The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins Thinline Archtop Electric Western Orange, 1962

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The Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins appeared in 1954 as a 16 inch wide 2.75 inch deep, single cutaway double pickup model, but for 1962 the body gained a second cutaway and shallower depth at 2.25 inches.

Here we are looking at an early example of the double cutaway version, built during 1962 at the Gretsch plant in Brooklyn, New York and sporting Gretsch’s Western Orange finish. This is the ElectroTone body style, using shallower depth, double cutways and ‘sealed’ body with faux F-Holes. It is in largely original condition, with all its features intact though the foam for the single-lever mute has been replaced. The mute being a lever type places this guitar’s production towards the later part of 1962.    The serial number is impressed on the top bass edge of the headstock. 

All the hardware seems to be original. The original configuration includes open gear tuners apparently by Waverly, two Filter ‘Tron humbucking pickup with Tone Switch circuitry – master volume, pickup volumes, a pickup selector and tone switch plus a Standby switch. There is also a single lever-operated string mute. To this point, the metal hardware is gold plated. The V-cut Bigsby and rocking bar bridge are both unplated. The plating is showing some corrosion and wear.

The frets may be original, and have moderate wear. The zero fret, which allows for a consistent action at the lower frets, is in decent condition with light notching.

An extremely important aspect of this type of guitar is the geometry of its neck joint. In this case, the joint is allowing a neck angle sufficiently steep for good downbearing at the bridge from the Bigsby.

The finish is in very nice condition, with light wear and a lovely patina.   Many Gretsch guitars of this period suffer from an unfortunate result of the glues and plastics used, that results in what’s commonly known as ‘Binding Rot’. In this syndrome, the binding deteriorates, cracks and crumbles away. On this guitar, there are only three or four sections where this has occurred – the heel cap, at the rear bass and treble waist areas and cracking along the fingerboard binding. Along the fingerboard, binding cracks are much more common because fingerboards shift as they gain and lose moisture, while the frets remain static and effectively push on the binding in dryer times.

The original Gretsch grey hard shell case is included.

Price: $4250 CAD
  • Model: 6120 Chet Atkins
  • Year: 1962
  • Finish Western Orange
  • Class: Vintage
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 07/08/2018

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITIES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.56lbs 3.44kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1.69in
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