Gretsch's 6120 model represents one of the most iconic electric hollowbody guitars of the 20th century, nearly single-handedly defining the success of Fred Gretsch's company since its release in 1955.
Why We Love This
In a world where vintage Gibsons and Fenders tend to rule the roost, we often overlook Gretsch's influence on the electric guitar industry. The 6120 Chet Atkins hollowbody model is without question one of the most influential and historic guitars to come out of the 20th Century, leading the pack for those seeking the ultimate in electric hollowbody tone.
This is the first vintage single-cut 6120 model we've had in the shop in many years, and is a fantastic sounding and playing example at that. Featuring its original Western Orange finish along with original Filter'tron pickups, it has the quintessential look and sound that defined the New York-based guitar manufacturer for decades to come. The list of legendary guitarists that used these guitars - besides Chet Atkins himself, of course - is too long to list in this description... but it gives you sense of just how special these guitars sound.
The guitar is mostly original throughout, including the infamously fragile celluloid body and neck binding (don't worry - it's quite stable). Original frets remain on the Ebony fingerboard, and the hardware is also original to the guitar. The original twin Filter'tron pickups sound fabulous, with equal parts punch and chime that have a unique tone unlike Gibson's pickups of the era. An original Gretsch-stamped Bigsby vibrato tailpiece is paired with the stock Rosewood-based Tru Arc bridge, which works great. The potentiometers were replaced decades ago with Calectro pots dating from the early part of 1981, but the tone, pickup, and bypass toggles all appear original to the instrument.
The original clear acrylic pickguard suffered a crack at the fingerboard-adjacent mounting screw, but it's been glued and currently remains stable. The bridge pickup mounting ring is also partially cracked but still firmly affixed to the top. Proper replacements are included in the case should the next owner decide to swap the originals out.
The guitar is set up with 11-49 strings and sings wonderfully with a powerful acoustic presence and a stout fundamental attack. The Medium C/D neck carve is super comfortable with a lean taper, and those aforementioned original frets still maintain a healthy crown and dressing for comfortable and consistent playability up and down the neck.
If you've been in the market for a great vintage Gretsch hollowbody electric, it'd be hard to pass this 6120 by.
Priced with aftermarket hardshell case.