"Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

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"Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Randy Finney » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:10 pm

I got this off eBay over the weekend. It hasn't arrived yet so, I have no idea whether it can be restored to a usable piece of equipment. At any rate, I bought it for its "cool vibe" factor.

Anyone have any stories about the history of these? Did Chet ever actually play through one?

Randy

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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby thenorm » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:16 pm

Seems to me I read somewhere that he had one in his basement but he never seriously used one. He may have used one at the old guitar trade shows when he did them for Gretsch and a couple of promotional photo shoots (teen scene album cover for one) but that would be about it. They were made by National Valco as a 'goes with' amp for the Gretsch Chet Atkins guitar line but Gretsch amps didn't have the tonal or commercial impact of companies like Fender etc.

Chet used medium sized "tweed" Fender amps until he got his Standel and after that it was Standel for recording. His road amps varied but he finally settled on Music Man amps later on in his career.

But, no, the Gretsch amps were not a noted part of his equipment

Interesting find, though. As you say a "vibe" kind of thing...
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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby mpn » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:49 pm

During the height of my involvement retail music biz back in the mid to late 70's, I'd get someone wanting to trade one in for a Fender Twin or something else. Another store in the area had one that they took in on trade that they couldn't give away.

I thought it was a nice sounding amp, but maybe a bit underpowered compared to a Fender Twin or Deluxe.

and did I say HEAVY ! ! !
mpn
 

Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Billy Anderson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:14 pm

I have what I think is a 1964 model of this amp which I bought used at a local music store back in the 70's/80's period. I bought it only because it had Chet's name on it and it was cheap. Mine does not seem to be too heavy, and it does sound pretty good (really clean). I have not played it very much because my main amps have been Peavey's (Stereo 400 Chorus and Vypyr 60). It will probably end up on eBay along with my Super Chet when my son inherits my music (read junk) room in the not too distant future. KOPAP. Billy
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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Randy Finney » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:15 pm

That's great. Does yours still have the "Chet Logo" on the grill cloth? Like in this picture...

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I have a feeling that will be the the most difficult thing to replace as I restore mine.

Any chance you take a close-up, hi-res photo of it for me?
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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Billy Anderson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:58 pm

The logo on mine was broken a little when I bought it. It looks like "Cne Atkin." I have read on this board or the Gretsch board there is someone who can duplicate the logo. Maybe someone knows who this is and can give you a link to his site. Hope you can find this because that name looks awful cool on that amp. Let us know if you find him. Billy
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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Billy Anderson » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:06 pm

I didn't read your last line until I had closed my post. I have a little cheap Canon Digital camera but I am not much of a photographer. I will try to take some pictures possibly tomorrow and upload it for you. Be patient because it may take me a day or two to figure everything out. Billy
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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Billy Anderson » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:22 pm

Randy, I have about 10-12 pictures of my amp but can only upload three. If you want all the pictures, send me your e-mail address and I will get them to you. If you only want three, tell me your preference (front, back, top) and I will try to pick out what I think are the three best. Sorry. By the way, I forgot that the "h" is also missing from Gretsch on the grill. Let me know. Thanks. KOPAP. Billy
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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Billy Anderson » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:30 pm

I forgot to give you my e-mail address. It is banderson525@comcast.net. Billy
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Re: "Country Gentleman Model" Amplifier

Postby Peter Clifton » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:08 pm

If you go onto Gretsch Pages and tell them you're restoring this amp and what you need, you'll find they are very helpful. From how to clean the panel, replace the grille material and Chet logo, there are several posters who've done this and will be happy to pass the knowledge on.
I played one of these when new in the 60s, but couldn't afford it then. I'd sure like to get hold of one now, but rare as hens teeth here in the UK.
Good luck.
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