Topic: Chet Atkins Epiphone

Anyone ever seen one or have a picture or know about price? I think they are mid '80's

2 (edited by Doug_Smith 2015-02-06 07:00:28)

Re: Chet Atkins Epiphone

Howdy,  Well I don't remember Chester with an Epiphone...... so I had to do a little research.  Turns out that he started out with a Gibson L10 in the late 30s that got broken and replaced with another Gibson, a L7 this time, and played that pretty much exclusively right up until he was fixed up with a D'Angelico Excel in 1950.  Then Gretsch hooked him up with a prototype 6120, which was shelved for the Iconic "Country Gentleman" in 1959. The new model was designated 6122 and was pretty much Chet's signature guitar from about 1960 til the end.

Couldn't find any references to an Epiphone that he actually used on stage or in recordings, although I would not be surprised if there might not be a few "Signature" model/brands out there..... kinda like the Joe Pass Epiphone that Joe likely didn't play except at some trade show somewhere, but was built to the specs of the Gibson that he did play.

As a bit of trivia for ya though, The Gretsch that Chet did play "looks" like a "F hole" hollow-body..... but is not ported.  The F holes are actually decorative decals that Chet liked the look of but serve no other purpose.

That first Gibson L10 had belonged to Les Paul, and Chet's older brother Jim played guitar in Les' orchestra and acquired it.  He gifted it to his kid brother when Chet was 12 years old.

The Gretsch G6122 Country Gentleman is still in production and lists for just a tad under $3800 with the original type Filter-tron pups and Bigsby.

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

3 (edited by Tenement Funster 2015-02-07 11:29:29)

Re: Chet Atkins Epiphone

Great research, Doug!

I just love info about the guitar greats, and the instruments they loved. The 6122 was often used by George Harrison, Pete Townsend, and Bo Diddley, to name but a few. Here's a great pic of Country Gentleman Chet with his Country Gentleman Gretsch:

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T / EP Thunderbird Pro IV bass
AMPS:  Traynor YCS50 / Peavey "TF" VK212 / Traynor AM150T / Fender Rumble 150
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah

Re: Chet Atkins Epiphone

Some additional information. The original owner thinks he purchased it from a Gibson Dealer in 1985.
The model shows to be a "Chet Atkins-VS"  Serial # 890759 hand written on a yellow gold label with black Edge and stripe inside the Oval Label. Looks like a spruce top with a Mahogany box with a cast bridge that is fully adjustable with Knurled knobs for bridge height adjustments. The Binding is white as are the half moon shaped fret markers. The pick guard is black with a double white stripe encircling it. The two pots (tone & volume)are black with white numbers with a white 3 way switch between them. The Headstock has "Epiphone" across the top and between the tuners is their Logo (looks like New Mexico Logo) and on the truss rod cover is printed "Chet Atkins" white on black with white edge. Maybe made in Japan but no labels showing that.
With all the above I am having a serious G.A.S. attack. HELP!

Re: Chet Atkins Epiphone

Well with the serial number and model, you should be able to go to the Gibson/Epiphone website and get some valid info about the guitar.  Epi did have a few acoustics on the market as well as some A/E (SST) models in nylon and steel with the Chet Atkins signature.  I don't know if they were an endorsement issue or what.  But by all means share whatever you find out as "curious minds want to know".

As for the GAS... that's up to you, but by all means play it before you buy it, as from what I've seen the SST models were a semi-hollow design and might sound a bit thin unplugged.

Take Care;

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Chet Atkins Epiphone

This is exceptionally pleasant and respectable post...You shook posting it....Thanks a great deal for posting it....!!!

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Re: Chet Atkins Epiphone

Big One, my advice would be to contact Gibson and give them all the information you have on the guitar. With the Model # and Serial # it can be traced possiblly back to the orginal owner.