Vintage Gretsch Guitars

A rare unique look at the dark eyes black 6120

1

Deke Dickerson shared a group of photos and this was one of them.

How cool is it to see black “dark eyes “ 6120 here in its early form

Note the white bobbin filters

2

Can’t tell from the photo if the (experimental) magnets are installed into the fretboard yet.

3

White bobbins on this photo as well!

4

Can’t tell from the photo if the (experimental) magnets are installed into the fretboard yet.

– kc_eddie_b

What was the purpose of the experimental fretboard magnets? I haven't heard of them before?

5

Supposedly to isolate bass tones. They looked like Dyna polepieces sunk in along the top of the fretboard.

7

As this wasn't a feature that became popular, it can't be considered a success. Who came up with this 'invention', the usual Gretsch 'inventor'?

8

Isn't the whole idea of prototypes to try experimental things?

9

As this wasn't a feature that became popular, it can't be considered a success. Who came up with this 'invention', the usual Gretsch 'inventor'?

– Windsordave

Ray Butts was involved... no idea who birthed the idea, but Chet was a serial tinkerer so he was probably supportive of anything.

10

Ray Butts was involved... no idea who birthed the idea, but Chet was a serial tinkerer so he was probably supportive of anything.

– kc_eddie_b

I wonder how they put them in there if they weren't there from the beginning. They must have taken the neck off. Also I wonder where the bobbin is. Would it be a tiny bobbin under the fretboard?

11

The B/W photo above appears to be pre magnet and the last inlay is complete

12

Is there information if there is an active bobbin behind the fretboard or are they just passive magnets boosting the magnetism in the steel bass strings?

14

Isn't the whole idea of prototypes to try experimental things?

– spike

That's true enough Spike. I'm not aware of anything Ray was involved in that didn't succeed so him being associated with this magnet program never occurred to me, but the 'other' guys name sprang to the forefront.

15

FYI a large number of German guitars from the mid 1950's and onward from a large number of German luthiers had single coil pickups concealed in the fret board. This was apparently done because a pickup mounted on the guitar top was thought to interfere with the vibrating of the guitar top. It is quite possible that placing a pickup on the "Dark Eyes" fretboard was undertaken because someone at Gretsch or Chet Atkins himself saw or heard of this feature -- perhaps even at the Frankfurt music show which is the major European music dealers and makers trade event which Fred Gretsch attended very frequently

16

Is there information if there is an active bobbin behind the fretboard or are they just passive magnets boosting the magnetism in the steel bass strings?

– MaBerY

That's what I'm wondering too. When I first saw it years ago, I assumed that it was a pickup, but I'm not so sure now.

17

Rumble Seat Music in Nashville announced yesterday they will be listing it for sale.

18

Timing is everything. To think that we were just there during the Nashville Round Up. Wish we had seen it.

19

In Markneukirchen, Germany, there's a wonderful music museum that shows alot of the instruments that started in Germany. C.F.Martin was from there. Framus/Warwick moved there from Bubenreuth and built an amazing factory that is totally self sustained. They generate all their own electricity. I took a tour of it with my good friend Max Junger who owns Pyramid Strings back in 2014. Max also owns a number of prototype Hofner's. Hofner originated in Bubenreuth(the same as Framus). Among his prototypes are some interesting electronics built-in some of them..


Register Sign in to join the conversation