Country Classic Question

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by karhik, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. karhik

    karhik Electromatic

    10
    Sep 11, 2020
    Florida
    Hi folks. I am considering a Country Classic II that I have seen advertised locally. One of my favorite players has one and I fell in love with these long before I ever saw one for sale here. I want to know if there are any issues or things to look out for with this model.

    The headstock has a plate on it that reads "Gretsch 1962 Country Classic II". It has no F holes (that is to say it has the simulated F holes), has the mud switch, has the kill switch, and the two volume + master volume control layout, with a Bigsby. There is a gold sticker on the neck heel that says Made in Japan. I do not know what year it is and it does not seem to have a serial number.

    The reason I like this particular guitar is that other than the hardware having light aging and the pad on the back having some light wear, the guitar looks like it's almost brand new. If it's from the 1990s it's remarkably close to mint. The person I spoke to about it also said that these pre-Fender models had 5-ply body instead of 3 and that many people prefer the pre-Fender ones.

    The asking price is said to be firm at $1800, and maybe you could do a little better for a Country Classic II but I doubt you'd ever find a cleaner 20-30 year old guitar.

    Is this a decent enough deal considering the condition? Are there any common problems to look out for with these models?

    Thank you and I'm glad to maybe be joining the Gretsch club!
     
    Wjensen and MTurner like this.
  2. BrianW

    BrianW Synchromatic

    895
    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    Welcome to the forum karhik. I am not very familiar with that model, but no doubt someone will be along that can give you some accurate information. Lots of knowledgable folks around here! Enjoy your stay.
     
  3. Groutsch

    Groutsch Gretschie

    351
    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland, US
    Welcome, @karhik!

    If there isn't a serial number on the back of the headstock, I would look in the porthole on the back of the body. You should find the serial number so you can date the guitar. Also, the model number is usually on the label along with the serial number. GretschPages.com lists a lot of Country Gentleman variations, and the one you describe sounds like the 6122-1962.

    It's probably a great guitar! You could look on Reverb or eBay to see what similar guitars are selling for, but ultimately the guitar is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

    I've seen other sellers brag about their Gretsch guitars being pre-Fender, but I wouldn't pay extra for that. Fender invested in Gretsch and helped the brand. The Baldwin era has a compromised reputation, but not the Fender era. As for the construction, I would guess that a 5-ply body might be more resistant to feedback, but a 3-ply body might be more resonant and lighter, other things (such as materials and ply thicknesses) being equal. The difference, though, would probably be so subtle that you wouldn't notice unless you looked for it.

    You probably know that Country Classic is the name Gretsch used for the Country Gentleman during the years when Chet Atkins' trademarks were licensed elsewhere. The Country Classic/Gent is an iconic guitar. If you get it, please post us some pics and let us know how you like it.
     
    ZackyDog likes this.
  4. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Best to you on your Gent quest.

    I agree that preFMIC doesn't bring a premium price on any models.

    They were good solid instruments, and some very good players. However, FMIC has raised the level across the line up, year after year. In a good way too.

    After several years of wanting a Gent, I finally figured out I wanted the -58 model.

    I would pay for $1800 for a -58 FMIC Gent in a heart beat today. Only problem, I'm enjoying the one I have.

    Again, patience, do a little research, and best of luck.

    '07 6122-58 Gent

    20200722_213935.jpg 20200107_154553.jpg
     
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Welcome to the forum and best with the purchase . Could you share a photo or 2
    Hey @Wayne Gretschzky or anyone else , does that sound right to you ?
     
    Berington likes this.
  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    Welcome here. That`s a very decent Gretsch model. The price seems to be o.k., too.
     
  7. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    The sticky tag is a preFMIC (pre 2003) feature. PreFMIC Gretschs usually sell for a little less than current models. The guitar will be well built but there are some differences from post 2003 models.

    The pots may be mini pots rather than full size pots. They can work well but can be perceived as inferior quality.

    The guitar may have Pacrim made sealed tuners instead of Grovers (though if this guitar has Imperials, I suspect those will be Grovers0.

    Pickups will be ceramic magnet Filtertrons and not alnico. They sound a little bit different from each other. Ceramics tend to be more gritty and dirty up differently (maybe better) than the alnicos but don't have as much clarity. Not worse, just different.

    It may have a crappy roller bridge that would need to be swapped out (a good bar would cost $40, a Compton a big more, so not a big deal this).

    As Groutsch said, if you check out the paper label, the guitar production date will be part of the serial number.

    I haven't bought a Gretsch since 2012 so I can't advise on the price.
     
  8. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    That was my first ProLine model. Very nice guitar. Good luck and welcome to G-t!
     
    karhik likes this.
  9. karhik

    karhik Electromatic

    10
    Sep 11, 2020
    Florida
    Thank you all for the feedback. I will post some photos if I get it, but it looks exactly like this one from the Gretsch-Gear site:

    [​IMG]

    Same bridge and electronics layout and such, so it would appear this might be a 6122-1962.
     
  10. karhik

    karhik Electromatic

    10
    Sep 11, 2020
    Florida
    Thank you for this information. It has sealed tuners with the G arrow logo on them.

    It has a bar bridge just like the one in the photo above, I think.

    Where is the paper label found and how can I access it?
     
  11. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    64
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    Well. I don't know about anybody else, but that sure makes me drool.
     
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  12. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    If you remove the backpad, there should be an access panel and if you open that you will see the label.
    The serial number will have the form YYMM122-XXXX, so the year, month followed by the model number (minus the first number 6) followed by the production number.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
    Scott and Groutsch like this.
  13. pilgrim

    pilgrim Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 15, 2010
    Mississippi
    That is top dollar. It doesn't have a Gretsch Bigsby. I sold mine that did and it was Mint for $2500.
     
  14. karhik

    karhik Electromatic

    10
    Sep 11, 2020
    Florida
    Is intonation a problem with that sort of bridge? It looks like it's not pinned anywhere.
     
  15. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Floating bridges are common on archtops. I have one without a pinned bridge and it’s just fine.
     
  16. Groutsch

    Groutsch Gretschie

    351
    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland, US
    If you were optimizing a guitar for perfect intonation, you might not have a bar bridge, but you also might not have a Bigsby. :D The bar bridge and the Bigsby work well together for bending chords.
     
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  17. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    49
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome to the nut house karhik!

    Nice guitar and having no mutes ,some think that's better.

    Played one just like that back in 2007,it was used but in great condition ,but it was very dark sounding,and a bit lifeless ,nothing a set of TV Jones wouldn't fix.

    I bought a used 2008 62 with the mutes,i wasn't bonding with it and that went on for over a year,was going to trade it away,but then decided to have a fret dress and the frets and fingerboard rolled ,what a difference,still have it.
     
  18. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    I have no issue with a factory floating bridge, or the bar style bridge and intonation.

    Set the intonation, mark the position of the bridge base, and use fiddle rosin on the bottom of the base. Put the bridge base back to where you marked it, and.........enjoy it.

    It will not move around.

    20200625_170113.jpg 20200116_210250.jpg
     
    ZackyDog likes this.
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    The double cutaway Gent is not as bright as most other Gretsch models. It’s a great guitar that can sound excellent in its own way, but don’t expect it to sound like a 6120.
     
  20. vyndance

    vyndance Gretschie

    Age:
    65
    393
    Dec 12, 2014
    Bear Valley Springs, CA
    If you remove the pad and cover be sure to clock them with a sharpie mark or tape. My 2005 is not symmetrical.
     
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