Vintage Gretsch Guitars

6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Prototype White 1957

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Here is the article of Ed in the magazine Vintage Guitar Link

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Note the different knob and switch placement when compared to mine. Anybody know the conversion of 27,000,000 (yen?) to US dollars? Just curious...

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Note the different knob and switch placement when compared to mine. Anybody know the conversion of 27,000,000 (yen?) to US dollars? Just curious...

– kc_eddie_b

According to several online currency converters 27,000,000 yen is just over $250k.

That’s some expensive guitar right there!

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According to several online currency converters 27,000,000 yen is just over $250k.

That’s some expensive guitar right there!

– Wheelgrinder

GULP!

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Those have got to be some of the best looking guitars Gretsch ever made!

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GULP!

– kc_eddie_b

"Swimmin pools, movie stars"

You done good Ed....

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So the story on these are as follows... The one for sale in Ralf's post has been in Japan for years, and for awhile was considered "the" Country Gent prototype guitar. We have reason to believe that Grady Martin played one too, which was slightly more evolved, but still retained the 2-tone finish. That guitar remains MIA.

I acquired my Gent, and being the serial number geek immediately recognized it was the first serial number from the debut production batch of Country Gentlemen 6122 guitars. I then wrote an article for Vintage Guitar magazine (see link above) about both extant specimens.

That article helped to smoke-out a third example, which had a serial number very close to the Japanese guitar. So then there were three... (plus Grady's mysterious guitar). The newly surfaced specimen ended up on consignment at Gruhn's guitar a few years ago, and was listed for $80k if I recall. I remember thinking how laughable that was.

So now this Japanese sale has pushed the "value" (ahem!) to '59 LP burst levels. I'm not even sure that the Gent that Gruhn had ever sold. I can't imagine anyone would pay 6 figures for this Japanese Gent. (but it would be nice if they did )

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The Japanese Gent has the same "straight" switch placement as the '58('57?) NAMM show Gent and Falcon seen with Chet and Jimmy in that silent video. IIRC Afire had some Gent with that switch placement. The Japanese Gent probably has the 25.5" scale judging by the 21 frets. I think those are new Grovers; maybe the "natural" neck treatment isn't original.

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Pretty guitars, but I'm not so keen on the lack of f-holes. Like was said on the 335 Bigsby thread, a little too much open space for my eye.

Do we know for sure the Grady Martin Gent is MIA? Could it not be one of these examples?

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Got to see Ed's at a KC Round Up.

Got weak knees just looking at it. Only thing better was listening to Richard Hudson playing it.

I had to sit down. A beautiful time!

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Got to see Ed's at a KC Round Up.

Got weak knees just looking at it. Only thing better was listening to Richard Hudson playing it.

I had to sit down. A beautiful time!

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

There was actually some video taken of Richard picking on this guitar... might it still be out there in the vapor somewhere??

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Pretty guitars, but I'm not so keen on the lack of f-holes. Like was said on the 335 Bigsby thread, a little too much open space for my eye.

Do we know for sure the Grady Martin Gent is MIA? Could it not be one of these examples?

– Deke Martin

Funny Deke, that's exactly one of the things I like to so much about them, the no-f-holes. Looks great with that finish on such a large guitar, and much better than painted-on ones to my eyes.

If I was made of money I'd hunt down one of those 58 reissue gents and have it refinished in this scheme, no -f-holes and all.

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Funny Deke, that's exactly one of the things I like to so much about them, the no-f-holes. Looks great with that finish on such a large guitar, and much better than painted-on ones to my eyes.

If I was made of money I'd hunt down one of those 58 reissue gents and have it refinished in this scheme, no -f-holes and all.

– WB

Don't get me thinking WB!

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Here's Grady with his... this has the faux F-holes and even a headstock plaque. I doubt any of the three documented examples are his... or there would be some residual evidence of those features.

Site won't let me post a photo at the moment. I'll try again later.

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Grady’s switches appear to be aligned more like the Japanese sale Gent... no?

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Yup. It's that "straight switch" thing. Check out the vid I posted above for a straight-on look at Grady's Gent. The knob layout is like yours. Does your proto-Gent have a 5-piece neck?

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Yup. It's that "straight switch" thing. Check out the vid I posted above for a straight-on look at Grady's Gent. The knob layout is like yours. Does your proto-Gent have a 5-piece neck?

– lx

I dunno.... the neck is finished in black. I’ll have to look really closely with a strong light to see if there might be some subtle paint shrinkage suggesting the double-seam of the 5-piece neck.

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Just take off the truss-rod cover. The underside shouldn't be painted. That's how I discovered my '59 Clipper has a one-piece mahogany neck.

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Funny Deke, that's exactly one of the things I like to so much about them, the no-f-holes. Looks great with that finish on such a large guitar, and much better than painted-on ones to my eyes.

If I was made of money I'd hunt down one of those 58 reissue gents and have it refinished in this scheme, no -f-holes and all.

– WB

I’m with WB. I love the openness of the wide body. And heck yeah a relic reproduction of this guitar would be a killer project.

All of the parts are out there. Those TVjones RAY butts pickups would be perfect.

Hmmm wheels are turning.

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I’m with WB. I love the openness of the wide body. And heck yeah a relic reproduction of this guitar would be a killer project.

All of the parts are out there. Those TVjones RAY butts pickups would be perfect.

Hmmm wheels are turning.

– Gasmoney

Ironically, when I purchased my Gent, that's exactly what I thought I was buying... a tribute guitar that someone had refinished to emulate the one and only (known at the time) Gent Prototype. Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

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According to several online currency converters 27,000,000 yen is just over $250k.

That’s some expensive guitar right there!

– Wheelgrinder

I have always said that Intense Japanese Dudes are outta touch w/ reality. Still one of the coolest Gretsch guitars ever made.


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