Help Figure Out What We Have Here

Syndrome

Electromatic
Oct 3, 2020
24
DC
I have before me a guitar that looks like it is a in some ways a 1957 6120, but I am not sure if it is or is not. Maybe not…. Actually, the only thing that looks 1957 is the fingerboard. It’s refinished to a not so great level (back in the 1960s or 70s it seems). The neck looks like it has an ebony fingerboard with hump block markers. The nut isn’t brass, looks like bone or something like that. The body is 2.75 inches deep, but it has trestle braces on the inside and Filtertron pickups. No Dynasonics. The headstock has what looks like a plastic white/black veneer, clearly wrong. The Gretsch logo is embossed or “engraved” through the black showing the white underneath. No horseshoe. I don’t understand this at all. What is this? The interior label also isn’t clear. It is really dirty and faded, so I can’t read it well. Looks like 6180? Can’t see the serial number at all.

So I’m looking at a guitar that has all kinds of wrong things, but it’s cool too. Can anyone please help me identify it?
 

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drmilktruck

I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
19,776
Plymouth, MN
That’s a mystery all right. The Filters don’t go with the controls, as it should be 2 switches and 3 knobs. The layout as is fits with a Dyna. Serial number?
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,724
Where the action is!
I don't think I'd call it a conversion. More like a hot rod. And I like it. I like it a lot. If the refin is underwhelming, have a pro redo it in the color of your choosing. '58 heavy trestle braced Gretsches are very sturdy guitars, so I'm sure the bones are good.
But would a '58 Streamliner still have had hump block inlays?
Streamliners are the outliers here. 6120s and Jets had thumbnails and Dynasonics overlap, while Streamliners were the opposite with humpblocks and FilterTrons overlapping.
 

6187LX

Electromatic
Aug 11, 2022
96
Marineville
This is an interesting one. The engraved headstock would not go with a trestle-braced Streamliner, and shouldn't be going with an ebony board. My 6189 (266xx) has an ebony board with humpblocks and the heavy trestle bracing. The headstock veneer is wood with real inlay.

1) Is there a dowel cap on the neck heel?
2) What kind of trestle bracing is under the hood? Trestle bracing goes from the parallel braces under the top of the guitar to the back to parallel braces on the inside back of the guitar for '58. If you only have the two top braces (which the pickups rest on) with no other bracing then you don't have trestles, but the standard bracing.

I agree that it's some kind of '57-ish Streamliner conversion. I have run across an early Filtertron 6120 with no neck screw and odd posts instead of proper trestles There are always exceptions to the rules with Gretsches.
 
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Syndrome

Electromatic
Oct 3, 2020
24
DC
In the end, because it has a plug where there was a plastic tailpiece under there was once a G tailpiece, I’m convinced it is a conversion too. I got the trestle bracing wrong. It’s only on the top and does not extend to the back. It’s not what it pretends to be…. I have returned it to the sender.

Now I want to find myself a nice (original) 1959 or 1960 6120 to buy…
 

6187LX

Electromatic
Aug 11, 2022
96
Marineville
I keep coming back to look at this. The whole red and black and chrome makes me think of an early Tenny. And I really like the idea of Filtertrons in a guitar with nothing but parallel braces. Gretsch could put it out an Electro like this and they should do a deluxe version with the engraved headstock face.

And just to plug the above guitar: I have a similar '57/8 Streamliner and it is incredible. Put a Bigsby on it and you won't miss a bridge pickup.
 


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