No guitar turns heads like a Gretsch hollowbody. And few can compete with the visual thrills on offer from these limited-edition 2015 additions to the company’s Professional Collection: the G6120-1959LTV Chet Atkins Hollow Body Limited Edition Quilted Maple and the G6136T Falcon Limited Crème de Marine.
The Crème de Marine in the Falcon’s name is a reference to its unusual soft blue hue. It comes kitted out with the same hardware and top-class touches of the existing G6136T, including High Sensitive Filter’Tron pickups, Space Control bridge and Bigsby B6GB vibrato - and as you’d expect, it’s all gold-plated.
The latest in a long line of Chet Atkins models adds a quilt maple top for a top- of-the-line hybrid of old-school playability and visual flair. This hollowbody still features a nitro Vintage Orange lacquer, while it opts for a pair of TV Jones Classic Filter’Tron pickups, plus a rosewood-base Rocking Bar bridge and Bigsby B6C.
Professional Collection models are made in limited numbers in the small Terada factory in Kanie, Japan, where many processes are still done by hand. That explains the wallet-worrying price, but it’s this dedication to instrument craft that ensures the company’s reputation continues to be held in such high regard.
A pair of Gretsch High Sensitive Filter’Trons grace the Falcon and have a slightly more brash voicing than the TV Jones units in the Chet Atkins 6120.
The Falcon features an ebony fretboard with ‘Neo-Classic’ thumbnail inlays.
This limited-edition bird is finished in a Crème de Marine polyurethane - a kind of baby blue take on the Falcon aesthetic.
The Falcon’s glam 50s styling is very much apparent, from the bejewelled gold-plated knobs to the gold sparkle binding, and falcon motif’d gold pickguard.
Aside from the snazzy quilted maple top, the rest of the 6120 is the classic Chet Atkins three-ply maple recipe.
Bigsby B6C vibrato
The chrome-plated aluminium Bigsby B6C vibrato certainly looks the part, and paired with the Rocking Bar bridge, provides all the wobble and shimmer you could possibly wish for.
Chet Atkins headstock
Despite the blingy top, things are typically understated at the headstock end of the Chet Atkins 6120.