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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:17 pm
by BirdofParadise
Does anyone one know if the 6122-1959 were ever made with a Filtertron in the neck position rather than the Supertron?

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:08 am
by Norm
That would make it a 6122 with a wide neck.

The 6122-59 is a replication of Chet's favorite recording guitar. A specific model with specific features. Putting a filter tron there would make it other than what it is.

It's an easy enough swap-out if you had a 6122-59 and wanted to replace the fingerboard pickup but if you have a CG and want to load the pickups the same as a 59 you would have to replace both pickups since the bridge pickup has more output

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:59 am
by Richard Hudson
The original 1959 Country Gentleman, I'm talking about the one made in 1959, had filtertrons. Chet modified his by putting the supertron in the neck and had the bridge pickup rewound to 8k specs.

The G6122-1959, the new reissue, has never, to my knowledge, ever had a filtertron at the neck position. It has always had the supertron neck and the high output (8k) filtertron at the bridge.


Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:09 pm
by bill park
Norm wrote:"...Chet's favorite recording guitar."

His favorite GRETSCH recording guitar...After 1979 or so, he had many favorite GIBSON recording guitars. I've often wondered if the reason Chet never seemed to have a single "favorite" Gibson CG (like his "favorite" '59 Gretsch) was because Gibson, at the time of his endorsements, had more consistent quality control and it wasn't as difficult for Chet to find a "good" one. His displeasure with Gretsch's quality in the 60's and 70's was well-known, and contributed to his switch to GIbson. He sure played a lot of different Gibson CGs over his last 21 years.

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:31 am
by Norm
I remember one time, after he went with Gibson, I said to him something about recording with the old Country Gentleman. He said he didn’t want to. I think he felt it was dishonest to use it after going with Gibson.

One day, years after he went with Gibson when I was playing a Gibson Country Gentleman too, I was over at his office and I said, ‘You know Chet that Gibson Country Gentleman doesn’t have as good of tone as your old Gretsch Country Gentleman.’ He replied ‘Well, don’t tell anybody.’
__Paul Yandell cgp

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:50 am
by bill park
Of course, "tone" is relative. True, the Gibson CG doesn't sound like a Gretsch CG (and I'm sure Chet knew it didn't), but Chet was dynamic - always moving forward with new ideas, new music, and new equipment, so his switch to Gibson, in hindsight, was not surprising. I doubt Chet would have used and endorsed a guitar for the last 21 years of his life that didn't meet his high expectations for what a guitar should sound and play like. It's been said before and I'll say it again - they are BOTH great instruments!

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:06 am
by Norm
A couple of things here...
Two things motivated Chet to jump ship on Gretsch. One was their deteriorating quality control. When they moved the factory out of Brooklyn the experienced guitar making team did not make the move to the new southern factory. Consequently Baldwin had huge issues trying to get a stable product produced.

The second thing was Gretsch's refusal to engineer or adopt what essentially was the Kirk Sand electrical classic design.

Finally, there wasn't one particular Gibson that Chet tinkered like he did his '59. He tried to get Gibson to adopt some Ray Butts pickups but they showed no interest. If there had been a favorite unit Paul Yandell would have certainly spoken out about it.

There is one Gibson CG on page 149 in the MAMG book that looks to have had more work done on it (and more use) than others. It is a battle scarred veteran using violin fine tuners on all six strings but apparently no other modifications.

I think, once he finally got his wish for a solid piece running down the body, he was disappointed. He obviously had issues with the weight of it which is why they switched to compressed balsa for the center section.

Chet had a deep sense of honor. He had signed endorsement contracts so when he recorded or played TV and personals he used the products he endorsed. The DelVecchio was "forgiven" because it was such a unique, non competitive instrument. He used a Telecaster with a B-bender on one recording but, for the most part he finished his career honoring his contracts.
At that point in his career he was favoring the classical strung guitars for many reasons and his electric classic line was a very well thought out guitar I think. It's too bad Gibson chose to abandon it because now the older instruments are showing need of servicing in the pickups that is not easily available but that's another story altogether.

As for both Country Gentleman instruments being fine guitars this is certainly true. They both represent examples of two major companies top-of-the-line instruments.

But there is something to be said for that first wide necked. single cutaway Gretsch 6122 that he got in 1959 and still had when he passed on. He tinkered and used it pretty much exclusively for recording for the rest of his tenure with Gretsch. That guitar, in those hands, recorded in those years, is imbedded in our musical memories. The Gibsons just don't come close to it in the terms of tone.

Here's a thought...
Had Gibson decided to sign Chet in 1954 instead of Gretsch I think we would have seen a very different guitar evolve...something much closer to the D'Angelico.

Something we will never know, of course.

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:08 am
by BirdofParadise
Thanks everyone. I'm looking at a Gretsch CG with Filter Trons in both positions. The guitar was made at the Terada factory in Japan and advertised as a 6122-1959.

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:22 am
by Norm
BirdofParadise wrote:Thanks everyone. I'm looking at a Gretsch CG with Filter Trons in both positions. The guitar was made at the Terada factory in Japan and advertised as a 6122-1959.

Not being able to see the 'advertised as' posting limits response commentary.

All the modern Atkins Gretsch guitars are made by Terada. The 6122-59 comes stock with the wider neck.

The term "Filter Tron" refers to the Gretsch 12 pole pickup. It is their version of the hum cancelling style of pickup and it meters out at 4K

It has variants. The Filter Tron with the two straight bars replacing the twelve screw poles are called "Super Tron", They still meter out at 4 K and on the 6122-59 are stock at the fingerboard position.

On the 6122-59 bridge position is a twelve pole Filter Tron version that has more output, metering at around 8 K.

From what you say at least the fingerboard pickup has been replaced. Again, not seeing the guitar or being able to put a meter on it I would say the instrument is mis-described and is either a different model or has been modified either by its current owner or at the dealer/factory which seems unlikely because I don't think Terada makes custom alterations. I could be wrong.

It's your money. If you like the price and as long as the guitar is using genuine Gretsch parts you'll probably be OK but as I already said, I'm hoping the price is reasonable.

One other thing... if it has two toggle switches on the upper bout it is definitely NOT a 6122-59. Chet eliminated the so called "mud switch" on his unit, the guitar the 6122-59 is based on.

Caveat Emptor (Latin for "Let the buyer beware")

Re: 6122-1959

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:36 pm
by Richard Hudson
That's interesting. Would it be possible to see a pic of the guitar and hopefully a serial number? Especially if it is new. If it is not new, it is possible that someone may have changed the pickup configuration.