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1989 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins Electric Guitar Western Orange w/ Bigsby, FilterTrons, Case


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Up for sale, a 1989 Gretsch 6120 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. A uncommon iteration of the 6120 platform, the Gretsch is outfitted with the original pair of Filter'Tron humbuckers and Bigbsy B6 vibrato tailpiece

A reissue of the instrument that has defined the Gretsch sound for twang, Western Swing, Rockabilly, and all manner of other genres and niches, this 6120 accurately reproduces the build specs that made the original 6120, one of the most resonant, lively, and stunningly cool instruments ever made. Produced by Gretsch in the years prior to their acquisition by Fender, this guitar boasts the high quality craftsmanship and exceptional fit and finish work associated with the Fujigen factory in Japan. And while this iteration of the 6120 was produced prior to Gretsch's readdition of the Chet name to the model, this instrument has been fitted with a later Chet Aktins "signpost" pickguard, aesthetically pushing it further towards late '50s spec.

Some of the finer points of this Gretsch include the 16" wide maple body with bound oversized F holes, two-piece maple neck, bound ebony fingerboard with pearloid block inlay, gold plexi pickguard, nickel-plated hardware, bound headstock with tiger maple veneer, and Bigsby B6 vibrato tailpiece. With fully hollow maple construction and sound post bracing, this guitar has a rich, articulate voice when strummed acoustically that translates well through the pickups. Plugged in, this 6120 has a broad sonic range, offering a punchy, sparkling bridge position sound that has plenty of muscle and breadth. The neck pickup is fat and smooth, with a distinctive thickness and bark that retains enough clarity for complex chording. The guitar weighs 8lbs 4oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with easy-playing action, fresh 11-49 roundwound strings, and accurate intonation.

The two-piece maple neck has a C profile which is very slender and among the most slim and easily navigable necks we’ve seen on any Gretsch. The profile measures .785" deep at the 1st fret and graduates to .850" at the 9th. The bound ebony fretboard retains the original slender frets which have their full factory height and well-rounded crowns, showing moderate wear on the crowns of frets 1-2, with wear extending beneath the plain strings and growing lighter until fret 9. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24.6" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The hand-carved bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width, and unlike many later iterations of the 6120, this version has no zero fret, allowing the guitar to take full advantage of the articulation and sustain that a bone nut provides. The tiger maple headstock veneer is inlaid with the pearloid Gretsch logo, and there's a touch of cloudiness in the clear coat along the bass-side edge of the veneer. The guitar retains original Grover Rotomatic-style tuners which function as intended, with wear through their gold plating down to the bare nickel.

All of the electronics work as they should, with the Filter'Tron pickups wired to the original harness including a three-way pickup selector, Master Volume control, individual Volume controls for each pickup, and a Master Tone control. The all original hardware shows uniform surface patina, including the Bigsby tailpiece, G pointer knobs, and roller bridge. This particular bridge is one produced only briefly, offering excellent intonation and saddles that work smoothly with the Bigsby B6 vibrato tailpiece for surfy warbles and dives that add to the signature Gretsch sound. Plastics comprise the original pickup surrounds which show light oxidation of the gold on the undersides, and the replacement genuine Gretsch Chet Atkins pickguard rounds things out, with slightly different mounting than the original guard (the original forward pickguard mounting hole has been doweled and touched-up).

The body sports a striking Western Orange Stain finish, which highlights the grain in the maple and is quite a bit more saturated and ruddy than other versions of this finish. The finish is topped off with practically perfect two-ply white/black binding. Cosmetic wear includes light buckle rash on the bass side of the back, with some additional minor dings and light finish scratches on the body as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss

The original gray tolex hardshell case with Gretsch silkscreen on the lid is included.