Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby George Beasley » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:54 pm

Since Chet used the "red" solid-top guitar on this album...how exactly did he utilize the split coil/stereo pickup? I don't think there are obvious instances of panning...but I have heard he ran three strings through echo and three dry, or would EQ the separate string sets separately, etc.

Any specific examples of exactly what he was doing on a particular cut on that album?
Thanks,
George
George Beasley
 
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby thenorm » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:09 am

That would be a tough call because I think it was done in mono. Add to that Chet and Ray probably weren't thinking "stereo" at the time since if it existed at all it was still in its infancy and limited to tape decks. As far as I know he never used the guitar (or any that I'm aware of) in a live "stereo" application.

If you slow the songs down (33 rpm to 16 rpm for example) it is easier to actually hear the repeats in any use of echo units. I suggest you try that and listen to see if you can tell echo on three strings and not on the other.

__________ In a simlar vein, someone brought up some tracks Chet made on the Mister Guitar album (I think it was) where he appears to be using a 'stero' guitar presumably after the Redtop had been given away.

He had some kind of 'drop-on' split pickup he used from time to time. If you listen to "Guitar Genius" thru headphones there are a couple of songs where he is clearly using a split pickup, I say "drop-on" because Paul pointed it out in a certain photo of the session Chet and Jim Atkins did, Chet has a single cut Gentleman and you can clearly see what looks like a grey wire running near the pickguard. Paul said that was for a split pickup Chet used occasionally. Sorry but I don't have any more details than that. Chet had his own winder and he also had Ray Butts on call and Chet, Ray and Paul were all good at trying this and that to enhance guitar sounds.

Chet could easily switch out a pickup on his bench if he wanted to, He could very well have a "stereo" pickup he could drop in when he wanted to. It probably didnt' look too good (thinking about that wire) but the public seldom sees what gets used in a recording session.
thenorm
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby Ray Bohlken » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:09 pm

I wonder if Ray Butts did the stereo pickups on all of the other stereo Gretsch guitars - the White Falcons, Country Clubs, and Anniversaries. I wonder if Chet had any input on that, based on his experience with the "Red topped" guitar, or was Jimmie Webster the driving force behind the other versions. Did all of the Gretsch stereo versions have the split between the 3 bass and the 3 treble strings? It would be fun to play with a CGP or one of the other stereo guitars and see what you could come up with. I never heard Jimmie Webster's stereo album with the stereo White Falcon, but I've read that he did a lot with the stereo feature on that album. I saw him play once at a local music store, but he played a mono White Falcon. I once had an ES-345 Gibson with the stereo, but that one had each pickup going to a seperate output line. I didn't find that too useful and soon sold the guitar.
Ray
Ray Bohlken
 
Posts: 716
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:53 am

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby Richard Hudson » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:22 pm

It always seemed to me like Chet put the repeat echo on the bass strings and reverb only on the treble strings. Chet may be the only one to know for sure, but that is what it always sounded like to me.
Richard Hudson
 
Posts: 570
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:24 am

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby thenorm » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:40 pm

I wonder if Chet had any input on that, based on his experience with the "Red topped" guitar, or was Jimmie Webster the driving force behind the other versions...."

Jimmie Webster.

Chet did not seem to be interested in "stereo" guitar. I think if he had been he would have gone for the full, double amp setup onstage and as far as I know he never did this. The split pickup was just a way to uniquely enhance his recordings. In the late fifties when he refined that red top his was the only one like it.

Paul Yandell put it this way (and he would know):

"...Chet's guitar had one stereo pickup (splitting the treble and bass strings) and it was the neck pickup. The CGP has two output jacks so you can use two amps or record two dif-ferent tracks with effects on either track. This is what Chet did in the studio sometimes. He only used the split pickup mode in the studio where he could control the EQ on the board. ..."

I think Gretsch made pickups under license from Ray so it would have not been necessary for Ray to custom build them. I don't think Chet had any interest in Gretsch guitars that weren't his signature line and there were no Falcons in his collection or quotes.

Jimmie Webster loved gadgetry but the Stereo Falcon never sold well probably because hauling around the extra amp was of little interest to the buyer and, besides, the novelty would wear off pretty quickly I would think. But Webster loved gadgets and furbelows (like mutes and padded backs) Part of the reason was he thought change was good but I think the other part was that his name was on some of the patents and, hey... money to be made!
thenorm
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby stan surman » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:08 pm

The stereo White Falcon was quite different from the CGP.It offered 54 tone-color variations made possible by four split Filter Tron heads--- two bass and two treble giving nine different settings,plus three-way bass and treble tone switches providing six tone settings for each head combination.
stan surman
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:16 am

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby thenorm » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:40 pm

It had to be a nighmare to run or service. Way too busy.

I remember it had a junction box for it. Stereo plug from guitar to the box and separate amp cords from the box to the amp
thenorm
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby Ray Bohlken » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:14 am

Thanks for your thoughts on my stereo questions. Norm, I appreciate your opinions as always and Stan, the info on the White Falcon set up was great, too. Did you ever play one of those? I always wanted to have a stereo White Falcon to play with for a day or so, but never wanted to own one. Y'all have a great day.
Ray
Ray Bohlken
 
Posts: 716
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:53 am

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby David Elliott » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:37 pm

"Jimmie Webster loved gadgetry but the Stereo Falcon never sold well probably because hauling around the extra amp was of little interest to the buyer and, besides, the novelty would wear off pretty quickly I would think"...

Actually, I think the major reason the White Falcon guitar did not sell all that well, was because of the cost. At one time, Gretsch actually advertised that it was the "world's most expensive production guitar", (which was a real ploy aimed at "snob appeal".) :)

Personally, I always felt the guitar was embarrassingly tacky/gaudy looking, (especially when compared to the beautiful Country Gentleman). It looked like it was a special order thing for Elvis Presley, (to "match" his attire)! :roll:

Oh well, to each his own...

David
David Elliott
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:43 pm
Location: Simi Valley, California

Re: Finger Style Guitar album, and the "red" guitar.

Postby stan surman » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:01 pm

Thanks Ray. There is a photo of my Stereo White Falcon on page 111 of Jay Scott's book "The Guitars Of The Fred Gretsch Company". I'm sorry I sold It. It was a blast to play and one of the best sounding Gretsch guitars that I ever owned. It actually was not that complicated .
stan surman
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:16 am

Next

Return to Mister Guitar, Chet Atkins

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests