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Gretsch Country Club 6195 Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1960

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The Gretsch Country Club appeared in 1951 as the Electro II, and became the Club in 1954 as a full size, 17 inch wide electrified archtop guitar intended for jazz players. It underwent a number of other changes as time went on – gaining the new Filter ‘Tron pickups, Space Control bridge and Trestle bracing in 1958, a zero fret and back pad in 1961. Notably, however, for 1960, the body slimmed down from 3 3/8 inches to 1 7/8 inches deep. From 1954, the body is built of laminated maple for feedback rejection. Previously, the tops had been carved spruce. The neck is also maple, with a bound ebony fingerboard and headplate.

This 1960 model Gretsch Country Club, with the trestle braced thinner body. The serial number grouping indicates an early part of the year, though the dates are not certain. There is some uncertainty as to the model number, because the stamp on the label is very faded. At this point, the Country Club used the designation 619x, with the ‘x’ indicating the finish colour. The most common variations are 6192 (sunburst), 6193 (natural) and 6196 (Cadillac Green). We read the last digit of the label as a 5, which can mean a custom order.

This guitar is in largely original condition, and has the original case. The pickups are Patent Applied for Filter ‘Trons, the tuners gold Grover Imperial models with deco stair-step buttons, the bridge a Space Control unit on ebony base, and the tailpiece a nickel-plated G-cutout model. The tone-switch wiring harness is used, so there are two switches on the upper bass bout, a master volume and two individual volume controls.

Over the decades, this guitar has seen both use and service. The neck has been reset. Gretsch guitars of this period have a round plug on the heel, which covers a bolt used to help secure the neck joint. Removing this plug is an essential part of the reset, but unfortunately the removal process is sometimes destructive and touchup is almost always required. On this guitar, it may be that following the reset and touchup, a light layer of clear overspray was applied. In any case, the underlying finish is original and well preserved. The binding shows none of the ‘rot’ that afflicts some guitars, not just from Gretsch but from other manufacturers who used the same plastic and adhesives suppliers, from the early 60’s.

What matters most is how the guitar plays and sounds, and the answer here is positive on all counts. The action is good, and while a light fret dress on the upper frets would clean up a bit of rattling, it plays cleanly. The combination Space Control bridge and the G-cutout tailpiece provide a lot of breakover angle at the bridge, and the Trestle bracing adds to the sustain, articulation and clarity. It sounds great, and rings out clear and bright.


 

Price: $4599.99 CAD
  • Model: Country Club 6195
  • Year: 1960
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 35316
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 19/04/2018

  • This instrument is on hold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITIES documentation
  • Scale Length: 648mm 25.5in
  • Nut Width: 42.5mm 1.69in
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