Interesting ‘56 6120 on Reverb

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
118
Pennsylvania, USA
5128BFB5-64EB-4621-8B7B-E74ADCDEEB6A.jpeg

Has both “G” brand and hump block inlays. According to Ed Ball’s 6120 book, this is a “very rare confluence of features” from the 208xx batch.

Seller says it has some non-original parts: pickups and pickguard. Although the bridge, Bigsby and one knob also appear to be non-original.

Although the body, finish, and binding looks to be in great shape (can’t see back and sides) the price (12k) seems a bit high to me for a model without original pickups, etc., but what do I know.

But the question is: why would someone remove the original DeArmond Dynasonic pickups? But I suppose if the originals were gone, and period correct ones not available, replacing them with TV Jones T-Armonds would be the modern equivalent, they are great pickups.

However, all of the non-original parts would be a dealbreaker for me at that price. But it is a beautiful looking guitar.

 
Last edited:

thunder58

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dec 23, 2010
26,664
tappan ny
View attachment 183987

Has both “G” brand and hump block inlays. According to Ed Ball’s 6120 book, this is a “very rare confluence of features” from the 208xx batch.

Seller says it has some non-original parts: pickups and pickguard. Although the bridge, Bigsby and one knob also appear to be non-original.

Although the body, finish, and binding looks to be in great shape (can’t see back and sides) the price (12k) seems a bit high to me for a model without original pickups, etc., but what do I know.

But the question is: why would someone remove the original DeArmond Dynasonic pickups? But I suppose if the originals were gone, and period correct ones not available, replacing them with TV Jones T-Armonds would be the modern equivalent, they are great pickups.

However, all of the non-original parts would be a dealbreaker for me at that price. But it is a beautiful looking guitar.
Whats your take on this @Wayne Gretschzky ?
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Aug 27, 2008
3,412
East Coast
Whats your take on this @Wayne Gretschzky ?

By my count only three of the knobs and (maybe) the tuners are original hardware. I would want to see the serial number before blessing it as a legit 6120. Hump-block with G-brands do exist on a small population of 6120s, but those inlays were standard on Streamliners of the era. The face of the headstock is odd, and finish is has some weirdness too. Get the serial number. If it's a legit 6120 it's worth half the asking price. If it's a conversion it's worth 1/10 the asking price.
 

thunder58

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dec 23, 2010
26,664
tappan ny
By my count only three of the knobs and (maybe) the tuners are original hardware. I would want to see the serial number before blessing it as a legit 6120. Hump-block with G-brands do exist on a small population of 6120s, but those inlays were standard on Streamliners of the era. The face of the headstock is odd, and finish is has some weirdness too. Get the serial number. If it's a legit 6120 it's worth half the asking price. If it's a conversion it's worth 1/10 the asking price.
Thank you sir .
@Pemberton , hope Wayne Gretchkys info is of value to you
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
118
Pennsylvania, USA
. . . If it's a conversion . . .
Now that you point that out, and with so many non-original parts, yes, it’s now questionable without a serial number for verification. I hadn’t thought of that. That would explain the replacement modern pickups.

I love the knowledge and insight from fellow members on this forum. Thanks @Wayne Gretschzky. I’m going to ask the seller, we’ll see if I get a response. Because now I’m really curious.

You know, I wish more sellers would include the serial number in their listings (or at least the batch number). A photo would be even better. It’s kinda important for us vintage Gretsch enthusiasts.
 
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afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,548
Where the action is!
Although the body, finish, and binding looks to be in great shape (can’t see back and sides) the price (12k) seems a bit high to me for a model without original pickups, etc., but what do I know?
You know something, because you're absolutely right. Mine was 100% original, 100% legit, bought for $10,000 and sold for $10,000.
CIMG4528.jpg
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Aug 27, 2008
3,412
East Coast
Ok... so that confirms that it's a legit 6120 from the last batch of the 1956 model year. Why would a body in such decent condition be stripped of (almost) all the hardware?

Interestingly enough, I have all the period correct parts needed to bring this guitar back to factory spec. Now... if they could only drop the price by 6 or 7 grand.
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
118
Pennsylvania, USA
. . . my old 208XX 6120, it had G-arrow knobs . . .
Interesting. Ed Ball wrote in his books that 216xx (‘57 model year) was the first full 6120 batch with G-indent knobs.

Other Gretsch models between the two 6120 batches of 208xx and 216xx started possessing the G-indent knobs.

So it seems that the 6120 late ‘56 model year batch 208xx was the very beginning of the transition from Arrow-only to G-indent knobs, as evidenced from your old example.

I’m only guessing because @Wayne Gretschzky would know more on this.
 

Wayne Gretschzky

Country Gent
Aug 27, 2008
3,412
East Coast
Interesting. Ed Ball wrote in his books that 216xx (‘57 model year) was the first full 6120 batch with G-indent knobs.

Other Gretsch models between the two 6120 batches of 208xx and 216xx started possessing the G-indent knobs.

So it seems that the 6120 late ‘56 model year batch 208xx was the very beginning of the transition from Arrow-only to G-indent knobs, as evidenced from your old example.

I’m only guessing because @Wayne Gretschzky would know more on this.
That's plausible... as Gretsch was known to use up every list part of a previous design before installing the newly designed versions. Many examples of mid-batch feature transition are known. The hump-block inlays and horse-shoe headstock inlay o the above 6120 are perfect examples of Gretsch starting to use the new style components at the end of an otherwise old style (model year) batch.
 


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