The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gretsch G6120-1959LTV Archtop Electric, Orange 2000

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The Gretsch G6120-1959LTV isn’t currently in production, but it represents the specs of the famous 1959 Gretsch Chet Atkins models, with lacquer finish, zero fret, Trestle bracing and TV Jones Classic pickups. Like the original, it’s an outstanding instrument.

The Gretsch 6120 is based on a 16 inch wide, single cutaway body with sides 2.75 inches high.   It was originally built with a bracing system combining a pair of tone bars running the length of the body plus a sound post under the bridge, but in 1959 Gretsch added a ‘Trestle’ bracing system for Chet Atkins,  who was facing the common problem of hollow-body guitars feeding back at ever-increasing stage volumes.   The body is maple laminate, and the neck is maple with bound ebony fingerboard and ‘neo-classic’ thumbnail position markers.   A pair of Filter ‘Tron pickups replaced the original deArmond models in 1959, and with them the tone switch replaced the rotary master tone control.  

The Gretsch G6120-1959LTV is a variation on what became the regular production versions, bringing back features like the zero fret and Trestle bracing.  While most production versions use a poly finish, the ‘L’ in the model name means that it’s got a lacquer finish.    The Gretsch G6120-1959LTV models also replace the Gretsch Filter ‘Tron pickups with TV Jones Classics, which are exceptional. 

This example dates to 2012 and was built at the Terada plant in Japan. It’s in great condition with little wear, though there is a small mark on the finish near the edge by the lower volume control.

This guitar has been slightly modified via parts swaps and the original parts are included in the case. The original Chet Atkins ‘Signpost’ pickguard was swapped for a gold Gretsch version, the rocking bar bridge was replaced with a gold-plated Tune-o-Matic adjustable bridge, and the Bigsby was replaced with a G-Cutout non-trem gold Gretsch tailpiece.

The result of the bridge and tailpiece swap is surprising – there’s an increase in sustain, separation and clarity. Naturally the adjustable bridge allows better intonation, but the G-cutout tailpiece increases the break-over angle behind the bridge and this puts more force down onto the top from the bridge. It’s got as much sustain and attack as many solidbody guitars!

It’s no secret here that we like Gretsch guitars and the 6120 design in particular, and this one is very nice.


 

Price: $2500 CAD
  • Model: G6120-1959LTV
  • Year: 2012
  • Finish Orange Lacquer
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: JT12052069
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Very Good

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Scale Length: 625mm 24.6in
  • Nut Width: 42.86mm 1.6875in
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