Gretsch-GEAR Country Clubs 6193 Country Club

1954 Gretsch 6193: 12553

Owned by
Michael Wilhelm
Body style
Single Cutaway Hollowbody
Color(s)
Blonde
Fretboard
Rosewood with Block inlays
Nut
Bone
Pickups
Dynasonic
Tuners
Waverly
Controls
  • Master Volume
  • Neck pickup volume
  • Bridge pickup volume
  • Master Tone (knob)
  • Pickup selector switch
  • Smooth knobs
Bridge
Melita
Tailpiece
G-Cutout
Modifications

The first was the addition of a B6G Bigsby tailpiece. It has Grover Imperial machines in place of the original oval button Waverlys. The original Melita bridge folded in half and was replaced by a Bigsby bridge. It also has separate tone controls for each pickup replacing the original master tone control. The extra tone control was added when it was converted to stereo in 1966. It was returned to mono in 1997. I recently (July, 2011) replaced the Bigsby bridge with a compensation adjustable roller bridge from StewMac which has done wonders for the intonation, sustain and tuning stability. I believe the bridge is a Wilkinson. It was made for a stud tailpiece but it fits nicely on a Gibson Tuneamatic base. The original tortoise colored plastic pickguard has alas been lost. I also added a gold plated jack plate since the side was cracked around the jack. All the mods were done during my ownership. The frets were replaced in 1997 (by Jim Surles in Cotati, CA) with the original size jumbo gauge fret wire. The latest mod was to install a reproduction of the original tortoise pickguard which was made by my luthier, John Battit, to a cardboard pattern I supplied.

Unusual factory features

The model # on the interior label though faded shows "6192 3". I have it on very good authority that this guitar is late 1953 production, the serial # indicates it is the 4th one in the first batch of Clubs made. Notice that the pearloid fingerboard inlays are block style and there is no first fret marker, a feature of very early 54 model production. The guitar has a blonde finish and gold hardware. The original pickguard was tortoise shell plastic with painted white edges just like an Electro II. It has the smooth top knurled barrel control knobs but no knurled strap knobs. The tailblock originally had a white plastic strap button. Headstock carries the "T-Roof" Gretsch logo.

I'll write something later, I've owned the guitar since 1965 when I bought it in the proverbial hock shop in Reno for $285 so it has a long history with me and is still my favorite player. For some history visit http://mike-wilhelm.com.
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