Can't Decide Viking or Super Chet!

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Bengal65, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Of course, I never get a chance to play a guitar before I buy it. LOL! I'm trying to decide on a pre-Baldwin Viking with the funky gagetry (mute and tuning fork bridge) or a Baldwin period Super Chet with the ornate beauty and the irreplacable electronic controls on the pickguard.
    Hmmm, decisions, decisions.:rolleyes:

    I'm kinda leaning towards the Viking with the crazy bridge setup. The Super Chet has those controls on the pickguard that are very difficult or unable to be replaced.
     
  2. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Why not do the Chet and if the electricals in the pickguard fail just do a custom wiring job with new components?
     
  3. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Hmmm, I definitely don't want to drill any holes for sure, so.....make the pickup selector switch a 4 way with a "Kill" function! Just have no tone and full on volume. I found an outfit that makes those low profile pots awhile back. The normal type CTS or Alpha would not fit for sure.
     
  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Or a custom pickguard with a master volume and master tone pot mounted.
     
  5. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Synchro, now that's an idea. I saw one like that with the 2 pots down at the end of the pickguard. That could work:) Hmmm, ya got me thinking. A few months ago, I passed one up at Daves Guitar Shop at a killer price. I wasn't looking back then.:rolleyes:
     
  6. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Ok Synchro the Super Chet it is, it's coming. I'll have it next week. Everything works! But, I'm working on a backup plan with the controls for future repairs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Age:
    51
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Oh my,that is a beauty!:cool:

    Congrats Bengal,i was just going to say i'd go with the Super,cool!
     
  8. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Thanks JC. I know you had one once and you miss it. I got a deal on a offer, and I have been wanting one for awhile. I like the Viking too, but that will have to wait for awhile. If I end up selling more of my shredder collection, I'll replace them with Gretsch's. This one makes 7 now. LOL!:)

    The guitar is pretty clean and no neck or binding issues. The plating looks to be in pretty good shape. Here's a shot of the Pups. Do they sound like classic Gretsch Filters or more Gibson style humbucking?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
  11. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Check this fella out. It's sounds awesome. Plugged into Amplitude 2 software.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grr9R0-HSiQ"]YouTube- super chet[/ame]
     
  12. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Nice playing and a great sounding guitar.
     
  13. I've gotta get out more. Never seen one of those, now I need to research it a bit. Congratulations Bengal, I like that a lot.
     
  14. found this, here;

    http://www.guitarsite.com/database/Guitars/rec/3144/wwwboard/messages/29.shtml

    The Gretsch Super Chet is a very special guitar that was made from 1972 to 1980 and they are quite rare. There were several variations. The 1972 model had a headstock shaped much like a Gibson but was later changed to the "round-top" headstock that is common to Gretsch guitars. Chet Atkins was pictured on the cover of one of his albums with a 1972 Super Chet showing this variation. The usual finish was a "cherry-red" finish, however, there was a very rare variation made with Walnut and a tranparent brown finish. The Super Chet also was made with and without the Bigsby tremolo tailpiece. The Chet Atkins Bigsby tailpiece was much more rare on the Super Chet. The standard tailpiece had beautiful inlay and is a similar shaped tailpiece that was used in the late 1970-s and 80's on the Gretsch Country Club. By the way, all the hardware was real Gold plating-not the cheap brass or alloy plating seen on guitars now. Be careful if you are looking to buy one because I have seen several imitations at the guitar shows that were nothing more than Japanese junk. Have the guitar inspected by somebody that knows Gretsch vintage guitars. As far as value-they can vary from $1000.00 for one in poor shape to $7000.00 for mint walnut with original Chet Atkins Bigsby with original case and papers. Of course we have to keep in mind anything is only worth what is paid for an item. I have studied the Super Chet extensively because I consider it the finest Hollow Body Electric ever made. If you have one that is original and in better than good condition please take precious care of it because you have a gem that will not be easily replaced and future generations deserve to see the workmanship that occured before all the imports took over the market.
     
  15. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I've only seen a handful of them over the years and played perhaps two or three of them. They are impressive guitars to say the least, sort of the Gretsch answer to the high-end Gibsons of that era. My old Johnny Smith was about the color of a red Super Chet and that is a perfect color for a large archtop. Another thing that is unique is the ring of binding inlayed into the center of the rim of a Super Chet. It's quite striking.
     
  16. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    Yes, very nice sound!

    A little too late to help you with your decision, but more Super Chet/Super Gretsch info can be found here:

    Super Chet

    Incidentally, if you get some some static noise when you rub the pickguard, it can be solved by gluing some copper foil the back of the pickguard.

    These are very elegant looking guitars. After listening to your clip, I am very envious!

    Lee
     
  17. Sarah93003

    Sarah93003 Friend of Fred

    Congratulations. I think their neat. I've only seen on in person and got to play it.
     
  18. Bengal65

    Bengal65 Country Gent

    Sep 11, 2009
    Houston, TX


    The Super Chet was a collaboration between Chet, Dean Porter and Clyde Edwards. I read in Tony Bacon and Paul Day's book that Chet used to play an acoustic from the 1800's that a lady had given to him that had the binding inlay. When Gretsch and Chet set out to make the ultimate guitar, to help revive Gretsch at the Booneville AR plant, Chet suggested adding the inlay to the Super Chet model. Porter made the guitar play good, and Clyde did the fancy inlays, and Chet suggested the binding inlay. The rest is history.:)
     
  19. Renegade

    Renegade Country Gent

    Jun 21, 2009
    Seattle
    That is SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET.:D
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.