1962 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins DC
1962 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins DC

Model Description:

Wowee! Super drool time! Oozing bucketloads of ’60s Americana, feast your hungry eyes on an early 1962 Gretsch model 6120 Double Cutaway Chet Atkins Hollowbody in glorious translucent Western Orange finish over a wonderfully subtle flame maple top and back. Introduced in 1954, the ’50s single cutaway, deep‑bodied 6120s are THE big deal for picky (and wealthy) musicians and collectors. There is, though, something undeniably very cool about these early double cutaway models, hand made by the Gretsch family business in Brooklyn NYC, USA. The model was endorsed by Nashville country star Chet Atkins and from 1964 the 6120 carried the ‘Nashville’ name. Eager to innovate and keep pace with Gibson, in 1962 Gretsch launched a major update to the popular  6120 including the shallow double cutaway hollow ‘electrotone’ body and its quirky simulated (i.e. painted-on) f-holes. Other introductions for that year included a standby (‘kill’) switch and the string mute (‘muffler’ in Gretsch-speak). All the typical Gretsch idiosyncrasies of the period are evident, for instance the zero fret and the tone switch (although no tone knobs). Modern Gretsch guitars are back in fashion, in no part thanks to the brand’s association with rockabilly guitarist Brian Setzer since the early ‘90s.


Guitar Description:

In use, it is light and resonant thanks to its hollow archtop construction. Acoustically, it sounds different due to the absence of (real) sound holes. Plugged in, the signature Gretsch sounds are all there. The original Filter’Tron pickups sound great through a vintage American valve amp, powerful and tonally very strong; it’s easy to see why they were so popular during the peak of the rock ‘n’ roll era. The gold hardware, floating bridge and the ‘Gretsch by Bigsby’ vibrato add major mojo. The guitar is in incredible condition for a vintage instrument well over 5 decades old. The aged patina of the original finish is genuine and very hard for modern ‘relics’ to replicate. The bête noire of ’60s Gretsches is the dreaded binding rot caused by the chemical breakdown of the volatile polymers in the plastic that the company used at the time. This example is thankfully completely free of the incurable problem and the binding is as good as it can be – the big bonus is that it will probably stay that way now too. Being pedantic, the back pad, while old, doesn’t look original and the string mute system has been disconnected. Otherwise, this beauty is all-original. The back of the neck shows some natural play wear. Overall, a stunning example of an iconic instrument that is aging gracefully.


  • Hollow ‘electrotone’ 2-ply bound archtop body with simulated f-holes
  • Translucent Western Orange nitrocellulose finish
  • 3-piece set maple neck with heel dowel
  • Scale length 24½”
  • Single-ply bound headstock in mahogany stained veneer with mother of pearl ‘T-roof’ Gretsch logo and stylized horseshoe inlay, plus 2-ply truss rod cover
  • Original gold-plated open-back Grover ‘StaTite’ tuners with metal buttons
  • Ebony fingerboard with bone nut, ‘ActionFlo’ (zero) fret, 22 frets and ‘neo-classical’ thumb print inlays
  • Original gold-plated patent number ‘Filter’Tron’ humbucking pickups
  • Original gold lucite floating scratchplate with Chet Atkins signature and Gretsch logo
  • Original electrics comprising 2x 3-way pickup and tone switches, 1 ‘standby’ switch, plus 2 individual and 1 master volume controls, and edge-mounted ¼” mono jack socket
  • Gold-plated ‘G-indent with arrow’ knurled knobs
  • String mute (internally disconnected)
  • Original floating straight bar bridge
  • Original factory gold-plated ‘V’-cutout ‘Gretsch by Bigsby’ vibrato
  • Plastic access plate on the back of the body covered by a snap-on back pad
  • Non-original modern hard shell case

Detail Gallery:

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