1958 Gretsch 6120 conversion “horse of a different color”

Discussion in 'Vintage Gretsch Discussion' started by Joe Desperado, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. Joe Desperado

    Joe Desperado Electromatic

    Jun 13, 2019
    Here is a 1958 trestle braced Streamliner that I converted to a 6120 several months back. I always liked the rare sunburst 6120s. Ed wrote an article on them called “horses of a different color”. I used that to help with some of the details. As a transitional model with hump inlays and FilterTrons, I had to also look at other sources to ensure the knob placement and the extra switch placement was perfect. Of course it required a vintage 6120 headstock overlay and transformation with added binding too. This one flat out rocks. Early 60s Bigsby and modern TV Jones pickups. Otherwise vintage correct. I have the original gold guard I need to restore.

    Outlaw, G5422T, T Bone and 12 others like this.
  2. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
  3. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    Great job, congrats.
    Joe Desperado likes this.
  4. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
  5. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Another great conversion, Joe!
    Joe Desperado likes this.
  6. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
  7. S.R.Cash

    S.R.Cash Gretschie

    Aug 29, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    Absolutely Love It!!
    Joe Desperado likes this.
  8. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
  9. CousinWarsh

    CousinWarsh Synchromatic

    Jun 24, 2018
    Western NY
    That's a gorgeous burst, wow.
  10. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
  11. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    I have a '57 6190 I'm kinda thinking about doing, yours makes a strong argument...Sweet
    Let's see, i could have the '57 6120 (sorta) like Duane that ive always wanted but will NEVER be able to afford or i can have this really super cool already 6190? Ahh, such problems:rolleyes:
    Outlaw and Joe Desperado like this.
  12. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Do you know when the swing arm Bigsby became available? I know where an old looking one is but i don't know if its '50s or '60s.
  13. unknown fan

    unknown fan Gretschie

    Aug 7, 2018
    Thats the way its done right there
  14. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Swivel arm Bigsby units were introduced in late 1956. First the short-lived "break-away" design, then the cast-arm "Duane" style, which was the standard through '57, and then early in the '58 timeframe the stainless steel handle debuted, first with a slotted bolt, then with a Philips head bolt. In the '60ish time-frame the carriage (plain) bolt became the new standard.
  15. Joe Desperado

    Joe Desperado Electromatic

    Jun 13, 2019
    Ed would know specifically, but around 1956 the swing arm was introduced. There is actually very little differences in the B6 body over the earlier years. Earliest had an etched patent number while later ones have an embossed patent number. The arm changed several times in the 50s. Fixed, breakaway, then curved handle with slot head, Philips head, then carnage bolt.
    wildeman likes this.
  16. Joe Desperado

    Joe Desperado Electromatic

    Jun 13, 2019
    There ya go, we posted at the same time with similar timelines. So it must be true. LOL
    wildeman likes this.
  17. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Great info guys, pretty sure the one i was lookin at had a Phillips bolt so it might be worth pursuing.
  18. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Just FYI... the Selmer made Bigsby units distributed in Europe in the 60s all received the Philips swivel bolt long beyond the period when the US Bigsby models did. Those can be identified (with some exceptions) by the face plate displaying "US Patent", instead of the standard "Patent".

    The contour of the body of the US made B3, B6, B7 units was subtly changed around the time the carriage bolt was introduced, so the authentic 50s examples can be differentiated (from 60s specimens) by the style of swivel bolt, the body contour, and the text on the face of the body. There are also some landmarks on the reverse side that assist in the authentication of a 50s Bigsby unit.
    BorderRadio and wildeman like this.
  19. Outlaw

    Outlaw Synchromatic

    Jul 13, 2011
    Although I'm not a massive fan of sunburst guitars I have to say that is one heck of a good looking Gretsch.
    Alanqa and Joe Desperado like this.
  20. audiorep2

    audiorep2 Electromatic

    Jul 1, 2010
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    My 1954 tarted up Synchromatic. 20190429_150622.jpg
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