The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gretsch 6120 Archtop Electric Western Orange Stain, 2002


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The Gretsch 6120 archtop electric guitar first appeared in 1954 with the Chet Atkins name, and quickly established itself as a top tier instrument. It’s been used successfully in every genre that allows electric guitars, from Jazz to country to harder Rock styles.

This example of the Gretsch 6120 archtop model sports the Western Orange Stain finish and dates to 2002, just before Gretsch and Fender Musical Instrument Company entered into their successful distribution agreement. 2003 models are slightly different, with a change in serial number location and format.

This guitar is in very good, clean condition with minor play wear. It is almost entirely original – it seems that the adjustable bridge top is a replacement for the stock roller bridge. It was built under contract by Terada – who still make many of the Gretsch Pro-Line models – in Nagoya, Japan. The body is Maple laminate and there is a Walnut layer between the two pieces of the Maple neck, and the head plate veneer is a tiger stripe Maple inlaid with the Gretsch logo and horseshoe. The bound fingerboard is Ebony with block-style Mother of Pearl position markers. The bridge base is Ebony. For electronics, a pair of Filter ‘Trons run through the type of wiring harness used on the DynaSonic models – individual volume controls, master volume and master tone, pickup selector and side-mounted output jack. The Gretsch-branded, V-cut Bigsby B3 is gold plated, as are all the other metal parts. The tuners are G-branded sealed models, perhaps by Gotoh; they are very smooth.

The original Gretsch-branded hard shell case by TKL is included.

In its initial form, the Gretsch 6120 Archtop used a fully hollow 16 inch wide body of laminate Maple with F-holes and tone bar bracing and a Maple neck with a Rosewood fingerboard. For pickups, it carried a pair of deArmond DynaSonic single coils running through individual volume controls, a pickup selector to master volume and tone controls and a side-mounted output jack. In 1958, Gretsch’s new Filter ‘Tron hum-cancelling pickups were fitted and the wiring changed swapping the Master tone control for a three-position tone switch next to the pickup selector. The tone switch offered two presets in the outer position and bypass in the middle. From the beginning, a Bigsby True Vibrato was offered as standard equipment.

For late 1961, the body changed dramatically to a thinner double cutaway version in the new sealed ‘Electro Tone’ form, using simulated F-holes and an access plate on the back covered by a snap-on padded cover. The model name changed from 6120 to ‘Nashville’ in 1964. In 1967, the company was sold to the Baldwin Piano company, who moved production from Brooklyn to Booneville, Arkansas, but by the early 1980’s Baldwin was in serious trouble and shut down Gretsch production.

In 1984, Fred W. Gretsch purchased the Gretsch brand from Baldwin and began rebuilding the model line. This was not an easy task as there were no instrument specs, schematics or production drawings included in the purchase. Gretsch contacted collectors and players, borrowing guitars to essentially copy their own guitars! This has been an ongoing process, with the resulting guitars becoming ever closer to the originals. The differences are relatively minor, most visible in the way the fingerboard support above the body looks, finishes and types of inlays. Regardless of their historical accuracy, all of these guitars have been high quality instruments with great playability and sound.


Price: $2,500.00 CAD
  • Model: 6120
  • Year: 2002
  • Finish Gloss Western Orange Stain
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 026120-3028, built during 2002 by Terada in Nagoya Japan
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 16/07/2023

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.964lbs 3.62kg
  • Scale Length: 24.6in 625mm
  • Nut Width: 1.689in 42.91mm
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