1962 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean
A Brief History from our Tech Writer
Without doubt the most important name to Gretsch guitars, Chet Atkins was a picker of the finest order whose name has become synonymous with the brand. His super clean, lightning fast playing inspired the likes of Duane Eddy, and even George Harrison and John Lennon to pick up a Gretsch. Naturally, Gretsch produced several signature models for Atkins, and these instruments were well admired by professionals and amateurs alike. The Chet Atkins Tennessean was first conceived of as an economy option but it soon evolved into a fine player’s piece in its own right. Beginning with a cherry finish and one double-coil Filtertron pick-up, the model soon got a handsome walnut top, two single coil pick-ups, binding, and three toggle switches for tonal diversity.
This guitar is a 1962, a year in which the model received smaller 2” painted f-holes. The instrument has a walnut top, mahogany back and sides, and a rosewood fretboard. There is also a zero fret and a gold back-painted pick-guard that has a crack in it. The pick-up rings are replacements, but their gold plating looks great alongside the pick-guard. The original tuners have also been replaced with Grovers. The binding around the body is cracking in some spots but does not appear to be threatening to fall off. The neck binding is shrinking a bit, but the frets don’t pop out much save for near the higher frets. There are lots of finish blemishes on the back and sides, including bucklerash and some finish peeling around the edges near the neck joint. The headstock inlay logo has some finish cracking around it and the truss rod cover has a piece chipped away on top. Despite these aesthetic issues, this guitar plays beautiful with a perfect feel for finger-style. The sound is snappy when it needs to be and smooth as silk with the flip of a switch. The guitar is a fabulous piece for any picker looking for the vintage feel of Chet Atkins’ brand of choice. Ships in its original hard-shell case.
Weight: 7 lbs. 4 oz.
Nut Width: 1 ⅝”
6.9/10 (good condition) 1962 Made in the USA
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