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1997 Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman

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Serial #: 91077520, white oval label

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 3/4" Body depth: 1 3/4" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .82/.97

Materials: Highly flamed maple laminate body; solid 3 piece maple neck; solid ebony fingerboard; thumbprint fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; 7 ply top binding, 5 ply back binding, bound soundholes.

Hardware: All original gold hardware includes Gibson Schaller 'Crank Winder' tuners with tulip keys; Bigsby vibrato tailpiece; Tunematic bridge with inlaid ebony foot; Gibson 492R neck and 490T bridge humbucking pickups; twin volume, master tone and master volume controls; black barrel knobs; 3 way control switch. 5 ply bound tortoise pickguard, with matching armrest.

Notes: Some three decades after Nashville superstar Chet Atkins debuted his original Country Gentleman model from the Gretsch company, he approached Gibson with some design refinements for a new version of the legendary model. The new instrument would be shallower in depth to make it easier to hold, have wider spaced pickups to facilitate fingerstyle play, and have a lighter weight body block to add sustain and curb feedback. A handily placed master volume knob, classic Bigsby, and generous 1 3/4" neck all ensured that the player had everything right at the fingertips. The result was the Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman.

This striking guitar is crafted with a deeply figured curly maple body, with rare all-original walnut finish, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. The original gold hardware includes the rare Schaller 'Crank Winder' tuners, a Gibson's exclusive, each with a small lever that folds out from the tuning key to increase turning leverage, greatly increasing the speed of re-stringing. (Also found on Les Pauls of the era, these ingenious winders have been collector's items since they were discontinued in the late 80's.)

The neck has a gentle shallow D neck profile specified by Chet, and flawless action with a fresh high precision setup, over excellent original medium jumbo frets. The distinctive 'thumbprint' fingerboard inlays are a signature touch of Atkin's Gretsch guitars of the late 50's. And unique on Gibson models, the bound tortoise arm rest is a shout out to Merle Travis' legendary Bigsby guitars, as well the Bigsby tailpiece, of course.

This fine example has been lovingly cared for, and apart from a bit of fogging on the plating and a few incidental lacquer nicks, shows few signs of play altogether. Sought after by players of all types since the model was discontinued in 2000, the Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman is a versatile and eyecatching tribute to the Man With the Golden Thumb. One only: call now.

Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with light gauge nickel roundwound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: TKL arched plush lined tweed L-5 hardshell case.







































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