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1957 Country Gentleman @ Gruhn Guitars

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:48 am
by guitarchuck
Here's a guitar for some rich guitar collector:

Re: 1957 Country Gentleman @ Gruhn Guitars

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:06 pm
by Vidar Lund
An extremely rare bird, one of the three first Country Gentlemans ever. Ed Ball wrote an article about them in Vintage Guitar magazine, February 2014.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:36 pm
by guitarchuck

Re: 1957 Country Gentleman @ Gruhn Guitars

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:43 pm
by Vidar Lund
Thanks Chuck, that´s the one. I always smile a little reading statements like this: "The little-known truth is it was also a response to all the things Atkins did not like about the first model Gretsch conjured for him – the 6120 Hollowbody." Chet obviously wasn´t too happy with some (most?) of the guitars we all love as listeners and players. Are we all wrong? :shock:

Re: 1957 Country Gentleman @ Gruhn Guitars

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:18 pm
by Norm
"Kid, when you buy something, you get something some guy designed for himself, not you. Spend the time finding one that is close to what you want, then do what is necessary to make it yours. Then you have what YOU want, not what some other guy thinks you should have".
__Les Paul (Quoted by Scott Jordan)

When Chet describes "designing" the first 6120 he cited a metal nut, a straight and simple bridge, and the Bigsby of course. He asked them to make their stock f-holes smaller in the first runs too.

Later on, aside from the pickup issue, he decided he had asked for too narrow a neck although he didn't go for the really wider neck until 1959. The sealed top was a good idea and all these things came about just when Webster pushed the company to beat the very visually attractive Les Paul Custom for market share.

It is a hard to imagine a perk to have enough juice that causes guitar companies to build you whatever you want.

Chet had some good ideas but some crashed and burned. The Super Chet looked impressive but was unremarkable in tone. He kept harping at them for the solid center block on his signature guitars and when he finally got his wish with Gibson he found that maple blocks inside plywood guitars add up to a lot of weight and found the concept disappointing. They eventually used pressed balsa for the center block but again, mainly due to the pickups Gibson insisted on using, the electric CG's did not have nearly as good a tone as the Gretsch line did.

So, no, Vidar, we aren't "wrong". We just need to follow Les Paul's advice.

Oh...and practice more... nothing improves your playing and tone like practice...

Re: 1957 Country Gentleman @ Gruhn Guitars

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:19 pm
by Vidar Lund
A listener in the fifties may have had difficulties discerning the difference in sound between Chet´s (and others players´) various guitars, especially bearing in mind the low sound quality of the old 78 rpm shellac records, played on wind-up grammophones with needles like spikes and pickups weighing 150 grams. Radio sounded better though, especially FM radio. Things got dramatically better during the sixties of course. The artists in the studio with top quality gear felt differently of course. They heard the real thing as it should sound.