

This guitar needs to be saved,but 50's 6120's are out of my pay grade ,even this hacked one.

24

I'd need it to be an original western etched inlay fretboard Curt... you got any of those kicking around that shop of yours?

– kc_eddie_b

The boards yes the inlays no but they’re only a scan and CNC away.

25

OK, here's a genuine nail hole '56 headstock. Note the squared off lettering, but more importantly the reverse serif on the capital G. Note also the uniform colouring around the nail holes. This guitar is unmolested and I've had it under a black light. She's pukka.

So, later style logo, dubious nail holes, ebony 'board, dowel screw - I'm calling that neck out as a post '58.


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