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Old May 28th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
Gretschie
 
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Default help me decide 6119 Vs 6120

Hi there,

I wonder if you can help, I've managed to get my decision down to a few choices, so I am wondering if you can perhaps help me with the Gretsch knowledge that I don't have.

The models I'm trying to compare are the 6119 Chet Atkins Tennessee rose and the G6120 - 1959 Chet Atkins models. I'm playing a bit of country on my Tele's but have started to get into more fingerpicky Chet type stuff as well as looking to be able to nail the rockabilly Gretsch sound to a tee.

Could you advise on the pros and cons of these models. Which would be best for my needs? I don't have any real high-gain needs from the guitar as I'd be running it out of a vox ac15 and a 1968 vibro champ amp, with keeley comp, mxr carbon copy and a ehx double muff (with only the lightest touch of muff 1 added for a boost more than a fuzz/drive)

I've already seen some friends suggest a 5120 and mod it up to my specs, but I prefer the nitro finish for the guitars I have and as I'm not much of a modder/tinkerer I'd prefer to be ready to roll with a little bit of setup out the box and away we go. Is this a misguided opinion, are the 6120's worth the 3 or 4 times what a 5120 costs?

I should be picking one model up in around 6-8 weeks if its the pro series, if it really seems the 5 series is the way to go with a few easy mods then obviously I can get it a lot sooner. But, I want the one I get to be the right one for me.

Thanks in advance for any input you can provide me.
Very best regards

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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I just made that decision and went the 6120 route. There are a couple of different varieties of the 6119. A couple of them are real similar to the 6120. The models with the simulated f-holes are certainly different instruments than the 6120. The hollow 6119have different electronics. I think the 6120 is a little more elegant personally, so I went in that direction. Play 'em both, they are excellent players.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For what it's worth, I have a 2005 6119 1962HT. This is a different guitar than the "regular" 6119. The 1962 has "simulated" F-holes and HiLo Trons pickups which deliver a very different sound than the standard Filtertons on the 'standard: 6119.

While the 1962HT is a beautiful looking and playing guitar, I find the HiLos to be a little thin for my taste. So, I'm currently in the process of trying to sell my 6119 to fund the purchase of a 6120, as I really do like that more aggressive Gretsch sound and the "real" hollow body.

Jeff in Boston
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Old May 28th, 2010, 07:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have an '05 6119 with open F holes and Filtertrons, a 6120 DSW and a 6120 Chet Atkins with Filtertrons, I much prefer the 6120's.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 07:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Get both. Try them out to see which one you like better. Then send the other one to me.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenMike1963 View Post
Get both. Try them out to see which one you like better. Then send the other one to me.
That's the difficulty, no possibility to try them locally or within an hour or two's travelling distance. If I was extremely lucky there might be a 6119 within an hour of me.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If they are the same price, I would take the 6120. As I said I was looking at a 6119 and a 6120 at George Gruhn's website. They were the same money. I called Gruhn's and spoke with a sales guy who told me that the 6120 was the ticket. I was not disappointed. If all things are equal, and money doesn't enter the equation-6120.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 08:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Perhaps we can help if you tell us something about your playing style and musical preferences.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never played the 6119, so I can't comment much about it. It has a different control layout than a 6120, and a longer scale length than the 6120-1959. If the 6120-1959 is also the LTV version, then it will have TV Jones pickups which may be better for you than the stock filtertrons on the 6119. There's nothing at all wrong with stock filtertrons, but TV's tend to be better depending on your playing style and musical preferences. It's just one of those things to keep in mind.

I do own both a 5120 and a 6120, and I can say if you can manage it, buy the 6120. I love my 5120, it's a great playing guitar and I've been able to mod it into something unique that I'll never get rid of, but my 6120 has it beat in quality, fit and finish. If I was forced to keep only one guitar, it would be the 6120
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a 2005 Tennesse Rose with open f-holes. I have never played a 6120. The 6120 is fancier (nicer binding, gold hardware), a little bit deeper (2 3/4 inches as opposed to 2 1/2 inches for the Rose), a shorter scale and, all things being equal, a little more expensive.
I think (and because I haven't played a 6120 this is only based on my experience with a Jet and a Falcon) that if the guitars have the same pickups, they are going to sound pretty similar. So it would come down to how they feel.
The shorter scale of the 6120 will make it feel less stiff than the Rose. My particular Tennesse Rose has a slightly wider and deeper neck than most other Pro-line Gretschs so there's a difference there too. Again (and it sounds like it might be tough for you to do) you really have to play them to see how you like the feel.
If they are the same price, then just from an economic point of view, the 6120 is the better deal.
I also have a G5129 and while compared to other Korean made guitars, it is quite nicely made, there is no comparison in feel with the Pro-lines. Like I said, guitars equipped with the same pickups are going to sound pretty much the same but Pro-lines have so much zing they almost jump out of your hands. The G5129 by comparison, is dead (but you can't compare an Alfa-Romeo with a Mazda can you?) If you have the budget for a Pro-line, then they are certainly worth it.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Bought the TR first. Liked it so much I bought the Hot Rod (So if something happens to one Gretsch Ive still got another.) As a result Im getting ride of my Les Paul std, gold top. (Im kind of big and was told it looks like Im playing ukelele when I play Les Paul.) I finally gave in and tried a "big" guitar. Glad I did.

My 6120 Hot Rod. If I could change anything on it, I'd find one with trestle bracing to kill off the feedback. (I like to turn the gain up). I also plan to buy a Compton bridge for it.

My 6119-1962 Tennessee Rose HT. The only thing I'd change on this, is the color. If it could be done for reasonable cost Id strip the color off the body and go with a clear coat over an almond stain, or, Anniversary green, or Anniversary yellow...hm, with "simulated" cats eye instead of "simulated" f-holes.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I played both at Elderly and was unimpressed by the 6119. The 6120, on the other hand, was phenomenal and I bought it.

You also asked about the difference between a 6120 and a 5120. Dude, anyone that lives in Luxembourg can afford a 6120 and should not even consider the cheaper version. The ebony fretboard on the 6120 is reason enough to buy it.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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One other thing. The Tennessee Rose is a poly finish, like most (but not all) of the Gretsch Pro-line.
I see from your post on Gretschpages that you want a 'a really good one'. Go and play some of these and you will be amazed. I have three Pro-lines, all the best playing guitars I own.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Well, I'll be able to give you better feedback next week, since I will shortly be coming into possession of a new 6120-1959LTV. I'll be living in a cardboard box until I sell my 6119-62HT.




Jeff in Boston
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Not all 6120's come with nitro, be sure that is spec'd in the model you're looking at if that is truely important to you. For me, I wanted nitro, a standard nut and the 59 tressel bracing, so I went with a Setzer SSLVO
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raisindot View Post
. I'll be living in a cardboard box until I sell my 6119-62HT.




Jeff in Boston
At least when you get it, you'll be able to add a guest room. Those Gretsch shipping boxes are huge!
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Back in '94 I tried both an 6119 TR and an orange 6120
The 6119 had a slightly longer scale lenght and felt better playing and sounded better acoustically
I have a personal preference for red coloured guitars and I prefer silver/nickle colored stuff and I don't like gold hardware. So it was an easy choise for me then

Still have that 6119 TR (build '92) and added TV-Jones classics 4 years agoo and very soon a compton titanium bridge will replace the adjust(problem)o-matic.

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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for all th replies, I must say I'm more set on the 6120 in vintage stain than than the cherry of the rose if I'm talking purely on the looks.
A bit of searching has show up a setzer hot rod in a colour I wouldn't normally go for, but I found a USA 60's one all original (Chet Atkins Tennessean) for sale in France, 2 hours away.... compared to the SSLVO or LTV?

they'd go for pretty much the same money, but I'd have a 'genuine article' either way, so is the vintage value enough to tip the scale in it's favour if it's good?
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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleNic View Post
Dude, anyone that lives in Luxembourg can afford a 6120 and should not even consider the cheaper version. The ebony fretboard on the 6120 is reason enough to buy it.
fair comment, but the spoils are had by living across the border and working here, buying property here brings you back down the cashflow ladder quite considerably,

But, I've been down the modders route before with a MIK Epi Casino, it made it better but it still wasn't there yet so I sold it, I tried a recent 5122 model which in that particular case failed to impress so the pro-line or affordable vintage seems the likeliest.

As for the music styles, a bit of fingerpicking stuff, some country, maybe even dip my toes in rockabilly type stuff, but no high gain nonsense so in the general ball park of typical Gretsch users.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Because I'm not a vintage fan, I would say with a 60's Gretsch, just make sure there are no issues with the guitar before the drive. You need to be aware of issues such as binding rot, etc.
Also the Tennessean is not so much like the 6119 with no suffix or the 6120 in that it has a thinner body (between 2 and 2 1/4 inches), maybe with painted f-holes, maybe with a back pad.
A two hour drive here is like going next door but I know over there you can cover a LOT of ground (and do a lot of other things) in 2 hours.
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