Vintage Gretsch Guitars

6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Prototype White 1957

26

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

– WB

I agree!!!!!!

27

Regarding having Gretsch produce this as a reissue, I can understand the appeal of that finish and no f-holes, although personally these features don't blow my skirt up. I like f-holes, the normal ones, not cats eyes, and if they're of the painted on variety, I do prefer they have the painted binding, as on the HOF model. YMMV

28

Yeah, I’m Not a fan of “F” holes. I think it would be an excellent Custom Shop run, Provided they did it super accurate and used Hide Glue..

29

+1 for F-holes...preferably large and not painted on.

30

It seems reasonable to assume that these couple of Country Gent pre-production examples were early manifestations of Chet's new signature model, where he was able to dictate his desired specs, and "fix" some of the things he didn't appreciate on the 6120. Next to the advent of the humbucking Filtertron pickups, the sealed top is a primary and important feature that Chet developed an affinity for on his red sealed-top 6120. So we can argue about having faux f-holes or not (I like it without), but the guitar would absolutely have to include a sealed top to honor Chet's design sensibilities and philosophy of tone.

31

I've posted this before... but since Chet (the cat) is no longer with us, I'm posting it again. That cat had great taste in guitars!

32

I have not posted these shots before. When I got the guitar I had my guitar tech friend go through it and take some pix inside. I thought some of you bracing obsessed guys might find them interesting.

34

Ed, I don't know if you remember this, but you and I had dinner in KC with my friend Herb Bain. He had a first batch Gent too. His was walnut color if I remember correctly. I think his switch/knobs were like yours and not like the photo type. Id have to dig out the serial number on his, but I think I have it somewhere. Were these early prototype style guitars consecutive in serial number (first 4 or 5 in the batch) or were they mixed in with the others?

35

Ed, I don't know if you remember this, but you and I had dinner in KC with my friend Herb Bain. He had a first batch Gent too. His was walnut color if I remember correctly. I think his switch/knobs were like yours and not like the photo type. Id have to dig out the serial number on his, but I think I have it somewhere. Were these early prototype style guitars consecutive in serial number (first 4 or 5 in the batch) or were they mixed in with the others?

– Joe Desperado

Hi Joe... the 2 other examples have serial numbers from batch #233xx, which was an atypical mixed-batch comprised of Falcons, Convertibles, Fleetwoods, and that crazy Lou Monte flat-top acoustic finished like a Falcon.

My Gent is#26400... the very first serial number from the debut batch of Gents (50 units).

26405 was previously owned by GDPer Afire, and #26406 was owned by GDPer Superaxe.

The tantalizing question to me is... was Grady Martin's perhaps labeled 26402, 03 or 04?

36

Love that guitar of yours Ed The switch and knob placement on that other one would drive me nuts!

37

Love that guitar of yours Ed The switch and knob placement on that other one would drive me nuts!

– JCHiggy

Drive me nuts too, all the way to the bank. Lol

38

The tantalizing question to me is... was Grady Martin's perhaps labeled 26402, 03 or 04?

It would be surprising if it wasn't one of those. Seeing as 26400 is white over black with no f-holes or plaque, and 26405 is walnut with inlaid (not painted, BTW) f-holes and a plaque, at least by features, Grady's is right there between them.

But you can't totally count on features evolving strictly according to sequential serial numbers. There's a walnut one with no f-holes somewhere in that 26407-26415 range.

39

Seems if Grady’s had parallel switches it might have been from the earlier batch...no? 233xx ? Did any of the 264xx batch have parallel switches?

40

26408 at Norms, looks long scale with 21 frets

41

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

Confirmed that the neck on my Gent is in fact a 5-piece!

42

Clearly, I need to hang out here more — man, Ed, that is some guitar!

43

26408 at Norms, looks long scale with 21 frets

– JazzBoxJunky

It has one replaced tuner and what's with that Space Control bridge? Didn't the originals have the bar bridge?

45

The Filtertrons on the Norm's Rare guitar have Patent # covers... so not original to the guitar.

46

It seems reasonable to assume that these couple of Country Gent pre-production examples were early manifestations of Chet's new signature model, where he was able to dictate his desired specs, and "fix" some of the things he didn't appreciate on the 6120. Next to the advent of the humbucking Filtertron pickups, the sealed top is a primary and important feature that Chet developed an affinity for on his red sealed-top 6120. So we can argue about having faux f-holes or not (I like it without), but the guitar would absolutely have to include a sealed top to honor Chet's design sensibilities and philosophy of tone.

– kc_eddie_b

Ed, I totally agree! I would love to own a special run of this guitar! I would prefer it be from the regular factory though so I could afford it!

47

Seems if Grady’s had parallel switches it might have been from the earlier batch...no? 233xx ? Did any of the 264xx batch have parallel switches?

– Joe Desperado

Yes. 26405 had straight switches, 26406 had angled switches.

49

'nother try.

– kc_eddie_b

I'm wondering if this guitar might have been the one Chet selected as the "make them like this" example? This is the only photo I've seen with him and a 2-tone Gent, so maybe he gave it to Grady Martin soon after. In other words... could these two be the same guitar?

50

In other words... could these two be the same guitar?

Seems pretty likely. The window between no-plaque, plain top, w/b and plaque, f-holes, walnut appears to be only four guitars. It's anybody's guess exactly what features each of those guitars had, and this one's an exact match.


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