Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Left-handed 6120 - Unidentified?

1

I appreciate any help with identifying. What is this?

I'm not an expert in identifying Gretsches, but have this in my hands and something seems either strange, modified a bit off or just unusual. And I don't mean the lefty part.

So what do I find there? Someone said it'd be around 1990 guitar. There's a backpad - with a large hole beneath. The pups look like 2k DeArmonds. Identification tag does not have the regular font and only half of it is left, showing faint number 69092 or 09092. The former # would place it to 1964 (or 1969 June?), but I doubt. Obviously there has been a zero fret, but it's been removed.

And electrics not working... now would this be worth taking it as a project? I will add some more pictures soon.

2

The neck joint looks like this...

4

Digits... let's see if I can upload the photo...

5

At least the access to the wiring harness is quite easy...!

6

And the joint from the other side.

8

Yes, something definitely strange going on with this guitar, even with the modifications and the new DiMarzio pickups. The blue bordered tags were prior to 1957/58 or thereabouts and the serial number of 69092 is completely impossible. but so also is a serial number of 09092 since Gretsch did not use a "0" on guitars numbered below 9999. The only thing certainly accurate is the typeface/font of that serial number. If 09092 were a correct serial number that would place this guitar as being made prior to1951 or so and thus about 3 or more years prior to the first 6120 ever having been built. If that blue bordered tag is actually black in color (hard to tell from the photo) then the tag is obviously a photocopy and thus completely a whack job

9

It's got to be one of those Chinese fakes but very well done. Zip ties and Dimarzio switches?

How much are they asking?

10

Yes, thanks, that's right. The surest thing is it's not early 50s... The old tag is closer to black but has a slight blue tone. I wonder if any of the other clues could give something to follow. The headstock looks like pre-Fender, at least to me. But that won't get me very far either.

11

At about $1500. If it is a copy, it could be from "the old times" = Japan? The orange flaming does look pretty nice, not new, and the lacquer has some crackling.

15

The points inside the f holes look really off to me.

16

The neck joint looks like this...

– make1968

No idea what this is. I'm guessing from the '90s and significantly modified, but I'm really not too familiar with the pre-FMIC modern guitars. But I can say that that neck joint is not '50s or '60s, and the black side purfling is not something they did back then either.

17

The body shape is not a modern pre-FMIC. Also I’ve never seen parallel tone bars look like that.

18

The headstock shape is off as the ends come to too much of an upward sweep at the points. Also, the headstock is double bound, not single bound as a true 6120. Other things to note: on a real 6120, Gretsch used a small additional section of wood on the neck where the fingerboard overlapped the body; on this guitar, that overlapping section of the neck is one piece and part of the neck. Finally, there is a layer of black binding on the sides of the guitar similar to the way DiAngelicco set binding and this was something that Gretsch didn't do

19

Homemade version of a Gretsch. Someone who has skill as a guitar builder may have made it. Definitely not a Chinese copy. Chinese do good jobs of copying Ric, Fender and Gibson but Gretsch not even close. Any of you see Gretsch copies from China? Really bad. i suspect the 6120 in question is a one off by a good guitar builder.

20

So if that's the case should this guitar be worth more because it's a custom build or less because it really isn't a Gretsch?

21

So if that's the case should this guitar be worth more because it's a custom build or less because it really isn't a Gretsch?

– Suprdave

Good question. I am not sure but I can guess less but it depends on the buyer.

22

Yes, thanks, that's right. The surest thing is it's not early 50s... The old tag is closer to black but has a slight blue tone. I wonder if any of the other clues could give something to follow. The headstock looks like pre-Fender, at least to me. But that won't get me very far either.

– make1968

That inlay looks like the genuine Gretsch material from those headstock veneers that used to be quite plentiful. The background looks like nicer wood than you usually see, so maybe just a particularly nice example, or whoever made only used the inlay, not the whole veneer.

Maybe custom built is the answer. Another though I had was that it could have started as a better quality Japanese 6120 copy. Greco sold some that were reasonably accurate in many respects like this, but I've only ever seen a '59 style. If they or somebody else made a '57 style, that could be the answer too.

23

It's a modern home job as ThePolecats says. If it was a modern Gretsch, the headstock logo and horseshoe would be a decal, not inlay. The parallel braces are almost correct but aren't smooth the way Gretsch made them '57 and earlier. It almost looks like a mid/late '90's Gretsch (fingerboard extension) but all those had a tone bar connecting the top to the back right under the bridge. Shame to go to the trouble to almost build it right and screw it up by making a hole in the back and adding a zero fret. Some lefty might get a good player.

24

Homemade version of a Gretsch. Someone who has skill as a guitar builder may have made it. Definitely not a Chinese copy. Chinese do good jobs of copying Ric, Fender and Gibson but Gretsch not even close. Any of you see Gretsch copies from China? Really bad. i suspect the 6120 in question is a one off by a good guitar builder.

– ThePolecats

I think you are right -- a one off copy using a 90's Gretsch as a starting point

25

looks like it might have had a zero fret at one point - in photo in post #10 shows a gap between the nut and the truss rod cover.


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