Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string guit

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Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string guit

Postby Ihate100bees » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:36 pm

I'm shopping around for one of the Chet Atkins CE nylon string guitars for a price of $1,250. I'm hoping the width of the neck will be ok for nylon strings, opposed to the standard wider neck for classical players. It will be used for Classical but I'm not a fan of really wide necks. I occasionally see them come through Nashville and this is what they sell for. Not too sure about the CEC model. I do prefer a natural finish opposed to the black. Anyways, I am not familiar with the background of all of the different years, versions that the CE went through, but I've been offered a 1982 CE and I was just curious if the earlier ones were better, or worse than some others or what any other major changes or maybe done as they progressed. How were the electronics and pickup throughout the history of the versions? In your opinion, what would be the better years Or are they all stable? Thanks so much!
Last edited by Ihate100bees on Wed May 03, 2017 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby albertgen » Tue May 02, 2017 8:54 pm

I think the later ones are better. The early ones were heavy and the bass strings sustained forever. They routed out some wood on the later ones which helped. The pickups are another story. I never liked any of them. Some folks replaced the pickup with other types with good results. Al
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby Roger Pratt » Tue May 02, 2017 11:26 pm

Chet sure got some beautiful music out of those pickups in my opinion.
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby Ihate100bees » Wed May 03, 2017 2:11 am

albertgen wrote:I think the later ones are better. The early ones were heavy and the bass strings sustained forever. They routed out some wood on the later ones which helped. The pickups are another story. I never liked any of them. Some folks replaced the pickup with other types with good results. Al


Interesting. Are the electronics on the CEC identical to what is on the CE and was there ever any changes to them over the years? How about the tuners... do they function well? You mentioned the weight... any idea how much one of the better ones should weigh? thanks!
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby Ray Bohlken » Wed May 03, 2017 3:25 pm

I had one of the early CE custom shop models - an '82 I think. It was kind of heavy, but I didn't mind it, so it wasn't outrageously heavy. I really liked the sound of the pickups even with me playing it. I thought it had a good sound. They have a volume control for each string and I took off the back plate to check out the control and some shims came falling out. They were holding the bridge in the correct position. I didn't care for that at all. Having said that, I kept the guitar for many years and had a good time with it. I sold it when I found a good deal on an 87 Gibson Gent which I also had some fun with.
Here is a link to some specs for the guitars.
http://www.guitar.com.au/guitars/electr ... CE-CEC.htm

I later found this post with some specs and the weight.
https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-custo ... 82-natural
I hope this helps.
Take care,
Ray
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby bill raymond » Wed May 03, 2017 4:33 pm

I beieve there were several versions of the electronics. I think that Gibson had a basic preamp, and then Ray Butts designed a better one. Al Baggetta's site had some schematics, as I recall. But take this all with a grain of salt, as I am just speaking from memory of what I have seen posted here and there.
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby Ihate100bees » Thu May 04, 2017 9:18 pm

Thanks so much, that's exactly what I wanted to find out.
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby albertgen » Thu May 04, 2017 9:34 pm

Chet used to run his earlier ones through a 2 tube bass preamp. I can't remember the unit but it gave him a real nice sound. Al
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby Ray Bohlken » Fri May 05, 2017 2:05 pm

I found this article with the schematic of the volume controls...that's what the article says...I couldn't say if it was or not. There's also a picture of the cavity where the battery and volume controls are.
Ray
http://guitarsawdust.blogspot.com/2010/ ... art-3.html
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Re: Versions and changes to the Chet Atkins CE nylon string

Postby Larry Marchino » Sat May 06, 2017 10:03 am

Interesting thread! I have a 1989 CE that I got used in 1999 and I love it. I have never noticed the G string volume problem on mine. Maybe Gibson fixed the problem between '82 and '89 or may be the previous owner fixed it. I have never adjusted the individual volume controls as I have not had a need to. My only complaint is that there seems to be very little tone adjustment. There is a slight detent or stop in the center or half way point of the tone adjustment wheel and at that point there is a slight increase in the treble, but both ends of the adjustment seem to sound about the same to my ear. I have never heard anyone else mention this. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Also, my '89 still has the classical style peg head and only a volume and a tone control instead of the volume bass and treble the later ones have. I have always wondered when they changed to the Gibson style peg head and to the three controls. I even asked one of the Gibson guys at CAAS back when Chet was still with Gibson and he said he didn't know.

Larry
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