Vintage Gretsch 6130 Roundup - USA 1955
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The cowboy culture of the 1950s was an interesting and exciting time for music. Despite being well and truly a traditional format, with strong roots back to the frontier days of the 1800s, the Country and Western Cowboy musicians of the 1950s were also some of the most inventive and pioneering exponents of electric music. Designs of the Telecaster, the Stratocaster, the Bigsby guitar and of course Gretsch guitars were all forged in the fire of juke joints and dance halls of the west coast. The Gretsch Roundup, conceived in 1953, symbolised the height of this, the most exciting period of electric guitar evolution.
We think of Telecasters as being the quintessential country guitar, but Leo Fender, (as proven in a letter to F.C. Hall by Don Randall in July 1950) took many design cues from Paul Bigsby. Leo was later taken to court by Bigsby over the copy of his headstock on the new 1954 Stratocaster.
Telecasters were simple, plain instruments, Bigsby guitars were not. Gretsch also took cues from Bigsby in creating a small bodied, chambered, semi-hollow instrument. Both the Bigsby guitars and Gretsches were beautiful, ornate pieces of art. Cowboys didn’t all take to the basic appointments of the telecaster. Cowboys liked flashy suits, flashy cars and flashy instruments. Gretsch took things up a notch when they conceived the Roundup. The guitar was decorated all over with western accoutrements: Steer head inlay on the headstock, western themed block inlays down the fretboard, real branded G on the body, belt buckle on the tailpiece, and the icing on the cake – a spectacular leather binding surrounding entire body of the instrument. This was a guitar for the pioneers of electric guitar, matching the rhinestones, tassels and leather of the biggest music stars of the day.
This guitar is a spectacular all original example from 1955. The binding is all intact. All electronics are original and sound fantastic. The lightweight, chambered mahogany body helps this guitar weigh in at a very light 6.17lbs. Many of these guitars were made with a pine top, this one has the rare mahogany top. The Dynasonic pickups offer an airy, high-fidelity sound that tell your fingers “you don’t need to pick so hard, I got this” delivering a beautiful open tone with ample low end.
The action is around 2.2mm at the 12th fret. We have not adjusted the neck, as this comes down to personal preference for whomever is interested in the instrument. The guitar is structurally very sound, usually guitars that play and sound this good are played to death. It is not uncommon, however, for these western themed instruments to be in quite good condition, as the country theme became viewed as “kitschy” and “outdated” as the 1960s approached and rock and roll took the electric guitar in a new direction. This guitar has been locked away and is a wonderfully preserved example of a significant piece of music history.
Scale length: 24 ¾"
Fretboard Radius: 12”
Action at 1st fret: 0.5mm
Action at 12th fret: 2.2mm
Neck depth at 1st fret: 25.2mm
Neck depth at 12th fret: 26.8mm
Nut Width: 44.45mm
12 fret width: 51.8mm
Neck material: Mahogany with Brazillian Rosewood fretboard
Fretboard inlays: Block Gretsch western
Body size at lower bout: 340mm
Front Pickup: Dynasonic
Bridge Pickup: Dynasonic
Tuners: Open back
Pickguard: Translucent Tortoise with Steer Graphic
Hardware: 24k Gold Plated