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1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins Vintage Guitar Western Orange 100% Original, DynaSonics & Cowboy Case


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Up for sale, a 1957 Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 in 100% original, collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original “cowboy” hardshell case. An early example of one of Gretsch's most iconic models, this 6120 has both a tonal breadth and a sensitivity to pick attack, given its fully hollow maple construction, outfitted with its original pair of DeArmond DynaSonic single coil pickups.

The guitar features the 6120s traditional 16" lower bout width and 2 3/4" body depth, with parallel tonebar bracing. From chewy twang and bouncy midrange-centric cut in the bridge position to broad, bell-like tonalities at the neck, this 6120 covers a ton of tonal ground. The aluminum nut and bridge offer enhanced treble detail and percussive clarity, and this Gretsch has a distinct, vital sound in every pickup position. The instrument is lightweight at 6lbs 11oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with roundwound 11-49 strings, low action, and accurate intonation

The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with round shoulders in every register and a gentle increase in overall heft further up the fretboard, measuring .795" deep at the 1st fret and .935" at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features pearloid hump block inlay and original slender frets that have been leveled and crowned in the guitar’s lifetime. While currently quite low, the frets have enough meat to play cleanly in every register up the 24.6" scale, and the guitar has a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original aluminum nut measures 1 5/8" in width. The headstock face features both the Gretsch name and horseshoe inlay, and the back of the headstock retains the original Kluson “waffle back” tuning machines which turn smoothly and hold pitch well with clean gold plating.

All of the original electronics are intact, with the DynaSonic pickups wired to the stock harness. Even the thin transparent tortoise pickup risers are still intact. Hardware includes the original Bigsby B6 vibrato which works in concert with the floating Brazilian rosewood bridge with aluminum saddle. The Bigsby retains its original spring and distinctly shaped '50s arm, smooth in its actuation for subtle warbles and broader gestures. An original complement of G pointer knobs round out the hardware, and the hardware on the whole still has plenty of shine, with some patina through the plating on the pickup surrounds and knobs. The original elevated gold pickguard with Chet Atkins signpost graphic is intact and extremely clean, and the original serial/model badge is visible through the F hole, with the serial placing production in the '57 model year.

The Western Orange gloss nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, framed by original two-ply top and back binding (with bound oversized F holes too). Cosmetic wear includes a faint ghosting of three small rectangular address-style letters adjacent to the pickup selector on top, and light scuffing in the clear coat beneath the feet of the bridge. There is moderate buckle rash central to the back, and a few additional minor scuffs and marks on the body as a whole. The gloss lacquer is extremely smooth along the neck profile length.

The original blonde “cowboy” hardshell case is included with its Gretsch banner on the inside of the lid. The case features tooled leather trim, functional latches and original handle.