The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean 6119 Thinline Electric Walnut, 1966

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Here is a Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean 6119, dating to December of 1966, before the July 31 1967 sale of Gretsch to the Baldwin Piano Company. Introduced in 1958 and built until 1980, the Tennessean started as full size, hollow body and single-pickup, plainer version of the 6120. For 1961, however, Gretsch made dramatic changes to many models and the 6119 gained the new, sealed ElectroTone body and a pair of new single coil HiLo’Tron pickups.

This Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean 6119, was built at Gretsch’s plant in Brooklyn, New York. At this point, Gretsch had launched a serial number system in which the first two digits indicate month and the next digit maps to the last digit of the year. In this case those digits are 126, or December of 1066. The other three digits – here 541 – are that instrument’s position in the monthly production run.

The Chet Atkins Tennessean 6119 from 1961 used the sealed ElectroTone body, which maintains the responsiveness of an arched top design but with feedback rejection. Chet Atkins had been urging Gretsch to take cues from the very successful Gibson ES-335’s solid center block, but Gretsch was reluctant to go that far. On the ElectroTone body, the F-holes are paint or decals. The body is Maple laminate, the neck is a three-piece design of two sections of Maple with a Walnut center, and the bound, zero-fret fingerboard is Indian Rosewood. The position markers are Gretsch’s own ‘neo-classic’ or ‘thumbnail’ style.

For hardware, this 1966 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean 6119 uses a V-cutout, Gretsch branded Bigsby B6 true vibrato tailpiece paired with a simplified version of the Rocking Bar Bridge on an Ebony base. 

At the head, there is a set of open-gear Van Gent – sometimes spelled Van Ghent – tuners. Van Gent is still in business, located in Ulft, Netherlands.

Electronics include a pair of single-coil HiLo’Tron pickups, and Gretsch’s full mono wiring setup with a Master Volume and individual volume controls, plus pickup selector, tone, and standby switches.

This guitar is in overall good condition, with the most visible wear being a common, small crack in the plexiglass pickguard.  Fret wear is moderate.   It has been recently serviced and set up, and plays very nicely. The original hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $3,950.00 CAD
  • Model: tennessean 6119
  • Year: 1966
  • Finish Walnut Gloss
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 126541
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 02/04/2020

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.15lbs 3.25kg
  • Scale Length: 620mm 24.4in
  • Nut Width: 44.11mm 1.736in
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