Need some advice about a possible Gretsch NGD...

max_twang

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
1,563
Location
New York
I've been curious about Gretsch guitars for a good while, but my experience with them is fairly limited.

I'm considering buying one of the fancy, MIJ ones, and I was hoping some folks with more experience
with Gretsches could give me some guidance.

One of the guitars I'm considering is an excellent condition G6122-1962 Country Classic -- essentially the Chet Atkins model associated with George Harrison. No tone pot on this one, just the three position tone switch next to the
pickup selector switch. It has the kill switch. Also has no mute on this one. He's one like it in action:



I was in the local GC today and played the G6122TG -- the "Player's Edition" of the same guitar -- this has
the tone pot instead of the three position tone switch, and also has no kill switch. Basically, a more modern/
conventional wiring set up. Really lovely guitar but it was new and the price was $3K! This one:


While I was in GC, I met someone who is looking to sell an excellent condition G6120 -- not sure which specific model
but I saw some pix and it had beautiful appointments, including flame maple top and headstock. I think it's a high end
Brian Stetzer-ish model without his name on it.

Both of the used guitars are in the $2,000 range.

What do you think? Both guitars seem to be fairly priced, though not bargains. I'm going to play both of them before I make a decision. Is there anything else I should know about the finer points about these two axes? Thanks for your advice!
 

Martinp

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
1,379
Location
Westbury, N.Y.
My personal opinion, is to jump on the 6120 for $2k, but I've always had a soft spot for orange Gretsch singlecuts. Having said that, I've played a couple of those 6122's and they are equally outstanding, but a bit different.
 

JL_LI

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 20, 2017
Posts
8,844
Age
72
Location
Long Island, NY
Make sure you really want a mud switch before you buy. I have a 6118T Anniversary. The individual volume controls roll off highs faster than volume. I use an equalizer to roll off low frequencies to keep things in check. My guitar has "that great Gretsch sound" from the '60s. I've made my peace with it and stopped trying to make it sound like a Fender and am quite happy now that I can accept what it is. I play clean finger style with blended pickups with the neck volume rolled down a tiny bit and the bridge volume rolled down a bit more. It sounds good that way with a flat pick too. I even like the jazz tone I get. I'd describe the guitar as a one trick pony but once you can ride, it's a heluva trick. You may find a Gretsch with individual volume controls with treble bleed and a master tone control more versatile. It will definitely be easier to manage. I don't think there's a bad 6*** series Gretsch but there are big differences between models, even models with the same number designation. Good luck. Have fun.
 

Deeve

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Posts
9,729
Location
Ballard
I'm currently waiting for a Gretsch to arrive, but it's a different kind and I don't wanna hijack this thread (look for ngd tread coming soon...)

The playing in that demo vid was delicious.
Peace - Deeve
 

max_twang

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
1,563
Location
New York
Thanks for the input everyone.

I think the 6120 I mentioned might be the flame tiger maple version. Very blingy!

Good resource here for figuring out which Gretsch model is which. I didn't realize there were so many flavors.

 

Vibroluxer

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Posts
793
Location
Pittsburgh
One guy above has one but no one mentioned the Anniversary. You can get a nice used one for 1600- 1750 USD. And they are MIJ.

If you have some patience, the Gretsch 120th Anniversary Bamboo Annie came stock with TV Jones Filtertrons, the mud switch and can usually be had for the ridiculous price of 1500.
 

Attachments

  • original.jpg
    original.jpg
    135.7 KB · Views: 23

Bob M

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2011
Posts
2,414
Age
69
Location
The Ocean State!
The MIJ proline guitars are really beautifully made. I had a thin line Falcon and a 6120 both with Filtertrons. I found the Falcon to be a little unwieldy and as I got older it became physically difficult for me to play. I currently have a 6120 with TV Jones T-Armonds. The overall fit and finish of all 3 that I have owned was incredible. Playability on the 6120s is great. I’ve bought a handful of pricey guitars and the Gretsches are top notch. At $2,000 used in good condition that’s a pretty good deal.
 

fasthand

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Posts
204
Location
Massillon Ohio
I have a 6120 players edition excellent instrument tone pot and treble bleed
My first Gretsch
Was not long after I bought a 6128/VS 59 reissue TV Jones pickups tone switch I mostly leave it in middle tone position
MIJ Gretsch guitars are exceptional pieces
Good luck with search
 

Attachments

  • 6492BCE1-0328-4541-BB8B-559A8E1963DE.jpeg
    6492BCE1-0328-4541-BB8B-559A8E1963DE.jpeg
    268.3 KB · Views: 31
  • 2E402AE4-81BD-47D1-8C4F-5DEBA5CABAD3.jpeg
    2E402AE4-81BD-47D1-8C4F-5DEBA5CABAD3.jpeg
    184.6 KB · Views: 28

johnnylaw

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Posts
2,113
Age
64
Location
New England
I am fortunate enough to play a Gretsch MIJ thinline with mud switch, pickup volume, and MV layout. Once you learn how to drive it, there is no kind of American music you couldn’t play.
The trick really is to set your amp louder than you need to be heard, and use the MV to find your place in the stage mix. (I do this with a Tele too; guitar volume knob never sees 10)
The individual pickup volume knobs roll off treble quickly, so I use them more like tone controls. Once you sort this out with the mud switch, there ain’t nowheres you can’t go.
Tele controls are simpler; kind of “linear”. That Gretch set up has you going helical or something.
The Player Series are beautifully made, and a joy to handle.
Good hunting!
 

max_twang

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
1,563
Location
New York
One guy above has one but no one mentioned the Anniversary. You can get a nice used one for 1600- 1750 USD. And they are MIJ.

If you have some patience, the Gretsch 120th Anniversary Bamboo Annie came stock with TV Jones Filtertrons, the mud switch and can usually be had for the ridiculous price of 1500.
No one mentioned the Anniversary model, but it's definitely one I've considered in the past. I love the smoke green color!

Just not in the current discussion because of the two guitars that are available to me locally now.

Thanks for the suggestion though :)
 

superbadj

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Posts
5,483
Age
47
Location
roanoke, va
I have a 6118 Annie, as well as a couple 512x series (korean-made, DeArmond 2000 pups). I've owned a pro-series Jet. I've honestly never played a bad Gretsch, but the FMIC-era Japanese-made guitars are the best playing guitars I've ever touched, period. And that includes high-end Fenders, Gibsons, Martins, Fanos, Rickenbackers, etc. You name it I've owned or played them. If the Great Gretsch Sound is your thing you can't go wrong. I wouldn't at all call it a one-trick pony, but sure a full hollow isn't as versatile as some guitars. But they are flat-out amazing things. I think you can't go wrong with one!
 

BorderRadio

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Posts
11,976
Age
42
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I've been curious about Gretsch guitars for a good while, but my experience with them is fairly limited.

I'm considering buying one of the fancy, MIJ ones, and I was hoping some folks with more experience
with Gretsches could give me some guidance.

One of the guitars I'm considering is an excellent condition G6122-1962 Country Classic -- essentially the Chet Atkins model associated with George Harrison. No tone pot on this one, just the three position tone switch next to the
pickup selector switch. It has the kill switch. Also has no mute on this one. He's one like it in action:



I was in the local GC today and played the G6122TG -- the "Player's Edition" of the same guitar -- this has
the tone pot instead of the three position tone switch, and also has no kill switch. Basically, a more modern/
conventional wiring set up. Really lovely guitar but it was new and the price was $3K! This one:


While I was in GC, I met someone who is looking to sell an excellent condition G6120 -- not sure which specific model
but I saw some pix and it had beautiful appointments, including flame maple top and headstock. I think it's a high end
Brian Stetzer-ish model without his name on it.

Both of the used guitars are in the $2,000 range.

What do you think? Both guitars seem to be fairly priced, though not bargains. I'm going to play both of them before I make a decision. Is there anything else I should know about the finer points about these two axes? Thanks for your advice!


I'd get the PE G6122 if it were me, but that's because I already own MIJ G6120. Both cover the same basic 'tonal' space, so it comes down to comfort and looks for me. Factors:
- Thin body (2") vs thick (2" to 2.75")
-Scale length: 24.6" vs 25.5" on the PE G6122
- Neck heel
PE G6122 have the shaved back neck heel. The vintage '64-style has the huge block behind the neck starting around the 12th fret, similar to the 16" bodied Annies and Chet 6120s. On a PE G6122 the neck carve starts around the 16th fret.
- Pickups
Depending on the G6120 /G6122 you're eye-ballin', you might be pitting older HS Filters vs TVJ Classics vs the new FT-67 Filtertron. I use TVJ Classics all the time, and HS Filters, but FT-67s I've never heard. Supposedly just a thicker HS Filter.
-Looks
Both are great guitars, excellent finish work is the norm for MIJ Gretsch. I can't stand flame anything, makes me queasy, but that's just me. Hope that helps!
 

max_twang

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
1,563
Location
New York
I'd get the PE G6122 if it were me, but that's because I already own MIJ G6120. Both cover the same basic 'tonal' space, so it comes down to comfort and looks for me. Factors:
- Thin body (2") vs thick (2" to 2.75")
-Scale length: 24.6" vs 25.5" on the PE G6122
- Neck heel
PE G6122 have the shaved back neck heel. The vintage '64-style has the huge block behind the neck starting around the 12th fret, similar to the 16" bodied Annies and Chet 6120s. On a PE G6122 the neck carve starts around the 16th fret.
- Pickups
Depending on the G6120 /G6122 you're eye-ballin', you might be pitting older HS Filters vs TVJ Classics vs the new FT-67 Filtertron. I use TVJ Classics all the time, and HS Filters, but FT-67s I've never heard. Supposedly just a thicker HS Filter.
-Looks
Both are great guitars, excellent finish work is the norm for MIJ Gretsch. I can't stand flame anything, makes me queasy, but that's just me. Hope that helps!
Thanks, that is a very helpful comparison.

Unfortunately, I learned today that the 6122 I was considering is now no longer for sale. The 6120 (actually it's a 6120-1960) is still available.

You don't like flame? I'm really thinking about one of these...I won't ask your opinion :)

1643350421820.png
 

BorderRadio

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Posts
11,976
Age
42
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks, that is a very helpful comparison.

Unfortunately, I learned today that the 6122 I was considering is now no longer for sale. The 6120 (actually it's a 6120-1960) is still available.

You don't like flame? I'm really thinking about one of these...I won't ask your opinion :)

View attachment 945266
Alright, I'll admit it, that's kinda nice :twisted:
 

teletail

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Posts
3,438
Age
72
Location
West By God Virginia
If you’re going to get one, go for the ones made in Japan. BUT think long and hard and put some serious time on one first. I got a 6120 and never played it, it just wasn’t comfortable and I didn’t love the sound. I sold it and then bought an Eddie Cochran 6120. Now I want to sell that. For me it’s a guitar I want to love, but just don’t.
 

PCollen

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 7, 2010
Posts
4,117
Location
Florida
Thanks, that is a very helpful comparison.

Unfortunately, I learned today that the 6122 I was considering is now no longer for sale. The 6120 (actually it's a 6120-1960) is still available.

You don't like flame? I'm really thinking about one of these...I won't ask your opinion :)

View attachment 945266
Love the flame, but not the LIMONCELLO color.
 




Top