Gretsch Tennessee Rose Electric Guitar
The Gretsch G6119 Tennessee Rose is the successor to the Tennessean which originally was manufactured in 1958 as apart of the Anniversary models (75 th anniversary). In the mid 1990’s the name was changed to the Tennessee Rose. In 1972 the model number was changed to 7655. Currently there are four versions of the G6119 (Tennessee Rose): G6119, G6119-1959, G6119-1962FT, and the G6119-1962HT. The guitar was made as an affordable option to the higher priced 6120.
When originally introduced the G6119 had single “Patent Applied For” Filter’Tron pickup located in the bridge position. It looks similar to the G6119-1959 version with a number of exceptions: no zero-fret, and no Trestle bracing. The neo-classic neck was made of 3-pieces of Maple with 22 frets and an ebony fretboard with thumbnail position markers. It had a scale length of 24.5 inches and had a metal nut. The neck contacted the body at the 14 th fret and was mounted using a heel dowel rod. The body, sides, and top were made of Maple and had a cherry wood grain color. The color would fade over the years to orange. The size of the body itself was 16 inches wide and 2.75 inches deep and had a white binding around the top and bottom of the body. The width and depth of the body would change over the years.
In 1959 the Zero-Fret was added as was the Tapered Heel and Trestle bracing. The neck was also made of three pieces of maple with stripe. The Trestle bracing consisted of wood braces that ran along the bottom of the maple top from the neck-body joint back to the rear of the guitar body. There are also two internal tone supports that run from the neck-body joint to the bridge pickup.
This guitar features a 16 inch wide by 2.5 inches deep maple laminated body and sides. It doesn’t have the Trestle bracing but does have two Filter’Tron humbucker pickups. The body color is deep cherry stain with gloss urethane finish. The bridge is an Ebony based Adjuto-Matic ™ with a Gretsch/Bigsby B6C Vibrato Tailpiece. The ‘F’-holes are real and have white binding around them. The body has multi-ply binding around the top and bottom. The knurled strap retainer knobs are also found on the bottom and back.
The 25.5 inch scale length neck is made of 3-pieces of maple. The fretboard is ebony with neo-classic inlays as position markers and 22 frets with a radius of 12 inches. The fretboard is bound as is the plain looking headstock with ‘Gretsch’ inlaid. The machineheads are chrome plated Grove 102-18C Rotomatic Die-cast tuners.
The pickups and electronics consist of two Filter’Tron pickups with a 3-position toggle switch located above the neck pickup. It’s wired: bridge, bridge+neck, and neck. The controls are master volume, master tone, neck pickup volume, bridge pickup volume. The master volume control is located right below the neck pickup. The master tone knob is the below the neck volume knob (right below the bridge pickup). The Bridge pickup knob is in-between the neck and master tone control.
The G6119-1959 is based upon the one Chet Akins used with its single Power’Tron (TV Jones’ version of the Filter’Tron), Bigsby Tailpiece, and the original sized body. This one has the unbound headstock and fretboard as well. This one features a floating fretboard extension as well.
The laminated maple body size is 15.77 inches by 2.75 inches with thin 3-ply back and sides (with lining). The Arched top is Laminated Maple with a white binding around the top and bottom. The color is Flagstaff Sunset with a gloss urethane finish (that won’t fade or change color, like the original). This one has the internal trestle bracing which add strength to body. The As for the bridge and tailpiece the 1959 version has the Bigsby B6C vibrato tailpiece and rosewood rocking bar bridge. The pickguard is black Plexi with ‘Chet Atkins’ etched into it.
The 24.6 inch scale length neck is made of 3-pieces of maple. The fretboard is made of ebony with 21 frets and the Zero Fret. The Zero Fret is located right below the bone nut (near where the tuners are) and is also called the Action-Flo nut. This eliminated the need for the metal nut and is found on the rod Action-flo necks. 1959 was also the last year for the metal nuts as well. The Zero Fret plus the 21 frets gave the neck 22 frets. The fretboard was made of ebony and had mother-of-pearl neo-classic inlays. It also had a fairly flat radius of 12 inches. The neck was attached to body at the 14 th fret with a tapered heel and floating fretboard extension. The machineheads are Grover V98N Sta-Tite die-cast tuners. The headstock is somewhat plain looking with a black finish and ‘Gretsch’ inlaid into it.
The pickup and electronics are fairly straight forward. This version of the Tennessee Rose has a Power’Tron humbucker pickup made by TV Jones in place of the Filter’Tron one. The Power’Tron looks very much like the Filter’Tron but has more mid-range presence and higher output but still has the same sound as the original. It uses extra tall bobbins which allow for more winds of the standard gauge wire. The electronics consist of a 3-way tone switch and a volume control. The tone switch is located up above the neck/body joint. It allows for 3 different tones: Position 1 has the treble roll-off, Position 2 disconnects the pickup from the tone circuit so you get just the pickup, while Position 3 has a lesser amount of high frequencies rolled off. The knob is a Nickel-Plated G-Arrow Knob like that found on the original.
The G6119-1962FT is a re-issue of the 1962 version which had a thinner body and looked like an ES-335 except that it was a single cut-a-way. This version also has two Filter’Tron humbucking pickups.
The size of the Electrotone body is 16 inches by 2 inches deep and has a Walnut Stain color with a gloss urethane finish. The body itself was made of laminated maple on the back and sides and an arched laminated maple top. It has a multi-ply binding around the top and back. The body had gotten about ¾ of an inch thinner since its introduction which was what happened to a number of Gretsch guitars between 1958 and 1962. The width of had also changed during that time. Another curious thing is the simulated ‘F’ holes which helped to reduce feedback. There’s also a silver Plexi pickguard with "Chet Atkins" embossed on to it.
The bridge was an ebony/chrome ‘Rocking’ bar bridge sometimes called the Bigsby Bar Bridge. This was used with the Bigsby B6C vibrato bridge which allowed for the strings to slide on the bar. It’s made of ebony with a chrome bar with the ebony resting on the top of the body.
The 24.6 inch scale length neck is made of 3-pieces of rock maple and has an adjustable truss rod with a bound rosewood fretboard. There is binding around the fretboard and headstock. The fretboard has 22 frets plus the Zero-Fret and connects to the body at the 14 th fret. There are Neo-Classic inlays at the position markers. The radius of the neck is somewhat flat at 12 inches. The machineheads are Grover V98C Sta-Tite ™ die-cast tuners.
The pickups and electronics consist of two Filter’Tron pickups with a 3-way pickup selector. As for controls it has a master volume, neck pickup volume and bridge pickup volume controls. The tone control was accomplished using a 3-way tone control. There’s also a standby switch which is located on the bottom of the body furthest back towards the tailpiece. The 3-way switch is wired: Bridge, Bridge+Neck, and Neck and is located above the Neck pickup. The 3-way tone switch is located next to the pickup selector switch. It’s wired for 3 different tones: Position 1 has a ‘normal’ amount of treble roll-off, Position 2 disconnects the pickup from the tone circuit so you get the pickup direct, while Position 3 has a lesser amount of high frequencies rolled off. The knobs are Nickel-Plated G-Arrow Knob like that found on the original. It includes a G6241 Deluxe Hardshell Case.
The 4 th version is essentially the same as the 1962FT version with the exception that the Filter’Tron pickups have been replaced with two 2 Hilo' Tron ™ pickups and the color is Burgundy Stain with a gloss urethane finish. This guitar is appears to be designed around 1964 version.
The HiLo’Tron pickups are single coil and where designed 1958. They were meant to replace the DeArmond pickups. They weren’t the most popular pickups but have an wide range of tones.