Gretsch-GEAR Country Gents & Southern Belles 6122 Country Gentleman

1961 Gretsch 6122: 41772

Owned by
norm van maastricht
Body style
Single Cutaway Hollowbody
Color(s)
Mahogany
Fretboard
Ebony with Neo-Classic (thumbnail) inlays
Nut
Bone with zero fret
Pickups
SuperTron (neck) and PowerTron (bridge)
Tuners
Grover Imperial
Controls
  • Neck pickup volume
  • Bridge pickup volume
  • Pickup selector switch
  • G-Arrow knobs
Bridge
Bar
Tailpiece
Bigsby B-6C (V-cutout)
Modifications

Chet handle, stationary bracket.

I have a small screw through the cup on the Bigsby to keep it stable. (Chet mod) I have a pinless Bigsby string bar so I can just run my strings through it and not bother fussing with getting the strings on those damnable little pins. Paul Yandell suggested I try this and eventually sent me one of his that he had drilled out a little.

I put in a Super Tron from a 1964 gent at the fingerboard for which TV Jones sold me an alnico magnet. I have the 8k TV Jones bridge pickup so essentially I have the same pickups as the 6122-59.

The Mudswitch is deactivated and selector moved to cutaway. Neither of the upper bout switches are active.

Excellent Tru-Arc brass bridge. When I first got the guitar the previous owner had put in a Tun-O-Matic bridge. I got a standard bar bridge to replace that and eventually the Tru-Arc which was a very good move.

I had black dots put on the side binding at the 15th, 17th,19th and 21st fret to aid in hitting harmonics.

I upgraded the pots but forgot what I bought. I know I got the best I could find.

It is unusually light colored for a Gent. It's not sunbleached as far as I know although it is really dark under the pickguard and Bigsby. Whatever happended to it to fade it was very even, front and back.

One refret. Large frets

That black dot in the lower bout was where the previous owner had a mini-switch for out-of-phase. I had our repair guy just fill it in black since I thought it would be impossible to match the wood.

Added to Gretsch-GEAR
3 years ago Last modified 2016-10-11 13:32:31

I had a much loved, much modified 61 Tenny, bought new in 1962, that I installed Filter Trons and for which I had designed a custom wiring harness. It had a stationary bracket with a self made handle.

I was working at Gelb Music when the original owner of this particular 6122 came in and wanted to sell it. I couldn't afford to buy it but had always wanted a 6122 and had to let it go. The Gelb guys weren't interested since Gretsch wasn't selling well.

My Tenny got stolen and I bought a Baldwin era Tenny that I was just not happy with. Then, in 1975, this same 6122 came in AGAIN, this time on a trade-in, about two weeks before economic issues caused forced staff cuts to be made at Gelb. With great reluctance I was the one who had to go. They gave me a very generous notice and, being a typical musician, I bought the guitar, figuring (rightly) I would never see a used Country Gentleman available this inexpensively again. I bought it for way less than 300.00. So...I had no job but I had a new (to me) guitar. What's not to like?

Just so you know, I was never resentful about being laid off. Gelb had yet to find its business footing under its new ownership and they reluctantly had to make cuts. Kevin Jarvis, who retired in 2015, was one of the owners then too and is one of my best friends. Gelb Music is now under new ownership but the store I remember is now almost mythic in its "legend-ness" thanks to Kevin's touch over the years.

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