The Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman debuted in late 1957 and went into full production in 1958 alongside the new Tennessean model taking the number of Chet Atkins Gretsch models in the Catalog up to four. The Country Gentleman or Country Gent was the high-end guitar of the range and with a list price of $525 was only second to the White Falcon. These early instruments had the model designation 6122 and like the White Falcon were a 17”, fully hollow, Single cutaway design. Like much of the Gretsch range the 6122 would go through many changes as the ’50s became the ’60s and players tastes and requirements would change. Come 1971 The Gretsch Country Gent would be revamped and acquire the new model designation 7670, but would remain in production until 1981. The guitar was subsequently reissued and is still in production today.
Much like earlier examples this 1977 example is a 17” wide, 2” deep fully hollow instrument with a 24 3/4” scale length. It has a double cutaway laminate body with two bound F holes, a two piece maple neck, bound ebony fingerboard with pearl Neo-classical thumb inlays. The pickups are two Gretsch ‘Blacktop’ Filter’trons wired to a Master Volume, independent volume controls with a three way tone switch and pickup selector. The hardware is gold plated throughout with Grover tuners, a Gretsch B12 Bigsby vibrato and adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge with a customary Chet Atkins Signature on the Pickguard.
Seventies Gretsch guitars can fly under a lot of players radars but we’ve always enjoyed having them in stock, with this example being no exception. The Walnut finish is excellent and the guitar backlights cleanly with a nice even fluorescence, the gold- plated hardware has aged and lost its brilliance in places but balances nicely with the walnut finish. The neck is a slim C profile, with a 1 11/16” nut width. Although not the type of neck I would generally gravitate towards but It feels comfortable and very playable. The neck has been refretted and play cleanly throughout. The electronics all work and appear to remain unmolested, the unique-to-Gretsch volume and tone circuit has lots of useable tones and the master volume is very useful to balance overall volume. The Gretsch FilterTron pickups are excellent, the seventies ‘Blacktop’ pickups are wound to a higher resistance and use a different magnet to earlier pickups but still have the unmistakeable Gretsch Filter’tron sound. The Bigsby is easy to use with the bent, adjustable ‘Chet’ style arm sitting right were you want it and the Zero fret helping everything stay in tune.
The guitar comes with its Original Gretsch Case, Truss rod adjuster and Warranty card.