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'92 Gibson Tennessean

#1 User is offline   zigzag 

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 02:25 PM

Heard a local band with a guy playing a Gibson Chet Atkins Tennessean guitar. I had heard about this guitar, but never seen one. Apparently, when Chet Atkins ended his affiliation with Gretsch, Gibson made this guitar for him. It looks a little like a Gretsch Nashville, but thinner, and it sounds more like a 335. Can anyone give me a little history on this model, and are they still being made? Other than e-bay, where can I get one and how much should I expect to pay?
"If you don't play 'em, what good are they?" -Mike Campbell

#2 User is offline   Rame 

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:35 AM

The Chet Atkins Tennessean was made from 1990 to 2005. They are no longer made. It's a cool guitar for sure.

#3 User is offline   robtar 

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 06:24 AM

There is one at a local store here in Ga. It's kind of maroon in color, the body shape is like a Gretsch, but thin like a 335. Two humbuckers. Never played it but it is a nice looking guitar.

#4 User is offline   Murph 

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 10:35 AM

Gruhns had one just before I bought my ES-339, but I never did drive over and check it out.

#5 User is offline   brundaddy 

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:20 PM

Concerning the market value, pick up a copy of the Vintage Guitar Price Guide. It will put you in the ballpark. Then contact Norman's Rare Guitars in Tarzana, CA.

#6 User is offline   zigzag 

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 03:21 AM

Excellent, thanks.
"If you don't play 'em, what good are they?" -Mike Campbell

#7 User is offline   mjf966 

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:02 PM

I have a Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman made on 1990 on sale... which is the sister of the Tennessean... if you are still interested...

All the best,

Marco

#8 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 02:12 AM

I own a red '90 Tennessean, which was the first year of the model. The pickguard and truss rod cover are clear & painted silver on the backside. At some point soon thereafter, they were changed to black, and a black armrest was added (mine does not have the armrest). The neck scale is 25.5" rather than the more common 24.75" found on most Gibson hollowbodies, and the neck is wider at 1-3/4". I usually like smaller necks, but find the overall profile of this one to be very comfortable (definitely not a baseball bat). Also noteworthy is that it has 16 frets clear of the body, rather than the 14 found on many other single cutaway hollowbodies. In near mint condition, these can go for a bit over $1500. The last few I've seen at Gruhn's were going for $1750, although I saw one a few months ago in a local shop going for only $1200 & was sorely tempted to buy it, but kept saving for a 330L instead. I consider the Tennessean to be a real sleeper. A lot of unique features, with virtually all the capabilities of my 335.
Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 LP Tribute / '12 ES 330 VOS
'12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG2 American Eagle / '14 J-15
Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-JLH 1964 Sheraton / '04 Peerless Casino
'05 Paul McCartney 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '10 Valensi Riviera
'11 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino / EL-00 Pro / {Trinity: TM-475 Mandola}
Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1

#9 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:58 AM

The biggest difference I have seen between the Gibson Tennessean and the Gibson Country Gent is that the Tennessean came with a stop bar and TOM style bridge where as the Country Gent came with a Bigsby and a floating arch-top style bridge.

#10 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:30 AM

View PostSearcy, on 17 June 2011 - 05:58 AM, said:

The biggest difference I have seen between the Gibson Tennessean and the Gibson Country Gent is that the Tennessean came with a stop bar and TOM style bridge where as the Country Gent came with a Bigsby and a floating arch-top style bridge.


For me the biggest difference, as mentioned above, is the fact that the Tennessean has 16 frets clear of the body. The CG has only 14. Also, the Tennessean's cutaway shape is very similar to a 335, and it effectively joins the body at the 18th fret. Body, neck, and fingerboard woods are the same. Pickups are also identical. No question the CG has fancier appointments along with the Bigsby, but I find the Tennessean quite appealing from a playability standpoint.
Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 LP Tribute / '12 ES 330 VOS
'12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG2 American Eagle / '14 J-15
Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-JLH 1964 Sheraton / '04 Peerless Casino
'05 Paul McCartney 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '10 Valensi Riviera
'11 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino / EL-00 Pro / {Trinity: TM-475 Mandola}
Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1

#11 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 05:48 AM

I'm going to have to check one of those out some time. I've thought of picking one up just for the TOM and stop bar set up. Getting a few more frets before the joint would be nice too.

#12 User is offline   Mojorule 

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 10:44 AM

Did the Tennessean have a chromyte centre block or a maple one? Or did it change from one to the other at some point during its run? I believe the Gent changed from maple to balsa eventually - isn't yours maple inside, Searcy? Don't fear the balsa, though. My Howard Roberts uses it and sounds just dandy.

#13 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 11:37 AM

View PostMojorule, on 18 June 2011 - 10:44 AM, said:

Did the Tennessean have a chromyte centre block or a maple one? Or did it change from one to the other at some point during its run? I believe the Gent changed from maple to balsa eventually - isn't yours maple inside, Searcy? Don't fear the balsa, though. My Howard Roberts uses it and sounds just dandy.


The Tennessean had a chromyte (basla) center block throughout it's production run. And I agree, it works very well.
Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 LP Tribute / '12 ES 330 VOS
'12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG2 American Eagle / '14 J-15
Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-JLH 1964 Sheraton / '04 Peerless Casino
'05 Paul McCartney 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '10 Valensi Riviera
'11 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino / EL-00 Pro / {Trinity: TM-475 Mandola}
Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1

#14 User is offline   Versatile 

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 12:01 PM

Interesting how the Tennessean changed moving from Gretsch to Gibson

And the early Gretsch's were much deeper bodied too....

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#15 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 02:38 AM

View Postbobouz, on 18 June 2011 - 11:37 AM, said:

The Tennessean had a chromyte (basla) center block throughout it's production run. And I agree, it works very well.


I have always heard that but the center block on my Gibson Country Gent is maple. I would like it more if it were chromeite (Gibsons trade name for balsa) as it would get the weight of this monster down a bit.

#16 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 11:50 AM

View PostSearcy, on 19 June 2011 - 02:38 AM, said:

I have always heard that but the center block on my Gibson Country Gent is maple. I would like it more if it were chromeite (Gibsons trade name for balsa) as it would get the weight of this monster down a bit.


Searcy - My guess would be that the maple block is most likely giving your CG better sustaining qualities than the later chromyte-equipped models, and probably a punchier tone, too! And surprisingly even with the balsa, my Tennessean still feels pretty darn heavy.
Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 LP Tribute / '12 ES 330 VOS
'12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG2 American Eagle / '14 J-15
Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-JLH 1964 Sheraton / '04 Peerless Casino
'05 Paul McCartney 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '10 Valensi Riviera
'11 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino / EL-00 Pro / {Trinity: TM-475 Mandola}
Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1

#17 User is offline   your_diamond 

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 10:25 AM

There is currently (11/17/2014) a nice 1991 Gibson Tennessean for sale on Craigslist (Sarasota, Florida). He ships all over the world, I've bought from him before (no problems), wish I had the $1,600.
30's Stradolin two point, '86 Herringbone signed by III, '80 EKO Bass BA-4, '88 Pedulla Bass MVP II, '92 Les Paul Standard

"At our noblest we announce to the darkness that we will not be diminished by the brevity of our lives."

#18 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:43 AM

View Postyour_diamond, on 17 November 2014 - 10:25 AM, said:

There is currently (11/17/2014) a nice 1991 Gibson Tennessean for sale on Craigslist (Sarasota, Florida). He ships all over the world, I've bought from him before (no problems), wish I had the $1,600.

Interesting. I looked up the one in Sarasota you mentioned. The seller uses part of my descriptor in post #8 of this thread, saying it came from a blog. Nothing wrong with that. But to be clear, my '90 is somewhat different from the '91 he is selling, having features that only appeared on the 1990 version (see the first few sentences of post #8).
Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 LP Tribute / '12 ES 330 VOS
'12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG2 American Eagle / '14 J-15
Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-JLH 1964 Sheraton / '04 Peerless Casino
'05 Paul McCartney 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '10 Valensi Riviera
'11 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino / EL-00 Pro / {Trinity: TM-475 Mandola}
Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1

#19 User is offline   your_diamond 

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 10:32 AM

View Postbobouz, on 18 November 2014 - 02:43 AM, said:

Interesting. I looked up the one in Sarasota you mentioned. The seller uses part of my descriptor in post #8 of this thread, saying it came from a blog. Nothing wrong with that. But to be clear, my '90 is somewhat different from the '91 he is selling, having features that only appeared on the 1990 version (see the first few sentences of post #8).


I just looked up the Craigslist ad. Wow, small world isn't it. He is using a bit of Card Blanche but it's probably because it was said so well.

I checked Gruhn's, Norman's, Google, eBay and Guitar Ctr... nothing else out there. I wonder how many of these guitars they made and what the MSRP was?

Bobouz, On another note (pun intended), how did you put that list of guitars & snakehead(?) mandolin into your posts? Is there a link to a tutorial?
30's Stradolin two point, '86 Herringbone signed by III, '80 EKO Bass BA-4, '88 Pedulla Bass MVP II, '92 Les Paul Standard

"At our noblest we announce to the darkness that we will not be diminished by the brevity of our lives."

#20 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 10:49 AM

View Postyour_diamond, on 18 November 2014 - 10:32 AM, said:

I just looked up the Craigslist ad. Wow, small world isn't it. He is using a bit of Card Blanche but it's probably because it was said so well.
I checked Gruhn's, Norman's, Google, eBay and Guitar Ctr... nothing else out there. I wonder how many of these guitars they made and what the MSRP was?
Bobouz, On another note (pun intended), how did you put that list of guitars & snakehead(?) mandolin into your posts? Is there a link to a tutorial?

Diamond - Go to the "signature" portion of your profile to add such info at the end of your posts. I do think it's interesting to see what types of instruments people are playing, as it can lead to other questions & discussions. Btw, the mandolin is not a snakehead, but it is from the Loar era & Gibson's initial use of truss rods in 1922.

As for the Tennessean, no idea how many were produced, but Gibson's customer service might be able to provide that information. As of yesterday, there was one available on Guitar Center's website, listed as being in excellent condition for $1699. Personally, I'm not too keen on the armrest, which is why I like the 1990 version so much (along with the silver pickguard & TRC on a bright red body!).
Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 LP Tribute / '12 ES 330 VOS
'12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG2 American Eagle / '14 J-15
Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-JLH 1964 Sheraton / '04 Peerless Casino
'05 Paul McCartney 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '10 Valensi Riviera
'11 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino / EL-00 Pro / {Trinity: TM-475 Mandola}
Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1

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