11/10/2016

1975 Gretsch 7670 Chet Atkins "Country Gentleman" Electric Guitar





In 1970, Gretsch's manufacturing moved to Arkansas and stayed that way into the early 80s. This Country Gentleman (of the double-cutaway persuasion) was made smack in the middle of that production and -- let's face it -- it's a darn good guitar. I'm personally drawn to the old single-cutaway Chet Atkins models, but the "Gretschy 335" vibe of this guitar (along with its stay-in-tune, oh-so-sweet Bigsby) certainly enchants.

This is a customer's instrument and it's all-original and even stopped-by with its original hard case. It needed a good setup and some electronic cleaner on all of the pots and switches, but it was otherwise in great shape. The biggest trouble spot on the instrument was, simply, that the factory bridge's saddles had never been slotted-down to match the radius of the fretboard and so it played stiff on the ADGB strings.



The big, sealed, Rotomatic tuners have big, heavy buttons. I also like the zero fret feature here at the nut but Gretsch did botch it a bit by not making it the same height as the rest of the frets (and thus necessitating a bit of slot-filing to bring it in line).


The board is ebony and has medium frets and "thumb-print" inlay.


Now -- I'm not a fan of gold hardware -- but it looks great on this guitar.


Switches are pickup selector and the two-option tone-destroyer switch (ie, mud switch). It's a good idea in theory but the capacitors used are a bit drastic and so a lot of treble is cut in either "on" setting. If they'd put in lighter-weight caps the switch could be super-useful if you like a "pre-set" amount of treble-rolloff.


The arm on the Bigsby whammy is magnificent.


The "switch" down here is on-off-on and serves as a kill-switch for the guitar.





The plate on the back hides truss-rod access and a reinforcement neck bolt.





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