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1960 Gretsch 6119 Chet Atkins Tennessean, 6120 Conversion w/ PAF FilterTrons, Trestle Bracing, Case


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Up for sale, a 1960 Gretsch Chet Atkins model 6119 Tennessean in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. The original iteration of the 6119 Chet Atkins model was only available from 1958-60, and this particular example has been converted to 6120 specifications, complete with a second genuine vintage Pat. Applied For Filter’Tron humbucker in the neck position. The guitar features a trestle-braced maple body with a 16” wide lower bout and 2 1/2” body depth.

Lightweight at 7lbs 3oz, this guitar has a naturally full and detailed acoustic tone that translates faithfully via the FilterTron humbucker pair. Augmented controls include a traditional 6120-spec'd layout with dedicated Volume knobs for each PAF Filter'Tron, a Master Volume on the treble-side cutaway, and a three-way Tone switch adjacent to the pickup selector. Combined with the resonance and natural acoustic muscle attributable in part to the trestle bracing, the pickups have a bold broadband punch, exquisite clarity, and treble sparkle, We’ve had this Gretsch professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, accurate intonation, and easy-playing action.

The two piece maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with moderate shoulders and rolled fretboard edges, measuring .845” deep at the 1st fret and .930” at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features pearloid thumbnail inlay, and the original medium fretwire which has been professionally dressed, showing no wear with fairly low crowns. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The fretboard width is 1 11/16” at the zero fret just forwards of the original nut. The headstock face is inlaid with the Gretsch logo, and a positively gleaming set of original Waverly tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

The electronics function as intended, with the original Pat. Applied For-embossed Filter'Tron humbucker in the bridge position paired with a second Filter'Tron from the same era (with matching PAF cover) in the neck position. Originally this guitar left the factory as a single pickup model, and the neck position route to accommodate a second pickup is extremely clean, offering the tonal versatility of a golden age Gretsch 6120 at an appreciably lower price point.

Hardware includes the original Space Control bridge, sitting atop the original Brazilian rosewood base. The bridge works in concert with the original Bigsby B6 vibrato tailpiece, which has a very smooth response with the original spring, offering ideal arm height off the body for broader, deeper bends than many Bigsbys. The Bigsby has a patent number stamped hinge and a small repair on the treble-side edge. The "sign post" Chet Atkins plexi pickguard is original, cleanly reshaped to accommodate the neck pickup. The serialized Gretsch label is visible through the F-hole, placing production in 1960.

The Western Red gloss nitro lacquer finish (a color unique to this guitar in 1960) is bright and bold, framed by practically perfect original two-ply body binding. One small new piece of binding has been installed at the inside edge of the cutaway. There is some lacquer checking on top at the body waist, light scuffing central to the back, and just a few additional minor marks on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh flawless.

The original blue/gray speckled hardshell case is included, with functional latches and the original handle intact.