Electric Hollow Body Single cutaway guitar
Maple and spruce body, mahogany neck
Rosewood fretboard (ebony on the Sal Salvador)
DeArmond pickups (from 1958 Filter’Tron)
The Gretsch 6199 was introduced in 1955. Initially known as the Convertible, three years later it was named after bebop-jazz guitarist Sal Salvador. The 6199 had a 43cm/17inches maple body and the back and sides were finished with ‘Copper Mist’; two f-holes were cut into the carved spruce top, which was finished with what Gretsch called ‘Lotus Ivory’. The model had the characteristic G-tailpieces covered with gold leaf.
The guitar’s sound was enhanced by a floating DeArmond pickup. The volume and tone controls were mounted on a pickguard. This construction was not used on any other Gretsch model. Since the pickup and control panel were not mounted directly to the body, the 6199 sounded louder and fuller than other Gretsch guitars. The original Convertible had a rosewood fretboard with binding and ‘humptop’ inlays.