How to choose a G6120T?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by MichaelRopp, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Well at least you had the joy of the hunt, in the classified section it goes lol.

    Seriously though my Setzer model is the same and I think I'm going to change it too, I get why the artists have done that but with me and my way of thinking the pick up selector should be the first switch so it will get swapped instead of my 6119 and 6118 being swapped over.
     
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  2. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Swapping those switches is very simple. Go to the hardware store and get three feet of clear vinyl with an I.D. slightly less than 1/4”. If you remove the highest three strings, you can get the neck pickup out. Wrap it in a hand towel, to prevent scratching the finish. Take the knobs off the pickup switch and tone switch and press the tubing onto both so the switch shafts. You can remove the serrated nuts that hold the switches in place with one of these: https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-and-supplies/tools-by-job/esp-multi-spanner or you can loosen it with a needle nose, but I’d recommend spending $13 for the proper tool.

    Once you have the switches loose, carefully thread the bodies of the switches into the body of the guitar and out the open hole from the removed neck pickup. Being careful not to dislodge the washers on the switches, carefully swap the switches into the opposite pieces of vinyl tube, then pull the switches back into place, and replace the nuts. Put the pickup back in place and replace the top three strings, and you are done.

    Now, this may sound daunting, but it’s not all that hard. It’s actually one of the first modifications I make to a new Gretsch. In my case, I prefer the tone switch to be a closest to the headstock and the pickup switch closest to the tailpiece. If you have a good place to work, have a way to support the neck of the guitar, a few basic tools and a bit of patience, you can make this happen.

    Speaking of tools, these are costly, but great: https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-too...by-job/tools-for-electronics/jack-the-gripper

    if you’ve ever struggled with a loose output jack, the two tools I mention in this post will make life better.
     
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  3. NowEarThis

    NowEarThis Gretschie

    Age:
    70
    231
    Jun 23, 2021
    Northern Rivers NSW Australia
    Yep. Good advice..if it was me, I’d buy the tools and do the job yourself. It’s not that hard and you’ll get the satisfaction of having customised your instrument to your liking.

    my first custom job was my fender Jaguar around 50+ years ago, I changed the switching how I wanted it. So I was probably 16 years old?
     
  4. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    Im excited to get going on this. Thanks @Synchro for the detailed play by play. I will let y’all know how it goes when i get to it on Friday.
     
  5. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    That Stew-Mac tool for loosening the switch nuts is a lifesaver.
     
    mbkri likes this.
  6. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Chicago
    ……..and back to the OP. Sorry about that, i somehow hijacked your thread.
    With regard to choising a 6120 i think, as with most gretsch guitars, there will be opportunities to mod this or that, but some things arent moddable and i would look at those.
    Body thickness.
    Bracing.
    Colour.
    Neck.
    Personally i like a fat guitar and the RHH has the full 2.75” body
     
  7. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I think that states it well. The rest are details. Beyond that, the first two have a big influence on the sound and response of the guitar. The last item has a big influence on playability and comfort, plus scale length can influence sound to some degree. Colour is a matter of taste, but not easily changed.

    Depending upon how granular you make the definition, it could be said that Gretsch makes a relative handful of guitar styles. Amazingly, I’ve usually found a style I’m looking for with the options I desire, and my four Gretsch represent four different body styles, two have trestle bracing, two have parallel bracing, but only one of these two has a sound post. Three of the four have the closed, Electrotone top. They all have either DuoTron or Supertron pickups, all of which I installed after the purchase.

    My main point is that these choices vary the most in the four items you mention. They all sound somewhat similar, but each has its own take on the Gretsch sound. If I want the more mellow side of the Chet sound, I grab the Gent’. If I want a gutsier version of the Chet sound, I grab the G6119-1959 (and in spite of the picture on the cover of Chet Atkins Workshop, there’s little reason to believe that Chet used one of these on any recording). For a slight more, in your face sound, which works well for Rock, I’d choose the G6119-62T with added Supertrons, and for a woodier, less edgy sound, I’d use the 6120 DC with added DuoTrons.

    Like the four fingers of my left hand, each has its position, but each is also versatile enough to be more than a one trick pony. Any of these guitars would serve me well on a gig. I might select one above the other for recording purposes. For instance, the 6120 DC is great choice for a mellow rhythm sound that sits well in the mix. Surprisingly, the Gent’ has a wonderful bright sound on the bridge pickup and is great for Telecaster-style leads.

    When choosing a guitar to buy, that is what I look for, the character of the overall instrument. The rest can be tailored to your individual needs.
     
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  8. MichaelRopp

    MichaelRopp Electromatic

    90
    Jan 20, 2021
    Albuquerque
    Thanks, all. You guys have been extremely helpful. Learning a ton here.
     
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  9. MichaelRopp

    MichaelRopp Electromatic

    90
    Jan 20, 2021
    Albuquerque
    Ha! That hijacking of the thread was well worth it.
     
    mbkri likes this.
  10. MichaelRopp

    MichaelRopp Electromatic

    90
    Jan 20, 2021
    Albuquerque
    Thanks, Synchro. (Except for one problem... now you're making me think I might need MORE THAN ONE Gretsch. :) )
     
  11. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Many come to that conclusion, but even one well-chosen Gretsch can get you a lot of versatility.
     
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  12. AllenK

    AllenK Gretschie

    Having seen you like Filtertrons but are looking for the more vintage tones, I think you are down to a choice of three standard models. The RHH, mentioned above for the vintage western styling. The classic 59VS, which I don't think you could go too far wrong with. The Setzer Smoke for the Ray Butts pickups. The Ray Butts will give you the most vintage correct sound but it's a 2.5" body and 9.5 - 12" compound neck, compared to the 2.75" body and 12" of the 59VS.

    A possible fourth, if you can find one, is the limited edition '59 Nashville. Cherry Red, 12" neck and Ray Butts pickups. Roy Brindley has some great clips on Youtube demonstrating how fantastic that guitar looks and sounds.

    For the modern appointments like locking tuners and string thru Bigsby, the 6120 PE would be a choice. The HS Filtertrons are slightly less vintage sounding that the TV Jones Classics though. When I got my 6118-135 I thought I would be replacing them for some TVJ Classics or Ray Butts but they've grown on me. This Annie model is interesting for the combination of the PE appointments but keeps the vintage trestle bracing in the body. The PE tends to be cheaper than the VS models, so replacing pickups would keep the costs about the same as the VS's if you preferred the thinner ML braced body for playability.

    Be interesting to see what the new Fitertron-67 pickups sound like. I suspect from the marketing blurb about a more modern sound they are heading towards or possibly beyond the TV Jones Setzer Signatures.
     
    MichaelRopp likes this.
  13. MichaelRopp

    MichaelRopp Electromatic

    90
    Jan 20, 2021
    Albuquerque
    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the education. I pulled the trigger on a G6120T BNSV, the Brian Setzer Nashville with the TV Jones Brian Setzer pickups. I'll post a photo as soon as I figure out how! :)
     
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  14. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Great choice. Congrats.
     
  15. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    759
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    Well, I think the Smoke is a fantastic version of the 6120T, but it does have a tone switch instead of the master tone. The 6120 pickup volumes are wired so lowering one doesn’t cut the volume of the other pickup in the middle position (unlike typical Gibson wiring). I often use the middle position, and effectively use the two pickup volumes as bas and treble controls.
     
    MichaelRopp likes this.
  16. MichaelRopp

    MichaelRopp Electromatic

    90
    Jan 20, 2021
    Albuquerque
    Impressions of the G6120T so far: dang, you all were very right. It's awesome. Feels great, looks great, sounds great.
     
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  17. pete12string

    pete12string Electromatic

    39
    Aug 7, 2021
    New Jersey
    What kind of pickups does it look like Brian Setzer is using here?
     
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