Please, help me to buy my first Gretsch guitar!

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by trecerveza, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. trecerveza

    trecerveza Electromatic

    Apr 26, 2021
    Hi, I am looking to buy a gretsch 6120 and I found one at a price that seems honest to me but I don't know anything about these guitars I hope to find some help.
    The guitar as the seller says is a 6120 tm from 2002 and would sell for 1500 euros around 1800 dollars.
    I am attaching some pics because I do not know if what the seller says is true and if the price of the guitar is right or the value is lower.
    Thanks in advance to everyone who can help me.
    Have a good best Gretsch Day!!!

    Attached Files:

    Back in Black likes this.
  2. trecerveza

    trecerveza Electromatic

    Apr 26, 2021
    I forgot, i read in this forum that the quality of the guitars produced before 2003 therefore pre fender have a lower quality, is this true?
    Thanks again!
  3. Bob Perrone

    Bob Perrone Gretschie

    Mar 7, 2017
    allentown, pa
    That is a Japan factory build - those are top of the line (besides USA custom shop) so that is a very fine instrument. Beautiful wood as well.
    What you heard about pre-Fender has to do with the Chinese made guitars back then. The Japan factory always produces top of the line.
    Others in this forum are better to confirm if the price is right, although I'm confused that the Bigsby isn't gold like the rest of the hardware - unless it's the photo?
    Echocat23, Duo Slinger and trecerveza like this.
  4. Fredo

    Fredo Synchromatic

    Jan 18, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    I'm not an expert, but I think pre-Fender Gretsches have their quirks, meaning peculiar features, but that doesn't mean don't buy it. A quirk in this guitar is the roller bridge. Replace it. I think the pickup magnets are different too from those in current models. The magnets would not concern me. Let others confirm that this guitar is not a Chinese fake (it looks real to me) and then buy the guitar. Enjoy it with a glass of the Chianti that that Italians serve in their restaurants but is too good to export to the U.S.
  5. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    The biggest "beef" about pre FMIC guitars are the contours and construction method.

    Quality is generally very good, but tops are thicker, and body and neck shapes are "off" compared to vintage guitars. Poly finishes are generally thicker too.

    Some say that the electronics are junk, as the wiring is very thin, and the pots used are mini pots. YMMV, as far as how they operate.

    These are good guitars, but just not as refined and period correct as FMIC models.

    Best of luck on your quest
    trecerveza and Archtops like this.
  6. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    The best thing would be to play yourself, it if possible.
    It's your ears that are the final judge.
    Waxhead and trecerveza like this.
  7. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    I have only one Gretsch from the Pre-Fender era :


    In really no way my G400 from 1991 is of a lesser quality than my Fender-Takeover era models, being Japan (G6119LH : Terada factory), Korea (G5622TLH, G5420TLH, G100 : Samick factory) or China origin (G5220LH : Yako factory).


    So IMHO @trecerveza, you can be confident about the quality of this Pre-Fender era G6120, even if - as @G5422T recalls it - there's some differences vs. the Fender era models.

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    trecerveza and Archtops like this.
  8. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    Oct 21, 2012
    In my experience the pre FMIC guitars were way better in terms of quality aside from the pots and switches. Some of the things weren't as "historically accurate" but they sounded and held up a lot better.

    You really have to be careful with Gretsch these days because they'll slap the logo on anything to make a buck no matter how bad it is. FMIC does this to all the brands they run.
    mr coffee and trecerveza like this.
  9. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    When talking ProLines, I totally disagree.

    They have gotten considerably better in quality overall.

    I have never heard that FMIC Prolines have more quality issues than pre FMIC guitars
    Waxhead and JC higgy like this.
  10. Back in Black

    Back in Black Synchromatic

    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Hey Three Beers,

    First of all, Welcome!

    Period of manufacture, forget about it! Certainly nothing I'd be concerned about.

    Price, acceptable, if it's as good as it looks, great flame! Ask for a discount...I always do, all the seller can say is no.

    The guitar has all the desirable components, gold filled, deluxe case, nothing negative here!

    Never had a Synchro-Sonic bridge. Gretsch developed/introduced the Synchro in 1951, in an effort to easily obtain/keep intonation, adjusts with ''no tools required''. I'd be more concerned as to whether it plays nice with the Bigsby, if it does, leave well enough alone, it's a nice piece, and keeps your guitar original.

    If you can, inspect/test drive the guitar, if you are happy with everything, then I'd say, it's a very nice first Gretsch, and one you will not lose investment money on.

    Best of luck with your purchase, let us know if you drop the hammer.

    Waxhead likes this.
  11. trecerveza

    trecerveza Electromatic

    Apr 26, 2021
    If i pull the trigger on this guitar
    I will toast your health with a good chianti !
  12. trecerveza

    trecerveza Electromatic

    Apr 26, 2021
    your comment is making me open my wallet. Wednesday I have an appointment to try the guitar. I'll keep you updated
  13. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    There is nothing wrong with pre Fender Gretsch guitars coming from Japan. This one looks exceptionally gorgous. As long as it is structurally o.k. I would not hesitate. The price seems to be great, too.
    trecerveza, Waxhead and hcsterg like this.
  14. Glaw

    Glaw Gretschie

    Aug 30, 2017
    Can’t imagine a new trose would sound better than my 1995. I have a 05 6120 and a 06 Falcon but my trose is my baby.
    loudnlousy and trecerveza like this.
  15. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    That’s a great price for a 6120.
    Looks beautiful!

    I have a pre-FMIC 6120 and it’s incredible.
    trecerveza likes this.
  16. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    I can't add anything of value other then to say check it out and if you like it then all good, it looks fantastic and is made in Japan so I wouldn't worry about quality.
    trecerveza likes this.
  17. amp360

    amp360 Gretschie

    Oct 21, 2012
    I don't know what a "Pro Line" is. I have a plaque hanging on my wall for a record that I played one guitar solo on - and used one of the supposed to be bad pre-FMIC Gretsch guitars.

    I had a pre-FMIC Tennessee Rose and it was a nice guitar, albeit not really a historic replica of anything. I also had an Elliot Easton, which was a cool guitar.

    I have a couple old Gretsch guitars ('57 6120 and 67 Nashville) and I can tell you despite all of the terrible things I read online about them neither has binding rot, problems with the neck angle, etc....

    The only modern era Gretsch I would seriously consider buying would be a Steve Stills Falcon, which IIRC were made by Heritage.

    Over the holidays I bought a pair of those new hollowbodies for $400 a piece to resell. I couldn't believe how awful they were. If Gretsch had a line like Squire or something I could see it but it's sad to see what FMIC has done to Gretsch, Guild, Fender, etc....
    trecerveza likes this.
  18. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
  19. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    Best of luck to you on the pursuit of that beauty!
    trecerveza likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.