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Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:54 pm
by Norm
I agree with David

The single cutaway walnut Gentleman with the understated aluminium Bigsby (as opposed to a gold plated one) had an unmatched elegance and beauty unmatched to this day

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:50 pm
by Mike Nye
SuperChets were a real crap shoot. Some buyers were lucky enough to get a good one, and some got smacked in the face when the neck joint let loose upon opening the case. They'd also had problems where excess glue from the mortise & tenon joint worked it's was into the geared truss-rod key-wind unit, thus eliminating any adjustment of the truss-rod. Don't get me wrong, if someone is willing to buck up to have one BULLETPROOFED, they're really nice instruments.

I've bought a few DIRT CHEAP over the years, as the guys who'd owned 'em wouldn't drop a dime on 'em to professionally set 'em up correctly . . .

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:19 pm
by Pickin Palmer
The SuperChet and associated stories are wonderful. We've got a few up here in the Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club: JD Norman - (2) Terry Efaw - (1) the first prototype Charlie Berwinkle - (1) with Octabass strings on it.

JD was in love with his his first SC and used it as his "playing" guitar, but was getting nervous about "taking it out." Sooo, we stopped by Don Dean's house out in Louisville on our way out to Muhlenberg County, KY one time and bought his second one. (Don had some big bodied beauties!) She was a red beauty, but as some of the guys mentioned here - she didn't have a Bigsby. Sooo, he bought a brass one mail order. We, then, took a trip down to Cinci (from Columbus) to buy some brass hardware from the late Duke Kramer, the ex-executive of the Gretsch factory (I guess down in or near Cinci) who had a huge parts inventory in his house he bought (I hope) from the factory when he left. JD wasn't the kind to mess around when he wanted the "best" to work on his guitars - soooo, all the way out to Indiana he drove to have Bob Foster put the Bigsby on and finish setting up the SC. Crazy things us ol' pickers will do for our guitars.

Terry Efaw won his prototype SC that Clyde Edwards built (I believe in the old Baldwin factory.) Terry bested the amazing Rick Allred in one of only two "national Chet Atkins" contests waaaay back in the early 70s and Chet personally presented him with the beautiful new model for coming in first place. (Terry was amazed because he knew Rick was a better "note-for-note" Chet player, but because Terry couldn't figure out all of Chet's licks he threw in some of his own. Must be Pat Kirtley was one of the judges - because that it what they must have been looking for - and, awarded Terry the grand prize.) The SC has been going back and forth from his closet to being highlighted on his gigs for years. He presently carries it on every gig he does - and, does it ever sound GOOD!! (You should hear him play Baubles, Bangles, and Beer Barrels on it!) Yea, those pots under the pick guard "still" cause him some problems.

I don't know where or when Charlie Berwinkle bought his SC, however he's set it up with octabass strings - and, can play every tune off that Solo Flights album with it. (So can't Robert Anderson...actually once he starts to play "one" - he can't stop until he's played every tune on the album. (lol) Charlie moves around quite a bit - from Ohio down to Georgia - back to somewhere up near Dover. If somebody has heard from him - I'd like his info... thanks


PS JD Norman isn't doing too well after his brain surgery to remove "most" of a malignant tumor and subsequent massive amounts of chemo and can't play his SCs much, anymore. So, I have replaced his NINES on one of them with a set of "manly" (lol) Chrome 11's - and, I play it for him a little bit every time I go visit. It's a smoooooth playing guitar - with the right strangs on it. LOL

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:03 pm
by Eddie Estes
The Super Chet on that album cover has a different headstock than the production ones I think.
That is the only one I ever saw like that.

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:42 pm
by Paul Rauch
My Super Chet was made with a gold Bigsby with a wire handle that swivels 360 degrees, which accomodates my single string playing. I don't see how anything could be better on any account. Just lucky, I guess.
I'm sorry to hear about JD. I've had chemo thirty years ago and five years ago. He can come through the situation. Best of luck to JD.

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:30 pm
by Gene1000
I own two SCs, both in mint condition. One is a 1974, the other is a 1975. One with Bigsby, one without. They are two of the finest guitars I have ever played and I've played hundreds of all types. The "feel" of these is like no other.

If Baldwin ever got a bad reputation, it wasn't because of their Super Chets.

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:36 pm
by Mike Nye

Consider yourself extremely lucky ! ! !

SuperChets are either the BEST of THE BEST, or WORST of THE WORST . . .

I've re-set (re-attached) more necks on SCs than I can remember . . .


Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:49 pm
by Gene1000
I own two SCs, both in great shape. One with Bigsby, one without. Absolutely amazing instruments. They have a "feel"like no other guitar I've played and I've played hundreds. One of the bridges is slightly tarnished and I'd like to buy another bridge, provided I can locate one in excellent condition. Or, perhaps buy a new bridge that would have the same hole spacing as the current wood base it sits on.

Anyone know where I could locate a gold plated bridge for a 1974 Super Chet?

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:55 pm
by Mike Nye
If cost is no object, you might find a new one at Warpdrive Music in Milwaukee. If not, completely disassemble it and have the metal parts re-plated in 24K Gold if the wood base is OK . . .

Re: Super Chet!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:31 pm
by Gene1000
Thank you for your reply. I've emailed them to see if they can help. Apparently they are now called "Cream City Music".