G6121...G6121 1955...G6121 1959 Nashville

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Joe M, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Joe M

    Joe M Electromatic

    44
    Dec 6, 2018
    Michigan
    I’ve seen all three of these designations. Pics look the same to me. So what’s the difference, if any??
     
  2. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    If I remember correctly 1955 has leather binding, western inlay fret markers, Dynasonic pickups and "G" brand, 1959 has no leather binding, thumbnail fret markers, Filtertron pickups and no "G" brand.
     
  3. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    The '55 is the coolest one, thats all you need to know;)
     
  4. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    ‘59 often has a zero fret as well.

    I really like the ‘59.
     
  5. speedicut

    speedicut Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Yep
    I have one and it's by far my favorite Gretsch in my collection.
    Beautiful double binding too!
     
  6. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I want one like this. Screenshot_2017-04-10-04-50-31-1.png
     
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  7. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    618
    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
  8. Jimi D

    Jimi D Electromatic

    80
    Nov 29, 2017
    Ottawa
    I basically think of the 6121's as coming in two different versions: the '55 or Roundup version with all the awesome cosmetic tweaks and the dynas, and the '59 or Nashville version with the mud switch... For post-FMIC guitars it's pretty clear what's what...

    The 6121-1959 looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    the 6121-1955 looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Hard to get those two mixed up really... the Dynasonics, engraved fretboard block inlays, G brand and leather trim is pretty distinctive on the 1955 model...

    Of course, pre-FMIC, you run into some problems. This is a 2003 6130 Roundup I used to own:

    [​IMG]

    Note that it looks rather distinctly like the 6121-1955 - the main differences being the heinous bridge and the additional weight, as well as the "Roundup" on the pickguard rather than Chet's sig... but all the paperwork that came with it identified it as a "6130"...

    this is the post-FMIC 6130 Roundup with the distinctive belt buckle bridge:

    [​IMG]


    I also owned a 2005 6121 Nashville for a bit that was essentially the 6121-1959 without Chet's signature on the pickguard... I've also seen a weird very early pre-FMIC variant that had Filtertrons mixed with the block inlays but no leather binding and a rifle and arrow engraved in the last two blocks at frets fifteen and seventeen; I'm not sure what the model number was for that one though...

    Now, if you want to talk vintage stuff you'll have to talk to someone else, cuz I haven't owned any old ones...
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  9. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    So just to confuse matters more, around the transition period (2003 or so) there was the G6121W. My Blue Book from around that time says it has filtertrons but my 2005 has stock Dynas. So it's like a 1955 with Dynas and western motifs but no leather, gold hardware but a stock Bigbsy, red side dots.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Joe M

    Joe M Electromatic

    44
    Dec 6, 2018
    Michigan
    Thanks for the info, guys. If I'm reading correctly, seems like the latest version (1959) is the least desirable, right? If so, why?
     
  11. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    The cowboy decos are what make this more than just another Jet (though that isn't such a bad thing). The leather trim makes models with it much more expensive (if that equates with them being desirable).

    As pickups go, Dynas cost more than Filters but if you don't like Dynas, you really don't like them.
     
  12. Jimi D

    Jimi D Electromatic

    80
    Nov 29, 2017
    Ottawa
    I think that it's simply that the '59 is fundamentally just an orange Jet with a horseshoe inlay in the headstock and Chet's signpost sig on the pickguard; which is fine if you don't want a black or red or silver or blue or turquoise or white or {insert special run colour of the month here} Jet, but in the end it's a Jet... the '55 is more like a Penguin imho; it's a Jet, and it's a little more... and as bluenote23 says, all the cowboy kitch ups the price on the '55 a fair bit, not to mention the fact that every post-FMIC 6121-1955 that I've ever seen comes with the outrageously pricey cowboy case...
     
  13. speedicut

    speedicut Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    I'd say the 6121-1959 is nicer than your average Duo Jet.
    Ebony fretboard, double binding, quality is a little step above my other DJs.
    BTW, mine has the 'Nashville' signpost instead of the Chet but that's just a licensing issue.
     
  14. mbkri

    mbkri Synchromatic

    911
    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    2302874E-284F-4D9B-AC34-3DB52125B691.jpeg I had a 59 with TVJs and it was simply awesome. I sold it to Tony Simms so who knows where it is now. But i think about it often. Maybe it was just an unusually wonderful example but everything was right about that guitar. I sold it to buy a 2006 6130 Roundup (looks like a 6121-55 as already discussed). Loads of western bling but just not as playable. It LOOKS awesome, Ive tried three bridges and shimmed the pickups but somehow i dont love playing it as much as i did the 59.
     
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  15. speedicut

    speedicut Country Gent

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    I remember Tony's 59... he posted a great video playing You Belong To Me on it.
    ( Wish I could get those chords, I love that song!)
     
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  16. Alberta_Slim

    Alberta_Slim Gretschie

    369
    May 18, 2018
    Ontario
    Thanks all for the explanations, been wondering myself ever since I became Gretsch-obsessed. I'd be a '55 (preferably) or failing that, 6130 guy all the way. So evocative of my favorite era in music.
     
  17. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    That's a dreamy one wildeman, but it's a Round-Up 6130 not a Chet Atkins Solidbody 6121. Very similar guitars to be fair... but the lack of a Bigsby and the presence of knot holes nails it as a Round-Up.
     
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  18. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Here's a study of vintage 6121 examples (from my collection). The guitar on the top is a 1959 example, and the guitar on the bottom is a 1955 example. Careful scrutiny will reveal a ton of differences, but the main departures are the western motifs and Dynasonic pickups of the '55 6121, compared to the no-western motif and Filtertron pickups on the '59 6121. Which one is the best... you won't get an opinion from me. I love 'em all!!

    '50s 6121 group.jpeg
     
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  19. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    As far as the reissue examples ('55 style vs. '59 style), I've chosen the '59 (from 2005). It's fantastic, and one of my fav modern Gretsch's I own. The one thing I didn't like about it was the shiny new hardware, so I replaced the filtertron covers with some vintage covers, and switched the vibrato for a relic'd Bigsby B3 I had in my parts box. You'll also note the added arm rest. I've since replaced the knobs with vintage examples as well. The guitar just needed some character IMHO!

    '05 6121 body 2.jpeg
     
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  20. r0de0

    r0de0 Electromatic

    Age:
    61
    17
    Jul 7, 2011
    Collingwood, ON Canada
    There was a post on another forum about one of these buckle bunnies for sale at the Jan 2019 Bay Area Guitar Show :
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019