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Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:19 pm
by senojnad
BirdofParadice --The guitar you are looking at is a 6122-1958: ... 2401131892

Its outward appearances are very similar to the 6122-1959 except for the pickups, the Bigsby arm and the tone controls.

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:18 pm
by senojnad
I f the guitar has 2 Filtertron pickups, a tone switch and a flat arm on the Bigsby, it is a stock 6122-1958: ... 2401131892

(Sorry if this is a duplication -- I posted similar info earlier but it doesn't show up...)

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:30 pm
by BirdofParadise
Thanks Richard. Here is the link:

As you can see the guitar has 12 pole pickup in both positions and has two toggles in the upper bout. The serial # is JT08020559. Based on the Gretsch catalog pictures and description, this would a 6122-1958 but the bridge is wrong or has been changed.


Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:42 pm
by gmoseley
I don't know why I never mentioned this on the Chetboard before, probably because it never came to mind that this would be of any importance. Although Paul felt the same way as we all do about the 6122-59 being the Holy Grail since it was Chet's mainstay guitar for so many years, Paul did think about tinkering with it by replacing the Super Tron in the neck position with a regular Filtron pickup. He even offered to experiment with it by replacing the neck pickup in my 2004 Nashville Classic. He said, "you could play it for a while and see what you think,,if you don't like it I'll put the Super Tron back in. We never did it, all we did was talk about doing it. As Norm said, it would make the guitar a completely "different animal", Paul thought it might even make it a little "sweeter" for playing the slower tunes (?) It would be sort of like the '58 CG with a wider neck (and a hotter bridge pickup).

I wonder today if all this was in the back of Paul's mind when he started designing his own pickup which turned out to evolve into having both the "bars" and the "screws" - - a half and half version now being marketed by T.V. Jones.

Thinking back on the subject now, I wish we had gone ahead and tried his idea, ALTHOUGH, how could one improve the 6122-59 design? He wasn't really trying to "improve" anything, he just had his natural curiosity and as we all know, that lead to many great guitar and amplifier modifications! He would try anything if it came into his mind, some things worked out, some they didn't,,that never stopped him, he was a true genius when it came to guitars and amps.

Just thought I'd throw that in since the discussion turned in that direction.

Gayle Moseley

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:15 pm
by senojnad
BirdofParadise wrote:Thanks Richard. Here is the link:

As you can see the guitar has 12 pole pickup in both positions and has two toggles in the upper bout. The serial # is JT08020559. Based on the Gretsch catalog pictures and description, this would a 6122-1958 but the bride is wrong or has been changed.


That is a 6122-1958.

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:43 am
by Richard Hudson
Apparently, a very important post to the mystery was deleted or got lost somehow. The craigslist link is obviously a l958 and not a 1959. What a difference one little number makes.

In one of our conversations, Paul mentioned that he had recommended a change in the neck of the G6122-1958 that made it a much easier playing guitar. His recommendation was implemented, but I never did get to try one to see the difference, but as Gayle mentioned, Paul was all about tinkering and what ifs. He was also a gold mine of new ideas. I'm sure we would still be seeing improvements in design and outright new models with Gretsch if Paul were still here.

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:34 am
by Norm
The 6122-58 has a metal nut instead of the zero fret and will not have the wider fingerboard.

1959 was the last year any modifications were made to the single cutaway Country Gentleman. They finalized the bar bridge, half moon inlays, Grover Imperial "stair step" tuning pegs, installed the zero fret and added the "Vee cut" Bigsby.

There were no more changes made to the guitar until 1962 when Jimmie Webster got them to make the "George Harrison" double cutaway version with the mutes and backpad.

My 6122, while actually made in 1961, qualifies as a "59" because of the design features I already mentioned. It originally did come with two standard Filter-Trons.

Chet, as Richard pointed out, added the double bar pickup and rewired the bridge pickup to his guitar. He had ordered one with a wider fingerboard (a little known option at the time) and claimed that particular guitar's fingerboard noted better in many ways than other gretsch guitars. That is likely the main reason he held on to that instrument. It just happened to be a better playing guitar.
He didn't care for the Grover Imperials and swapped them out for the fatter "butter bean" tuning pegs. After years of tinkering different switching combinations he finally took out the tone switch and just left the pickup selector.

THAT is what you get with the 6122-59

I did a lot of modifications on my guitar to bring it up to specs to be as much like the 6122-59 as I could but of course I could not replace the standard neck.

Here's a link to my guitar listing the modifications I did to it. Not only did I upgrade the pickups but I also anchored the Bigsby and made the stringing bar a straight through affair. That, btw, is something I highly reccomend.

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:24 pm
by gmoseley
That headstock does look more like a '59 but the body width and size looks like a '58 to me. And that bridge is a weird looking animal (??) He says it has a "slightly wider neck", I wish he had measured it at the nut with calipers and included that in the description.


Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:54 pm
by albertgen
I think the Gibson Country Gent is a great guitar. I have an Orange one that I bought in 93. I originally bought the Wine Red Custom shop model in 86. I didn't like it, it was too heavy and the tone knob was almost in the way of the curved arm vibrato, and the switch was in the lower bout. It was wine Red but appeared Black. I got rid of it later and bought the 93 which was made much better and lighter. It is a great guitar! So is the Gretsch 59. I did the same thing with the Gretsch guitar, at first I bought the 58 and had it about 5 years then they came out with the 59 which I like much better. Has any one out there bought one of those new bar/screw pickups yet, and if so what are your opinions? Thank, Al

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:52 pm
by gmoseley
Richard, you mentioned Paul's thoughts about designing the neck of the '58 to make it easier to play, and that reminded me of Paul's design thoughts when he was working on the CGP. Paul always thought that the neck on the 6122-59 might be a little difficult for some smaller hands to master because it gets pretty wide up at the 10th and 12th frets (although he loved the idea of the 1 3/4" nut). He also thought that the neck of the '58 wasn't wide enough. So when he designed the CGP, he spec'd out his Gibson CG (wash my mouth out with soap :o ) and used those measurements on the CGP neck.
Now of course, there was going to be some slight differences because the Gibson CG and the 6122-59 were both long-scale guitars and the CGP was going to be a short-scale. . . .he loved that CGP after he got it done. It's neck is sorta between the sizes of the BIG 6122-59 and the smaller '58, but of course Paul did carry over the 1 3/4" nut to the CGP. I certainly would not begin to speak for Paul by saying that it was his favorite Gretsch but he did praise it highly in the playability factor! I'm like you Richard, for some strange reason, I could never bond with the CGP as I did with the 6122-59 Country Gentleman but they's why they make a gillion different models . . . .something for everyone's tastes.

There will NEVER be another one like ole Paul, we who knew him miss him terribly and I'm sure these feelings are shared by Mr. Fred Gretsch.