Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Oddball 1956/57 6121 question

1

Hi all,

So I'm vaguely considering buying a Gretsch 6121 and I'm trying to ascertain whether the neck is original or not. The body has the G brand (but no leather tooling) which would indicate it's from 1956, but the neck has hump blocks and a horseshoe headstock inlay, which I've only ever seen on 1957 guitars.

So my question is, does anyone know if Gretsch made a transitional 6121 with these features in late 1956? The serial number is in the late 208xx range and I know that 6120s from the same batch had the G-brand and hump blocks as standard, but I don't know if 6121s were the same deal. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

3

Pic's would help tremendously.

4

Oh boy, figuring out how to post images on a forum you've never used before is always fun. Hope this works! Also, I'm aware that the guitar has a few other issues such as the nut, pickguard and one of the knobs not being original.

6

Nothing pleases me more than a GDP post about vintage 6121 guitars... my all time fav model!

So the 200xx batch (‘56 model year) has 6121 examples with block markers, steershead headstocks and G-branded bodies. I have only documented one 6121 specimen from the next batch (208xx) and it might be this very guitar. It’s #20899 and has hump-block markers, horseshoe headstocks, G-branded body, but lacks leather sides. This would debatably still be a ‘56 model year guitar, but we’ll on it’s way to the ‘57 feature package. The next batch is at 216xx of which i’ve Documented multiple 6121 examples, all possessing hump-block markers, horseshoe headstocks, and lacking the G-branded body. These are legit ‘57 model year guitars.

7

Totally plausible that the OP’s guitar, being so late in it’s production batch, is an early adopter of the “new-for-‘57” necks. Curious that it lacks the brass nut(?).

8

Cool beans, thanks so much for the info! In light of your information I've decided to buy it, and I couldn't be more excited. It was indeed 20899, by the way!

9

Good for you and congrats! My notes tell me that I saw this guitar in person at the 2008 Philly guitar show.

What kind of case did you get with it??

I own a ‘56 Chet Jet from the #200xx batch. Plain block markers but all the other western stuff, and mine lacks the leather edging... and I love that!

10

Here's what it looked like in 2008 at the show. Looks like it had a cowboy case... so cool!

11

Herve needs to make a pickguard for that awesome guitar. I used to own it's bigger cousin, a G-brand/humpblock/horseshoe '56 6120.

12

Wow--really dig that!

Is it chambered? Is it basically aduo jet?

K

13

Wow--really dig that!

Is it chambered? Is it basically aduo jet?

K

– Konrad

Yes... a “Chet Jet” of sorts!

14

Thanks! The case that's coming with the guitar is an early '50s Gretsch tweed case in horrible condition-I guess the previous owner sold the original case as I understand they're worth a decent amount of money on their own. Regarding the nut, it's obviously a modern replacement-the edges are too curved for it to be original, also it's cut for light-gauge strings which were but a madman's dream when this guitar was made. I fully intend to have a new metal nut made for it, and also buy a new pickguard and replace the later-looking control knob while I'm at it. Afire- may I ask who Herve is? Does he make Gretsch pickguards or something? Sorry, I'm totally new to this forum.

15

Setzer maybe able to make you a pickguard for your guitar. He is on this forum and has made loads of pickguards, I have a few of his and the look and fit great

16

Thanks! The case that's coming with the guitar is an early '50s Gretsch tweed case in horrible condition-I guess the previous owner sold the original case as I understand they're worth a decent amount of money on their own. Regarding the nut, it's obviously a modern replacement-the edges are too curved for it to be original, also it's cut for light-gauge strings which were but a madman's dream when this guitar was made. I fully intend to have a new metal nut made for it, and also buy a new pickguard and replace the later-looking control knob while I'm at it. Afire- may I ask who Herve is? Does he make Gretsch pickguards or something? Sorry, I'm totally new to this forum.

– solderfumes

Here is Herve:

http://gretschpages.com/com...

He's a member in France who has made some very convincing thick pre-1959 style thick guards. If he's still doing it, he would do a great job. Maybe Setzer too? I'm not sure if he makes this style or not.

17

I’m limited to working from my phone at the moment and can’t really view your photo... which knob is the concern? Master volume?

Hopefully the existing pickguard retains the vintage bracket!


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