ES-295-52 and G6120-55

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by PJHoppy, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. PJHoppy

    PJHoppy Electromatic

    44
    Feb 9, 2014
    London
    Hi all,

    Just thought I'd share a few photos of these two guitars together. Even though they are rock and roll icons, I've not seen any comparisons of them before. The ES-295 is a 2016 Memphis Custom Shop reissue in its original 1952 specification. The 6120-55 is a 2019 model. tempImage2RiQxX.png
    Both are similar in height and width but the Gibson has a distinct lack of frets, which accounts for the gap between the fretboard and the neck pickup.

    P4044218.jpeg
    The big difference is body depth, with ES-295 measuring 3 3/8" vs 2 3/4" for the 6120. And that's not all, since the Gibson has significant front and back arching which adds at least 5/8" again.

    tempImageg7cxcA.png
    And even that's not all. The arched and undulating top of the ES-295 means that the strings sit quite a long way from the body. There's at least 7/16" gap between the strings and the pickups, which makes it quieter than the 6120. Perhaps shims might help? Overall, the Gibson feels quite archaic compared to the Gretsch and much more like an acoustic arch top.

    P4044186.jpeg
    There's also the Les Paul designed trapeze bridge (or bail bridge and Gibson now calls it vs:

    P4044187.jpeg

    P4044211.jpeg
    Despite all that, I prefer the neck on the ES-295 and find access to the 19th (and final) fret to be slightly easier than it is on the 6120

    Overall though both are compelling, glamorous, beautiful and fun guitars to look at and to play.

    P4044176.jpeg

    P4044177.jpeg
    P4044178.jpeg P4044179.jpeg

    There is, however, the small matter of price. The 6120 is of course a very expensive, exquisitely made Japanese guitar. The ES-295 is an outrageously expensive, well made American guitar. I'm glad and fortunate to have them both.
     
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  2. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    Wow! What a pair of beautiful guitars I want the 295 :) . One thing about the Gibson, it will only increase in value because even as a 2016. The Gretsch 6120 like my Black Phoenix will hold its own steady value but will only increase in value in proportion to inflation. But the limited Gibsons will and have gone through the roof and will do nothing but go up up up. My 61 ES330 with factory Bigsby is worth double what I paid for it in 2016. I regret I didn't grab one of the Gibson ES295's when they first re-issued them in the 90's. Probably should have bought one of the Scotty Moore linited addition in 2013, almost did. I may still suck it up and do it anyway if I find the right one, I have always loved that Gold 295. Just beautiful we both are very fortunate to have nice guitars indeed.
     

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  3. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Great pics of some beautiful guitars.
     
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  4. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    Brilliant. Simply brilliant.
    Great photos. Your fretboards look incredible!
    I too am blessed, but hadn’t thought of this side by side comparison. Thanks for doing that. Having been a master volume player for so long I kind of take it for granted and miss it when I play the 295.
    I would also add that the 295, though larger, weighs less and has a more airy feel which comes not just from the weight but the trapeze bridge which makes the experience of playing seem lighter. It’s also louder acoustically but not by much.
    The main difference is the sonic difference that the p90s bring to the game. Dang they are nice. They sound great for pretty and jazzy but boy do they sound good with some overdrive. Massive.
    979D8F3D-CA74-4C6D-B676-67E10BED09F9.jpeg
     
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  5. PJHoppy

    PJHoppy Electromatic

    44
    Feb 9, 2014
    London
    Thanks! I now realise that it is a 2013 reissue not 2016 but it's not one of the Scotty Moore signature models. Good luck on your hunt for one. It's definitely worth it if you manage to get one. As mbkri explains below, they are great guitars. You’ve already got some wonderful guitars there too!
     
  6. PJHoppy

    PJHoppy Electromatic

    44
    Feb 9, 2014
    London
    Thanks! I completely agree about the feel and sound of the ES-295 and you’re right about what happens through a distortion pedal: it almost seems out of character for a guitar like that to sound like that. It’s great to see your 6120s see and a sunburst ES-295 too! What year’s model is it?
     
  7. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    Its a ‘55.
    Ive spent a LOT of time trying to find out how many of the total run of 1770 were done in sunburst but sadly i dont think anyone knows.
    Honstly i would rather have a gold one but i never found one that was in this good shape, played this well and that i could “sort of” afford!
     
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  8. Those are both spectacular! I had a 2015 es295 Memphis custum shop, but mine was in the red with the black pisk up covers. Its a great guitar. The tail piece takes a bit getting used to. Its specked like it was originally made, and it was flawless. Stunning. The neck was slim compared to gibsons i have played before. Unplugged it was dead but those P90’s had the sound. For me i was too scared to take it out of the case or gig with it as it was pricy, even used. So off it went.
     
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  9. PJHoppy

    PJHoppy Electromatic

    44
    Feb 9, 2014
    London
    They're not the best catalogued guitars and are most often a footnote in the history of the ES-175 and the early years of the Les Paul Model. I don't think that Andre Duchossoir mentions any other colour than gold in Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years other than two red and two grey ones made especially in 1959 in what he took to be failed attempt to revive the model. Anyway, most of the original gold ones haven't aged especially well and are a bit like this '56 or early '57 one I once played. At least yours has its finish still intact! 6E265496-8889-4F0F-BAAC-8270280A5C46.jpeg
     
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  10. lordhelmet

    lordhelmet Electromatic

    91
    Apr 5, 2020
    Germany
    Beautiful guitars! I would love to have an ES-295 and I keep my fingers crossed for an Epiphone model in their new "inspired by Gibson" lineup. They released Les Pauls, LP juniors, SGs, accoustics, ES 335 and ES 339 - so please make the ES 295 again!
     
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  11. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Age:
    50
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Beautiful geets PJ!

    That 295 is lovely,you didn't happen to just recently buy that?
    I only ask as there was one for sale for a nano second at Guitar Guitar in their clearance sale a few weeks ago,i was looking around for a few geets to trade and then it was gone,awell,someone got a nice deal,if it wasn't you sir.

    Aye,i've wanted an ES 295 for over 30 years,when they first reissued them i was looking into one,a few years passed and one came up sale used,£750 around 1992/93,buy the time i phoned the shop it was gone,never got anther chance at one.

    They're priced above my geet fund these days so trading to one is the only way for me to get hold of one now.
     
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  12. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Beautiful guitars. Is the ES laminate?
     
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  13. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    Laminated Maple apparantly.
     
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  14. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Thanks for the comparison PJ, nicely done!
    Those two are gorgeous :)
     
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  15. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    You’re right! id never even noticed that its a couple of frets shorter! As far as Im concerned everything beyond about the 15th fret is only there to join the neck to the body!


    oh no! I love those red ones. I thought that was a great reissue idea, do it to the original specs but do it different. Sorry you had to let it go but i agree with you, if its too precious to play then its just a collectable folly.
     
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  16. PJHoppy

    PJHoppy Electromatic

    44
    Feb 9, 2014
    London
    Hi JC, yes it was me. They had two and sent me the wrong one, which is the one in the photos. I’ve now got the one I actually ordered and the one in the photos has gone back. I assume it will appear on the website again soon. I can vouch that it’s a great guitar and plays beautifully and sounds wonderful. It also has two metal strap buttons whereas the one I have now has only one plastic button. It’s a lot of money but they don’t come up very often and is about half the price of a 1950’s one. Wish they were £750 now!
     
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  17. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    Guitar center had TWO es295s......??? Whaaat?
     
    JC higgy likes this.
  18. PJHoppy

    PJHoppy Electromatic

    44
    Feb 9, 2014
    London
    Unbelievable but true! Go for years without seeing one and then two come up at once!
     
    JC higgy likes this.
  19. PJHoppy

    PJHoppy Electromatic

    44
    Feb 9, 2014
    London
    I know how you feel, it’s expensive and relatively fragile. Not sure if I’ll use it live but it’s such a rewarding guitar to play that I can’t leave it in its case!
     
  20. wizard_23

    wizard_23 Gretschie

    352
    Jul 18, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Two guitars I'd love to own someday. Thanks for the comparison.

    I feel silly for never noticing the lack of frets on an es295 until now.
     
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