1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122

Hollow-bodied electric guitar

1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - front view
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - heel and reverse of neck
Model: 1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
Body: 17" maple hollowbody double cutaway electric archtop 1 7/8" width body finished in Mahogany Grain
Neck: Maple, with a 22 fret ebony fingerboard. Bound, with thumbprint "Neoclassic" fingerboard inlays. Zero fret and bone nut. Width at nut 1 3/4"
Scale: 24 1/4"
Hardware: V-cutout Bigsby B-6 tailpiece, Grover Imperial tuners
Pickups: 2 Patent Number FilterTron pickups

The Chet Atkins Country Gentleman changed a lot in 1971, but this is a really early one from that year, and still has old features. The serial number dates this to January 1971; the 76th guitar of that month.

The pickups are Patent Number Filter'Trons, it has a mute, a gold plated headstock badge and no real f-holes. All of these features would soon be gone. (See a 1976 Country Gent).

The mute, or muffler, is operated by moving the lever, next to the Bigsby V tailpiece.

The poor durability of gold-plating is evident here; it has clearly been looked-after, but much of the plating is gone. The original dark brown finish has faded. The only colour listed in catalogues at that time was this, Mahogany Grain, whilst the other two Chet Atkins Gretsches, the Nashville and the Tennessean both had their own colours, amber red and cherry red respectively.

1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - Bigsby tailpiece detail
This Country Gent is fitted with a gold-plated, V-cutout B-6 Bigsby tailpiece. Between the bridge and the pickup is the mute, which is operated with a lever, just to the right of the tailpiece.
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - bridge and mute detail
The patent number FilterTron pickups are marked 'US Pat. No. 2892371'. Between the pickup and bridge is the mute, although the lever to operate this is not in this picture.
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - scratchplate detail
Scratchplate detail. As well as the Gretsch logo and model designation, it also features the Chet Atkins signature.
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - faux f-hole detail
The f-holes are painted on. Compare this to a slightly later 1976 Gretsch Country Gentleman with real soundholes.
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - reverse body detail
The back-pad is to provide comfort, and protect the guitar against scratches and dents from buckles and buttons whilst it is being played.
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - heel detail
Heel detail. The Country Gent was bound front and back, with a cream heel cap. The binding, as shown here, is four ply: cream/black/cream/black.
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - headstock detail
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - headstock model plate detail

The gold-plated headstock plate has the guitar model engraved onto it: 'The Chet Atkins Country Gentleman'. The Gretsch logo is inlaid in pearl. Note also the truss rod cover, held in place with three screws.

1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - Grover tuning key detail
1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman - Reverse headstock detail

Grover closed gear individual Imperial tuning keys. The reverse of the headstock also holds the serial number in gold: 11 076. This dates this guitar to Jan 1971; the 76th guitar made that month.

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