Gretsch 6119 Chet Atkins Tennessean Walnut 1964
Gretsch 6119 Chet Atkins Tennessean, made in NYC 1964. This is a proper vintage Gretsch; it's aged gracefully and radiates mojo and majesty. The 6119 changed a few times between it's inception in 1959 and 1964 when this was born; it was initially a stripped-down version of the iconic 6120 but quickly became a different beast altogether with different pickups, body depth, switching and more. The original walnut stained top and mahogany stained back and sides have aged to absolute perfection; the rich warm hue has traded it's original gloss for a refined, rubbed satin that really shows of the richness of the colour and the subtleties of the grain; the unbound back is especially stunning. The binding looks great; the original ret dot markers and thumb-inlays are awesome; save for a few cracks right up the high end of the fretboard (see pics and info below) it's is largely free from the common 'binding rot' many vintage Gretsch guitars suffer. The Hilo'Tron pickups were basically a single coil take on the Filter'Tron, so you get an amazing snappy treble matched with a warm controlled bass and excellent dynamic response. The well played-in aged maple body really sings, it has a warmth and a balanced, mellow thickness that comes only with age that compliments the trademark Gretsch snappiness and bite perfectly... what an absolute pleasure to hear it is! George Harrison very regularly sighted with a 1962 Gretsch 6119 throughout his Beatles career, as if the endorsement of guitar royalty like Chet Atkins wasn't enough to make this supremely desirable in 1964. This is truly a brilliant instrument, and given it hails from the famed period before Baldwin's buyout of Gretsch in 1967, it's surely a pretty safe bet to appreciate steadily from here. What a splendid creature!
Model: Gretsch 6119 Chet Atkins Tennessean
Made: USA, New York City, 1964 (serial 70148)
Body: fully hollow archtop, laminate maple, slim 67mm profile, simulated f-holes
Finish: walnut stain top, mahogany stain back and sides, nitro
Neck: maple, rosewood board, 24.6" scale
Mods: machine heads replaced, standby switch disengaged
Pickups: original Gretsch Hilo'Tron single coils
Case: Gator premium ABS hard case, excellent fit, quality and condition
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. There's some nicks on the end and back of the headstock and some significant checking on the front; no breaks or repairs though. Fretboard has minor playwear only, no major marks. The binding is in pretty good order with minor nicks only right up to the 19th fret; there's some cracks in it from there upwards, but being so high up they don't interfere with play. The back of the neck is in pretty good shape, there's a few little marks and dents, most notably on the bottom side around from 10th fret; there's also a minor crack in the finish only running down the edge of the middle black line from behind around the nut to around 5th fret; it's not really noticeable during play and doesn't extend into the wood of the neck. The bak is looking great, just some minor buckle rash scratches and some rub-wear from play. The sides are pretty clean, just some dimples on the bottom horn and some scuffs near the rear strap pin; the body binding is in great shape. The front is looking pretty clean, the most notable marks are near the top switches, near the trem spring and in the shoulder area; they're all minor; so it's really just some play scratches and rub-wear; nothing nasty at all. Overall: good condition (7.5/10)
Playing condition notes: Neck is straight, action is low, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly, save for the standby switch which has been wired out. Frets have some normal wear, they're fairly even in height with no major buzz issues, around 5/10 for life left. Wearing fresh 11/49s.