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Gretsch 6120 WCST Nashville Western

U.S. Custom Shop Collection

Gretsch 6120

By Vince Gordon

Gretsch 6120 WCST

I helped a friend of my mine locate this Gretsch 6120 WCST (Custom Shop). He wasn't really looking for a new guitar as he already had a fine '98 6120DE (Duane Eddy signature model) but he always dreamed of owning a '55 G-brand (as most Gretsch players do!). He didn't know this model existed until we got talking. To make a long story short he ended up buying one from a dealer on eBay. He paid the very 'reasonably' price of $3950 compared to the sugg. retail price of $9500 (of course no one pays that, but anyway...).

It’s not one of Gretsch’s better known models but it should be. The quality of this hand built Gretsch 6120 from Fender's Custom Shop in Corona, California, is superior to that of any of the other new Gretsches (Yes, this is the first American-made Gretsch guitar in many years).

 

True 1955 Gretsch 6120 specifications

It's also the only Gretsch that is completely true to the orig. 1955 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body's (aka the "G-brand") specifications, apart from the signpost that says "Nashville" and not "Chet Atkins" (Chet Atkins withdrew his endorsment of Gretsch a long time ago - hence the name change).

Most noticeably it's the only new Gretsch 6120 which has the correct body width of 15.5" like the '55/'56 6120s. All others have a body width of 16". (The out-of-production Duane Eddy signature models also have a body width of 15.5").

The fact that my friend didn't know about this model Gretsch 6120 is not surprising as there's no detailed information to be found on the net. The little info there is comes from a few dealers trying to sell this Gretsch 6120. That's why I decided to make this page with a fact sheet that my friend and I put together after our best judgement. If you know of any of these specs to be wrong, please email me so I can put it straight.

 

A "Fender" Gretsch 6120 with Seymour Duncan pick ups?

An interesting point about this hand built Gretsch 6120 from Fender is that it features Seymour Duncans DynaSonic pick ups and not Fender's own DynaSonics. I guess that says something about the different DynaSonics!

This is what my friend had to say about the Seymour Duncan DynaSonics compared to the Gretsch DynaSonics on his '98 6120DE (Gretsch 6120 Duane Eddy signature model):

"The Seymour Duncan ones distort much sooner and more smoothly. When playing at low volume I find I don't need my SansAmp pedal unless I want a 'heavy' distortion (For rockabilly that is!)."

 

A closer look at the Gretsch 6120 Custom Shop

After being able to get a torchlight inside the guitar my friend can confirm that there's no soundpost inside or any of the so-called trestle bracing that Brian Setzer is so on about :-) - (BTW.: I think he's right about the '59 Gretsch 6120 though. I tried one once and it does have a very special sound that isn't coming from the pickups).

This is also in keeping with the original specifications.

Here are a few of my friends comments after owning the Gretsch 6120 WCST for some months:
"A question I get asked by everyone who plays this guitar is; 'Will you remove the fixed Bigsby and replace it with the swivel arm?' (Editor: Almost everyone did that in the old days). Personally, I am developing a style where I tend to hang on to the fixed arm and use it as a rest. I am not sure, but I would say there's a 90% chance I will keep it as it is."

 

Gretsch 6120 WCST Custom Shop fact sheet

Gretsch 6120

 
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