Other Guitars

RC Allen copy of Chet Atkins D’Angelico

1

Here s one you dont see every day for sale at 4k at Gruhn...

3

I saw that the other night, looks pretty cool. Does look like it's a 16" guitar, and probably laminated too, don't you think?

4

Wonder if thats a real Bigsby Pickup?

5

All the photos I've seen of Chet with that guitar it had a Kaufman vibrato. Knowing Chet it's probably had 5 different tailpieces at one time or another, but did it ever have a Bigsby B6 on it?

6

Chet's DeAngelico on display at The Country Music Hall of Fame.

8

Still, a very cool guitar. Top of the headstock isn't D'Angelico though, and the body doesn't have the 'fatness' of the older D's. I'd love to hear Richard play something on it! Maybe someone who knows George could ask him to set that up and video it. Wouldn't hurt to sell the guitar either!

9

R.C's archtops did borrow basic body and f-hole shapes from established models but they were still his builds, his headstock and everything else was 'his way". This would almost certainly have a 5 ply maple back, standard cross laminations and every layer would be maple (no poplar inner layers) and a 3 ply laminated spruce top not cross laminated. Since his passing I've taken over building his archtops although they are built under my name, not his, Grez Guitars.

10

Thanks for posting Grez... so is the Bigsby style pickup a TK Smith?

11

It's hard to say what it is, but not likely from TK. RC wouldn't spend that much. He had in the past, way back, made his own Bigsby style pickups, some early Mosrite pickups to I think, but he would also make fancy covers for more standard pickups to give them a better look. My guess is that he made this and that it's probably Bigsby-ish, not an exact duplication. I think TK knew RC well and wouldn't doubt he received some information, tutelage or at least some good stories to help him in his journey making Bigsby type pickups.

12

Yes most likely a laminate guitar with a body shape not necessarily 'true' to the DAngelico. But still an interesting guitar

Those are some nice guitars youre building Grez, curious to see how your allen #1 will turn out

13

re: kc eddie's question: " Knowing Chet it's probably had 5 different tailpieces at one time or another, but did it ever have a Bigsby B6 on it?..."

I doubt the D'Angelico "had five different tailpieces on it." He had been moving that Kaufman to each new guitar he acquired as he upgraded his instruments. In fact, he even used the Kaufman on one of his early 6120's instead of a Bigsby for some reason on at least one clip I've seen.

There would have been no reason for him to put a Bigsby on the D'Angelico since he was a believer in adhering to his endorsement agreement which said he was to use Gretsch products and focused on making his Gretsch guitars sound like what he heard in his head.

He probably left the Kaufman on the D'Angelico for old times sake playing it at home. Once he could comfortably afford it he had the D'Angelico refitted with a new neck and pickup free top, something he obviously eventually regretted since he had Paul Yandell restore it to it's familiar old self.

14

D'Angelico had a contest to win a Elx1 and if I won my plan was to convert it to chet specs like this one. But I didn't win so oh well.

15

Norm… of course I was exaggerating to make the point that no part on Chet's guitars was exempt from his tinkering. And I agree… I would't think a Bigsby would have made it onto the DA.

16

RC was making Bigsby style guitars before TK started doing his repro pickups. I think they are Stuart ones or RC's own make. There's a couple of folks here that own them - hopefully one will turn up.

17

RC Allen. I met the man at guitar shows a couple of times. He had his guitars on display. He was quite old. I was impressed to say the least by his guitars (who wouldn't, right?). Couldn't believe he was from El Monte which is about 15 minutes from me. One of the greatest luthiers was making guitars in El Monte. Very cool. Also he was born in Alhambra which is 5 mins from me. Local talent at it's best!!!

18

Greatest Luthiers? I would have to disagree there, he was quite a historical figure in L.A. though. We all loved RC, but his guitars were not super refined as compared to any of the greats.

19

What JBJ said - the ones I've played were oozing cool, but on the almost crude side from a luthier point of view. Which is why Grez having taken over and building on RC's designs certainly has my interest.

20

It seems that the quality of his work, the fit and finish, would.......let's say.........vary.

21

It seems that the quality of his work, the fit and finish, would.......let's say.........vary.

– Grez

That sounds like you're describing vintage Gretsch hollowbodies, too!

22

I'm jumping on this conversation a few years late, but i thought i'd chime in since i just got a RC Allen Bigsby style guitar last week...first off i really dig it. THe sound and feel are super cool. THe tone is wonderful. I'm not sophisticated enough to say the pick ups are this or that, but it's fantastic for a lot of styles from latin to jazz, to rockabilly. punchy great tone. i A/Bed it with a 50's ES 225 and a more recent Gretsch Country Gentleman and it sat very nicely next to both and offered a unique quality. I will also agree that from a luthiere's perspective it is a bit rough around the edges. There are details that are somewhat inexact, but giving it a cool quality. When i first played it, the neck seemed really inaccessible to me, and I was actually worried i messed up with the purchase, but the second time I played it, I kind of cracked the code so to say...and i find it really great...overall i really dig it. i have been following TK Smith for a little bit, but his guitars are way out of my price range...overall I'm super pumped about the RC Allen guitar....

23

I'm jumping on this conversation a few years late, but i thought i'd chime in since i just got a RC Allen Bigsby style guitar last week...first off i really dig it. THe sound and feel are super cool. THe tone is wonderful. I'm not sophisticated enough to say the pick ups are this or that, but it's fantastic for a lot of styles from latin to jazz, to rockabilly. punchy great tone. i A/Bed it with a 50's ES 225 and a more recent Gretsch Country Gentleman and it sat very nicely next to both and offered a unique quality. I will also agree that from a luthiere's perspective it is a bit rough around the edges. There are details that are somewhat inexact, but giving it a cool quality. When i first played it, the neck seemed really inaccessible to me, and I was actually worried i messed up with the purchase, but the second time I played it, I kind of cracked the code so to say...and i find it really great...overall i really dig it. i have been following TK Smith for a little bit, but his guitars are way out of my price range...overall I'm super pumped about the RC Allen guitar....

– langtryville

Please feel free to post pics: one per post. Everyone here is always interested in Bigsby guitars and thanks for adding to this particular post: it was so cool to see the Norm in action again.

25

There's another GDPer who owns one of those Jack Parsons style RC Allen guitars - unless you bought it from him, lol. Extremely cool ride.


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