JS-Chet Prototype

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JS-Chet Prototype

Postby BirdofParadise » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:46 pm

As you know, Gibson produced the very popular and highly regarded Johnny Smith model archtop guitars between 1961 and 1989. In 1990, Gibson approached Chet Atkins with the idea of creating a new signature model for him. This guitar is the original custom shop prototype for the new Chet Atkins model, based on the Johnny Smith body style. The neck was modified to better accommodate Chet’s finger style playing, and tone bar bracing was used to reduce feedback when playing at the volumes Chet used while performing. This guitar was built and signed by James W. Hutchins, a veteran master luthier of the Gibson Custom Shop.

Not sure if Chet ever played this on stage but he did give it to his nephew Gary Atkins (Jimmy's son) who lived in Ft Collins CO. Gary actually drove to Nashville to pick it up rather than having it shipped. Gary recently passed away and I purchased this instrument from the family.

Has anyone ever seen this guitar?
Attachments
gibson-chet-atkins-prototype-2.jpg
gibson-chet-atkins-prototype-10.jpg
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby guitarchuck » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:36 am

Hi,
I've read about this guitar in George Gruhn's Vintage Guitar Guide book, but I'd never seen any photos until now. Thanks for posting! (by the way, the second photo doesn't show up on my computer).
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby gmoseley » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:08 am

Hello Bird,
How about posting some more photos so we can actually see what the guitar looks like - - neck, headstock, etc.

What is the width at the nut?

Regards,
Gayle Moseley
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby BirdofParadise » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:00 am

More photos - see below

Body size at lower bout: 17" Body depth: 3” Scale length: 25.5" Nut width: 1 3/4"'

Materials: Hand carved, top quality book-matched solid spruce top; solid maple sides, highly figured 5-piece maple neck; hand carved book-matched beautifully figured flame maple back; ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl and abalone block position markers, mother of pearl and abalone headstock inlay; 7-ply body binding, 5-ply headstock binding, bound fingerboard and f-holes, bone nut. Mother of pearl inlay at the top of the headstock reads “The Gibson”; the back is stamped "Original Gibson Prototype" (See pic #28)

Hardware: Original hardware includes finger-style gold-plated tailpiece; solid ebony bridge with mother of pearl inlay in base; gold Imperial Grover tuners; gold floating Johnny Smith humbucking pickup; bound tortoise pickguard; original truss rod cover with "Chet Atkins" imprint. Tone and volume controls are mounted to the underside of the pickguard.

Notes: Gibson produced the very popular and highly regarded Johnny Smith model archtop guitars between 1961 and 1989. In 1990, Gibson approached Chet Atkins with the idea of creating a new signature model for him. This guitar is the original prototype for a new Chet Atkins model, based on the Johnny Smith body style. The neck was modified to better accommodate Chet’s finger style playing, and tone bar bracing was used to reduce feedback when playing at the volumes Chet used while performing. This guitar was built and signed by James W. Hutchins, a veteran master luthier of the Gibson Custom Shop.

This guitar is in very good condition for a 20+ year-old instrument. There is slight plating wear on the pickup and on the pickguard bracket. A very fine split in the top of the guitar, near the cutout on the treble side, has been professionally repaired and is stable. There are also some small finish chips on the neck below the fingerboard where it meets the body. The guitar has seen very little playing time; fret wear is minimal.

The original Gibson labels on this guitar read:

Label 1, visible from the treble side f-hole:
The Gibson Master Model
Style JS Chet
Serial # 91160900

Label 2, visible from the bass side f-hole:
The top, back, tone bars and air-chamber of this instrument were tested, tuned and the assembled instrument tried and approved June 7, 1990. Signed James W. Hutchins
Last edited by BirdofParadise on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby guitarchuck » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:39 pm

Dropbox says the photo folder does not exist.
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby BirdofParadise » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:18 am

guitarchuck wrote:Dropbox says the photo folder does not exist.


Chuck: Sorry the folder exists but this "'ole boy' needs to figure out how to share it.
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby BirdofParadise » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:45 am

See below!!
Last edited by BirdofParadise on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby BirdofParadise » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:46 am

BirdofParadise wrote:
guitarchuck wrote:Dropbox says the photo folder does not exist.


Chuck: Sorry the folder exists but this "'ole boy' needs to figure out how to share it.


Finally have the pics posted. With the assistance of my outstanding assistance this link works!!!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rxgdy98y852itep/M5Y__ECfRG
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby GaryL » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:04 pm

Thanks for posting the pictures. What a beautiful instrument. I'd love to hear it!
GaryL
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Re: JS-Chet Prototype

Postby BirdofParadise » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:06 pm

GaryL wrote:Thanks for posting the pictures. What a beautiful instrument. I'd love to hear it!
GaryL


Plays better than I know how!! :9 I will try to post a tune or two.
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