from PaulYandell's workshop

Talk about guitars, amps and other gear.

from PaulYandell's workshop

Postby Norm » Wed May 04, 2016 9:11 pm

Paul Yandell’s son Micah, asked me to post this recent photo for your viewing pleasure. It shows variations of the single cut Country Gentleman from Paul’s original collection. All of them show signs of Paul’s never ending curiosity to try out different ideas. A real “what if we do ___” kind of guy.

From left to right, the first one is a modern Country Gentleman. The center one is the 1959 restored that he played with Kitty Wells for ten years and the last is the Nashville Classic prototype with his modifications. The original Country Gentleman (in the center) is really much lighter than either of the other two. Also, all three of those handles are ones he changed and modified, the knobs are not original. He really liked the butter bean keys. At some point I will probably replace the imperials

__Micah Yandell

The one on the left has the special pickup Paul designed that combines the standard Filter-Tron with Super Tron now marketed by our TV Jones (as the Duo-Tron) as well as the Classic Plus (8K) bridge pickup.

The front pickup is one Dad made. He made three or four of them before
TV started making them. The wiring harness is TV Jones.

__Micah Yandell

It also has a device known as the Chaput “Sta-Tuned” mounted on the Bigsby. It was a fine-tuning gadget designed to stabilize the tuning at the Bigsby. Paul said it worked great but it may no longer be available. This guitar also has a clamping device near the nut that Paul devised to further help stabilize the tuning. These two items are discussed in greater detail in the book.

The one on the far right again looks like a 6122-59 with a tone knob added and what looks like a Compton bridge. Paul spoke well of the Tru-Arc bridge but there is no way to tell if one is used on the other two guitars. As far as I know the Country Gentleman’s never came in a three knob configuration so it was probably something Paul decided to try. The blue pick on the Bigsby handle is Paul’s. Micah leaves it there as a memento to his father.

The two outer guitars have dark grey foam material in the Bigsby harp section to quell overtones.

The middle guitar is the most interesting…

Micah says this was his dad’s main guitar when he played his ten year stint with Kitty Wells. Micah said that Art Wiggs recently finished restoring it.

That guitar went through its own share of modification while Paul had it. He got it when he got discharged from the army. His heavily modified 6120 had been broken in transit getting shipped home from Germany. Consequently he bought this one, S/N 30438, which puts it early (1959) in the run of Gentlemans but Paul may have actually purchased it in 1960.

The first thing a gretschaholic will notice is the pickguard. It is like a 6120 signpost pickguard…definitely not standard.

At the time of the restoration project, Gretsch didn't have any regular Gentleman pickguards available, I'm planning on putting the original pickguard back on it as soon as it arrives.
When I first got the guitar back, Dad had put double position markers on the fingerboard, top and bottom. I had to make some decisions concerning the guitar, so I opted to keep it as close to what he had as possible but upgrade it to the modern style. I know Dad would have done the same thing. He liked vintage, but like the modern as well.

__Micah Yandell

It originally came with the mud switch/selector switch configuration all Country Gentlemans had in those days. At one time during his Kitty Wells period he had a third toggle next to the selector switch, it’s use forever a mystery. Now, as you can see, all that remains is the selector switch. The Grover Super Imperial tuners are original. The pickups on this guitar of course, are not original as Micah already indicated. They are Duo-Trons installed aligned different ways from each other. (Right-Left)

The white outline on the F-holes were another mystery to me I have seen photos of him playing this guitar in Kitty’s band show, a standard sixties Gentleman… walnut finish with no outlining on the F-holes. Micah chimed in with this explanation:

Norm, when I got it back, the top was so butchered up with Gibson pickups and extra knobs, the top had to be replaced, I wish you could hear Art's story about all the things that were wrong with the guitar..
As far as the white lined F holes, that was my decision when restoring the guitar, Dad really liked the Hall of fame with the white line f holes. Art and I talked about it and I decided to use the white line f holes with the restoration project to give it character. Like I mentioned, he really like the modern changes... I know the guitar will never be considered mint condition. This was more about what dad would have done.

__Micah Yandell


Although Micah’s information (and some of those modifications) are too recent to have been included, Paul himself discusses the development of the 6122-59 and the Duo-Tron pickup in the book "Paul Yandell, Second to the Best … a Sideman’s Chronicle" available for pre-order at your favorite book venue.

(I know, I know…that is an unabashed plug for the book.)

You may now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast…

...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples:
That should do it.
Posts: 1333
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: redwood city ca

Re: from PaulYandell's workshop

Postby Roger Pratt » Wed May 04, 2016 11:29 pm

Many thanks Norm! I am anxiously awaiting my copy of your book.
Roger Pratt
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:45 pm

Return to Guitars and Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests