The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gretsch 6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman, 1967

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The Gretsch 6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman appeared in 1957 with the 6119 Tennessean, bracketing the popular 6120 model. These were the first of Gretsch’s thin body designs, and unlike Gibson’s new 3xx models, were fully hollow – no center block. Gretsch’s approach to feedback suppression was different, with the sealed ElectroTone body offering some resistance.

Chet Atkins himself promptly switched from a 6120 to the Country Gentleman as his primary studio guitar. One of the reasons was the new humbucking Filter ‘Tron pickups, which to Chet’s ear sounded better than the single coil DeArmond DynaSonics. Despite his own innumerable recordings, his view was apparently that only Duane Eddy got a good sound from the DynaSonics!

In 1964, many things changed for Gretsch and to a large degree, because of one guitar in one player’s hands, particularly after that player used his new Country Gentleman on The Ed Sullivan show during 1964. Of course, this was George Harrison of The Beatles. Unfortunately that particular guitar was destroyed – literally falling onto the M1 motorway immediately prior to their 1965 UK tour.

Those appearances on Ed Sullivan’s show caused Gretsch orders to skyrocket, and production went into high gear. By late 1967, Gretsch had sold its ownership to Baldwin, who offered higher production abilities.    Now, players who want that Beatles tone but can’t find or afford one from the same year will use these extended-production, pre-Baldwin models. 

Here we have an almost all original Gretsch 6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman. Its serial number is 37714, and that’s a date coded serial – the first two or three digits are Month and Year, though there’s no digit for ‘decade’. This serial could indicate a 1959 model, but at that point, the 6122 was a single-cutaway model. The number appears again for March, 1967, which corresponds with the construction, components and features of this example.

This guitar is ‘almost’ all original – when shipped from Gretsch, it would have had a Rocking Bar Bridge. This has been replaced with a tune-o-matic style bridge. All other components, and the finish, are original.

Many Gretsch guitars from this era, depending on production lots, suffer from what’s popularly known as ‘Binding Rot’, and this guitar does NOT have any! That problem was caused by an interaction between the plastics used for the binding, and the glues used to attach the binding.

This guitar is in overall good condition, with the light scuffing and lacquer checking expected of a 50 year old instrument. There is a fair amount of honest play wear to the neck finish. Fret wear is moderate, and it plays well. The Gent has a shorter scale than one might think – on this example, it measures as 24.41 inches or 620mm (or 310mm from the zero to octave fret), and this makes it a bit easier to play.

The original Gretsch hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $3500 CAD
  • Model: 6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
  • Year: 1967
  • Finish Mahogany
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 33714, dates to March 7 1967
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 14/08/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.14lbs 3.76kg
  • Scale Length: 620mm 24.41in
  • Nut Width: 42.5mm 1,69in
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