The 1959 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins is the guitar that made Pete Townshend's defining electric sound on record. Combined with an Edwards steel volume pedal, a Whirlwind cable and a '59 Fender 3x10 Bandmaster amplifier, all as a gift from Joe Walsh in 1970, Pete created the feedback-laden sound heard on virtually all post-Tommy Who and solo recordings, most significantly, Who's Next (1971) and Quadrophenia (1973). The Gretsch 6120’s Filtertron pickups provide decent sustain and good punch, but they are also fairly low-output humbuckers, and provide plenty of string definition and harmonic sparkle. Coupled with the hollow guitar, they excel at anything from the musical feedback that Townshend liked to induce as a recording tool, to an enticing blend of crunchy sparkle that helps power chords and arpeggios alike slice right through the mix. Just listen to the track "Won't Get Fooled Again" from the Who's Next album and you will appreciate unique sound of this guitar.
What I have in my collection is a similar 1959 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins. This is probably the "Holy Grail" of Gretsch guitars. It is outstandingly clean. Everything is original and un-refinished. It is in near mint condition. The rich orange colour is unfaded, with almost no play wear, no binding issues and the original frets are still in perfect shape. The two Filtertron pickups have outputs of N=4,09K and B=4,28K. The weight is 3.5 Kg and both pots are dated 18th week of 1959. The tone resonates beautifully. Notable players of this guitar include Neil Young, Steven Stills, Pete Townshend, Brian Setzer, and many others.