The Gretsch 6120 was an instant classic from the day it was introduced in 1955. To many players, it is the definitive Gretsch guitar.
In 1958, the half-moon or “neoclassic” fingerboard markers common to most Gretsches were introduced. The single coil DeArmond pickups were discontinued in favor of Gretsch’s own FilterTron humbuckers. Chet Atkins is reported to have said the magnets on the DeArmond’s were too strong, “sucked the tone right out of the guitar”.
This early 1961 version features the typical characteristics of 6120 models produced that year. These include an ebony fretboard with neoclassical inlays (1958), Filter’Tron humbucking pickups (1958), a zero fret (1959), V-style Gretsch by Bigsby tailpiece (1960), and a bar bridge (1957). By 1961, the body depth had thinned to just 2.25″ (from 2.75″ in ’54, to 2.5″ in ’60). Possibly due to the thinner body, the neck joint changed from a dovetail to a mortise and tenon. The reinforcing dowel was moved from the back of the heel to the side located in the cutaway. Later examples from ’61 would also be equipped with a standby switch before the model changed to a double-cutaway design in 1962.
This vintage 1961 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins hollowbody electric is in excellent original condition. It is certainly one of the cleanest examples we have ever seen. A true classic with undeniable vintage vibe and unique Gretsch character.
It is a charming instrument from a bygone era which plays beautifully and sounds the business, with a wide palette of tonal options on offer. It’s very easy to dial in great tones just right for jazz, country, blues, rock and any style where a killer clean tone might be called for. It will drive pedals well, but thrives on that big, spacious, jangly tone that Gretsch does better than anyone.
There are a few small dings and scratches on the body, but absolutely no structural issues. Amazingly for a vintage Gretsch, there is NO binding rot, and no loose or broken sections.
The original frets are in great condition and the metal hardware has that lovely dulled patina that only comes with age. The original open back tuners work perfectly, and all controls are clean and quiet.
This Chet Atkins 6120 is a collector grade original vintage Gretsch in fabulous condition.
Comes in its original black and grey Gretsch hard case in good condition.