Up for sale, a 1955 Gretsch Country Club 6196 in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original tweed hardshell case and "Electric Spanish Guitar" hangtag. A premier Gretsch model with a stunning and original nitro lacquer Cadillac Green finish, the Country Club boasts a full 17" lower bout, 25 1/2" scale length, and an array of golden-era Gretsch features including hump block fretboard inlays, gold hardware, Melita bridge, G tailpiece, arrow knobs, and original DeArmond Dynasonic pickups.
The all maple construction offers plenty of natural note attack and clarity, and the fully hollow body with parallel tone bar bracing yields a rich, powerful sound that translates well through the Dynasonic pickups. The bridge position is sparkling and authoritative, with full, throaty bass response and the snappy, percussive character synonymous with DeArmond pickups. When both pickups are engaged the sound is equal parts broad and articulate, and the neck pickup is girthy and thick while retaining the clarity needed for complex chord voicings. The guitar weighs 7lbs 5oz and has been professionally setup with low action and 10-46 roundwound strings.
The maple neck has lots of shoulder and a big, round, inviting C profile carve, measuring .875" deep at the 1st fret and 1.010" at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features multi-ply binding and hump block inlays with original slender fretwire which is extremely clean, playing easily in every register. The carved bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width, and the headstock boasts a vintage yet replaced set of Grover Imperial tuning machines. The correct style tuners for this model, these gears are an iteration with a slightly lower top mounting screw, and the original upper mounting screws have been cleanly doweled. The neck has been reset in the past, meeting the body at the ideal angle and allowing for low action all the way to the last fret.
The electronics are original, with the stock windings on the neck pickup and a freshly rewound bridge pickup, both wired to the stock harness and featuring transparent tortoise pickup risers. Visible through the F hole, the original Gretsch badge is present noting the 6196 model which was reserved for Cadillac Green-finished examples. All of the original hardware is intact on the body, including the Melita bridge, arrow knobs, and G tailpiece, and the stock gold Gretsch-branded pickguard is present too. There is uniform patina across the bridge pickup bezel and Melita, with a bit more shine to the gold plating on the G trapeze tailpiece and neck pickup bezel.
The nitro lacquer Cadillac Green finish is original and stunningly clean, exhibiting a few small finish chips on the body parameter and next to the bass-side Melita foot, as well as a spot of very faint targeted buckle rash central to the back. The neck profile finish is smooth and glossy, free of palm wear with only a few tiny shallow marks along its length. Worth noting on any vintage Gretsch instrument, the binding is 100% original and in excellent shape, fully adhered to the instrument and showing no deterioration with a bright white color.
The original tweed Gretsch hardshell case is included. The case retains its original latches and handle, with the Gretch banner on the interior lid. The original "Telling you How" booklet is also included, outlining the features of the instrument.