Electric Hollow Body Archtop guitar
Mahogany body and neck
Ebony fretboard with bindings
Two Filter’Tron humbuckers
The history of the Gretsch guitars took a new turn when Chet Atkins became involved in the development and production of the 6120 model that bore his name. Atkins’ main criticism of this guitar was the tone and sensitivity of the two DeArmond pickups, which he said reacted poorly to his familiar strumming style. Atkins turned to inventor Ray Butts, whom he had met when Ray sold amplifiers in Nashville. At the same time as Gibson’s famous PAF was developed, Butts created his own humbucker double-coil pickups: the Filter’Tron.
The Filter’Tron appeared in 1957 and within a year it would have become the standard for any Gretsch fashion. That same year, the 6122 Country Gentleman was added to the Chet Atkins line. This was also a good quality instrument and had a beautifully finished mahogany body with f-holes and the characteristic Gretsch thumbnail inlays on the ebony fretboard.